On The Row: The Band Steele

LB Rogers • January 9, 2019 

The Band Steele. Photo: Haley Crow

About an hour south of Muscle Shoals, Bo Steele and Ben Rubino grew up in a town with one red light called Double Springs, Alabama. After Rubino heard Steele cover a Seether song at the high school talent show, he and his brother asked Steele to join their band. They called it The Band Steele. Not long after, a viral video of Steele covering “Victory In Jesus” in a hospital waiting room caught the attention of a record label in New York.

The southern rock band stopped by the MusicRow office on Tuesday (Jan. 8) to share an acoustic sampling of their 2017 album, Moon In A Mason Jar.

“In high school we grew up listening to a lot of rock and roll, like Audioslave,” Rubino said. “And we started out writing a lot of rock songs but eventually Alabama got a hold of us and the older we got, the more country our songs were getting.”

“The more relaxed we got,” Steele added with a laugh. “Less angry and rebellious.”

With a sound comparable to the likes of both Scott Stapp (Creed) and Darius Rucker, Steele commands a huge voice with an Eddie Vedder tone. His powerful delivery paired with Rubino’s texturizing harmonies create a fresh sincerity in songs like “Swimmin’ In The Sipsey,” a tune that tells the story of the band’s upbringing around the swampy Sipsey river.

Pictured (L-R): MusicRow’s Lorie Hollabaugh, Alex Kobrick, The Band Steele’s Ben Rubino, Bo Steele,MusicRow‘s LB Rogers, Jessica Nicholson, Haley Crow, Grassroots Promotion’s Renee McClure

Their antsy “Red Moon River” was inspired by a family story about running moonshine.

“My Grandpa used to tell me about running moonshine, and I didn’t believe them but they said they used to drive the backroads in town with the headlights off at night,” said Steele. “And then one day they turned the headlights off and I thought I was going to die.”

The Band Steele’s current single, “Sit Awhile,” shows off the band’s songwriting as it reflects on finding solace in the trouble of life. “Sit Awhile” was inspired by Steele’s step-father’s death, and not long after they wrote the song, Rubino’s mother passed away. They, along with their fans, have found the track healing. Rubino recalled the comments listeners have left on their video that have made them realize the impact of the song.

“That one means a lot to us,” Rubino said. “The response to it is really what has been so incredible.” After military members gravitated toward “Sit Awhile,” the band dedicated the music video to those who have served.