2021 Night Owl Country Band. Submitted photo
2021 Night Owl Country Band. Submitted photo

As the first album release since 2020, many would agree the Night Owl Country Band’s third album “Off the Tracks” carries quite an apt title.

The album is set to be released nationally by Nashville-based Colt Records across streaming services in late June and the band couldn’t be more proud. If there is a NOCB album that is intended to make a statement, this is the one, lead singer Matt Lee says.

“I realize we aren’t getting any younger,” 44-year-old Lee says. “Like ‘Cool Gentle Wind’ we are swinging for the fences with this one. We are doing a little bit of everything and a bit differently, too.”

On Sunday, the band will be holding a Memorial Day weekend concert at Ceraland to honor veterans and to celebrate the special day. They will also be performing some of the songs off of the new album. 

"We are just a patriotic band,” he says. “We are proud of America. We are proud of the state of Indiana. We are proud of the town. And we are proud to be where we are at.”

Fans can look forward to not only rocking out to new tunes, including “Indiana Summer” and “Country to the Bone,” and the band promises to offer some familiar favorites along the way.

Since the band’s official inception nearly five years ago, the guys have made leaps and bounds across the music scene and established their presence from the Hope town square to the Grand Ole Opry. And they aren’t finished.

"Something about this album that is unique is we take everyone on a ride through different genres,” lead singer Lee says. “It is definitely off the tracks because we go from old school country to modern and gospel and onto outlaw, blues, jazz and 80s-style. We have a little bit of everything from start to finish."

Lee says some songs tell great story and others simply have a great feel good meaning to them.

When asked about juxtaposing certain styles, such as outlaw to gospel, on the same album, Lee’s answer is simple.

“A lot of the outlaw singers came from gospel, like Hank Williams, Sr.,” Lee says. “It all comes full circle.”

NOCB’s latest member, Natalie Gain, says it has been exciting being in the studio again and watching the project come together. “Off the Tracks” marks her first album with the band since officially joining earlier this year.

“Being in the studio is a very different ballgame than playing live and my perfectionist side comes out hard core,” she says. “It was so nice to see that my vision for how I wanted to sound matched with Matt’s so well and he gave me almost complete liberty to just make my own thing happen.”

Lee says of all the eleven tracks on the album, his favorite is still “Country to the Bone” for multiple reasons.

As the band practices and looks forward to the upcoming show, they couldn’t be more excited to see fans. And, for Gain, the excitement is also about the chance to formally introduce herself.

“I know it sounds corny, but when you basically live and breathe music and it is your passion to play, getting to step on stage once again with an amazing group of friends and musicians is so much fun,” 29-year-old Gain says. “I am really excited to be able to meet more and more fans now that I’m officially part of the band.”

Gain says the acceptance and love Night Owl fans have shown her has been truly amazing.

“Certified Night Owls are some of the best fans I have ever encountered over the years,” Gain says. “And for them to so lovingly accept me into their Night Owl family means the world. I hope the audience will walk away being refreshed by our music and performance.”