The Choir (alternative rock band)

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The Choir
Origin Orange County, California
Genres Christian alternative rock
Years active 1984–present
Labels Broken, Shadow, Myrrh LA/A&M, Myrrh, Epic, Glasshouse, R.E.X., Tattoo, Galaxy21
Website www.thechoir.net
Members
Past members
  • Robin Spurs
  • Mike Sauerbrey

The Choir is an atmospheric Christian alternative rock band with Derri Daugherty on guitar and vocals, Steve Hindalong on drums, Tim Chandler on bass guitar, Dan Michaels on saxophone and lyricon, and Marc Byrd on guitar. As of 2016, the band has released 14 studio albums, three EPs, five live albums, one single-disc compilation, and one retrospective box set.

History[edit]

The Choir was originally formed as Youth Choir in the early 1980s by Derri Daugherty and Steve Hindalong. Daniel Amos bass guitarist Tim Chandler introduced Hindalong to Daugherty, who was the band's roadie and sound man.[1] Hindalong and Daugherty quickly became friends, and Youth Choir was part of the Calvary Chapel Christian punk and alternative music scene, which also included the bands Undercover, Crumbächer, Altar Boys and 4-4-1.

The Choir's music has been described by the Los Angeles Times as "magical songs that combine strains of murky psychedelia with pure pop." Billboard praised the band for its "dark poetic leanings, effects-laden guitars and strong melodic hooks". In 1984, Youth Choir became the first band to play at the Cornerstone Festival. By 1986, the band dropped the "Youth" from its name and began calling itself the Choir. Hindalong began to write most of the lyrics for songs known for their vulnerability and honesty, particularly about the challenges inherent in romantic relationships and the simple joys of family life.[1]

The band was awarded a GMA Dove Award for Best Modern/Alternative Rock Album for Free Flying Soul in 1997. Five years later, they received a nomination for Best Rock Gospel Album at the 44th Annual Grammy Awards for their album, Flap Your Wings, released in 2000.

In spring 2005, the Choir added guitar player Marc Byrd and released O How the Mighty Have Fallen, produced by Byrd and released independently on the band's own Galaxy21 label. On August 19, 2005, the Choir played a 20th anniversary concert at Mariners Church in Irvine, California, along with 4-4-1, Altar Boys, Crumbächer, and Undercover, in acknowledgment of the birth of the Christian alternative music scene under the aegis of Calvary Chapel in the early 1980s. Although the Choir had essentially ceased touring, the response to this one-off concert led to a short to support O How the Mighty Have Fallen in early 2006.

After a five-year recording hiatus, the Choir released two full-length studio albums in 2010. On June 29, the band released Burning Like the Midnight Sun, which received positive reviews. Jeff Elbel, in the Chicago Sun-Times, called the album "a late-career triumph" and remarked that it was the band's "second exceptional album in a row, and its best since 1990's landmark Circle Slide". As of November 14, 2010, Burning Like the Midnight Sun has earned aggregate five-star reviews from consumers on both Amazon.com and the iTunes Store. In response, Daugherty and Hindalong recorded de-plumed with cellist Matt Slocum of Sixpence None the Richer. A collection of acoustic reinterpretations of one song each from their 12 studio albums, it was released on November 9, shortly after the band embarked on a multi-city acoustic tour.

On April 17, 2012, the band released The Loudest Sound Ever Heard to fans who pre-ordered it, a month before the album's official release. The band toured in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Chase the Kangaroo, playing the album in its entirety, including tracks like "Cain" that had never before been performed live. It marked the first time in 16 years that bassist Tim Chandler toured with the band.[citation needed] In July 2012, the Choir was the last band to play at the final gathering of the Cornerstone Festival in commemoration of their inaugural 1984 performance.

In September 2013, the Choir began a Kickstarter campaign with the goal of releasing a new studio album and live album in 2014. To promote the campaign, the band hosted a live acoustic concert on Livestream on October 1 of that year, during which the band talked about plans for the new album, answered fan questions, and performed several songs from their music catalog. Derri Daugherty also performed a Livestream solo acoustic show on October 27 as a token of appreciation to Choir fans for their years of support. When the Kickstarter campaign concluded, the band had more than doubled their $25,000 goal, raising $54,268 from 791 backers.[2] Because of the success of their campaign, The Choir recorded a 5-song Christmas EP, Peace, Love & Light, which was released on November 27, 2013 to Kickstarter backers who pledged $60 or more. The live album, LIVE and ON the WING in Music City, was released in 2014, and the audio version of the Livestream concert was released in 2015.

The Choir continues to maintain an active online presence with their own website and Facebook page.[3]

Other projects[edit]

Each band member has worked on numerous projects outside the Choir: Hindalong produced the successful City on a Hill[4] series of worship albums, co-writing the well-known song "God of Wonders" with bandmate Byrd.[5] Daugherty has been a member of the contemporary Christian supergroup Lost Dogs since 1991,[6] with Hindalong recently joining the group.[7] Daugherty also released an instrumental solo project titled "Echo in Blue". Chandler has been the bass guitar player for Daniel Amos for many years, pre-dating his work with the Choir.[8] Byrd was a member of Common Children and recorded with his wife Christine Glass as Glassbyrd.[9]

Personnel[edit]

Current members
2017 touring lineup[10]
  • Derri Daugherty - lead vocals, guitars
  • Steve Hindalong - drums, vocals
  • Dan Michaels - saxophone, lyricon
  • Robin Spurs - bass guitar, vocals
Former members
  • Mike Sauerbrey - bass guitar
  • Robin Spurs - bass guitar, vocals

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

EPs[edit]

Live albums[edit]

Compilations[edit]

Non-album tracks[edit]

  • "I Can't Take It" b/w "Here in the Night (live)" (7" single) (1985)
  • "Travelin' Light (demo)" (MySpace digital download) (2004)
  • "The Sun Also Rises" (MySpace music stream) (2006)
  • "Babe in the Straw" (iTunes digital download) (2010)
  • "Shadow of the Cross" (iTunes digital download) (2012)
  • "Beautiful Girl" (iTunes digital download) (2013)

Appearances on other works[edit]

  • 1983 What's Shakin' ["It's So Wonderful"]
  • 1989 The Myrrh Radio Collection, Volume 1 ["Someone to Hold Onto"]
  • 1993 Brow Beat: Unplugged Alternative ["Wilderness" (acoustic version)]
  • 1993 Third Wave ["Kissers and Killers"]
  • 1994 Can You Dig It? ["Kissers and Killers"]
  • 1994 Strong Hand of Love ["Tip of My Tongue"]
  • 1995 Contemporary Adult Music for the 90's ["Wilderness"]
  • 1996 Orphans of God ["Tip of My Tongue"]
  • 1996 Seltzer: Modern Rock to Settle Your Soul ["The Ocean"]
  • 1998 Grab Bag Candy Sampler, Volume 1 ["Flowing Over Me" (demo version)]
  • 2003 Contemporary Christian Hits: A Collage ["Grace"]

Video appearances[edit]

  • 1989 Wide-Eyed Wonder Videos (includes two music videos and feature-length documentary)
  • 1996 Sled Dog concept video
  • 1996 Tattoo Video Hoopla (includes an entire live performance from Cornerstone '96)

Solo releases by members of the Choir[edit]

  • 1991 Reveal [EP] - Dan Michaels
  • 1998 Skinny - Steve Hindalong
  • 2002 A Few Unfinished Songs [EP] - Derri Daugherty
  • 2003 Open Wide This Window - Glassbyrd (Marc Byrd and Christine Glass)
  • 2011 Clouds Echo in Blue - Clouds Echo in Blue (Derri Daugherty)
  • 2016 The Warbler - Steve Hindalong
  • 2016 Hush Sorrow - Derri Daugherty

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Thompson, John J. "Bio of the Choir, originally published in True Tunes magazine". Retrieved November 13, 2009. 
  2. ^ "Join The Choir To Create A New Studio Album & Live Album By The Choir". Kickstarter. Retrieved March 13, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Facebook: The Choir". Retrieved November 13, 2009. 
  4. ^ Powell, Mark Allan (2002). Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers. p. 168. ISBN 1-56563-679-1. 
  5. ^ "God Of Wonders". Ca.songselect.com. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  6. ^ Powell, Mark Allan (2002). Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers. pp. 539–42. ISBN 1-56563-679-1. 
  7. ^ "TheLostDogs.com". The Lost Dogs. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  8. ^ Powell, Mark Allan (2002). Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers. pp. 226–32. ISBN 1-56563-679-1. 
  9. ^ Powell, Mark Allan (2002). Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers. p. 190. ISBN 1-56563-679-1. 
  10. ^ "The Choir to Tour Wide-Eyed Wonder 2017". Retrieved May 2, 2017. 

External links[edit]