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Needtobreathe's Bear Rinehart Tells Us About Going Acoustic (Album Out Today)

Needtobreathe’s Bear Rinehart Tells Us About Going Acoustic (Album Out Today)

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(CelebrityAccess) Today is the launch date for NEEDTOBREATHE’s first-ever acoustic live album, and a good one at that, called Acoustic Live Vol. 1 via Atlantic Records. The songs were recorded during the band’s first-ever acoustic tour over 16 shows at 14 venues including the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Charleston Music Hall in South Carolina, and Washington D.C.’s Lincoln Theatre.

Today is also the onsale date for the next acoustic tour, celebrating this recording. The Acoustic Live Tour kicks off at Ann Arbor’s Michigan Theatre Feb. 15 and has shows practically every night to April 16 when the band plays Macky Auditorium Concert Hall in Boulder, Colo.

NEEDTOBREATHE has built a solid career that plays to larger rooms with each outing and has just wrapped an arena/auditorium excursion. The band’s lead singer, Bear Rinehart, talked to CelebrityAccess how this acoustic transformation fits into the band’s future.

What was the inspiration for doing an acoustic tour in the first place?

I think the biggest part of that is we’ve done a little bit of it in every show. There have always been a couple songs, maybe one song at the end, that we’d do acoustically. It seems the reaction was always great. A lot of the songs are written acoustically, or on a piano. I think we always wanted to go out and tour it; it’s just never been the right time or the agents or the managers would go, “Whoa, whoa whoa! That’s kind of a crazy idea!” We finally just had a chance, a window to do it.

It was a lot of fun. We didn’t plan on making a record from it. We were just going to do 10 or 12 shows and, after the first night, I said, “We have to do a record from this and, hopefully, a film. This is really special.”

This music sounds so good that one could suggest it’s the next evolution of the band.

Yeah! Yeah, it’s a lot of things coming together. Obviously, we feel we’ve always done a little bit of this in our shows and, even on record, our better moments have been stripped down.

But a live record is so different. We were sitting on stools and telling long stories. You can really hear on this record the reaction people had. I think it’s because of the context they had to like them. We could explain their origins and what they mean, and what one would mean today for us, 10 years after we wrote it.

I feel the people’s reactions are so much stronger. Yeah, it’s definitely something we’re going to do again. We want to tour more with it and mess around with how we record those shows.

You’re with Jeff Krones at CAA. Any word as to how the onsale will go Friday?

Obviously the band feels pretty good about it. We’ve done enough records now to know what our fans are going to like and the excitement level is. But I don’t let them tell me what the numbers are or how it’s going. I stopped that years ago. It’s better for me to interact with a record just like a fan does. I’ll download it the day it comes out, drive around and see what my thoughts are.

But I feel really good about the response that we’ve had to the tour. People hit us up online all the time about doing more dates, about coming out West. We just finished a big arena/amphitheater tour and that was probably the No. 1 question: “Hey, when are you doing an acoustic, live record? When are you doing acoustic tour dates?” So I think people really do enjoy it.

This is “Vol. 1.” Why Vol. 1?

It means we’re not committed, which means a lot for this band! We were playing 25-30 different songs on the acoustic tour. We knew we weren’t going to put all those on a record and when we had to cut the list down, I said, “Man, I just can’t imagine this will be the only acoustic record we ever do.” We just had a lot of fun doing it.

So I think there will be a Volume 2. There’s no timetable for that and we are doing another acoustic tour starting in February, and we’re going to record all the shows like we always do so maybe Volume 2 will come out of that.

There are acts out there like Bob Schneider and Barenaked Ladies that will sell recordings of their shows at the end of the night. Ever discussed anything like that?

The band has messed around with that in the past and done it some. A big part of that is reserved for our street team and fan club. We put a song out every single month from one of our shows that could be from the archives or something new. The whole point of that was to make the fan club about music and not just about T-shirts and meeting the band. I think we learned from a lot of artists like that and some of them we really like. I think our big fans really enjoy that.

We might do a special show. I think if we were going to do an album, like a 10-year anniversary of a record, playing it all the way through, that would be the time when we would do something like that.

If there’s nothing else, let’s address the elephant in the room. Reinartz vs. Rinehart. Me: no ‘h’ and a ‘z’ but everybody adds an h. Should I be jealous? Is it easy being you?

Everybody wants an ‘h’ in there and spell it ‘heart.’ I do think it’s odd for people at times but there could be worse problems to have.

The 12-song collection, produced by NEEDTOBREATHE and mixed and mastered by the band’s Seth Bolt (backing vocals, bass) at his Plantation Studios in Charleston, represents over a decade of music from the band, with songs spanning across five of their six studio albums. From tracks like RIAA Gold-certified “Brother” and “TESTIFY” to “White Fences” and “Washed By The Water,” Acoustic Live Vol. 1 functions as a compilation of some of the band’s greatest hits.

The album is available here.

NEEDTOBREATHE is a GRAMMY-nominated rock band hailing from South Carolina, comprised of brothers Bear Rinehart (vocals, guitar) and Bo Rinehart (guitar, vocals), Seth Bolt (bass, vocals), and Josh Lovelace (keys, vocals). Their most recent album H A R D L O V E released in 2016 and debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Current Albums, Top Rock Albums and Top Alternative Albums charts and #2 on the Billboard 200, their highest debut to-date.

Acoustic Live Tour 

Friday, Feb. 15 – Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor, MI*
Saturday, Feb. 16 – Victory Theatre, Evansville, IN*
Sunday, Feb. 17 – Canton Palace Theatre, North Canton, OH*
Monday, Feb. 18 – Stifel Theatre, St. Louis, MO*
Tuesday, Feb. 19 – Orpheum Theater, Omaha, NE*
Thursday, Feb. 21 – Stephens Auditorium – Iowa State Center, Ames, IA*
Friday, Feb. 22 – Morris Performing Arts Center, South Bend, IN*
Saturday, Feb. 23 – Fountain Street Church, Grand Rapids, MI*
Sunday, Feb. 24 – Orpheum Theater, Madison, WI*
Thursday, Feb. 28 – Saenger Theatre, New Orleans, LA*
Friday, Mar. 1 – Thalia Mara Hall, Jackson, MS*
Saturday, Mar. 2 – Montgomery Performing Arts Centre, Montgomery, AL*
Sunday, Mar. 3 – Von Braun Center – Concert Hall, Huntsville, AL*
Thursday, Mar. 7 – Parker Playhouse, Fort Lauderdale, FL*
Friday, Mar. 8 – Johnny Mercer Theater, Savannah, GA*
Saturday, Mar. 9 – Township Auditorium, Columbia, SC*
Monday, Mar. 11 – The Louisville Palace, Louisville, KY*
Tuesday, Mar. 12 – Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, Asheville, NC*
Wednesday, Mar. 13 – Palace Theatre, Greensburg, PA*
Friday, Mar. 15 – American Music Theatre, Lancaster, PA*
Saturday, Mar. 16 – Stamford Center for the Arts, Stamford, CT*
Sunday, Mar. 17 – Mayo Performing Arts Center, Morristown, NJ*
Friday, Mar. 29 – Orpheum Theatre, Wichita, KS^
Saturday, Mar. 30 – Brady Theater, Tulsa, OK^
Sunday, Mar. 31 – Rudder Auditorium, College Station, TX^
Monday, Apr. 1 – Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, San Antonio, TX^
Wednesday, Apr. 3 – Fox Tucson Theatre, Tucson, AZ^
Friday, Apr. 5 – Arlington Theater, Santa Barbara, CA^
Saturday, Apr. 6 – Pearl Theater, Las Vegas, NV^
Monday, Apr. 8 – Fox Performing Arts Center, Riverside, CA^
Tuesday, Apr. 9 – Fremont Theater, San Luis Obispo, CA^
Wednesday, Apr. 10 – Fox Theater, Bakersfield, CA^
Friday, Apr. 12 – Bob Hope Theatre, Stockton, CA^
Monday, Apr. 15 – Pikes Peak Center, Colorado Springs, CO^
Tuesday, Apr. 16 – Macky Auditorium Concert Hall, Boulder, CO^

*Dates opened by Matt Maeson
^Sean McConnell

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