Our Newest Album: "Lucky"

Released March 13, 2014, this is Rocket Club's 4th album.

For full details, videos, and to purchase, click below.

Get "Lucky"

Jan. 3

Rocket Club Announces CD Release Date, No Tour in 2014

Rocket Club announced today that the release of the band’s 4th studio album will be Thursday, March 13, 2014.  Venue and ticket details are still TBA.

The band also announced the CD Release event will be the sole show of 2014 as Rocket Club won’t tour behind the 4th album.

Additional details are available on the Rocket Club Facebook page.

May. 22

Star Bank steps up to support Lucky 13!

We are humbled and amazed to have the good folks from Minnesota’s own Star Bank become the latest supporter of independent music, Rocket Club, and our #Lucky13 project.

Star Bank is a family-owned north country bank.  And according marketing director,  Katie Incantalupo, they proudly serve “Silos” country.  We love it!

They will be with us every step of the way for the rest of Lucky 13 and beyond.  Thank you, Star Bank, for supporting independent music!


May. 17

“North Country” Video Wins Telly Award

NC Video still




The Telly Awards has named Moving Pictures, Inc. a Bronze winner in the 34th Annual Telly
Awards for their music video titled “North Country” from Rocket Club. The video was Produced
& Directed by Joe Brandmeier. With nearly 12,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous
countries, this is truly an honor.

The Telly Awards was founded in 1979 and is the premier award honoring outstanding local,
regional, and cable TV commercials and programs, the finest video and film productions, and
online commercials, video and films. Winners represent the best work of the most respected
advertising agencies, production companies, television stations and cable operators in the world.

For its 34th season, The Telly Awards once again joined forces with YouTube to give the public
the power to view and rate videos submitted as part of the People’s Telly Awards. In addition to
recognition from the Silver Telly Council, the judging panel that selects the Telly Awards winners,
the Internet community helps decide the People’s Telly Awards winners.

A prestigious judging panel of over 500 accomplished industry professionals, each a past winner
of a Silver Telly and a member of The Silver Telly Council, judged the competition, upholding the
historical standard of excellence that Telly represents. Only a small percentage of entries are
chosen as Winners of the Bronze Telly award.

“The Telly Awards has a mission to honor the very best in film and video,” said Linda Day,
Executive Director of the Telly Awards. Moving Pictures’ accomplishment illustrates their
creativity, skill, and dedication to their craft and serves as a testament to great film and video

View the “North Country” Music Video

Moving Pictures, Inc.


Apr. 25

RC releases fourth installment of the #Lucky13 Project: “Only Goodbye”


For the fourth installment of our #Lucky13 project, Rocket Club went back in time.


The song we wrote this month, “Only Goodbye,” is a beatiful tune (if we do say so ourselves!) with a very classic feel.  Accordingly, we thought it would be cool to take a classic approach to recording it.


So we headed into the Brewhouse Studio in Minneapolis, fired up an old 2-inch reel-to-reel tape machine (yes, they still exist!), and recorded the song live with the entire band at once.  Believe it or not, that just doesn’t happen anymore.  We love the result and hope you do too!

Mar. 25

Announcing the #Lucky13 March release: “Grading on a Curve”

Whether you’re celebrating Easter, Passover, or a religious holiday of your own design, our March installment of the #Lucky13 project oughta make you feel a bit better about your status on Heaven’s Guest List.

Did you know the list of sins in the Bible is a whopping 667 items long?  We didn’t either!  Otherwise we would’ve behaved a bit better over the years.  Now we just hope that the Big Guy is scoring us relative to one another and not in absolute terms.  Have a listen and come out to our Facebook page to discuss!

You can buy “Grading on a Curve” on iTunes or directly from our website.

Oh, and if you have any special connections upstairs, please put in a good word for the guys from Rocket Club, would you?

God Bless!

- RC

Feb. 27

Announcing the #Lucky13 February release: “Why Am I”

The response to our #Lucky13 project has been incredible.  Thank you!

If you’re new to the club or need a refresher, here’s a great video from director/producer Mike Plant that explains the whole adventure.

Last month, we launched our first single from the project: “Silos.”  The reaction from fans and from radio has been surprising to all of us — a great start to the project!

Now it’s time for the February installment of #Lucky13, and we’re happy to introduce you to our newest single, Why Am I.”

You can buy the song on iTunes, or from our website.  We hope you love it as much as we do.



Jan. 31

Announcing Lucky 13

Jan. 31

Introducing the “Lucky 13″ Project and our latest single — “Silos”

Dear Friends of RC:

Welcome to “Lucky 13.”

We are about to embark on our biggest challenge yet as a band, and we’re hoping our friends — new and old — will share the journey.

In 2008, when Rocket Club began, we eased slowly into live performance mode by getting in shape with a series of private, intimate shows held in the basement of a south Minneapolis cafe called Java Jack’s.  We called the series Thursday Night Rocket Club.  And it was at those shows that we got to know each other musically, honed our harmonies, and gradually introduced our early friends and supporters to our songs and our stories.

Now, in 2013, the band is returning to the Thursday Night Rocket Club idea — but in a very different way.

On the last Thursday of each month in 2013, Rocket Club will release a brand new song. We’re planning on writing, recording and releasing at least 13 total tracks throughout the year (that’s 1 song per month plus 2 in December for those doing the math).

Don’t misunderstand.  This isn’t pre-recorded music that we’ll release each month.  This new album will be unfolding in front of us — and you.

It’s going to be a huge challenge and a ton of fun.

Why take this on?  First, like everyone else in music today, we’re looking for new ways to get our latest creative output into the hands of our fans as soon as possible. And we’re hoping that you all will keep checking back for updates about the progress of our new creations – what we’re doing, why we’re doing it and the twists and turns it takes to get things done.

If all goes well, 2013 will culminate with a huge celebration to mark the completion of our 4th album and our 5th year as a band, we think those numbers add up to a “Lucky 13″ indeed.

So please join us for Thursday Night Rocket Club on the last day of each month.  We kick off Thursday, January 31st.

Stay tuned!

Sep. 10

Rocket Club releases newest single and video, “Four-Letter World”

Rocket Club released its 3rd single from the North Country album today with the debut of the crowd favorite, “Four-Letter World.”

Directed by Justin Staggs (Foo Fighters, Standard Thompson), the video harkens back to educational videos of old to inform youngsters about the dangers of profanity.  The song puts the band’s sense of humor fully on display while also drawing on the live energy of their popular live shows.

“We’ve been playing this tune live at festivals across the Upper Midwest this summer,” says vocalist and bass player Joel Sayles.  “It’s just one of those songs that the crowd instantly loved, so we’re excited to see the radio and video reaction.”

See the video here.

May. 23


CARIBOU COFFEE and Minneapolis-based band ROCKET CLUB launch exclusive distribution deal for new album, NORTH COUNTRY

Contact: Rob Kos

Album available in Caribou coffeehouses throughout Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota

MINNEAPOLIS (June 4, 2012) – Caribou Coffee Company Inc. today announced that it has entered into an exclusive distribution deal with the Minneapolis-based country band, Rocket Club, to release the band’s latest CD, North Country.

This release marks the first time Caribou Coffee will offer fans the opportunity to purchase recorded music in its coffeehouses. North Country will retail for $9.99 and will be available in Caribou Coffee locations in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota.

“The Rocket Club sound and the message behind North Country are a great fit for Caribou, and we are excited to feature this talented local band in our stores throughout the state,” said Michele Vig, Senior Director of Retail Marketing, Caribou Coffee. “This is an exciting, new endeavor for Caribou and we couldn’t think of a better partner than Rocket Club.”

“Our music and Caribou’s fan-base complement each other well,” said Don Smithmier of Rocket Club. “We’re also extremely pleased that a band like ours, which has forged its own path in the music industry, was able to resonate with such an established and recognized brand as Caribou Coffee. We’re looking forward to a fantastic partnership.”

Three Rocket Club singles have hit the Billboard country charts since 2009, including One More Day and One Thing Beautiful, along with the title track from their newest album, North Country. The Minneapolis-based band known for its multi-layered harmonies will be supporting the release of North Country with tour dates in the region throughout the summer and fall.

For more information about Caribou Coffee, please visit Caribou Coffee’s Facebook page at or follow Caribou on Twitter at @Caribou_Coffee.

About Caribou Coffee
Founded in 1992, Caribou Coffee Company is one of the leading branded coffee companies in the United States, with a compelling multi-channel approach to their customers. Based on the number of coffeehouses, Caribou Coffee is the second largest company-operated premium coffeehouse operator in the United States. As of January 1, 2012, the Company had 581 coffeehouses, including 169 franchised locations, in 20 states, the District of Columbia and nine international markets. The Company’s coffeehouses aspire to be the community place loved by guests who are provided an extraordinary experience that makes their day better. Caribou Coffee provides the highest quality handcrafted beverages, foods and coffee lifestyle items with a unique blend of expertise, fun and authentic human connection in a comfortable and welcoming coffeehouse environment. In addition, Caribou Coffee’s unique coffees are available within grocery stores, mass merchandisers, club stores, office coffee and foodservice providers, hotels, entertainment venues and e-commerce channels. Caribou Coffee is a proud recipient of the Rainforest Alliance Corporate Green Globe Award and is committed to operating practices that promote sustainability and environmental protection. For more information, visit the Caribou Coffee web site at

About Rocket Club
Minneapolis-based country band Rocket Club began as the songwriting duo of Don Smithmier and Brian Kroening. The band quickly grew to include Chris Hawkey, Billy Thommes, Joel Sayles and Luke Kramer. Rocket Club is creating a whole new blend of music and is known for their rich vocal harmonies, big guitar hooks and old-fashioned American storytelling. The group has had three singles on the Billboard Country Charts since 2009. For more information, visit

Apr. 2

Hear it before it’s available to buy – “North Country”

We started with 52 songs. It took about 6 months, but we narrowed it down to 12 songs. The Rocket Club “North Country” CD is finished. Wanna hear it? Our friends at K102 in Minneapolis are gonna give you a free sneak preview of the whole thing starting at 7:00 a.m. CST this morning!

Check it out here:

Apr. 2

“North Country” CD Release Party

Over the past 7 months, 52 new songs were painlessly narrowed down to 25 demo recordings. Those 25 demo recordings were delicately and reluctantly culled to 15 studio tracks. Then — through debate, negotiation, extortion, threats, lies, emotional outbursts and sheer feats of will power — those 15 studio tracks were scalpeled down to 12 tracks. Those 12 tracks now represent 1 new album.

North Country.



On May 3rd, we want to raise our glasses (yeah, we got ‘em) and toast the whole damn thing.

Event Details:

Thursday, May 3
The Varsity Theatre
1308 Southeast 4th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55414
(612) 604-0222



Mar. 26

2012 Showdates

Happy New Year! 2012 is shaping up to be a great year. We just listed a bunch of new show dates and hope you’ll come along for the ride – it’s gonna be fun! Many thanks for your continued support. You are the reason we do what we do. It’s all happening!

Jan. 23

“North Country” makes its debut on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs!

Thanks to all of you for your continued support!


Jun. 9

North Country hits #1 on K102’s Top 5 Most Wanted

Rocket Club was #1 tonight on the countdown on our home-town station, K102 Minneapolis. It is all because of your requests. Thanks so much! Here’s hoping that trend spreads to the other cities that are supporting North Country as well.

Click Here to Listen: /system/datas/182/original/NC_on_K102.mp3

May. 26

Rocket Club launches new single, “North Country”

MINNEAPOLIS (May 25, 2011) – Local, chart-climbing, country rock band Rocket Club will launch its newest single North Country May 26 on iTunes and North Country is a country rock single that pays tribute to northerners’ love for weekend getaways “up north.”

North Country is the title track from Rocket Club’s upcoming third album by the same name. The song has already been called an “Anthem to the North” by Minneapolis country music station K102. Rocket Club also released this week a music video of the song directed by Twin Cities filmmaker, Joe Brandmeier, which showcases the band hitting the road and heading up north interspersed with vintage home movies that could have come from anyone’s personal collection. The music video can be seen on YouTube and at the