Hill Country Revival
Dripping Springs, TX-one of entry points to the Texas Hill Country- is home base for this young quartet. They play country music with a healthy dose of southern rock influence, driven by the guitar skills of Colton Stieber. Lance Daniel delivers the singing, while drummer Johnny Elrod lays the beats. As bassist Dean Willeford says, “We are not just a band,we are best friends as well. Somehow our paths crossed. The band was just meant to be. We all love music and country life.”
A few years ago, if you were drinking domestic beer, there was a good chance some of the barley that went into brewing your can came from the farm of the Montana Mad Man, Colton Steiber. Colton grew up farming with his father in
eastern Montana and among other things held contracts with a major brewery to supply hops. Downtime from farming meant hunting and fishing along the banks of the Bighorn River and, of course, playing guitar.
He picked up his first guitar around 14 years old and by 16 was playing in bars across the Big Sky Country.
By 21, Colton knew the guitar was more a part of him than even his beloved Montana, and he set out to see what he could find. He moved across the country to Macon, Georgia, where he played 2 or 3 nights a week in multiple bands. Since 2015 he has based out of Austin, Texas, founding Hill Country Revival and his best friends Lance, Dean and Johnny. He seems to have found something good.
Ask Lance Daniel how he fell in love with music and he’ll tell you “underneath the bleachers at the racetrack, peeking through the slats at the GooGoo Dolls.” His family’s love of NASCAR had brought him to Daytona International Speedway, where his plan to become the next Dale Earnhardt JR was brought to a screeching halt when he saw the bands on stage. “I just thought that was so cool,” he says. Growing up in Macon, GA, didn’t hurt, either. Lance grew up listening and dancing to George Strait and Alan Jackson, and in his teens started playing and performing on guitar. Macon’s strong music community provided plenty of opportunities for developing his talents, and he played with various bands over the years while working on his songwriting style. In 2015, Lance moved to Austin, Texas with longtime friend and current band mate Colton Stieber to expand his musical pursuits. They soon found Dean and Johnny and the four founded Hill Country Revival, with Lance standing front and center.
Perryton, Texas doesn’t have much to do aside from Friday night football followed by a steak dinner at KB’s, the one steakhouse in town. Dean Willeford grew up doing everything there was, like fishing at Lake Fryer and cooling off in the hot months with a Dixie Dog chocolate shake. But what there was in this rough landscape marked by wheat fields, tumble weeds, country roads, & oil derricks still left plenty of time to woodshed his versatile musical skills.
Dean has worked with a variety of bands on various instruments, including drums, bass, acoustic and electric guitar, in genres ranging from rock-n-roll, punk rock, country, and even classical. He has had the privilege to lead with Apple of His Eye, and being fluent in Spanish helped him land gigs playing alongside A.B. Quintanilla. He has also done studio work with many local bands.
Dean has called San Antonio, TX home for over 10 years where he continues to enjoy the music and culture of the area.
The one thing he loves almost as much as making music is driving – which makes his work with Hill Country Revival fun both on and off stage.
Johnny Elrod knows cool. An owner of the Barton Creek AC company by day, drummer by night, this Midland, TX native started playing music at 14. Although bass was his first instrument, by 16 he had found his niche in drumming. Joining Kerrville’s Tivy High School Band for percussion as a sophomore was no easy task, but Johnny was more than up to the challenge, marching bass drum his senior year and kicking off a musical journey that would be far from short-lived.
His music career up to now has included stints in the Austin band Windup Bird Chronicle, which won a battle of the bands competition, Midland based bands The Road Kings and Black Eye Shiner, which he also managed, and finally landing back in Kerrville with the alternative rock group The Warning Label. He’s also played with blues legend Marc Benno. His time these days is spent touring with Hill Country Revival, bringing the cool with his own special charm.