116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Restless Road is an apt name for the country trio that was birthed out of the music competition series, “The X Factor.”
Vocalist-guitarists Zach Beeken and Colton Pack met in 2013 while auditioning as solo contestants on season 3 of that show.
However, both were eliminated before making the Top 40. But “X Factor” producer Simon Cowell invited Beeken and Pack back to try their luck as a group with vocalist Andrew Scholz.
The band, dubbed Restless Road, finished fourth on the season finale in 2013.
What: Restless Road
Where: FRYfest High Porch Block Party headliner, outside the Hyatt Exhibit Hall, 300 E. Ninth St., Coralville
When: 7:30 to 8:45 p.m. Sept. 2, 2022; Block Party’s Kids Zone opens at 1 p.m.; opening band James Tutson performs 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.; fireworks follow Restless Road
Tickets: $5, fryfest.com/concert/ or free at Scheels, 1461 Coral Ridge Ave., or at the Scheels booth in the FRYfest Trade Show (limit four per person)
Band’s website: restlessroad.com/
FRYfest: Hawkeye celebration, this year honoring 50 years of University of Iowa Women’s Athletics; activities 9:45 a.m. to fireworks at dark Sept. 2, including a trade show, blood drive, ticketed I-Club luncheon, panel discussion, football preseason preview, trivia challenge, pep rally, games
FRYfest details: fryfest.com/
“We felt confident enough to give this a shot,” Beeken said while calling from Nashville. “We all moved to Nashville to see what could happen.”
It’s been a bumpy ride for Restless Road, headlining FRYfest’s High Porch Block Party concert Sept. 2 outside the Hyatt Exhibit Hall in Coralville’s Iowa River Landing area.
Pack decided to leave the group in 2014 and was replaced by Jared Keim. The country trio joined Demi Lovato as tour support for a few dates that year.
“It felt good,” Beeken said. “We played in front of a huge audience for a couple of nights, which was awesome.”
However, Restless Road lost its record deal and Beeken and Nichols worked as Nashville bartenders. Pack turned to construction to make ends meet and made his own music on the side. Fellow “X Factor” contestant Kane Brown, who became friends with Restless Road, heard Pack’s version of his “Good as You” in 2019. Scholz and Keim left the group, Pack returned and Garrett Nichols joined the group.
Brown, who was starting his own label, offered Restless Road a deal.
“Our road has definitely been a winding one,” Beeken said. “A lot of different things happened to us. It didn’t look good when the record deal fell through, but we stuck it out and we are blessed, since Kane offered us a deal. It’s been a crazy journey.”
The band’s turning point appeared to come at the start of 2020. During the first week of January that year, Brown invited Restless Road onstage during his sold-out performance at Los Angeles’ Staples Center for a live debut of their collaboration, “Take Me Home,” a song inspired by John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”
“That was amazing,” Beeken said. “It was an absolute highlight.”
Brown and Restless Road then released “Take Me Home” and its music video in February of 2020. The band’s self-titled debut dropped just before the month ended, followed by Brown and Restless Road playing “Take Me Home” on “The Today Show.”
“Everything was going so well for us,” Beeken said. “We were turning the corner.”
And within three weeks of the release of their EP and “Today Show” appearance, the pandemic arrived and lockdown followed.
“It was unbelievable and horrible, but we couldn't do anything about it,” Beeken said. “Nobody could do a thing. But we kept it going. We still had Kane’s support. Kane propelled us.”
Restless Road is back on the road with a catchy and touching new tune, “Growing Old With You.”
“It’s a song everyone can relate to,” Beeken said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re married or single. It’s about falling in love and staying with that person.”
There don’t seem to be as many love songs as there were a generation ago. Is it due to a cool quotient or are love songs that difficult to write?
“It's true that there are fewer love songs,” Pack said while calling from Nashville. “I think they are harder to nail. I hope there are more love songs coming out in the future since I have a soft spot for them.”
Restless Road has been working on some new songs in the studio. The playful “No Can Do” will be previewed at the FRYfest.
“It’s just a summertime anthem about doing what we love, which is drinking a cold beer,” Pack said. “You can do it at the lake or at a tailgate.”
Or at a Restless Road show.