By John Benson
Doing pretty good is how Outshyne singer Waylon Owings currently describes his country band.
Formed in 2007, the outfit recently watched its song “Dirt Road Romance,” which was the lead single from its newly released album “Startin Over,” get national radio airplay. Now hopes are high the band’s next single “Moonlight Crush” will do the same.
“‘Dirt Road Romance’ was something to get our name out and get going at radio,” said Owings, calling from his home in Lawrence, S.C. “That’s kind of rock-influenced. The guys from Florida Georgia Line wrote that song for us. People say it has an Aldean sound to it but I don’t really hear that other than a rock influence. My favorite song is ‘Moonlight Crush.’ It’s a mid-tempo vibe, just a laid-back, kind of falling-in-love tune. I think it’ll be one of the biggest songs off the album.”
Optimism isn’t in short supply for Owings, who believes his group’s newer sound is paying off. Previously, Outshyne was more of a raw country act with a little bit of rock influence; however, for “Startin Over” the act embraced a pop influence that resulted in a modern feel.
These days, the Music City is churning out plenty of artists embracing a modern country sound. Look no further than the aforementioned Florida Georgia Line. When asked if Outshyne fits into this category, Owings said, “Honestly, we didn’t dip into it as much as others do, which we could have. For us, I think it was just enough to not throw off the fan base. And it’s been great, we’ve picked up more and more fans since we released the CD.”
Owings added that the group actually considered putting country rapper Colt Ford on the new album, but decided at the last minute the result would be too similar to other Nashville acts.
One area where Outshyne doesn’t mind following other country act is in its concert bookings, including a Northeast Ohio date.
The outfit makes its Youngstown-area debut Saturday at the Dusty Armadillo.
“Actually, we’ve been trying to get there for a while now, because we have so many people we’ve met different places saying we should have a show there,” Owings said.
“In fact, we were in Key West and met 10 people from that area who said, ‘You guys have to come up here and play.’ Now that we’ve got us a single on radio, things are getting a whole lot easier for us as far as booking places like that. So that’s why we’re coming up to that area,” he said.
When it’s pointed out that the name Outshyne seems like a, well, Soundgarden cover band title, Owings laughed.
“Yes, we get that all the time,” Owings said. “I’ve got that more than anything. Other people call us Shinedown.”
So does he have any regrets with the name Outshyne?
“None at all,” Owings said. “It’s done pretty good for us.”