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Sawyer Brown's New CD Asks, <i>Can You Hear Me Now</i> - 2002-06-30

The five-man Country band, Sawyer Brown, was formed in 1982. Now, 20 years later, the group is still making hit records and attracting large concert audiences. Sawyer Brown is celebrating its 20th anniversary in music with the release of Can You Hear Me Now, the band's 18th album for Curb Records.

The title track of Sawyer Brown's latest album, Can You Hear Me Now, is one of four songs co-written by award-winning singer-songwriter Dave Loggins. A longtime friend of Sawyer Brown's lead vocalist Mark Miller, Dave is best known for his 1974 pop hit, "Please Come To Boston."

Sawyer Brown came together in 1982, and two years later, earned national attention by winning the $100,000 grand prize on Star Search. Other successful alumni of the popular television talent contest include Britney Spears, Linda Eder and Christina Aguilera.

Signed to Curb Records after the Star Search win, Sawyer Brown has remained with the label its entire career. The band earned the Country Music Association's Horizon Award in 1985. Since then, Sawyer Brown has won many other industry honors, and sold millions of albums that have produced such hits as "Step That Step," "Some Girls Do" and "Thank God For You."

Early in the band's career, Sawyer Brown was criticized for its non-traditional sound. In response to those remarks, keyboardist Gregg Hubbard said, "We, as a rule, have always just done the kind of music that we do, and don't worry that much about a label. We consider ourselves a Country band. But it's actually up to the people. We actually now call our [style] 'American music' and let people go from there with whatever kind of label they want to put on it. If they enjoy it, that's what's the most important, as opposed to knowing a label for it."

The members of Sawyer Brown say they'll continue making records and performing live shows until the fans disappear. There's no indication that will happen anytime soon. One Sawyer Brown fan has even created and paid for a highway billboard in Nashville congratulating the band on its 20th anniversary.

Known for putting on one of the most entertaining shows in Country music, Sawyer Brown has performed more than 3,000 concerts during the past 20 years.

Lead guitarist Duncan Cameron talks about the rewards of playing to live audiences. "We work a lot on the road," he said. "It's a nice change when we get it going and make records, and then to go out and play the things we've experimented with in the studio to see what the audience [likes]. That's kind of instant gratification."

Sawyer Brown will promote its new album with a U.S. summer tour, which began on June 14.