Since their formation in 2010 Mt. Airy, North Carolina based bluegrass gospel band Crossroad has experienced much success earning top awards at several fiddlers conventions and band competitions within the region. Having also performed at major events like Houstonfest in Galax, VA, the band is certainly no stranger to the bluegrass music scene either. Now, with the release of their second all-gospel album the group hopes to expand their circle. Currently set for public release on Tuesday, June 17th, their splendid new ten track set, A New Road, is sure to please fans of bluegrass and gospel music alike.
Crossroad was formed in 2010 by Sowards, Hazelwood, Cain, and Greg Dollyhite. They initially brought their blend of bluegrass and gospel music to churches in northwestern North Carolina and southwestern Virginia, later branching out to other venues and even appearing twice at Galax, Virginia’s Houstonfest. The band also competed in several regional fiddlers conventions, taking home numerous band and individual awards. The group released their first album, an all-gospel project entitled Passing Through, in spring 2012. Since that time, the band has added two new members: Easter replaced Dollyhite in 2012, while George joined the group after Hazelwood switched to dobro in 2013).
New Road offers listeners skilled interpretations of both new and classic gospel songs, including traditional hymns like "Victory in Jesus" and more recent cuts like Junior Sisk and Tim Massey’s "Don’t You Want to Go There." A highlight is the album’s first single, "Just One More Time," an upbeat slice of contemporary bluegrass written by Scott Payne. The upbeat highlight track "Just One More Time" is currently being released to radio.
"The front man of the group," David Sowards, makes his home a little south of Dobson, NC in the Rockford community. He was born in Pound, VA and is 31 years old. He started playing guitar at age 15. He is one of the founding members of Crossroad and lends a powerful driving rythym style of guitar playing to the band. He also helps make up the singing trio in the band with whatever part is needed. Singing the lead vocals most, he is very capable of singing the tenor or baritone part whenever called upon. David also steps up with excellent lead guitar breaks when it is needed as well. Possessing many talents, David also plays banjo and upright bass outside of the band. His musical influences include New Road, The Lonesome River Band, Doyle Lawson, IIIrd Tyme Out, Flatt & Scruggs, and many various others.
Josh Hazelwood, another founding member of Crossroad, calls Dobson, NC home. He started playing music regularly at age 12 with the guitar in his family gospel group, "The Sojourners." He possesses many talents including banjo, guitar, and upright bass, in which he played with Crossroad the first couple years after they formed. He began playing dobro at age 22 and has won countless fiddler's conventions and contests throughout his 13 years of playing the instrument.
Dennis Cain, another founding member of Crossroad, makes his home in Mt. Airy, NC. Solid and crisp mandolin chops, dead on lead vocals, and soaring high tenor vocals make up his repertoire with the band. He also lends tasteful lead mandolin breaks whenever it is needed. Dennis has deep roots in bluegrass music. Almost his entire family holds talent either singing or playing. His uncle Wayne and cousin Wes Golding (formerly of Boone Creek) has greatly influenced his music.
Derek Easter comes to you from Cana, VA. Derek has been with Crossroad now going on a year and a half. Derek, as well as some of the other guys in the band, comes from a very musical background. His dad, Wesley Easter, plays virtually every instrument and owns the bluegrass world's recording mecca, "Eastwood Studios" in Cana, VA. His dad has recorded virtually everybody in the bluegrass industry at some point and has been responsible for recording several number 1 chart topping albums, including last years IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Song of the Year and Album of the Year honors with the band "Junior Sisk and Rambler's Choice."
The newest member of Crossroad, David George, comes to the band from Westfield, NC. Although David is new to Crossroad he is definitely no stranger to the bluegrass scene. Playing since he was 5 years old and with numerous bands along the way, David adds the foundation and flavor that makes up Crossroad. He plays acoustic and electric upright bass with the band along with acoustic and electric bass guitar whenever the situation calls for it. David is a "multi-talent" playing the mandolin, dobro, guitar, and drums. He also helps make up the singing trio in the band. David sings lead, tenor, and baritone vocals with Crossroad and steps up to the plate with each part.