Saturday, November 14, 2009

Pocatello band enters Garage Band Playoff '09

USAA and U-TURN are looking for The Next Great American Road Song !!! U-TURN’s annual Garage Band Playoff ’09 has begun, a national battle-of-the-bands competition sponsored by USAA and open to aspiring musicians and songwriters ages 13-21.

This year – in the tradition of immortal songs like Steppenwolf’s “Born to Be Wild”, and Rascal Flatts’ “Life is a Highway” U-TURN is looking for The Next Great American Road Song.

U-TURN’s judges are seeking original compositions that celebrate cars, driving and the freedom of the open road. Song entries can be something the artists have previously written and recorded, or a completely new creation.

If a song makes the cut, it’ll face off in a series of online, head-to-head match-ups against others… until only one song is left to be named The Next Great American Road Song.


  • $2,500 cash
  • a professional photo and video shoot
  • an in-depth interview on U-TURN’s audio podcast
  • tons of free buzz on MySpace, Facebook and more!


  • Open to solo artists, groups and bands of any musical genre
  • Song must be original (no covers)
  • Song topic must be about cars, driving or the freedom of the open road (instrumentals OK if evokes a driving feel)
  • Song must be clean/radio-friendly
  • Solo artist or at least one band member must also be a USAA member
  • Solo artist or all band members must be ages 13-21 (as of July 31, 2009)


No purchase necessary to enter or win. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning.

From KPVI,
"Take This", "Summer" and "The Truth" are three of their favorite original songs. If you believe in karma, you might not be surprised that the local band's music is getting some national attention right now.

Every year, U-Turn sponsors a battle of the bands competition where people can tune in their opinion by voting for their favorite song each week. They start with eighty bands and whittle it down to one based on the nation's votes.

The band's name is "Seven Feet Below" and besides all the practice time they put in, they also play for charity events to help out others in the community.

What does it take to be a successful band? Well, it's something their manager says he wished he had when he was younger. It's also something he says these young men currently have going for them.

"Seven Feet Below" is just warming up at just one of their weekly jam sessions. They say sometimes the original music just comes together naturally, a sure sign they could be on to something big. At such a young age, the group already has eight original songs written under the rock and/or alternative category.

Spencer Ruchti, Band Leader: "I write our lyrics for the band and then Joseph usually has some guitar part that seems to fit magically with the lyrics."

Coming up with the name is sometimes random and not as meaningful and personal as the music is.

Spencer Ruchti, Band Leader: "We actually took a dictionary and flipped through the pages and picked random words and then once we got three words we could fit together... that's how we came up with the name."

Their manager keeps the 15-year-olds and the 12-year-old in line and focused on their dream. Eric Hendricks says what makes them stand out has nothing to do with their talent.

Eric Hendricks, Band Manager: "When I was doing it, God bless her soul, I only had a mother and no dad to keep checking on me so I had a lot of chances to get into trouble. These guys don't and they put all of their energy into their music."

Tonia Bellegante, Joseph's Mother: "They're not all about making money and becoming famous, they do give back to the community. We're proud of them for that and we would just like to see the community give them some support and rally around them."

From November 13th through the 19th you can log onto to vote for "Seven Feet Below". Of course you can do so more than once. Be persistent; the website is experiencing heavy traffic and may be slow to load.

Some bands get as many as sixty-thousand votes.

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