Quisenberry and Chris Collins started the band in the early 1990s while attending Texas Tech University. After graduation, Collins went to law school, ultimately moving back to Fort Worth to work for Barlow, Garsek & Simon. Quisenberry started his own company, Fort Worth-based Oso Quiz.
In 2003, they released a CD under the band’s original name, Passenger. They changed the name to Rider in 2013. For the last eight years, they’ve played local clubs as a cover band but are changing things up and returning to original music.
Rider released a new album on June 28 at Magnolia Motor Lounge in Fort Worth. All eight songs are written about or inspired by Telluride, Colo. After completing the project, they decided to donate the profits from all sales to a Telluride nonprofit, Telluride Academy.
The funds will help provide scholarships for special needs children as well as funding for after-school music programs. The name of the project is Telluride Rocks.
They learned about Telluride Academy because the family takes family vacations to Telluride. “We’ve really come to love it. It’s just such a beautiful and spiritual place,” Quisenberry said.
“When we were there last year, I was inspired to write music. Taking that inspiration, I came home with half a dozen songs about Telluride,” he said. “I thought, ‘what the heck am I going to do with all these songs about Telluride, Colorado?’” He hired some musicians and recorded the music.
“I was talking with my wife Dana about finding some way to have this benefit somebody,” Quisenberry continued. “We decided to do something that would help children. The interesting thing is that 65 to 70 percent of the children who go to Telluride Academy are from Texas. Being able to help the children there ultimately helps children here and also raises awareness for the cause. Children with cognitive, emotional and physical disabilities are not only welcome at the academy, but encouraged to participate through their inclusion program.”
In addition to the album release at Magnolia, Rider will be traveling to play the Telluride Sunset Concert Series on July 16, as well as the Fly Me to the Moon Saloon, a premier Colorado live music venue, on July 17 to raise money for the kids and promote the album. “For us to be the headliner at the Sunset series is a huge honor and a big venue to be able to promote the cause,” Quisenberry said.
Telluride Academy plans to partner with House of Blues to put on an event featuring Rider at Dallas House of Blues in September and Houston House of Blues in October.
For more information about Rider or to purchase the album, visit riderrock.com. For more information about Telluride Academy, visit: tellurideacademy.org