The Choir

The Choir

Infobox musical artist
Name = The Choir


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Origin = Orange County, California
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Genre = Christian alternative rock
Occupation =
Years_active = 1984 – present
Label = Broken Records Shadow MyrrhLA / A&M Myrrh / Epic Glasshouse R.E.X. Tattoo Galaxy21
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URL =
Current_members = Steve Hindalong Tim Chandler Derri Daugherty Dan Michaels Marc Byrd
Past_members = Robin Spurs Matt Slocum Bill Campbell Mike Sauerbrey Bill Batstone Billy Wilde
Notable_instruments =

The Choir is an atmospheric alternative Christian rock band, led by Derri Daugherty on guitar and vocals, Steve Hindalong on drums--who also writes most of the band's lyrics--as well as Tim Chandler on bass, Dan Michaels on lyricon, electric flute and saxophone and Marc Byrd on guitar, the latter of whom is a relatively recent addition to the band's lineup.

Each band member also has a depth of musical history outside of The Choir: Hindalong produced the wildly successful "City On A Hill" albums in the last few years, writing the well-known song "God of Wonders" with fellow band-mate Byrd. Daugherty has been been a member of Christian-alterna-pop-supergroup The Lost Dogs since 1991, with Hindalong recently joining the group. Chandler has been the bass player for years for Daniel Amos. Byrd was a member of Common Children, and recorded with his wife Christine Glass as Glassbyrd.

History

The Choir was originally formed as Youth Choir in the early 1980s, by Derri Daugherty and Steve Hindalong. The two songwriters had been introduced by mutual friend, bassist Tim Chandler, who was touring with Daniel Amos along with Daugherty, who was the band's roadie and sound man. Hindalong and Daugherty quickly became friends and a prolific songwriting team.

The music of The Choir 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, they became the first band ever to play at the Cornerstone Festival, the preeminent Christian arts and music festival in the United States.

By 1986, the band dropped the "Youth" from their name and began calling themselves simply The Choir. Hindalong began writing most of the lyrics for the band at this point, songs that are known for their vulnerability and honesty, particularly about the challenges inherent in romantic relationships and the simple joys of family life. Some fans and music critics consider this period — between 1987's "Chase the Kangaroo" and 1990's "Circle Slide" — as The Choir's artistic height, although others have argued that their most recent trio of albums represents an even greater creative resurgence, evidenced by the band's first Grammy Award nomination for their next-to-newest release, "Flap Your Wings".

Although the band has long had a passionate cult following among listeners of Christian alternative rock, that did not translate into great financial success within the Contemporary Christian music, or CCM, industry, nor did it lead to a successful mainstream crossover experienced by other groups like Switchfoot and Sixpence None the Richer, members of which have pointed to The Choir as a creative influence. As a result, the band nearly called it quits in 1996 after their final national tour, a few years after Daugherty, Hindalong and Michaels moved from their homes in Southern California to Nashville, Tennessee, since much of the CCM industry is now based there. The difficulty of this cross-country move also made its way into the lyrics of the band's songs, primarily "Speckled Bird".

The Choir's tenth and most recent full-length studio album, "O How the Mighty Have Fallen", is a return to the dreamlike rock sound of "Chase the Kangaroo" and "Circle Slide", thanks to the influence of producer and new band member Marc Byrd. Released independently, the album deals with more personal topics than much of their later work, touching on some painful subjects in the recent lives of the band members.

On August 19, 2005, The Choir played a 20th anniversary concert in Irvine, California along with 4-4-1, Altar Boys, Crumbächer and Undercover, in order to acknowledge the Christian alternative music scene which developed under the aegis of Calvary Chapel in the early 1980s. Although The Choir had essentially quit touring, the overwhelmingly positive response to this one-off concert led to a short series of tour dates to support "O How the Mighty Have Fallen" in the early part of 2006. A DVD of the Irvine concert is also forthcoming.

Personnel

Current lineup

* Derri Daugherty - Lead vocals, guitars
* Steve Hindalong - Drums, vocals
* Dan Michaels - Saxophone, lyricon, electric flute, esteemed pet owner
* Tim Chandler - Bass guitar, vocals
* Marc Byrd - Guitars, vocals

Former members

* Mike Sauerbrey - Bass guitar ("Voices in Shadows" recording and tour; "Circle Slide" partial recording and tour)
* [http://www.hatandhair.com/bio.htm Robin Spurs] - Bass guitar, vocals ("Chase the Kangaroo" tour; "Wide-Eyed Wonder" recording and tour; "Circle Slide" partial recording)
* Wayne Everett - Percussion ("Free Flying Soul" tour)
* Billy Wilde - Guitars ("Circle Slide" tour)
* Matt Slocum - Bass guitar, cello ("O How The Mighty Have Fallen" tour)
* Bill Batstone - Bass guitar (occasional live dates on "Diamonds and Rain" tour)
* Bill Campbell - Guitars (occasional live dates post-"Circle Slide")

Discography

Non-Album Singles

* 1985 "I Can't Take It" b/w "Here in the Night (live)" "(7" single)"
* 2004 "Travelin' Light (demo)" "(digital download)"
* 2006 "The Sun Also Rises" "(MySpace music stream)"

EPs

* 1986 "Shades of Gray"

tudio Albums

* 1985 "Voices in Shadows"
* 1986 "Diamonds and Rain"
* 1988 "Chase the Kangaroo"
* 1989 "Wide-Eyed Wonder"
* 1990 "Circle Slide"
* 1993 "Kissers and Killers"
* 1994 "Speckled Bird"
* 1996 "Free Flying Soul"
* 2000 "Flap Your Wings"
* 2005 "O How the Mighty Have Fallen"

Live Albums

* 1997 "Let It Fly"
* 2000 ""
* 2000 ""

Compilations

* 1995 ""
* 2001 ""

Video appearances

* 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)

Appearances on Other Works

* 1983 "What's Shakin'" ["It's So Wonderful"]
* 1989 "The Myrrh Radio Collection, Volume 1"
* 1993 "" ["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 "" ["The Ocean"]
* 2003 "" ["Grace"]

External links

* [http://www.thechoir.net The Choir's official website]
*
* [http://www.tvot.ca/vis/index3.html Voices in Shadows - fan website]


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