The Signature Sound & Musical Majesty of ADABOY!

New Single ‘Voices Run’ and Live Release Show Set for April 14th

    icon Apr 06, 2023
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Of all the musical groups and artists contained within the constellation of talent populating the Great Lakes Bay Region, ADABOY! is one of the rising stars to keep your eyes focused and ears tuned upon.

Since their inception back in 2005 by singer/songwriter  Mike Richards, the group has evolved through six different incarnations searching for the right alignment of chemistry, passion, and vision to develop what can truly be called a ‘signature sound’, which they’ve finally achieved with their current line-up of Richards, bassist, vocalist,, multi-instrumentalist, and co-songwriter Joe Balbaugh; drummer/vocalist Steve Bennett, and newest member, co-songwriter, vocalist & lead guitarist Vincent Modern.

Formed only 333 days from the date of this interview, the group is poised to release a remarkably powerful, poignant, and poetic new single titled “Voices Run’ on April 14th.  Recorded in Nashville at the historic Castle Recording Studios back on November 4th  of last year with Grammy Award winning engineer Joe Baldridge and Grammy nominated and 2 time Dove Award winner producer Kene Bell, upon listening to this meticulously crafted piece of artistry, it should easily propel the band to national stardom.

‘Majestic’ is the word I would use to best describe the breadth of dynamics and depth of harmony and compassion utilized to deliver the musical and lyrical sentiments displayed by the band in this song, which is no doubt one of the benefits derived working with Nashville producer Kene Bell. The strength of the song and the band’s performance in turn captured the ears of industry professionals such as  Joe Baldridge, who’s resume includes artists such as Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, and Dierks Bentley.

ADABOY! is a group who has overcome much, standing together to release carefully crafted original music. The chemistry of this new line-up has cultivated a powerful sound that allows the listener to feel any weight being lifted. But more importantly, they are creating forward thinking, growth mindset music, colored by the textures of past eras with a heartfelt foundation.

Receiving multiple nominations for this year’s 37th Annual REVIEW Music Awards, it is with these thoughts in mind that I sat down to discuss what can easily be termed a pivotal point in their careers.

REVIEW: With all that has happened over the past year, how would you encapsulate the evolution of the band to the point you are at today?

Mike Richards: Never give up.  I feel we are led by the reality of never giving up while knowing failure is the best way to grow. I was 25-years old when I started writing my own music, which was mainly singer-songwriter type stuff, and then I started working with Andy Reed, who helped produce my songs, like a lot of people do; but the sound right now is define the band by getting it collectively to become a distinct entity.

The more I released control, the more I felt the world came to me. When Joe and I got together, he quickly became a co-producer and writer with the band. Steve’s a co-writer. Each of us are co-writers and it’s become a lost art. I think when you get a group of strong musicians together you can create something that’s way bigger than you can imagine by yourself.

I don’t downplay anybody’s success. My cousin, for example, is Chase Rice who’s a big country star and has won CMA awards, but if you go to those shows you can tell it’s his show, and if you see type of headline/marquee artists in concert sometimes you can lose the heart in the performance.  People can see and hear that on stage, so the more I released the control the more I felt us getting to the place we find ourselves at now.

REVIEW: What does each member contribute to the sound of the band?

Joe Balbaugh: Everybody has their own karma and strong suits. Everybody has a job and everybody has a role. Someone might have a shortcoming and someone else steps in to cover it; or they may not have experience in some genre of with a chord progression, so you step in. That goes back to what Mike was saying about releasing control. Everybody is equally invested in what we’re doing, instead of one person sticking out for some certain reason.

Steve Bennett: Adding to that, I’d like to say that Mike brings his handsome good looks and very likeable great voice to the mix and is becoming an awesome guitar player because of his surroundings; plus he’s got a wholesomeness I’ve never seen in anybody, especially a city person. 

Joe is a monster at playing a million different instruments and he’s a good mentor. We all look up to him and he’s the youngest guy in the band. He has a special gift - he hears it like he knows it and can sing incredibly high harmonies at almost perfect pitch, playing keyboards and bass guitar at the same time because the rest is too easy for him.

Vince is also an amazing vocalist and it’s a voice he has with his guitar that expresses an emotional feeling in an incredible way. He matches me in the sense I’m a very emotional drummer. I’m not a killer drummer, but I’m a singing pocket drummer and like to be explosive when it’s time to be explosive.  In this way we all complement each other. Each song we shine on in one shape or form to define our sound.

REVIEW: So tell me how you were able to hook up with two world-class producers in Nashville?

Vince Modern: After I auditioned with these guys on April 23rd of last year we did our first show together at White’s Bar on May 21st and it was a powerful experience. Kene Bell is a friend of mine and we’ve been working together for 10 years with good results, so after that first show the energy and chemistry happened so naturally, Mike and I started talking about doing this right away and traveling that road of recording professionally.

The day after that White’s show, I called producer Kene Bell to ask him his availability and if he’d be interested in taking on an Alternative Folk/Rock band from Bay City, Michigan, then referred him to the 2019 debut Adaboy! album specifically the song Call Me Love, which won two REVIEW awards that year.

I thought Call Me Love was the best representation of the band, so we started scheduling right away. We were scheduling to record and reserving the Castle Recording Studios for November 4th and of course we invited Joe Baldridge to engineer yet it was only May 22nd. We wanted one song that we could come out swinging with to put our best foot forward, but didn’t have a song.  So we went down that road of composing for a few months, which took until September.

The song we chose was written by Joe and that was that. Once Kene heard it the ball started rolling and within an hour he called us right back and gave us a list of things to address in the song, so we tore it open and started attaching things to make the song stronger and stronger until we had a finished product.

REVIEW: How did you come up with the song, Joe? 

Joe Balbaugh: I actually wrote it for a Songwriter’s performance and was really influenced by The Joke by Brandi Carlisle. I wanted to see what I could do to not replicate that song so much as reflect the inspiration behind it, and that’s what came out of it.

REVIEW: So after this single is released on April 14th, will you be releasing an album?

Mike Richards: Albums aren’t the current trend at the moment we keep hearing, so the plan is for us to release the album in stages and record singles that are a representation of what the album will be like, and then release our album in its entirety - or something like that. Whatever our management team tells us to do. Kene is wearing several hats for us and also doing A&R promotion for the record execs down in Nashville, so he’s like a producer, spiritual guide, counselor, and brother - kind of like our fifth member. He’s done a lot in terms of lifting us and it’s really impacting this group. It’s all about connections, talent, and timing and we feel like this is just the beginning.

Vincent Modern: Right now we are trying to appeal to investors and/or attract business partners to join with us via Kickstarter. Currently everything we’ve been doing is being financed internally. ADABOY! is officially an LLC now and 100% independent and setting the groundwork for the business end. We’re signed up to BMI and own all our master recordings and are trying to build it from the inside out until we get to the point where we have to expand that worldwide.

We’re going Live April 11th with a multi-social media company LMSUK out of the United Kingdom who will be heading up all our social media in the UK as of April 1st, so potentially we could be going over there next year to get on their festival circuit. Nothing is set in stone.

REVIEW: What has the overall reaction been to the group?

Joe Balbaugh: When people hear the group they say it’s a refreshing sound - the band that maybe the world needs right now, because we’re standing for the songs we’re writing about and all of them are upbeat and hopeful.

ADABOY! is all about people who have overcome multiple demons in their lives and we draw from the things that happened to us, which I think is a better way to show people they aren’t alone and that any obstacle can be overcome. We want people to feel they’re not alone. Voices Run was written when I got sober and found out real fast who my friends were. That’s where that song came from.

Steve Bennett: I’d led like to mention that our mixing engineer was F. Reid Shippen who just mixed Carrie Underwood, and was mastered by Chris Gehringer.  Nashville felt right at home for us and we a breathtaking experience. We stayed a few miles from the recording studio and The Castle is one of the top four studios in Nashville.

Right now the game plan is to promote Voices Run for the rest of the year until the song hits and climbs the charts and the strategy is to blow up our home state and get that song on every radio station possible in Michigan.  Once that starts to descend it will be time to release the next song, Shades of You, which we’ll probably record in May. Then we’ll probably follow that up with a song we’re working on that’s about halfway finished called New Strings.

ADABOY will be performing live at their Single Release Show for ‘Voices Run’ on Friday, April 14th at Fischer Hall in Frankenmuth with Erin Zindle & The Ragbirds & Michelle O’Neil. Doors open at 6 PM and the show starts at 7 PM. Admission is $25.00 pre-sale or at the door.  Tickets are available through

You can check their music out on Spotify, Soundcloud, and all the streaming services.







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