If you tune into K-Love or 104.7 The Fish then there is no doubt you are familiar with names like The Casting Crowns, Chris Tomlin and Third Day. These bands and a handful of other major Christian acts fill up the limited spots on radio station play lists that are typically off-limits to independent music. As a result, there are some exceptional indie bands that you don't hear about.
JJ Weeks and Broken Vessels are two such bands.
Hailing from the southeast, these two up and comers have released independent music that stands up to the best of Christian acts as they continue to stay true to their purpose: leading people to Christ.
Both bands have an intense love for God which emanates from their heart through the music that they have created. This distinctive element is something that cannot be contrived.
The JJ Weeks Band formed in 2002 and are from Macon, Georgia. The band is comprised of Austin Abbott on Lead Guitar, Jordan Welsh on Guitar/Keys, David Hart on Bass, Justin Lairsey on drums and JJ on lead vocals.
JJ Weeks has released 2 independent CD's and plays 120 dates a year throughout the southeast. His band has shared the stage with many national acts including Third Day, Toby Mac, Rush of Fools and Starfield. Their latest CD; Unsystematic Approach was produced by Barry Blair (Audio Adrenaline, Addison Road). You can download both Band Day ($8) and Unsystematic Approach ($14) from their website.
Currently, Weeks is in the middle of his 30 Lights Later Tour; an all-acoustic show including originals mixed with praise and worship songs we all love. The earnings from the tour will fund their new CD which will be produced by Scotty Wilbanks (Third Day).
Broken Vessels was formed by the sibling team of Tory and Sonny Dardar and have been around since early 2000. Since that time, they have toured in over 12 states and 3 countries. The band is based out of Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Broken Vessels call themselves "a vertical worship band that seeks nothing more than to go to where the Lord leads them." Their last CD, entitled Unashamed sold 1,000 copies in 4 weeks; not an easy feat for any independent band to accomplish. It includes Matt Redman's You Never Let Go along with 9 other songs including the memorable Here is My Life.
In 2008, they won the prestigious Momentum Worship Artist of the Year award at the Christian Independent Alliance Summit (Now called Indie University). The band's latest effort, So That Other's Might Live is set to be released within the next few weeks.
The current members include Tory Dardan on guitar and lead vocals, Bill Loftin on bass and Jace Verdin on drums. Sonny manages the band.
Related Articles: Interview with Macon, Georgia Christian artist JJ Weeks