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America still on their nameless horse

Band behind defining pop-rock songs will stop at Honeywell on April 27

America, featuring original members Dewey Bunnell, left, and Gerry Beckley, will be at Honeywell Center in Wabash on Thursday, April 27.
Joshua Schipper

Joshua Schipper

Whatzup Features Writer

Published April 19, 2023

The band America will ride their horse with no name into our area with shows at Wabash’s Honeywell Center on April 27 and Fort Wayne’s Foellinger Theatre on July 10.

The Grammy-winning group that is responsible for timeless hits like “A Horse with No Name,” “Sister Golden Hair,” “Ventura Highway,” “Tin Man,” and “Lonely People” continues to transcend generations of fans more than 50 years from their beginnings as teenagers in 1970s London. 

Continuing to draw fans

Over the past five decades, America have released 15 studio albums. Their most recent album, Lost and Found, was released in 2015 and features 10 previously unreleased tracks recorded during an 11-year span at the turn of the millennium. 

Even their albums released in the 1970s continue to get airplay and streams with 1972’s “A Horse with No Name” racking up more than a half-billion streams on Spotify.

Dewey Bunnell, one of the three founding members of the band, said the upcoming shows are a “cross section” of their albums, whether significant or not.

In an interview with Whatzup, Bunnell noted that America started out as a high school band, and they still feel that drive to continue playing for their fans.

“We started when we were teenagers, the original trio, myself and Gerry (Beckley), and our dearly departed third member, Dan Peek,” he said. “We graduated from high school together in 1969, and we had a high school band that morphed into America. We’ve been doing that our whole lives. There’s not much else we can do. So, we’re driven in that regard. But we also love playing. 

“It’s been a very wonderful career. And just the simple fact that we’re still attracting audiences and getting airplay after that amount of time is kind of surprising. We’re really happy to get out there and play.”

Deep cuts

With 15 studio albums, perhaps fans and casual listeners overlooked some terrific songs buried within the track lists. Bunnell said that as a songwriter, “You really love your baby,” but once it’s released, it either rises on the charts or it doesn’t. 

“The songs that made it are very popular and important to us: ‘Ventura Highway,’ ‘Sister Golden Hair,’ ‘Lonely People,’ or ‘Horse with No Name,’ ” Bunnell said. “We had a lot of Top 10 and No. 1 songs, which is really what carries the show, or at least brings people in. And then you hope they hear some songs they weren’t familiar with on the live show and maybe that piques an interest.”

Although at peace with which songs did get airplay, Bunnell said that perhaps “Sleeper Train” or “Young Moon” off 1994’s Hourglass deserve another listen. 

No shortage of highlights

Reflecting on his time with America, Bunnell recalls several highlights. 

From huge concerts to performing with bands like Three Dog Night and The Beach Boys, America have seen their share of crowning moments. The group even received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2012.

“Our music seems to be able to cross borders, and we’ve done tours of South America and Central America,” Bunnell said. “Touring has been great. We’ve had our ups and downs with recordings and releases and going through different genres of music.”

A particularly unique highlight of the band’s run came in the wake of their 1973 Grammy win for Best New Artist, when they formed a partnership with renowned record producer George Martin, colloquially known as the “Fifth Beatle.” Martin’s work with America resulted in hits like “Tin Man,” “Lonely People,” and “Sister Golden Hair.”

“Sir George Martin was a huge chunk of our lives between 1974 and 1980,” he said. “He produced seven albums for us, and that’s a highlight.”

Overall, Bunnell expressed his thankfulness for the longevity of America’s career and their special appeal to broad swaths of the world.

“I think that just being here still, having worked in shows is just a wonderful thing,” he said. “There’s a lot of accolades. I’m super grateful. … It’s been a great career.”


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