Award-winning musical trio Gloriana

MEEKER I From the band’s earliest days, the members of Gloriana have always known that good things take time. The country trio first came together in 2008, when brothers Tom and Mike Gossin moved into Rachel Reinert’s Nashville apartment. Together they spent months in cramped quarters, surviving on Ramen noodles while trying to shape their sound.
“Gloriana are three people who have played music for their entire lives,” says Mike. “But we never really caught a break until coming together. Tom and I played in bars for 10 years, but it wasn’t until the three of us got together that we knew we had something special.”
That something special has held Tom, Mike and Rachel together through all manner of personal and professional struggles over the past several years: from relationship upheavals, to the departure of band-mate Cheyenne Kimball, to long stretches away from loved ones on the road, to wondering whether their music would ever catch fire.
Fortunately it did when Gloriana’s 2009 self-titled debut album soared to No. 2 on the Billboard Country Albums chart propelled by the gold-certified single “Wild At Heart.” That same year, they spent two years on the road with Taylor Swift and won an American Music Award for Breakthrough Artist and a coveted American County Music award for Top New Vocal Group in 2010.
It’s been a minute since that heady time, but the wait has been worth it. The band’s first single “(Kissed You) Good Night,” from A Thousand Miles Left Behind, achieved several career milestones for Gloriana. It was the fastest-rising single of their career, certified GOLD by the R.I.A.A., and is the fifth most-played song on Country Radio for 2012.
There is no question that their new music marks the beginning of a new chapter in the group’s creative evolution – a willingness and confidence to write songs taken from personal experience and introspection.
Gloriana released its new single “Can’t Shake You” and it has quickly become a standout track from A Thousand Miles Left Behind with fans routinely commenting on how relatable the song is for the struggles to move on after a break up.
“Can’t Shake You,” written by Tom Gossin, Stephanie Bentley and James Slater, is currently climbing the charts with the accompanying video in rotation at CMT and GAC.
The members of Gloriana come by their bona fide songwriting talents through a lifetime steeped in music.
Born in the upstate New York town of Utica, Tom and Mike were raised by parents who “worshipped songwriters,” Tom says.
“My dad was always saying, ‘Hold on, we’ve got to put the right song on for this’ before anything could happen,” he said. The boys, who both took up piano at age four, had an old-school upbringing, complete with Sunday dinner at their grandmother’s house after church with their entire extended family clustered around a folding table.
“My dad was a truck driver and my mom cut hair in our kitchen for extra cash,” Tom said. “Being from a poor family and living in the middle of nowhere — our lives were a country song. My parents were born and raised in Utica. People don’t leave the area. I was the rebel kid who was like, ‘I’m going to get the hell out of here, you just watch.”
After graduating from high school at age 16, Tom enrolled at the University of North Carolina in Wilmington, then dropped out two years later to focus on music. By this time, Mike had followed him there and the brothers began playing gigs five nights a week, anywhere they could, to make money.
“My mom was like, ‘Are you sure you don’t want to go to community college?” Mike recalls. “I said, ‘No, Mom, this is going to work, trust me.”
Before the brothers knew it, 10 years had passed.
“It breaks you down,” Mike said. “It makes you look at yourself and wonder, ‘Am I doing the right thing?”
The Gossins decided to move to Nashville, which is where they met Florida native Rachel Reinert, who lived in Marietta, Ga., and Santa Ana, Calif., before signing a publishing deal at 16 and moving to Music City at 18 to launch a career as a singer-songwriter. Tom and Mike moved into her spare bedroom.
“They slept in the same bed with a mound of pillows separating them,” Rachel says with a laugh. The group spent the next six months getting their sound together before sending a demo to Serletic’s Emblem Music Group, which signed the band and set their burgeoning career in motion.
Their final show before hitting the road for two years with Swift in 2009 was at the sports bar Wild Wing Café in Columbia, S.C., where they were literally paid in chicken wings. Next thing they knew, Gloriana were performing for thousands of people at an arena in Evansville, Ind.
For the past three years, they have toured constantly, opening for such artists as Alan Jackson, Jason Aldean, The Zac Brown Band and Brooks & Dunn. In 2010, the band launched its first nationwide headlining trek, “The Long Hot Summer Tour.”
“The first night we opened for Alan Jackson, we asked him if he had any advice for a group starting out, and he said, ‘Man, it’s all about the music; make sure you stay true to the music,’”Mike said.
“I think through the growth of this band and all the ups and downs of this roller coaster ride that we’ve been on, it feels like we’ve finally found our place. ‘A Thousand Miles Left Behind’ is it; it just feels right,” Mike continued. “This is us, Gloriana, singing about where we are in our lives and the experiences we’ve had. That’s what country music is all about.”
The Last Men On Earth will play Saturday at the Fairgrounds with country trio Gloriana. Gates open at 5 p.m. and the concert starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are available online at www.meekerrangecall.com or at the gate.