Music

Restless Road Build Off Kane Brown Support, TikTok Momentum With 'Hometown Tonight'

Colton Pack, from left, Garrett Nichols and Zach Beeken of Restless Road arrive at the CMT Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/John Amis)

Kane Brown running buddies Restless Road look to build on success found during the pandemic on TikTok with not just new song "Hometown Tonight" but also a music video that ends with a cliffhanger.

"We wrote that song, gosh, it's been at least probably a year and a half ago," band member Colton Pack told Wide Open Country. "We held onto that song for quite a while, and we wrote it with our good buddy Jacob Durrett. He helped bring this song to life. This song has a lot of rock elements to it, and that's kind of Jacob's bread and butter. He grew up listening to rock and metal music, and now he drums for Hardy. He was really able to help us bring what's honestly a new side that we haven't been able to show quite yet. It's a really cool song for us, and it's our show opener on tour."

The trio of Pack, Zach Beeken and Garrett Nichols' personal touch on songs about making a significant other feel at home, no matter where they lay their head, brings us a clever line about their makeshift small town: "population two." It introduces us to more than the trio's romantic aptitude, as it's an inside joke referencing Beeken's favorite quip, "Population three: Garrett, Colt and me."

Sharing their personalities and senses of humor through song became the norm for Restless Road ever since the group first posted on TikTok in March 2020.

https://www.tiktok.com/@restlessroad/video/6987146044027047173?lang=en&is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v1

"We've had a lot of fun on TikTok in the last year," Beeken said. "We've been posting things that we think are either funny or interesting or creative, and it's really worked out for us. We're getting close to 1.9 million followers on TikTok, and it's been a great way to meet more and more people and for more and more people to see what we're about."

When Brown's Worldwide Beautiful tour kicks off in September, opening act Restless Road will reach a portion of its massive social media following with "Hometown Tonight" and the rest of its growing setlist.

"We've played it out at a few shows we've been doing these past couple of weekends, and it's always been a big hit," Nichols adds. "I think people are starting to learn the words, and like you said, there's little lines in there that are pretty creative and stuff that I think people can relate to. We're excited to get on the road with Kane and open the show with that and see what happens."

The Brown-Restless Road connection dates back to 2013, when the group originally formed for Fox competition series The X Factor. After Beeken and Pack failed to make the show's Top 40, Simon Cowell suggested that they compete as a band with former member Andrew Scholz. As Beeken tells it, a four-piece lineup with Brown, another contestant from that season, was initially considered.

"Kane ended up going his separate way and becoming a solo artist and the Kane Brown we all know today," Beeken added. "We got fourth place on the show. Sharing that experience that we had with him, and it was really only about one day that we were on set together... We really did get to know each other that day. We did spend a lot of time talking and hanging out. Just through that experience, we kept lightly in touch over the years. When it came time for him to want to start his own label and start bringing out some artists to open for him, it was lucky for us that we kind of had that connection already there and we were someone that he thought of to do that."

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Restless Road became the first act signed by Brown's 1021 Entertainment record label, a joint venture with Sony Music Nashville, back in February. Brown also collaborated with the trio on the John Denver-inspired "Take Me Home."

As for that Chris Ashlee-directed video, it leaves open the door for a series of interconnected mini-movies, in the tradition of country music purist Travis Tritt's "Anymore," "Tell Me I Was Dreaming" and "If I Lost You" trilogy.

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Restless Road Build Off Kane Brown Support, TikTok Momentum With 'Hometown Tonight'