It’s not every day we get to watch the rapid rise of an American rock ‘n’ roll band, from performing as an unknown at an open mic night to soon after selling out the venue multiple times, then moving rapidly to major stages.
With Hippies & Cowboys, we are witness to what appears to be a meteoric rise, including a growing loyal fanbase of “Dreamers,” as their tribe is called. Hippies & Cowboys, feeling the vibrations of momentum after their discovery at Fox & Locke’s Open Mic Night in Leiper’s Fork, released a live album recorded at one of their sold-out shows at Fox & Locke. They then played the Pilgrimage Festival, one of the most popular music events in the eastern half of the U.S. They had already been tapped as regulars at Kid Rock’s place on Lower Broadway in Nashville, stirring up the crowd with energy to burn.
The band’s discovery in Leiper’s Fork set their trajectory. The performance hit the bullseye - intense rock vocals, thanks to lead vocalist Aaron Sparling, an original song that connected with the audience, and young, new, rock blood that emanated energy from the stage like a modernized version of the best of 70’s rock.
Watching the band live is high energy on steroids. Sparling is the driving force, hands down, one of the best rock singers in the business already. And he’s only twenty-six.
At twenty-three, Aaron Sparling made it to Nashville from Kokomo, Indiana. In Music City, he connected quickly to like-minded musicians and music-biz execs. He took his old soul and his golden rock voice to Muscle Shoals, Alabama, to record in studios that helped launch the music of some of his heroes.
Sparling credits The Beatles with his conversion to rock ‘n’ roll. “The Beatles changed everything for me. Before then, I was into the Memphis country/blues sound, which is great, too. But as soon as I really got into The Beatles, I dove deep into the wonders of rock ‘n’ roll music, which changed my life forever,” Sparling said.
Cut-to a night in his hometown of Kokomo, at the Kokomo Country Palace, when Aaron heard the sound he’d been looking for – one of the tightest bands in music. He met up with them after the gig, introduced himself and said to the drummer Scott Metko, “I’ll be back in three months to hire ya’ll to be my band.” “Yea, right,” Scott thought. Three months later, Aaron was back and hired the band.
Musical history is now in the making, right in our hometown, where Hippies & Cowboys just launched the live album they recorded at Fox & Locke, are building fans at Kid Rock’s, and playing major festivals. The performance at Pilgrimage led to national media coverage in People Magazine, multiple high-profile social media influencer posts, and a measurable increase in the band’s fanbase.
They are now recording a studio album around town of newly written songs and a couple of surprise rock standards.
It’s the cross between country and Southern, rock and soul that gives Hippies & Cowboys a universal appeal. Their name says a lot about their musical range.
Something else, though. These guys are the real deal. An unusual genuineness exudes from the stage; accessibility of the band members to fans. That collective personality, a rarity in rock, is led by Aaron Sparling. He’s quite possibly one of the nicest guys in the business.
When asked what drives him, Sparling says, “The fans. Pure and simple. Seeing the joy that music brings to people and feeling that excitement of creation...it gives me a way to express my feelings or opinions freely. I love to see the enjoyment on people’s faces when I sing a song, that feeling of amazement, joy, and high energy.”
Keep watching these guys. Follow Hippies & Cowboys on social @hippiesandcowboysband and visit: hippiesandcowboysband.com