By the Tree

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By the Tree
Origin Weatherford, Texas
Genres CCM
Years active 1997–present
Labels Fervent
  • Aaron Blanton
  • Chuck Dennie
  • Ben Davis

By the Tree is a two-time Dove Award-winning contemporary Christian rock group.


Ben Davis, Kevin Rhoads, Chuck Dennie, and Aaron Blanton, backstage at the 2001 Dove Awards.

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.

Chuck Dennie lived in Edmond, OK with his wife Joanne. He is on staff at and was a worship pastor at their North West OKC campus until April 2010. He now resides in Tennessee and is the campus pastor of the church's Indian Lake location.

Current members[edit]

  • 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)

Former members[edit]

  • 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[1]
  • These Days (Fervent, 2002) U.S. Christian No. 17[1]
  • Root (Fervent, 2003) U.S. Christian No. 15[1]
  • Hold You High (Fervent, 2004)
  • World On Fire (Fervent, 2006)
  • Beautiful One: The Best of By The Tree (Fervent, 2007)


External links[edit]