The C.R. Ecker Band launched in the Summer of 2011 and since then has been accorded over 20 awards and recogntions among radio programmers for the sound and style of the music written by Charles Ecker and produced by either Michael Stanton in Los Angeles or Stacy Hogan from Music City.
"A Bright Tomorrow" is a good example of Ecker's new "Heartland" style, so much so that Reverbnation has granted him permission to list "Heartland" as a new country sub-genre.
The band's website lists all the press accolades given to the group in the past four years as well as details on wins at the L.A. Music Awards and Hollywood Music in Media Awards. And while those were international competitions, closer to Nashville, The Independent Country Music Association membership vote the band a Silver Star in its 2013 "Best Country Band" event.
Two current reviews perhaps best describe Ecker's "Heartland" style --
The C.R. Ecker Band is different either traditional country or the Nashville 'cookie' cutter music," says Dixie McCorkell, Program Director, Triple Strand Music. "It's like it has has taken the best of a couple of genres and blended them together. They might be onto a new movement. It is definitely its own sound - a standout "apart from the crowd sound. Something we need in this business!"
Notes Gary Schwind, Music Writer, AXS Entertainment:The C.R. Ecker Band is a good example of what is good with country music. The band's sound is Pop enough to appeal to a broad audience, but not so "Pop" that it sounds like a lot of the bands coming out of Nashville. The themes of the songs are familiar, but this band presents them so they don't seem tired. In other words, the band sounds familiar, but still refreshing. If you have been looking for spme new country artists, The C.R. Ecker Band is a great place to start!"
Sometimes it's best to look calmly inward during troubled times to draw on faith, and find reasons to hope. "A Bright Tomorrow" from The C.R. Ecker Band is all about extending goodness to those in need and believing that YOU can help to make a better world. It's a song that listeners will not soon forget, sung by lead vocalist Michael Stanton.
Charles Ecker first composed this song in the late 1980s, but no publisher was interested because he wanted to give to the world. And that meant', logically, that those in the "bid'ness" had no motive to hop on the Ecker bandwagon, long before a band was even formed. But "A Bright Tomorrow" was never completely out of his mind, even though the demo cassette sat in a shoebox gathering dust for nearly 30 years
. Now, through cdBaby and its method of allowing a free download waving distribution expenses, short of putting the song out through Public Domain (and losing all control of its use,) Ecker gets his wish, "granted in my lifetime," to speak to millions about what each can go to make the world a better place. The composer, who earned over 20 awards and nominations for his work in only the past four years, says: "'A Bright Tomorrow' is the closet I will ever get to John Lennon's 'Imagine.' And I am humbled. based on early reactions from programmers in Europe and the United States.
"For the past three years, we have been airing the original version of 'A Bright Tomorrow" on or about New Year's Day and Charles Ecker released it on that day, on Reverbnation only, at no charge.Charlie is a devout Christian and his producer and lead singer Michael Stanton is an ordained minister. They were working on the final mix of a country version November 13 when news came from Paris and they finished in time for our Tuesday show so we could introduce it to the world ." Chris Duval, Station Program Director, London.
Interesting to note a reaction by the Dalai Lama, speaking days after the Paris attacks, not about this song, but regarding steps to achieve peace. In part, his comments were very much like Ecker's original thinking when he wrote "A Bright Tomorrow" long ago. "We need a systematic approach to foster humanistic values, of oneness and harmony. If we start doing it now, there is hope that this century will be different from the previous one. It is in everybody’s interest. So let us work for peace within our families and society..."