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TV to follow Laconia band to Nashville

New Hampshire Union Leader

February 25. 2012 11:48PM
The Eric Grant Band, a country band based in Laconia, will be featured in TLC's new reality show, “On the Fly.” Camera crews are rolling as the eight-member band is heading to Nashville to record its first full-length CD. (Courtesy)

LACONIA - A country band from the Lakes Region will fly to Nashville on Saturday to cut its first full-length CD, and fans will be able to tag along by watching a new reality TV show.

Vicki Fleury, spokesman for The Eric Grant Band, said filming for TLC's new show, 'On the Fly,' will begin at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport and continue on a Southwest link between Baltimore and Nashville, where the eight-member, Laconia-based band will cut the record.

Steve Capachietti of Meredith, a retired airline pilot, is the band's 'video guy.' Capachietti's wife, Sallie, is the Southwest pilot who will be flying the band to Nashville, Fleury said.

Jessica May, associate producer of 'On the Fly,' announced TLC's plan to film the band last week. The show will premiere this spring.

'We all have goose bumps,'' Fleury said Thursday. 'We are sort of pinching ourselves and saying, 'Wow, this is really happening.''

The band formed in 2009. It has grown in popularity while playing local hot spots, including the Lakes Region Casino in Belmont.

'We started at Shooters in Belmont, but we've outgrown it,' Fleury said, explaining the band is attracting more fans than the venue can accommodate.

'We've played Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill in Foxboro. It can handle about 1,350 people, and we hit capacity every time we go there,' she said.

The band comprises Eric Grant of Gilford, acoustic guitar; his sister Sherry Grant of Gilford, vocals; Paul DiBiaso of Sanbornton, on keys; Graeme Baert of Gilford, on drums; Don Haney of Bristol, on bass; Carlos Flores of Nashua, on lead guitar; Tim Kierstead of Nashua, on slide guitar; and Bill Hayes of Gonic, on banjo, mandolin and fiddle.

Video: Eric Grant band 93.3 Release 'Do it all Again'

The film crew will follow the band to the studios of New Voice Entertainment in Nashville. New Voice is operated by three members of the Grammy Award nominee Jason Aldean Band.

The filming will include the band's renditions of 'Paradise' and 'Country as It Gets.'

Eric Grant has long dreamed of recording a CD in Nashville, but it wasn't until the band opened for Jason Aldean at Gilford's Meadowbrook US Cellular Pavilion in August 2010 that he met Rich Redmond, Aldean's drummer.

Redmond is a co-founder of New Voice, which works with a handful of new artists on the rise and is the team responsible for bringing Thompson Square's 'Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not' to No. 1. Grant asked Redmond whether he would be willing to work with EGB, and the dream started becoming reality.

In its first few years, Grant's band has opened for headlining acts, won the national title of New Country Band of the Year and Best Vocal Group of the Year, released its first CD, and had two songs in rotation on the local country radio station.

In July 2011, the band was chosen to open for Trace Adkins at Meadowbrook.

'We sold 300 CDs in 15 minutes, and fans were lined up to receive autographs. It was a surreal moment for us, realizing what 'making it big' could be like,' Grant recalls.

In September 2011, EGB took home a $7,500 cash prize at the Rockin' Country Showdown hosted by The Oxford Fair in Maine. The prize spurred the group to reach for the dream of recording an album of EGB originals, but there was still a long way to go.

With $50,000 to be raised and no corporate backing, 'Operation Reach for the Stars' began, and the band raised the money through raffles, donations and a concert attended by 300 people.

The band will leave Manchester on Saturday at 11:10 a.m.

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