A band to watch — GodSpeed3

Published 2:15 am Sunday, February 22, 2009

The buzz is almost electric. Since being chosen to open for the band Casting Crowns at “Praise in the Park” in Lucedale, locally based Christian rock band GodSpeed3 has gained momentum — and they’re still picking up speed.

The group just returned from Nashville, Tenn., where they were working to put down the initial tracks on what they hope will become their first CD. This was the groundwork for their newly acquired development deal, announced in the Item earlier this year, with Indevo Records. The band’s plan is to head back to Nashville in a couple months to finish up the recordings by adding another six songs.

“I’ve done a lot of recording, but those recordings really sound good,” said Travis Kennedy, lead guitarist for the group. “I can’t wait for the finished product.”

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While in session, the group got a chance to meet and work with Dove Award winning sound engineer, Mark Drury. Drury has earned his Dove, and other Dove nominations, because of his work with both the Dave Crowder band and Big Daddy Weave, two top notch Christian groups, according to Kennedy.

After the band’s recordings are completed, as part of the deal, InDevo Records will shop them to bigger labels. “They heard something or saw something in us that they want to try to develop,” Kennedy said. “If something happens, great. If nothing happens, that’s great too.” While the group is interested in gaining national attention so they can help as many people as possible, their main focus is always God.

With their gazes firmly fixed on Him, the group also caught the attention of Al Gomes. Gomes’ company, Big Noise, has acted as a the Webmaster for some big mainstream recording artists, such as Christina Aguilera. An agreement was just reached where he will serve as an artist consultant for GodSpeed3, to complete the package.

The group will have a full itinerary working with Gomes for the next 12 months, said Kennedy, and they are all excited about it.

GodSpeed3, a very young music ministry, approximately one and a half years old, grew out of persistence. Michael Clogher, the lead singer for the music ministry of First Baptist Church Picayune, kept inviting Kennedy to come and play with him and his Sunday worship group.

Kennedy, a professional musician, said he was admittedly hesitant about getting involved with the Christian genre.

“I never been around that kind of music. It’s a big difference playing on Sunday morning in daylight with sober people there, versus late at night and there ain’t no sober people around,” he said. “You got to be on top of your game there, they’re a lot more discerning.”

However, Clogher and Kennedy became friends and eventually started talking about doing their own thing. Once they got drummer Geri Grubbs on board, well, the rest is history.

“We went through some folks, looking for the right folks, but the cast we got now is a really good group of people, I really like them,” said Kennedy.

They just acquired the last piece of the puzzle, another layer to their sound, keyboard player Danny Gros. Making up Godspeed3 are Kennedy of Picayune, lead/rhythm guitar; Clogher of Poplarville, lead vocals; Grubbs of Picayune, drummer; Chris Speir of Picayune, keyboards/rhythm guitar; Mark Beech of Pass Christian, bass guitar; Jennifer Drennan of Slidell, La., lead/back up vocals and Gros of Ponchatoula, La., keyboards.

When they play a show, they try to give it a rock concert feel, but with the “good message.” They use cool lights, including robos and strobes, and a smoke machine, to get the crowd going.

“We’ve been having fun with it,” Kennedy said. “We’re very respectful with it, but we’ve been having some fun with it too, trying to show people that hey, you can listen to Christian music and worship God and still be cool.”

Look forward to hearing more about his up and coming local group.

For their next big gig, the band will open for Audio Adrenaline at Resurrection Life Church in Picayune on Saturday, March 7. Time is TBA.

To keep abreast of all the latest GodSpeed3 happenings, visit their Web site, www.godspeed3.com.