Dan Sullivan and Chris Hillier met in the most unlikely of places... a middle school men's room. [Insert your punch line here] They were both first year school teachers in Round Rock, TX. Dan was originally from Missouri and Chris from Nebraska. They quickly realized they knew some of the same folks from the Lincoln, Omaha and Kansas City music scenes. The Detentions were born and they played their first official gig for a faculty Christmas party. For over a decade now, The Detentions have been helping folks "retire one weekend at a time" playing their blend of Country/Rock/Coastal/Americana they call Rockamole.
Growing up in the Midwest, Dan and Chris had a broad range of musical influences such as Kiss, The Police, and The Beatles to Gordon Lightfoot, Jim Croce and John Mellencamp. After moving to Austin they became inspired by the likes of local songwriters such as Robert Earl Keen, James McMurtry, Jerry Jeff Walker and Walt Wilkins. The Detentions began writing songs from their personal experiences playing in Central Texas and the Gulf Coast region. As an acoustic duo, The Detentions rely on bold truthful lyrics, memorable melodies and air tight harmonies to move their listeners. Their first album, Rockamole, was released in 2010 and included fan favorites "Paper Bag Coozie", "Salty Dog," and "Whatcha Gonnna Do Boy?" The Austin Songwriters Group nominated "Salty Dog" for best country song of 2012.
The Detentions performed as a Regional Finalist at the 2012 Kerrville Folk Festival for their songs, "Smoke and Beers" and "If This Guitar." They've also opened for Texas legend, Joe Ely and most recently for Nashville Hall of Fame Songwriter and eight-time CMA musician of the year, Mac McAnally. The Austin Songwriters Group nominated "Smoke and Beers" and "Where I Wanna Be" for best country song of 2013. Both of those songs can be found on their self-titled second album, The Detentions, which was released November 2013.
The Detentions was recorded and produced by one of Austin's finest, Ron Flynt, at Jumping Dog Studios in Austin, Texas. Rich Brotherton [Robert Earl Keen Band] and Sweet Basil McJagger [The Derailers] also make guest appearances on the album. The Detentions captures the duo's live show energy and feels as comfortable as a hill country happy hour.
In October of 2014, their song Coast was put into heavy rotation on Radio Margaritaville. [channel 24 Sirius XM] And two months later, their song Sunburned joined Coast on Radio Margaritaville.
The Detention’s third release, aptly titled “Three” continues to develop their signature “Hill Country Happy Hour” sound. Rollicking beachy tributes like “A Little Less Beer on the Island,” “Fishing on Credit,” and “Pour Me a Vacation” act as counterpoints to the beautiful melodies and harmonies that The Detentions have become known for on tracks like “Shining,” “Not That Girl,” and “The Window.” Add in tunes with a Texas twang like “Terlingua,” the haunting “Lantern on the Tracks” and the saucy, tongue in cheek “Liki Tiki” expand The Detention’s musical canon with signature guitars, spot on harmonies, and lyrical content celebrating life, the beach, beer, and the ones we love.
After a successful "Sunburned" tour in the summer of 2016 to Las Vegas, New Orleans, Detroit, Chicago, Orlando, Kansas City, Lincoln and Mexico The Detentions were crowned the Trop Rock Music Association's "Duo of the Year."
Building off their momentum they launched their "Just Coast" tour in the summer of 2017 and again brought home the TRMA "Duo of the Year" award. Not too shabby for a couple of school teachers by day and happy hour heroes come 5 o' clock.
The Detentions landed the "three-peat" in 2018 bringing home their third consecutive TRMA "Duo of the Year" award. To celebrate they are hosting a Key West Sunset Cruise on November 2nd. Get your tickets here.
They released their fourth independent album, "Yes It Is", in January and will be on tour this summer. Check out our calendar for tour dates near you. :-)