McBride & the Ride
Written by Kix Brooks & Vernon Rust
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
June 5, 1992
One half of a superstar duo helps a vocal group score its only No. 1 single.
The Road to No. 1
McBride & the Ride was a vocal group created by producer Tony Brown, who was also an executive at MCA Nashville. He put them together in his attempt to rival Alabama. The trio he put together could’ve been a quartet, but Steve Fishell decided to be a producer instead, so the band consisted of lead singer Terry McBride and musicians Ray Herndon and Billy Thomas.
Their debut album, Burnin’ Up the Road, produced two moderate hits in 1991: “Can I Count On You” and “Same Old Star.” For their second album, they borrowed the lead single and title track from Kix Brooks, one half of new superstar duo Brooks & Dunn, who had released “Sacred Ground” as his final solo single before joining up with Ronnie Dunn.
The No. 1
You can hear the remnants of Kix Brooks’ phrasing throughout “Sacred Ground,” despite Terry McBride’s smooth vocal style. They’re working with some solid material here, and the trio put out a record that isn’t as good as Alabama’s uptempo hits from this time period, but certainly can compete with their ballads of the day.
They definitely sound like a label creation, though, without the benefit of road-tested harmonies. As with most of their material, “Sacred Ground” feels like a vehicle for lead singer Terry McBride, with backup that could’ve just as easily been provided by session singers.
The Road From No. 1
Sacred Ground was the trio’s most successful project, selling gold and producing additional top ten hits with “Going Out of My Mind” and Just One Night.” They put out one more album with this lineup, Hurry Sundown, which included one top five hit: “Love On the Loose, Heart On the Run.”
Then Herndon and Thomas left the band, and it was rechristened Terry McBride & the Ride, but another MCA album failed to repeat the success of Sacred Ground.
The original lineup has reformed from time to time, but all three have found steady work within Nashville since their brief heyday, popping up as musicians and songwriters for other artists.
“Sacred Ground” gets a B.
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