The friendship was formed long before the band, as guitarist Steve Mandile recruited bassist John Howard, drummer Chuck Tilley, and keyboardist Steve Hornbeak to be a part of singer Lee Greenwood’s touring band, for which Mandile was band-leader. An RCA Records solo artist named Andy Childs began regularly opening shows for Greenwood, and another future element fell in place, unbeknownst to the five. Sometime later, Mandile, Howard, and Tilley would form an original band along with guitarist Robb Houston, who answered a cattle-call audition, but Mandile was never really comfortable with the position of frontman. Mandile had been writing songs with Childs, and convinced him to come aboard. Sixwire was born, and in less than a year was signed to Warner Brothers Records in Nashville…
Sixwire’s first Warner Brothers release, produced by Mandile, debuted in the top 30, and spawned the chart hits LOOK AT ME NOW and WAY TOO DEEP. Touring followed with the top artists of that time, and included appearances with Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, Martina McBride, Phil Vassar, and others. When Sixwire departed Warner Brothers, some of the band members served as the house band on USA Network’s NASHVILLE STAR for 3 seasons. Sixwire was then chosen to be a part of a new show from the producers of AMERICAN IDOL featured on the FOX Network called THE NEXT GREAT AMERICAN BAND. The three-month filming schedule required a temporary move to Los Angeles for the quintet, and established a larger nation-wide following than Sixwire’s prior exposure from country radio. With the new-found success and popularity, Sixwire returned to Nashville to become the house band for CMT’s CAN YOU DUET for two seasons. American Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe along with his son Simon then recruited Sixwire to serve as house band on their new show CMT’s NEXT SUPERSTAR, with Mandile serving as music director and associate producer. Keyboardist Steve Hornbeak rejoined the line-up for the television shows, and has remained with the band ever since.
A call from ABC and LION’S GATE landed the members of Sixwire in a different role, as the backing band for character ‘Rayna Jaymes’ played by actress CONNIE BRITTON on ABC’s new dramatic series titled ‘NASHVILLE’. The series is filmed entirely on location in Music City, and members of Sixwire can be seen regularly in scenes with Britton, and also with co-star CHARLES ESTEN who plays the character ‘Deacon Claybourne’. Esten befriended the band, and asked Sixwire to join him on tour, which sometimes also features actress CLARE BOWEN (‘Scarlett O’Connor’ on ‘Nashville’) and other cast members. ‘NASHVILLE’ is currently in its 5th season, and airing on its new home, CMT Network.
Through the years, members of Sixwire have played in the bands for FAITH HILL, ALABAMA, RANDY TRAVIS, RICHARD MARX, DELBERT McCLINTON, PHIL VASSAR, STEVE WARINER, PAM TILLIS, DOLLY PARTON, OLIVIA NEWTON JOHN, VINCE GILL, LEE GREENWOOD, BJ THOMAS, and many others. Sixwire members have written songs that have been recorded by TIM McGRAW, BROOKS & DUNN, CHRIS CAGLE, SIR CLIFF RICHARD, LEE GREENWOOD, JOHN MICHAEL MONTGOMERY, GEORGE CANYON, PHIL VASSAR, CAROLYN DAWN JOHNSON, and many more. Collectively, Sixwire members have been seen on television programs that include AMERICAN IDOL, ABC’s NASHVILLE, FOX’s NEXT GREAT AMERICAN BAND, USA Network’s NASHVILLE STAR, CMT’s CAN YOU DUET, CMT’s NEXT SUPERSTAR, THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO, THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, THE TODAY SHOW, GOOD MORNING AMERICA, THE VIEW, THE GRAMMY AWARDS, CMT’s FLAMEWORTHY AWARDS, THE ACM AWARDS, THE CMA AWARDS, and many more. Sixwire has been featured entertainment at the Daytona 500, the NHL All-Star Game, the Bob Hope Classic (Career Builder Challenge), and most recently SUPERBOWL 51, as well as being the house band for the Charlie Daniels All-Star Jam and the ACM Awards After Party All-Star Jam.
Sixwire continues to tour year-round, and specializes in events featuring various guest stars that include cast members from ABC’s NASHVILLE, classic rock stars KIM CARNES, STEVE CROPPER, JOHN ELEFANTE of KANSAS, MICKEY THOMAS of STARSHIP, DON FELDER of the EAGLES, FELIX CAVALIERE of the RASCALS, plus country music stars VINCE GILL, PHIL VASSAR, LARRY STEWART of RESTLESS HEART, WADE HAYES, NEAL McCOY, and dozens of others. Sixwire is currently working on a new studio album for release in 2017.