Eli Alger is the frontman of the band The Faster Horses. Eli grew up in the Des Moines area, his dad was a University of Iowa wrestling champion, and now is the coach for the U.S. Wrestling team. Eli didn't wrestle like his dad, instead had an interest in music and the culinary industry. After attending community college, Eli considered changing his major to culinary arts while dreaming of studying abroad in Europe. Instead, he attended the University of Iowa and completed his degree in finance. He was part of a 3 piece band where he played guitar, Sam was the bass player (they have played together since middle school), and Logan was on drums. They named themselves the Little Liquor Band and used a scotch glass as their logo. The band was in high demand playing 90s music and traditional country. Playing local gigs on the weekends paid for Eli's portion of his college tuition. Eli Alger relocated to Nashville after graduation and assembled a 6 piece band to pursue music full-time. Renaming the band is a story in itself. Eli’s dad was in Des Moines with the band after a show. The band's name at that time, was Wild Fire and it was not a good fit. Eli’s dad picked up a glass to toast the night and repeated a saying from his own dad, “Cheers to faster horses” which possibly referenced a song but could also have been part of a common Irish toast. Either way, it soon became the new name for the band.
Eli Alger and the Faster Horses play original songs and cover unusual selections from known artists. Eli and the Faster Horses have opened for Randall King, Eric Paslay, Chris Cagle, and Lorrie Morgan. Eli is now a Nashville resident even though recently he’s been gone more than he has actually been there. Eli Alger and The Faster Horses spent the majority of the summer playing at county fairs across a 10-state region. I spoke with Eli while he was traveling to his home state in between shows and covered many topics on the way.
Eli Alger is a self-taught guitar player who learned by repeatedly watching Garth Brooks's Live at the Wynn box set he purchased by collecting cans and turning them in for cash. Eli watched it in the slowest motion available to memorize every detail of Garth Brooks's movements. Eli’s favorite song by Garth is Ireland, he said having the bagpipes in a country song is incredible.
Other artists you can find Eli listening to are Paul Cauthen, Randall King, Jake Worthington, Tyler Childers, he said he'd like to see George Strait live, and Garth Brooks’s solo performance. Eli is a fan of Sturgill Simpson and his album Dood and Juanita has been a big inspiration.
Eli is working on writing music and he is working on an album in a story format about a serial killer. He named the character Cody and is looking for co-writers to work on this concept for this project. The Faster Horses have recently put out the single Blue Bell Bottoms, written by Eli Alger and Houston Daniel Fry.
You will find Eli and the Faster Horses on their social media outlets by clicking the buttons below.
Thank you Eli Alger for the fun conversation and for letting me get to know you In A Country Minute.
(all photos by Ann Marie Westercamp)