Signing Story: A Thousand Horses


Michael Lobby and Bill Satcher grew up in Newberry, SC and bonded as school chums meeting in a local music store. They began writing songs together and would jam with Satcher’s cousin Graham DeLoach when he would join them for summer visits. A friend introduced them to Zach Brown and their musical destiny was set in place.

“After our management and booking agent quit, we were back to ground zero.”

They officially formed as A Thousand Horses in 2010 and initially garnered a deal with Interscope Records that same year. “That deal only lasted about six seconds, I think,” says Lobby. “From then until now–after our management and booking agent quit–we were back to ground zero. But we established a lot of our songs with that Interscope release and that’s where we discovered our sound.”

The band worked on that eponymous project with veteran producer Dave Cobb. And it would be a relationship that would prove mutually beneficial for both. “After we lost our deal we wanted to keep going,” says Lobby. “We decided to get credit cards, keep touring and try to scrounge up as much money as we could and make a full album on our own. We called Dave and said we have a little bit of money. He said ‘fuck it, let’s just record it at my house!’” Cobb handed a demo-in-progress to Republic Nashville president Jimmy Harnen to listen to during a golf game. Harnen was instantly impressed and got the signing ball in motion in May 2014.

A Thousand Horses’ new album is called Southernality and its first single, “Smoke,” has set a record for the highest debut by a new act when it opened at No. 28 on the Country Aircheck radio chart. The album was released this past June and they are currently out this summer supporting Darius Rucker on his “Southern Style” tour.

“We’ve always set little goals for ourselves to try and achieve,” says Lobby. “We had been on the road for the last five years. We decided to make that album and that decision is what led us to here. We thought if we sell 2,000 records we’ll make our money back. And when Republic came around it all changed.”

– Eric A. Harabadian