Exit 9
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Exit 9

Columbia, South Carolina, United States

Columbia, South Carolina, United States
Band Christian Acoustic


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Duo's Music Reflects a Relationship With God"

By Susan Shinn, Salisbury Post

CHINA GROVE -- To reach China Grove from Interstate 85, take exit 68. On Sunday, you'll want to take Exit 9.

Exit 9, a Christian acoustic duo based in Columbia, S.C., will be performing at the South Rowan CROP Walk. They'll also give a free concert at 7 p.m. that night at St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 326 N. Main St. The concert is free and the public is invited.

Guitarist Clay Arthur and Gloria Goeres have been singing together since 1997. First known as Joyfulnoise, they changed their name to Exit 9 after a trip to Lutheridge, the Lutheran church's camp and conference center in Arden. The camp is located off Exit 9 from Interstate 26.

Arthur and Goeres chose that name, their Web site says, as a "reminder that all of us are called to get off the beaten path of life and take an 'exit' to Holy Ground -- to a place where we are refreshed and renewed and can focus on our relationships with God."

The two got to know each other when they attended the same church in Columbia and sang in the choir together.

"What gave us a start for playing music together is when we went to a Lost and Found concert," Arthur says. "They're great, and we thought it would be really cool to do music and churches around Columbia."

The pair's first concerts were comprised of hymns and Lost and Found songs. Eventually, they began writing their own music.

They have played at the Midlands CROP Walk in Columbia, but mostly play at churches in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia. They've played for nearly two dozen Lutheran Men in Mission events. Arthur and Goeres worked and performed at Lutheridge this summer.

That's where friends of Libby Staton heard Exit 9 and urged Staton to invite them to St. Mark's, where she is director of music, Christian education and youth.

"This is such a wonderful opportunity to have this concert after the CROP Walk," Staton says.

Last year, the church hosted a fall concert by Celia Whitler, another Christian singer.

"We would like to see these concerts become an annual event," Staton says.

Arthur and Goeres also play secular music at nightclubs and restaurants. Tonight at 7 p.m., they'll be playing at Coffee Central in Charlotte, 1509 Central Ave.

Although they are not playing Christian music at these venues, Arthur says, "We present ourselves as Christian artists. We try to orient things toward families. It's OK for Christians to listen to other types of music. That doesn't change our views. There's so much good music on the radio that's good for families."

Their secular repertoire tends to run toward Garth Brooks and Jimmy Buffett hits.

They also see these venues as an opportunity for ministry.

"At these places, we would influence somebody we wouldn't expect to influence," he says, "and we can tell other people about this cool thing called Christianity."

Exit 9 has recorded three CDs, all of which are available at their concerts.

"Our goal is obviously to do this full time," Arthur says.

For the moment, Goeres is a full-time student at the University of South Carolina, and Arthur has recently relocated to his hometown of Strasburg, Va., where he works for a local bank. A graduate of the University of Virginia, he is completing a master's degree in arts and religion.

"Being apart geographically has not stopped this ministry," he says. "This fall, we're busier now than we have been. It's just funny how it works that way. We're very thankful for that."

They perform together three or four times a month.

Most of their writing time, Arthur says, takes place in the car on the way to performances.

"We talk about themes and concepts and the message we want to convey," he says. "We'll turn the radio off and we just drive."

For Sunday's concert, Arthur says, "We will probably do a mix of some familiar songs, especially camp songs -- songs you hear at Lutheridge. It's nice when you go to a concert and hear songs you know."

They'll also be performing some of the more than 40 songs they've written.

They also still play Lost and Found songs.

"That's our way of saying thanks to them," Arthur says. "We've opened for them several times."

Arthur and Goeres met George Baum and Michael Bridges when Lost and Found played a concert at their church.

"We're always deeply honored and humbled when another band chooses to play any of our songs," Baum says. "We put lots of effort into writing our songs so that they convey meaning for folks. The fact that others are inclined to play our songs tells us we might've succeeded with a tune or two.

"One message we hope we've conveyed over the years is that a band can be any formation of people who choose to so call themselves. I'm pleased that Clay and Gloria have done exactly that and stuck with it for so long."

Arthur and Goeres find that their audiences know Exit 9's work as well as Lost and Found's tunes.

"The more concerts we play, the more we see people already knowing our music before we got there," he says. "The fact that people care enough to listen to our words and then recite them is pretty powerful to me."

What's also important to the duo is being able to spend time with their audiences, either before or after an event. At youth gatherings or retreats, they often serve as discussion leaders.

"It's important for us to share our faith with other people," Arthur says.

One question they are often asked is, how do you talk to people about God?

"We do it through our music," Arthur says, "but it is about articulating what you believe. We have helped people articulate their faith story."

Ironically, I-26's Exit 9 will be renamed with the extension of the interstate.

"We think we're gonna keep our name anyway," Arthur says.

For more information about the South Rowan CROP Walk or the Exit 9 concert, call St. Mark's at 704-857-2092.

If you'd like Exit 9 to play at your church, contact Clay Arthur at (803) 917-9753 or e-mail him at exit9mail @aol.com. Exit 9's Web site is www.exit9.biz.

Contact Susan Shinn at 704-797-4289 or sshinn@salisburypost.com.

- Salisbury Post

"DC Metro Synod Youth Event"

I wanted to let you both know what a true joy it was to do ministry with you. The impact you had on our event was immeasurable. You are remarkable individuals, with tremendous talent, and are gifted beyond words for sharing the Message. It was a privilege and pleasure to support you this past weekend and I too hope we'll have the opportunity again soon.

Look forward to keeping in touch and I hope you both have a very special Christmas.

- Jonathan
- Jonathan Magwire, Event Leader


Independently released albums:
Hammer and Nail
Holy Ground



Born in the basement of a downtown church, the Columbia, SC based duo of Exit 9 has exploded into a full rockin’ music ministry. But, it’s so much more than just an explosion…it’s the music, it's the ministry, it’s about building relationships with our friends—both new and old—and it’s about sharing our faith and encouraging others to do the same.

When you see and hear Exit 9 on stage....you'll understand. You'll feel the energy, the connection...the desire to take the audience on a ride. And, if you listen closely, you’ll hear stories of faith, you’ll hear relationships being formed with the audience , you’ll hear questions and challenges and you'll be drawn in...it’s in this way that Exit 9 moves the listener through a journey—a journey of non-stop music, faith and energy!

Influenced by the sounds of acoustic rock from Credence and Indigo Girls and others, Clay and Gloria stayed in the basement and played their favorite songs of the artists who inspired them. Climbing up the stairs and out of the basement, they tried their hand at writing a few of their own songs—and then it happened! BAM!!! Lightning struck and they were so energized there was o tunring back! It was up and out of the basement!! Clay said, “Writing our own music was a great way to share our faith journeys with others, and get them talking about the important stuff in our lives...relationships.”

So began a journey out of the basement and into the world that has taken them to many places to meet many different people—from the rural areas of the Southeast to the suburbs of the Midwest, from the camps of South Dakota to the folks right down the road, Exit 9 has emerged as a duo that has not only entertained audiences, but forged relationships with them.

Exit 9 continues to share their energy with groups both large and small. With Clay on guitar and vocals and Gloria handling vocals and percussion, their music and stage presence delights and engages audiences with stories, questions, participation, reflection and humor. Their audiences become part of the show—part of the event...part of the lightning strike!! Gloria noted, “Having the audience participate in the event is so important—it’s what makes our concerts more than just a show!” As soon as you step "off the path" you will experience the music, energy and faith of Exit 9!