Ryan Shupe is thrilled that he gets the chance to perform his music worldwide. But if there’s one thing the bluegrass-rock artist could say to fans, it’s to bring the entire family to Ryan Shupe and the RubberBand shows.
“One thing that people always say when they come to my shows is, ‘Oh man, if I would have known, I would have brought my whole family,’” Shupe recalls.
“We have different jam sessions where we’re doing different solos and kind of improvise stuff. We interact with the audience. It’s perfect for families. We encourage people to bring their whole family.”
That applies to the Ryan Shupe and the RubberBand show at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, February 9, at the Higley Center for the Performing Arts. The Provo, Utah-based band is touring in support of its latest album, “We Rode On.”
“‘We Rode On’ is a little bit different in that I kind of wanted to be a little more focused,” Shupe says. “All of our albums tend to be five albums in one—a little bluegrass, a little rock, a little singer-songwriter, funny, a little bit gospel; a little bit of different things.
“On this one, I wanted to focus a little bit more on the folksy music. I was just kind of experimenting with songs. I took a mad scientist kind of approach.”
Besides pushing “We Rode On,” Ryan Shupe and the RubberBand is laying plans for the summer. They’re going to hit the East Coast and Southern United States, and release music videos.
“Plus, we’re always looking for different ways to mix up our songs,” he says. “We like to come up with different arrangements, whether it is with breakdowns, solo sections or snippets of songs. We like to throw people off a little bit. We realize that we need to entertain people as well as just play music.”
And Shupe is passionate about that.
“If you don’t try and put on a good show, it ends up being boring,” he says. “They might as well go listen to the CD. I think when you play music, you have to do it for the passion because it’s such an up and down business. It’s so unpredictable. You have to do it because you love it. Otherwise, just get burned out and have to find something else to do.”
Ryan Shupe and the RubberBand, Higley Center for the Performing Arts, 4132 E. Pecos Road, Gilbert, 480.279.7194, higleycenter.org, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, February 9, $23-$44.80.