Austin, Texas, power-pop band Wideawake is stepping off the boat to get onto the bus.
The band, a regular on the popular Rock Boat tours, is hitting the road on the Rock Bus, a back-to-basics tour put together by the Rock Boat organizers.
Eddie Willis, the lead guitarist in the band, said the tour, which urges interaction between audience and the band, is indicative of the Rock Boat vibe.
"There's always a real connection to the fans and a real connection between the bands. That's what makes something like this so special," Mr. Willis said.
Though the band's sound features big pop hooks and raucous guitar riffs, rhythm guitarist Nate Navarro said the band bristles at labels such as alternative, power pop or retro rock that often are applied to its music.
"We didn't want to be part of any genre," he said. "We're more interested in just finding the right songs. We're completely focused on songs and one of those bands that always has stuff written for the next record."
Songwriting and studiowork are important aspects of Wideawake's approach to the music business, but Mr. Navarro maintained that it's the ethos the Rock Bus tour was founded on, performing live, that excites the band.
"I mean, Scott (Leger, the band's lead singer) could just write and write and write, and we do love being in the studio," he said. "But for the band as a whole, well, we love seeing an audience singing our songs back to us somewhere on the road. The whole live experience is what keeps us going."
Recently, the band became associated with cyclist, and fellow Austinite, Lance Armstrong's Livestrong campaign, donating proceeds from and dedicating the song Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow to the cancer cause.
"From our perspective, it has been a very humbling experience," Mr. Navarro said. "None of us have had cancer personally, but we have all been affected by it. So to be able to write this song and have the Lance Armstrong Foundation adopt it, well, it's moving to know that it has become something more than just another rock song on the radio."
Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT: The Rock Bus, featuring the Zac Brown Band and Wideawake
WHERE: The Blue Horse Music Hall, 985 Broad St.
LISTEN UP: Hear part of the Wideawake song Stay
and the Zac Brown Band song Whaatever It Is [MP3]