Heartland Band
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Heartland Band
Origin Huntsville, Alabama, United States
Genres Country
Labels Lofton Creek, Country Thunder, Permian, R&J
Walt Aldridge
Jason Albert
Craig Anderson
Todd Anderson
Chuck Crawford
Mike Myerson
Keith West
Chad Austin

Heartland was an American country music band from Huntsville, Alabama. It originally consisted of Jason Albert (lead vocals), Craig Anderson (rhythm guitar), Todd Anderson (drums), Chuck Crawford (fiddle, background vocals), Mike Myerson (lead guitar), and Keith West (bass guitar, background vocals). Signed to Lofton Creek Records in 2006, the band topped the country charts that year with its debut single "I Loved Her First", also the title track to its debut album. After their next five singles failed to chart within the Top 40, all members except Albert and Crawford left, with former solo artist Chad Austin joining.


Heartland was founded in 1994 by Jason Albert, brothers Craig and Todd Anderson, Chuck Crawford, Mike Myerson, and Keith West. They performed at a June Jam in the state of Alabama in 1997, and began seeking a record contract through the assistance of songwriter Walt Aldridge.[1]

Heartland signed with an independent record label called Lofton Creek Records in 2006. The group's debut single, "I Loved Her First", was released later that year, and went on to top the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts.[1] The band's debut album, also titled I Loved Her First, was released in October 2006. Ken Burke of Country Standard Time gave the album a positive review, praising the instrumentation and Albert's "hardcore southern vocals", also saying that it had "snappy execution and catchy hooks galore."[2]

After its second and third singles performed poorly, the band exited Lofton Creek and signed with Country Thunder Records in March 2007.[3] They began working with producer Mark Bright,[4] but instead released "Once a Woman Gets a Hold of Your Heart", which was co-written by John Rich of Big & Rich and Richie McDonald of Lonestar, with Rich also serving as producer.[5] It was followed by "Slow Down", which did not chart. The label closed in March 2009.[6] In July of the same year, the band moved to Permian Records and released the single "Mustache".[7] Also, Myerson left the group.[8]

By 2012, all of the original members except Albert and Crawford had left the band to start families, while Chad Austin joined. Austin had recorded two albums for Asylum Records in the late 1990s,[9] and was later signed to Broken Bow Records. Also, Albert had been experiencing vocal issues which had to be treated with exercises and rest. To reduce the strain on his vocal cords, all three members now alternate on lead vocals.[10] The lineup of Albert, Crawford, and Austin released a new single, "The Sound a Dream Makes", in September 2012. It was produced by James Stroud[10] and released via his R&J Records.[11]


Studio albums

Title Album details Peak chart positions
US Country US US Indie
I Loved Her First 3 11 1


Year Single Peak chart
US Country US
2006 "I Loved Her First" 1 34 I Loved Her First
2007 "Built to Last" 58 --
"Let's Get Dirty" -- --
"Once a Woman Gets a Hold of Your Heart" 52 -- N/A
2008 "Slow Down" -- --
2009 "Mustache" -- --
2012 "The Sound a Dream Makes" -- --
2015 "I Loved Her First" (re-entry) 7 -- I Loved Her First
"--" denotes releases that did not chart

Music videos

Year Video Director
2006 "I Loved Her First" Todd Schaffer
2009 "Mustache" Chris Conn


  1. ^ a b Morris, Edward (2006-11-13). "Heartland Scores a No. 1 Its First Time Out". CMT.com. Retrieved . 
  2. ^ Burke, Ken. "Heartland - I Loved Her First". Country Standard Time. Retrieved 2011. 
  3. ^ Tucker, Ken (March 26, 2007). "Heartland Exits Label". Billboard.biz. Retrieved 2012. 
  4. ^ "Heartland" (PDF). WMA.com. Retrieved 2012. 
  5. ^ "Heartland hopes for repeat success". Country Standard Time. Retrieved 2012. 
  6. ^ "Country Thunder Records folds". Country Standard Time. March 16, 2009. Retrieved 2012. 
  7. ^ Peacock, Bobby (September 10, 2009). "Heartland - "Mustache"". Roughstock. Archived from the original on 24 September 2011. Retrieved 2012. 
  8. ^ Leggett, Steve. "Heartland biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012. 
  9. ^ Johnson, Zac. "Chad Austin biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012. 
  10. ^ a b Stark, Phyllis (September 24, 2012). "Overnight Success". Country Weekly. 19 (39): 48-49. ISSN 1074-3235. 
  11. ^ "R&J Records to Release Group's New Single to Country Radio on Monday, October 1". Heartland. 17 September 2012. Retrieved 2013. 
  12. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 185. ISBN 0-89820-177-2. 

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