By the Tree
By the Tree was founded in Weatherford, Texas in 1997 by Chuck Dennie and Bala Boyd.
As with most aspiring musical groups, By the Tree got their start playing a series of small venues — predominantly churches — throughout the southern and southwestern United States. Their near-constant touring cultivated a sizeable fan base.
In 1999 they released two independent, self-produced CDs, which they sold at their concerts. By 2001, these two CDs had sold a combined 30,000 units, which more than recouped their production costs, and additionally brought them to the attention of the Gospel music industry.
The band eventually signed with Fervent Records, part of the BMG music publishing company. Their first national U.S. commercial recording was Invade My Soul. The album charted in the Billboard Top 40 in the Contemporary Christian and Independent categories. The album eventually went on to win two Dove Awards: The album itself won Best Modern Rock/Alternative Album, and the album's title track won Best Recorded Song.
The band has gone through numerous lineup changes since signing with Fervent. [(Singer)]/[(guitarist)] Aaron Blanton joined the group prior to the recording of Invade My Soul, replacing Samuel McKern as the drummer. Chuck Dennie remained lead vocalist and guitarist until 2005. Bassist Ben Davis joined in 2002 for the recording of These Days. Original member Kevin Rhoads left the band shortly after the release of These Days and was replaced by Charlie Goddard, who left the band in 2003 to join Jeff Deyo's band.
By the Tree has released four albums under the Fervent label, and they remain one of the more popular acts in Contemporary Christian music.
Chuck Dennie lived in Edmond, OK with his wife Joanne, he is on staff at the multi-campus church known as LifeChurch.tv and was a worship pastor at their North West OKC campus until April 2010. He is now resides in Tennessee and is the campus pastor of the church's Indian Lake location.
- Aaron Blanton (vocals/guitar)
- Nate "The Sooze" Sousa (lead guitar/vocals)
- Ryan "Tito" Viramontes (bass/vocals)
- Daniel "Big-D" Viramontes (Keys)
- Jared "Jarebear" Nickless (drums)
- Cameron Tucker – drums and percussion (On "Passion For Jesus '99" and "Shoot Me Down")
- David Canington – keys (On "Passion For Jesus '99" and "Shoot Me Down")
- Betsy Caswell – vocals (On "Passion For Jesus '99" and "Shoot Me Down")
- Kevin Rhoads – vocals, guitar
- Samuel McKern – drums
- Charlie Goddard – vocals, guitar
- Rocky Presley – bass
- Chuck Dennie – vocals, guitar
- Garrett Goodwin – drums
- Dan Castillo – bass
- James Putnam – bass
- Melissa Stein – vocals
- Ben Davis (bass/keys/vocals)
- Dustin Sauder (lead guitar/vocals)
- Eric Green (drums)
- Passion For Jesus (1999) Self-produced and distributed
- Shoot Me Down (1999) Self-produced and distributed
- Invade My Soul (Fervent Records, 2001) U.S. Christian No. 35
- These Days (Fervent, 2002) U.S. Christian No. 17
- Root (Fervent, 2003) U.S. Christian No. 15
- Hold You High (Fervent, 2004)
- World On Fire (Fervent, 2006)
- Beautiful One: The Best of By The Tree (Fervent, 2007)
- http://www.myspace.com/ByTheTree Official By the Tree homepage