Ice House Road began playing music in the living room of lead singer and rhythm guitar player Bobby Sims in the fall of 2007. In the spring of 2008 Bobby, lead guitar player Dewey Hodge, and drummer Adam "J.R." Stoffel played their first gig on a flatbed trailer at a bull ride in Gordonsville Virginia. Bobby's friend Wes Begoon of BLM Bull Co. hired IHR for actual money, making them, for the first time, professional musicians.
The songs of Cross Canadian Ragweed, Reckless Kelly, Johnny Cash, and Willie Nelson influenced IHR heavily in the early days. But the band was beginning to define its sound as a bit more rock than country, anchored by Bobby's strong, heartfelt, genuine vocals and J.R.'s basic but powerful rhythms.
Several guitarists and bass players came and went until J.R.'s coworker Rob Jones came to practice thinking he'd be playing keyboards. Rob had played guitar in other bands but lied about also being a bass player. Bobby and J.R. didn't know better, and Rob was very capable and pulled it off. J.R. and Bobby found it easy to forgive Rob for the little white lie, and he became IHR's bass player (and sometimes keyboardist).
Enter Gary Hawthorne, another of J.R.'s coworkers. Gary came out to see IHR play in Charlottesville VA, and saw a band with great potential, but in serious need of a real lead guitar player. Gary began coming to practice in Bobby's living room and gave the band a harder, edgier sound.
Very shortly after Gary joined the band, IHR cut its first CD -- Outlaw Band and Gary was thrown into playing songs he'd only heard a few times, improvising his guitar parts on the spot. Outlaw Band was used mainly as promotional material; however, the songs on the CD, especially Poker Song and Bull Ride Song continued to evolve as the band played regularly at professional bull ride events, the State Fair, private parties, and club gigs all around central Virginia.
Throughout this time, Bobby continued his “day job” as Cowboy Protection at bull rides and rodeos. The world of Bull Fighting was good to Bobby as he was named SEBRA Bull Fighter of the Year, two years running. His success took him across the country teaching the art of Bull Fighting, carrying his guitar and writing about the experience. The regular work-a-day rodeo world inspired Cowboy Code. The effect Bobby's professional life had on his love life inspired Queen I Let Go. Bobby's friend Laramie Collins (TX) contributed the cowboy tearjerker, I'll Be Home Soon. From Outlaw Band, Poker Song became Livin' Fast, Dying Young about living life on the edge. Bull Riding Song became Cowboy's Paradise and fully captures the rowdy, foot-stomping essence of a live bull riding event. Gary took inspiration from what Bobby told the audience at every IHR gig and wrote the sing-a-long hit: The More You Drink, The Better We Sound.
The band soon realized it was ready to record again. The time, at The Cat Room Studio in Charlottesville with skilled engineer, songwriter, and full time Daughtry guitarist, Brian Craddock. Andy Waldeck (Earth to Andy) also helped the band record some acoustic "bonus tracks" and even threw in some vocals. IHR's new CD, named after Gary's song The More You Drink, The Better We Sound released in the fall of 2013. Too hard to be country, and all about Cowboys, they kind of created a whole new genre of Americana: Alternative Western.
Since then, Bobby got promoted in the world of Bull Riding and returned to the “Rodeo Road” and the band went on hiatus in 2016. RHR is proud to bring The More You Drink… back to the public worldwide. Available now on all streaming platforms.