IF YOU GO
■ What: The Dirty Guv’nahs “Hearts on Fire” album tour featuring Cereus Bright.
■ When: 9 p.m. Friday, March 28.
■ Where: Track 29, 1400 Market St.
■ Admission: $15.
■ Phone: 423-521-2929.
■ Website: www.track29.co.
■ 2009: “The Dirty Guv’nahs”
■ 2010: “Youth Is in Our Blood” / “We’ll Be the Light” (EP) /
“Wide Awake” (EP)
■ 2012: “Somewhere Beneath These Southern Skies” / “3000 Miles” (EP)
■ 2014: “Hearts on Fire” / “Morning Light” (EP)
Confronted by the news that their album had topped a Billboard chart, some bands might binge on Dom Perignon and polish up their finest pair of strutting shoes.
When their fourth album, "Hearts on Fire," hit the No. 1 spot of the Heatseekers chart last week, The Dirty Guv'nahs let out a heartfelt "whoop" and carried on with business as usual. That ranking didn't give birth to dreams of stardom, says lead singer James Trimble.
"We don't have any songs that fit on any major radio format. That's not even a fantasy of ours," he says, while en route from a show in Oxford, Miss. Packed into their minibus beside him, his bandmates are caught up in March Madness radio broadcasts.
"We know it's one fan and one show at a time," Trimble continues. "We're the least rock-star band around. It's just a real honor to be able to make money off your art."
Not getting caught up in a snarl of pride or seeking out the comfiest position on their pile of laurels has served the Knoxville-based Southern rock sextet well since they formed in 2006.
Since then, The Guv'nahs have reached heights none of them anticipated nor set out for. They've headlined shows around the country, including dates at major festivals such as Bonnaroo and Wakarusa.
They've shared the stage with the likes of Wilco, Levon Helm, Zac Brown and The Black Crowes, to whom they have been favorably compared. Paste Magazine described The Guv'nahs' live show as "thrilling" and called them a band that "know[s] rock and roll from the inside out."
Friday night, March 28, they'll return to Chattanooga to headline at Track 29 alongside fellow Knoxvillians and folk trio Cereus Bright. Trimble says fans can expect to hear five or six songs off the new album during the show.
The Heatseeker chart is determined by album sales for "new and developing acts." After eight years of fighting to scrape together a fan base whose support resulted in this latest acclaim, why should they change their approach, Trimble asks.
Their focus, he says, remains on writing music that connects with a fan base that is growing bigger with every show.
"The more people who hear our songs, the more important each new song we write is," Trimble says. "The more fans you have listening ... the more we realize that we need to make sure each word means something to us because it's touching more and more people.
"It's just a real honor to be able to make money off your art. That's something very few people get a chance to do."
Contact Casey Phillips at email@example.com or 423-757-6205. Follow him on Twitter at @PhillipsCTFP.
Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, young adults, technology and people of interest. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German. He previously worked as the features editor for Sidelines at Middle Tennessee State University. Casey received the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists Award of Excellence for Reviewing/Criticism in ...