The Shootouts Are Riding High, Setting Sights on Birdfish Show

The Shootouts’ new album was drawing attention before it was even released.

That’s partly because the Akron-based band worked with some industry legends – Asleep at the Wheel’s Ray Benson, Raul Malo of The Mavericks and country great Marty Stuart – on the album.

Titled “Stampede,” the album dropped in February and has lived up to its hype. It’s been on the Americana album chart top 10 for nine weeks now, and also appeared on the alt-country specialty chart.

But the credit really goes to the band for melding a sound that bucks trends yet sounds familiar. While the act recently completed a 30-day tour to promote the release, it will finally make its Mahoning Valley appearance Saturday, April 29, when it plays the music room of Birdfish Brewing in Columbiana. It will be one of the brewery’s popular Saturday afternoon shows. The show starts at 2 p.m., and admission is free.

The band also has a free outdoor show at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Hometown Bank Plaza in downtown Kent.

Shootouts front man Ryan Humbert, who plays guitar and handles lead vocals, explains how his band achieves its lively and infectious sound.

“As a band, our mission is to take all the influences, the things we love – bluegrass, honkytonk, Bakersfield, Western swing – and filter them through our collective experience as musicians and our rust belt roots,” he said. “It’s a little bit retro, modern, rockabilly. They all coalesce, and it makes us a little more versatile.”

Asleep at the Wheel’s Benson produced the “Stampede” album, which has spawned the single “Better Things to Do” with Marty Stuart. To hear it, click HERE.

Benson also performs on “One Step Forward,” while the Mavericks’ Raul Malo can be heard on a version of Michael Stanley’s “I’ll Never Need Anyone More.”

Nashville songwriter Jim Lauderdale joined in with the band in recording the Bakersfield-esque cut “Tomorrow’s Knockin’.”

The Shootouts made their Grand Ole Opry debut the day before the new album’s release.

In addition to Humbert, the band includes vocalist Emily Bates, lead guitarist Brian Poston and bassist Kevin McManus. They are also joined by “Shootouts extended family members” Dylan Gomez on drums, Ryan McDermott on bass and longtime mentor and collaborator Al Moss on guitar.

The Shootouts’ ability to draw such talented collaborators is not really a surprise as the act has worked with the artists in the past.

“We’ve opened for Marty Stuart before, and for Raul Malo multiple times,” Humbert said. The connection to Benson came “from a friend of a friend,” Humbert said.

The “Stampede” album came hot on the heels of the band’s “Bullseye” album, which was released in 2021.

“One month after ‘Bullseye’ came out, the conversation started with Benson,” he continued. “We didn’t think we’d be getting back in the studio so soon, but you never say never.”

A chance to work with Benson is not something you turn down, Humbert noted.

Opening Saturday afternoon’s show at Birdfish will be Rick Blair of Rolling Boxcar International.

Humbert and The Shootouts are looking forward to the show. “It’s been a minute since we’ve played the Youngstown area,” he said.

Pictured at top: The Shootouts are Emily Bates, Kevin McManus, Ryan Humbert and Brian Poston. (Photo by Jamie Escola)

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