One of country music’s hottest young acts, Love and Theft, with such memorable hits as the No. 1 smash “Angel Eyes” and other chart toppers including “Runaway” and “Whiskey On My Breath,” will perform Nov. 10 at Sebring International Raceway.
The high-energy duo of Eric Gunderson and Stephen Barker Lisles, who are songwriters, guitarists and producers of their own music, will be joined in Sebring by the Nashville-based duo Dairy Daughters, featuring Avon Park-native Shelby Dressel. Dressel gained local and national fame as a 2009 American Idol finalist and partners with Minnesota-native Megan Gertken in the group.
The outdoor festival-style concert will be presented by Florida Hospital Heartland Medical Center and Visit Sebring, Lake Placid and Avon Park. Dairy Daughters open the show at 6:30, followed by Love and Theft at approximately 8 p.m.
ACM, CMA and CMT-nominated Love and Theft got its start in 2006, and very quickly started turning out music that rose the charts and appealed to a broad country music audience. By 2009 the duo had released its first hit album “Runaway” and by 2011 the No. 1 “Angel Eyes” was released. As a songwriter, in 2009 Liles co-wrote the Martina McBride hit “Wrong Baby Wrong Baby Wrong,” and the group now regularly performs the track in live shows.
The longtime music partners agree that their potent musical chemistry reflects their personal rapport. “The thing about us is that we really are best friends, and that’s helped to get us through the tougher times,” Eric said. “At the same time, though, we’re different enough personality wise that the combination works. Stephen’s naturally a more social person than I am, and I’m a little more introverted. He tends to see the best in every person and every situation, and I’m kind of the opposite. My songwriting’s different from his, and when we’re in the studio, his approach is different from mine. The way we play guitar is different. The way we arrange songs is different. But our differences come together to make something that each of us couldn’t do on his own.”
The pair’s second-nature chemistry led them both to agree that the occasion of their third album called for the bold musical statement that “ Whiskey On My Breath” would ultimately become. “In some ways, we’ve played it safe in the past, and I think we’re over that now,” Stephen said. “It’s easy to fall into that when you’re working in the Nashville system and trying to please everybody. But eventually you come around and realize that you need to be true to yourself. I don’t mind that songs like ‘Whiskey On My Breath’ and ‘Everybody Drives Drunk’ may be a little controversial, because they’re honest, and I think that they’ll make people think about how they feel about life.
“Those songs are both really personal for us,” Eric continued. “They show a side of us that’s legitimately us, and how we’ve grown up and matured in the time that we’ve been in this business. But there are plenty of songs on this album that are just good, fun songs, and that’s still a side of us too.”
General admission to the Saturday evening concert is $30. As a special bonus to concert-goers, concert tickets are good for admission all weekend to the inaugural IMSA Michelin Encore four-hour endurance race on Sunday, Nov. 11. Overnight parking passes for recreational vehicles are available for an additional $30.
All tickets will be sold at the gate. Many Sebring, Lake Placid and Avon Park hotels have weekend availability. Among the hotels for out-of-town guests to consider:
- Budget Inn, Sebring – 863-385-8901
- Chateau Elan Hotel & Conference Center, Sebring – 863-655-6252
- Econo Lodge, Avon Park – 863-453-2000
- Highlander Motel at Lake Josephine, Sebring – 863-655-1735
- Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites, Lake Placid – 863-465-9916
- Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites, Sebring – 863-386-1115
- Hunnewell’s Cottages, Avon Park – 863-453-4358
- Inn on the Lakes, Sebring – 863-471-9400
- Jacaranda Hotel, Avon Park – 863-453-2211
- Lake Blue Resort, Lake Placid – 863-465-3371
- Lake Grassy Inn & Suites, Lake Placid – 863-465-9200
- Lake June Resort, Lake Placid – 863-465-3546
- La Quinta Inns & Suites, Sebring – 863-386-1000
- Oak Tree Inn, Avon Park – 863-453-3165
- Quality Inn and Suites, Sebring – 863-385-4500
- Ramada Lake Placid, Lake Placid – 863-465-3133
- Reed’s Motel, Avon Park – 863-657-2749
- Residence Inn by Marriott, Sebring – 863-314-9100
- Safari Inn, Sebring – 863-382-1148
- Sebring Inn, Sebring – 863-385-7049
- Sunset Beach Motel, Sebring – 863-385-6129
- Travel Inn, Sebring – 863-385-4448
About the IMSA Michelin SportsCar Encore
The IMSA Michelin SportsCar Encore at Sebring will feature four classes of race cars – the LMP3 prototype class and the production-based GT3, GT4 and TCR classes featuring cars from mainstream automotive manufacturers with sales in the United States. The race will be streamed live on IMSA.com and the IMSA App for domestic and international viewers.
Teams are not required to be active participants in any IMSA-sanctioned series to participate in the Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore. Every race car will use Michelin tires. The weekend will include a promoter test day open to all participants on Friday, Nov. 9. The schedule for Saturday, Nov. 10 calls for three, one-hour practice sessions, with a fourth, 30-minute practice planned for Sunday, Nov. 11 prior to a pair of 20-minute qualifying sessions.
One qualifying session will include the LMP3 and GT3 cars, with the other set for GT4 and TCR entries. The four-hour race on Sunday will require the qualifying driver to start the race on marked tires from the qualifying session. Teams will be required to field a minimum of two drivers per car and a maximum of three.
No Platinum-rated drivers will be allowed to compete and no driver lineup may have more than one Gold-rated driver. Driver lineups will be subject to IMSA approval. The field will be capped at 60 cars.
Refueling, tire and driver changes will all be allowed to take place at the same time during pit stops (no timed stops). A maximum of three crew members will be permitted over the wall to provide any service, and only the exiting driver will be allowed to assist during driver changes. The purse includes $10,000 for the winner in each class, as well as a $5,000 Michelin tire credit that will be applied toward 2019 IMSA events. Second place in each class will receive a $3,000 Michelin tire credit toward 2019 IMSA races, with $2,000 in Michelin tire credit toward 2019 IMSA events for third-place finishers in all classes.
ABOUT SEBRING INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
Sebring International Raceway is North America’s oldest permanent road-racing facility, established in 1950. The circuit originated from a WWII B-17 combat crew training base known as Hendricks Field. Nestled among the orange groves and cattle ranches of Central Florida, Sebring International Raceway has hosted the legendary 12-hour endurance classic since 1952, now part of the prestigious IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Sebring was the site of the first-ever FIA World Championship Sports Car Race in 1953, and in 2012 hosted the inaugural race of the FIA WEC, which returns in 2019. The 1000 Miles of Sebring FIA WEC race will be held on March 15 and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts will be March 16. Sebring is also known as one of the most versatile testing facilities in the motorsports industry, offering a variety of circuit configurations for club and corporate events, private testing and racing schools.