When WATERLOO REVIVAL’s Cody Cooper met his bandmate George Birge in middle school, he inspired his new friend to express himself through music — a path that drastically affected both their lives. "I'd sang in choir and stuff, but I'd never taken it any further," George admits. "But by seventh grade I was hooked and Cody and I were writing songs together."
The duo continued to play together through high school, but parted ways so the guys could pursue an education. Cody headed to the University of North Texas in Denton, while George stayed in their hometown of Austin to attend the University of Texas.
After graduation, George found work in Austin's commercial real estate scene, while Cody had a full-time job in mortgages in Dallas. The pair, who'd remained close through college, would play together during Cody's visits back home. By 2012, their musical chemistry was undeniable and George made the hard sell, convincing Cody to leave his 9-to-5 and return home in order for them to focus all their energy into music. WATERLOO REVIVAL was soon born, taking its moniker from their beloved hometown.
"Before it was Austin, our hometown was called Waterloo," Cody explains. "Eventually, it was renamed to honor the 'Father of Texas' Stephen F. Austin."
"It seems like Austin music has been contained to Austin and is not being pushed out," George adds. "We wanted to be Waterloo Revival in order to bring Austin music back to the rest of the world."
People of the self-proclaimed "Live Music Capital of the World" agreed. In 2013, the pair was able to raise the funds to record a five-song EP.
"We played one show in Austin and had 200 friends show up," George explains. "Fans were really supportive. We thought, 'Okay, it seems like this is something people are really going to get behind.' We started a campaign and were able to fund the entire project from fan contributions."
Continuing that momentum, WATERLOO REVIVAL channeled their entrepreneurial musicianship into more writing sessions, commuting to Nashville over the next year to hone their craft and acquaint themselves with Music City. “Hit the Road,” a product from one of their first Nashville sessions, encompassed both Cody and George’s quest to spread Austin’s music scene across the country. It was only fitting that the two set out with this song to take the next step in their careers. Through a chance connection, George arranged a meeting with Toby Keith's manager, TK Kimbrell, who promptly signed the boys to TKO Artist Management after hearing “Hit the Road.”
WATERLOO REVIVAL began sampling tunes during Nashville songwriter showcases, adopting Music City as their new home. They soon caught the ear of Big Machine Label Group President and CEO Scott Borchetta and inked a deal with Big Machine Records a week later. The duo's first two radio singles “Hit the Road” and "Bad for You" introduced their music to Country radio in 2015 and has received an overwhelming positive response from both programmers and critics.