Southern rock stalwarts Needtobreathe recently stopped by Hollywood's Ocean Way Studios for an installment in Warner's "Live Room" series, bringing seven songs to life in promotion of this year's album "Rivers in the Wasteland." Before the live cuts hit iTunes on Aug. 18, Billboard presents an exclusive premiere of the hopeful folk-rocker "The Heart."
“When we were recording 'Rivers in the Wasteland,' we wanted to strip down the production and keep the album as simple and honest as possible," remembers vocalist/guitarist Bear Rinehart. "We had just premiered ‘The Heart’ as the first single off the album about a month before we filmed this session and the song reflects the album's ideology in many ways. It's a reminder of our beginnings and the simple things that we loved in the first place.”
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Influenced by Needtobreathe's origins, "Rivers in the Wasteland" eventually became a hit on the charts upon its April release, but the band had to fight through hardship to get here. Brothers Bear and Bo Rinehart were on such poor terms that the band almost dissolved before its fifth studio album could come to life. The back-to-basics approach ultimately revived the South Carolina-based act.
"Rivers in the Wasteland" debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and topped Rock Albums. To promote it, Needtobreathe performed on "Conan," "The Late Show with Dave Letterman," "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and "CBS This Morning Saturday." The second leg of their headlining tour beings next month.
The "Live Room" series features artists performing in famous studios throughout America. So far the likes of Ed Sheeran, Blake Shelton and T.I. have been included. Ocean Way Studios, where Needtobreathe performed, has witnessed the creation of albums like Michael Jackson's "Bad," Radiohead's "Kid A" and U2's "Rattle & Hum" in the past.