Crutch Field
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Crutch Field

Band Christian Acoustic

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"Crutch Field News"

Crutch Field News
Local Group Attracting National Attention
Anna J. Fortenburry - The Lake Norman Times

It may not be the big time just yet, but for one local contemporary Christian group the big time might be just around the corner.

Crutch Field sounds a little like Nickel Creek or Allison Cross and Union Station with a contemporary Christian theme in their original music.

"Our music has a little different sound. We're called 'New Grass' Blue Grass," said drummer Eric Taylor. "We're attracting some national attention."

The group started out with local artists John and Kerri Crutchfield of Iron Station along with Christian Acker, a Charlotte area guitarist. The three have been writing and performing music for many years. Then they met Erin Maynor from Huntersville. With Acker on the guitar, Erin's voice added the sound they needed to make the group complete. Their "soulful blend" of three-part harmony became a trademark of their songs.

In early 2006, John made the contact for the group to record a CD of their music on an independent label in Nashville. Their first CD was released in March. At the recording, they hired a professinal band in Nashville to enhance their music, but the four members of the group realized they needed their own band to help promote their songs and their CD.

Guitarist and mandolin player Mark Stultz and bassist Dave Wissell, both from Charlotte area, and Taylor on the drums and percussion from Lincolnton, found their place with Crutch Field to bring the entire package together.

Although they sing a few cover songs, their music is original pieces composed by the original members. they practice about once a week in a small space in the Crutchfield's home, working on refining their musical sound.

"We don't desire to be like anybody. We have our own thing we do," said Taylor. They play locally for churches, coffee houses and at area events.

now into the New Year, Crutch Field also got some great news that is sure to give them a boost in the industry. Indie Heaven, the nation's leading organization supporting independent artists in the Chritian music genre, announced that Crutch Field was selected as a finalist for two awards in the Second Annual "Momentum Awards" in the categories of Album of the Year and Country Artist of the Year. The awards will be presented at the upcoming IndieHeaven CIA Summit 2007 conference in Franklin, Tennesee at the end of march.

Although IndieHeaven is just a stepping stone for young, new artists and groups, they have noticed the talent this group has to offer. And Crutch Field hopes it will get them to the next level.

After signing on with IndieHeaven in Novemeber, the song "Pressing On" by Crutch Field has "quickly gone to number 17 on the IndieHeaven independent artists radio chart according to the press release. "The staff at IndieHeaven selected the group as a staff favorite."

"Pressing On" was also selected to be featured on a compilation CD that will soon be released to over 400 Christian radio stations across the United States.

"It's hard to get exposure here in Lincoln County," said Taylor. "we enjoy playing at churches and events around here. Recording is a secondary thing. But the feedback people say is that our music is pretty good."

The current group has only been together since August but are happy with where the group is going and their future prospects. They offer a "very subtle contemporary music style with messages of praise to God ringing clear on every song. The group's desire to share praise to God is evident in their energetic live performances," stated the press release.

Members range in age from the 30s to the 40s, and Taylor says they all have regular jobs, kids and families but they plod on working for a big break. 200 may just bring it for them.

You can help this local group win this year's Momentum awards. Just go to www.indieheaven.com and vote for Crutch Field.

back to top | close this window - Anna J. Fortenburry - The Lake Norman Times


"Crutch Field’s music definitely "heaven sent""

Crutch Field’s music definitely "heaven sent"
Allyson Levine - Lincoln Times News

Crutch Field Band membersJohn and Kerri Crutchfield may be proof that the couple that plays together stays together.

The Iron Station pair, founders of the contemporary Christian band Crutch Field, have combined two things they love very much: God and music.

“It was kind of our vision when we got married,” said Kerri.

Making music for the Lord may have been their vision, but neither could have imagined that vision would end up making them award winning musicians.

When the couple decided to begin their musical ministry, John called his friend Carl Cartee, who works in the music industry in Nashville.

“We went to Nashville and recorded a CD with some amazing artists,” John said.

Along with vocalist Erin Maynor and guitarist Christian Acker, John, who sings and plays guitar, and Kerri, who sings, made the CD with musicians Bryan Sutton and Wanda Vic Burchfield. Their friend Cartee produced the album.

Later, drummer Eric Taylor, mandolin player Mark Stultz and bassist Dave Whissel joined Crutch Field, forming the group’s current line-up.

According to the couple, the band’s coming together may have been the result of some divine intervention.

“We pretty much came to know these people through Christ Community Church in Huntersville,” said John.

Yet none of the band members are members of the same church.

“It’s like we were all there for a purpose,” Kerri said.

That purpose turned out to be making music with a unique sound and a Christ-centered message.

The band’s sound is original and therefore hard to pigeonhole. A review written by Crutch Field friend Brian Bailey mentions the group’s penchant for vocal harmonies and says their music should appeal to “bluegrass, new grass and worship lovers everywhere."

The new grass sound mentioned in the review is an update of the classic bluegrass sound that incorporates drums and different beats than traditional bluegrass.

“We definitely have an acoustic sound with hints of new grass, bluegrass, folk, blues and country,” said John.

Both John and Kerri write songs for the band, as do Maynor and Acker. According to John, all of Crutch Field’s songs are written “straight out of scripture.”

One day, during an online search for other independent Christian bands, Kerri came across indieheaven.com, a website that promotes independent Christian artists. Crutch Field became one of about 700 artists featured on the website.

The band members knew how valuable such a website could be in providing support and networking opportunities. Yet they had no idea just how rewarding their association with indieheaven.com would turn out to be.

On March 31, the site honored independent Christian artists at the Christian Independent Alliance (CIA) Summit in Nashville. Part of the event featured the presentation of the organization’s 2007 Momentum Awards, the independent Christian artists’ equivalent of a Grammy.

Crutch Field won the award for Country Artist of the Year and was chosen to play a showcase during the summit.

The group was obviously thrilled with the honor. Yet John says that, while the band members love making music, it’s the larger purpose behind the band that they’re really passionate about.

“Our focus is ministering to people,” said John. “It’s really to lead people to Christ, to lead them to a new place of worship.”

In the year since Crutch Field released its first CD, the album has sold around 2,000 copies, a good amount for an independent band that has only existed for two years.
The group will most likely begin a tour in October, after Kerri gives birth to the couple’s second child in September. They have already played numerous shows at churches, coffeehouses and even birthday parties. The band is also in the process of prepping for a new album.

Crutch Field even has fans halfway across the world. A man in Switzerland recently bought a copy of their CD on the website cdbaby.com.

All the members of Crutch Field have contributed more than musical talent to the group. John and Kerri handle bookings, mandolin player Stultz does the website, drummer Taylor deals with promotions and bassist Whissel takes care of the business end.

Everyone in the group has a musical background that includes singing in church choirs and they have each brought a love of music and a passion for ministry to the band.

Their winning the Momentum Award certainly speaks to Crutch Field’s talent. For John, it was an affirmation that the vision he and Kerri had truly was heaven sent.
“It was very humbling,” John said. “To me it just said, you can do this.” - Allyson Levine - Lincoln Times News


Discography

Crutch Field Debut Released 2006
Crutch Field EP The Name Released Feb 2009
www.crutchfieldband.com

Photos

Bio

CRUTCH FIELD is an acoustic group with a music style reminiscent to Allison Krauss and Union Station, Nickle Creek, Caedmon's Call. The groups debut cd was released in March 2006. The independent cd was recorded in Nashville,TN and was produced by worship artist Carl Cartee. To date the cd has sold over 2000 copies. They have returned to the studio to record their sophomore album and will be releasing it in the spring of 2009.

John & Kerri Crutchfield along with Erin Maynor share the lead vocal role, and blend soulful harmony throughout each song.

Christian Acker's laid back blues-funk acoustic sound drives the music. The result is a very subtle contemporary music style with messages of praise to God ringing clear on every song.

The band is made up of former and current worship leaders / musicians from TN and NC. Their desire to share praise to God is evident in their energetic live performances. The band is available and equiped to do events across the US.