Meet the Artists Who Will Rock Quad Cities

By   •   July 29, 2009

The Quad Cities has always had a special place in its heart for music. With nationally recognized music events like the IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival and the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival, the area has celebrated music as diverse as reggae, ska and zydeco.

Now they can add Christian rock and hip hop, and these artists, to their list of favorites:

DECEMBERADIO
Few bands more effectively fuse music and ministry than this Virginia-based foursome. Eric Miker along with lead vocalist/bassist Josh Reedy, lead guitarist Brian Bunn, and drummer Boone Daughdrill have been making headlines since DecembeRadio’s debut initially hit the shelves. It garnered a GRAMMY® nomination, a DOVE Award win for Rock Album of the Year, three DOVE nominations and several hits including Song of the Year nominee “Drifter.”

Whether opening a NASCAR event with songs like “Dangerous” or filling the AC radio airwaves with hit ballads such as “Find You Waiting,” the foursome has brought a defining sound and energy to the world of Christian music.

The guys from DecembeRadio want to melt your face:

THE AFTERS
This Texas-based band was propelled into the national spotlight with their INO/Sony Music Label Group debut I Wish We All Could Win. The project spawned the swirling, melodic hit “Beautiful Love,” earning the band an enthusiastic following when the song was selected as the theme track for MTV’s “8th and Ocean”. “Beautiful Love” was also the most downloaded track of 2006 on the iTunes Inspirational charts.

Their next release, Never Going Back To OK seems to reflect transformation. “I think a lot of the songs are talking about moving forward, of becoming who we are meant to be,” says vocalist/guitarist Brad Wigg. According to drummer Marc Dodd, “The title track encourages people not to just go through the motions, but to try to make an impact on the world and help someone change their perspective on how life can really be.”

FIREFLIGHT
Fireflight, which self-released an album and EP before debuting nationally with 2006′s The Healing of Harms, spent years as tireless road warriors on the concert circuit. While they are straightforward rockers, the Sunshine State band learned to ramp up its live show to play alongside heavier acts as well.

“We push it as heavy as we can without being metal,” says guitarist Justin Cox, yet the band’s natural melodic touches helped Harms score Christian rock No. 1s with “Waiting” and “You Decide” (also Top 10 at CHR). The band, rounded out by drummer Phee Shorb, skillfully used their road miles to inject more live energy into Harms, but by actually writing Unbreakable on tour, Fireflight found an even greater wellspring of inspiration.

Fireflight Wants to Rock IN the River:

FLYLEAF
If the crowds in Baton Rouge and St. Louis are any indication, Quad Cities will love Flyleaf. Becky Oehmen posted on the RTR Facebook page, “Awesome concert in St. Louie!”

Flyleaf’s self-titled debut album echoes with songs about abuse, neglect, addiction and dysfunction, and messages about overcoming adversity. And the band’s wide array of brooding beats, atmospheric textures and lunging riffs compliment singer Lacey Mosley’s emotionally revealing lyrics, which range from breathy and beautiful to scathing and aggressive. “I think what we’re doing is important because there needs to be something heavy out there that has a positive message so people see that it’s possible to get through the worst situations.”

Listen to Lacey talk about the need for Rock the River »

GRITS
In a climate that’s grown exponentially hostile towards vacuous, superficial hip-hop posturing, one duo’s artistic aspirations reach much higher. GRITS – Teron “Bonafide” Carter and Stacy “Coffee” Jones – are older and wiser. They have been blessed to bless others. After more than a decade with boutique independent label Gotee Records, the emcees stepped out in faith in 2008 and launched Revolution Art, an indie label of their own.

GRITS, the highest-grossing rap group in faith-fueled hip-hop, wants to invest into others’ careers, just like Gottee once took a chance on two Tennesseans who moonlit as dancers for supergroup dc Talk. With faith, art, and people as their pillars, GRITS set out in 2008 to record Reiterate, the boldest representation of their craft to date.

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