Good music, good drinks and good people — that’s exactly what’s in store on Thursday at the Love and Theft show at Schmitt’s Saloon.
Love and Theft consists of Stephen Barker Liles and Eric Gunderson, two men who came together in Nashville to make country music. The band formed in 2006 with an additional member, Brian Bandas, who completed the singing, guitar-playing trio.
Love and Theft caught its big break when it was signed to Carolwood Records, a subsidiary of Lyric Street, in 2009 after getting signed on as an opening act for Taylor Swift’s Fearless tour. That same year, it made its chart debut with the single "Runaway," which reached the top 10 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart before the release of the band’s debut album, "World Wide Open."
The band’s success continued with another single and a big performance at the Grand Ole Opry before the 2010 disbandment of Lyric Street Records. During its time between labels, Bandas left the band, turning it into the duo it is now. Liles and Gunderson then signed with RCA Nashville in 2011, where they released their single, "Angel Eyes." The song went on to become the group’s first No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and preceded their self-titled release in the summer of 2012.
After a couple of years, Love and Theft left its label and began work on new music. They self-released the single "Whiskey On My Breath" before releasing their third album with the same title in Feb.
The duo is a blend of country-pop and rock, which is a quickly evolving genre in contemporary popular music.
Their songs lean toward partying, summer and good vibes — some of the usual country styles. Instead of narrative storytelling, the band likes to sing fun songs with catchy hooks incorporating some synthesizing to accompany the alternating lead vocals and guitars from Liles and Gunderson.
The harmony and collaborative relationship between the two is what makes them such talented live performers, since being on stage with one of your best friends making music and improvising contains a spirit that cannot be imitated. Especially in an intimate concert environment like Schmitt’s, where you are in a familiar and comfortable setting surrounded by friends and country music fans who are all rocking along together to Love and
Love and Theft continues touring and promoting its album, "Whiskey On My Breath," through the end of 2015 on the "Can’t Wait For the Weekend" tour. They will kick off their Morgantown show with special guests Joel Crouse and Stevie Monce.
The show starts at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Schmitt’s Saloon. Tickets are available online for $30.