VIDEO: Keech Rainwater & Lonestar

Posted In: Airstream, Coffee, Interviews, People We Meet, RV Lifestyle, Video

First, a little background. I like many different kinds of music. But when I was growing up in the 80s, my favorite bands were Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, and a variety of hair metal bands like Metallica and even that silly guilty pleasure called Judas Priest. (Question: is it still “hair metal” even though the band members are now losing their hair? Hmm…) I was pretty much a rock and roll guy. Sure, I listened to the occasional country tune, but never really followed the scene.

It was during my college years that I began to appreciate country. There was a dirty hole-in-the-wall called Harry’s Bar where my friends and I liked to congregate and consume excessive amounts of adult beverages. Harry’s was a converted automotive garage, the sort of lovable dump where you could drop a glass beer bottle on a concrete floor and no one would mind. (Seriously!) In addition to the worst billiard tables known to man and random free shots of tequila (personally administered by Harry himself), Harry’s offered a brilliant old school jukebox stocked with your grandfather’s country music. No pretty girl fluffy fluff. We’re talking about grizzled old veterans like Willie Nelson and George Jones. When that jukebox started pumping out the right country tunes, it was magic. There’s something about hearing George Jones singing from a jukebox that, even today, that gives me the uncontrollable urge to guzzle a pitcher of cheap domestic beer.

Then I got married. Although I (sadly?) stopped hanging out at places like Harry’s Bar, I began listening to even more country music. That’s because my wife loves country music. She buys the albums. She watches the awards shows. She knows about all the artists and seems to have memorized the lyrics of all the latest songs. She has increased my aptitude for country and I guess I like it more every year. While I don’t profess to be an expert, I now can distinguish between Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood.

Funny thing about the Internet – you never know who might be out there reading and watching your stuff. A few months ago, I got an email from this fellow. He wrote, “I’ve been following you guys for a couple of years now. I’m the drummer in the country band Lonestar. Let me know if you are ever near one of our shows and we’ll get together.”

“Hey Kristy,” I said. “I just got an email from this guy in a country band. Do you know Lonestar?”

“Yes!” she replied. “They’re really good!”

“Really?”

“Yeah!” she said. “They’ve had a bunch of great songs. Number one hits. Heck, they’ve even got a song that fits with Long Long Honeymoon. It’s called What About Now.”

I did a quick Google check. It was true. Lonestar is a massively successful country band. Over the past twenty years, they’ve carved out a nice career with a series of platinum albums and hit songs. They tour the world. It’s now mandatory law that their #1 song Amazed is played at every wedding in North America.

Then I looked up the guy. His name is Keech Rainwater. Keech is an original member of Lonestar (which with the return of lead singer Richie McDonald has been restored to its original lineup) and has been banging drums for the band for more than two decades. In fact, Lonestar started in 1992, which is right about the time I was slurping tequila at Harry’s Bar.

Next I checked out the song Kristy mentioned. The lyrics were spot on. What About Now is about a couple who finally hits the road for the trip of their lives. Instead of endlessly waiting for someday, they decide to focus on now. “Why should we wait?” the song asks.

Backstage with Lonestar.

Fast forward a couple of months. We checked out the Lonestar tour schedule, and found an appropriate date. I sent Keech a message about the event.

“Just finished a show at an undisclosed location in Asia where we performed for the military,” Keech replied. “Am about to board a 29-hour flight back to Nashville.”

It turns out that Lonestar has a long history of supporting the military, performing shows for troops who are serving far from home.

We agreed on a suitable date. Then on the appointed day, we towed our Airstream to the venue. We met Keech outside the arena and spent a good deal of quality time together.

We arrived early and with Keech’s help secured an awesome parking spot for the Airstream.

Sometimes you meet people and you feel an immediate bond. This was one of those times. It turns out that in real life he’s exactly what you’d hope – a down-to-earth, sincere, all around nice person.

Over the course of a day, we got to know Keech. He hails from Texas, though his home is in Nashville. He’s got a daughter in Canada. When he’s not touring with Lonestar, he’s usually spending time with his daughter. The upshot is that for Keech, travel is truly a way of life.

The subject matter that brought us together, obviously, is our common interest in Airstreams. A few years ago Keech bought a vintage Airstream. He’s currently in the process of renovating it. His plans for the silver bullet extend beyond weekend camping trips. Since he spends so much time traveling anyway, the traditional suburban brick-and-mortar home doesn’t seem to make sense. Instead, he’s thinking about selling his house and pursuing fulltime life on the road.

Hangin’ out backstage with Keech and the crew.

In addition to Airstream trailers, we share interests in other obsessions — like filmmaking, cinematography, and quality coffee.

After hanging out with Keech for much of the day, we felt we’d made a new friend. I have a feeling we’ll see him again someday, when his Airstream is a little further along and he’s out there following his latest passions.

On the tour bus with country music superstars Lonestar.

This brings me back to that Lonestar song Kristy mentioned. After she told me about the song, I listened to What About Now, and it stuck in my head. Like so many country songs, it tells a story, and it’s an inspiring one.

When’s the best time to pursue your dreams?

What about now?

And that road rolls out like a welcome mat
I don’t know where it goes but it beats where we’re at
We always said someday, somehow
We were gonna get away, gonna blow this town

What about now, how ’bout tonight
Baby for once let’s don’t think twice
Let’s take that spin that never ends
That we’ve been talking about

What about now, why should we wait
We can chase these dreams down the interstate
And be long gone ‘fore the world moves on and makes another round
What about now



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