News

High Desert band Born Country riding high with ‘Games People Play’

By Luanne Hunt / For the Daily Press Posted May 17, 2019 at 12:01 AM

Joe Eiffert, founder of Born Country, just finished 10-day, multi-state radio tour

Although social media makes it seem like people only recently began battling fiercely over their differences, hatred, intolerance and divisiveness have been around for a long time. In the late 1960s, singer/songwriter Joe South released a song that spoke to these societal ills titled “Games People Play.”

The spirited tune won two Grammy awards and also peaked at No. 12 on Billboard’s Top 100 chart. Over the years, it’s been covered by numerous artists, including Conway Twitty, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton and Don Williams, to name a few.

In April, the High Desert-based band Born Country decided to record the song. According to group member/founder Joe Eiffert, it’s taking off like a rocket. Earlier this month, Eiffert, along with his father Leo Eiffert, embarked on a 10-day, multi-state radio tour to ask stations to play it.

They started out in Arizona and worked their way across New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Eiffert said the response was even greater than expected and Born Country’s version of “Games People Play” is currently playing on at least 20 stations.

“We started playing this at our shows a while ago and the response from the crowds was really strong,” said Eiffert, who has backed country music legends and Hall of Fame recording artists such as Patsy Montana, Billy Walker, Rose Maddox and Johnny Paycheck. “One night, we all kind of looked at each other and realized we had to record it.

“It’s been covered many times before, so we wanted to modernize it and make it our own. It’s a mix of gospel, blues, country and that Dr. John, New Orleans style. We added a choir, too, and when it was all finished, we all said, ‘Wow, we can’t believe we did this.’”

According to Eiffert, he and his dad visited 35 independent radio stations on their journey. The trip was made possible by the Indie label KopyKat records.

“Knowing how radio works, I wanted to personally go to these stations so they could meet the artist face to face,” said Eiffert. “That rarely happens these days, so the DJs were very excited when I showed up. Many of them played the song immediately and my dad and I heard it on the radio as we were leaving the studio. It was all so surreal.”

Riding high on the success of “Games People Play,” Eiffert said Born Country recently began working on a new, yet-to-be-titled CD. It will include mostly originals written by Eiffert and the band, which also consists of Teeci Eiffert (vocals/rhythm guitar), Michael Cappetta (vocals/bass) and Kevin O’Neal (vocals/drums).

“I have to sing the praises of my bandmates,” said Eiffert. “Everyone of them stepped up in some way to make ‘Games People Play’ possible. I am so grateful to be able to work with these talented singers and musicians.”

Outside of the studio, Born Country performs at local venues, such as the Cadillac Ranch, Los Domingos and The Wine Seller. The band’s next gig will be from 5 to 10:30 p.m. May 27 at the San Bernardino County Fair.

For more information, visit www.borncountrytribute.com.

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