Not many bands could play a rousing live show and then hand out pointers on contracting and home construction. New INO Records band Echoing Angels knows such ins and outs though, as band members maintain full-time jobs in the field (along with one professional golf instructor) while also managing a full touring schedule and recording their debut album You Alone.
Growing up in small Georgia towns set the stage for these down-home boys and best friends to enjoy their camaraderie come-what-may in the music world. Band founder and drummer Jon Poole set aside collegiate baseball for music ministry and teamed up with bass player Josh Armour over pizza. Poole and Armour met their new frontman Chris Peevy and immediately connected before any music was played. "When Josh and I met Chris one evening at dinner, we hadn't even played music together," remembers Poole. "But as we were sitting there, we just started talking about how we could serve God and how he could be glorified through us. We knew we were to serve Him through music, whatever capacity that was, we wanted to be obedient and if that meant southern gospel, praise and worship, or rock, we wanted His will to be done."
"When we started, we didn't do it with the intent of getting a record deal," Peevy says. "We did this on the principle of serving Jesus. We view our ministry as if we are Sunday school teacher`s. his band is focused on reaching out." Shortly after meeting Peevy, the band added guitarists Shannon Cochran and Jared Lee to round out the five-piece.
Quite possibly the moment in Echoing Angels' history came in 2004 at the band's first festival. "It was a wild day for us. We finished our five-song EP and meant to have it on hand to sell," Peevy recalls. "We were literally standing off-stage, waiting to perform for 7,000 people, and the EPs hadn't arrived yet. They came right before we went on. I remember laying my hands and eyes on it, and it hit me. I realized that this was so much bigger than just five guys and some responsibility through guitars and a mic. This was more than music; it was a journey. I realized that this is what God called us to do."Hailing from Atlanta, Echoing Angels brings a contemporary style infused with pop elements influenced by Train, Lifehouse, Matchbox 20, Tonic, MercyMe and Third Day. The seasoned performers under the new moniker Echoing Angels (formerly Two Bare Feet) have shared seven years together on stage and performed along with the likes of MercyMe, Tait and NewSong. Starting its first summer, booked at 13 camps alone, Echoing Angels and its "phone enforcer" Poole have been fortunate to answer more calls for bookings than they make. The band is comfortable playing before large crowds at festivals and churches as well as for smaller ones in coffeehouses. "True, you will see our personalities in a live show," says Peevy, "but it's not about who wrote a song and performed a song – it's about the opportunity to see someone changed."
The early days of playing cover tunes and leading worship were soon offset with Echoing Angels' own voice and the introduction of original material. One original number, yet to be recorded, became the band's namesake. Angels are God's servants that care for man
and Echoing Angels finds comparable support in its families, wives and fans. "The lifeline of our ministry, our ‘echoing angels' help us do what we want to do more than travel and play music, and that is to see souls saved," says Poole.
Another original song, and now the band's first single, "You Alone," received airplay locally in Atlanta and was the standout song to producer Scotty Wilbanks (Third Day, NewSong) and Pete Kipley (MercyMe, Rebecca St. James) who got the ball rolling for the band, which eventually connected Echoing Angels with INO and its management team in Nashville. "That song took about one year to write," says Peevy.
"In a year's span of growing and abandoning to Jesus, this song came to life. Writing it truly was a growing experience."
As is this whole journey for Echoing Angels. Each member learns obedience not just in the spotlight of the stage, but in the light of the day-to-day. "If the five of us were not in a band together, we'd still strive to be obedient each day; we'd seek God's word and plan for our lives," says Armour. "We as the Church need to be there for each other and unite for the cause of Christ," Peevy adds. "The song ‘You Alone' is about praising God and saying, ‘You are worthy. Through what you've done and brought us through, we'll worship you.' We're on a mission to just be there for each other, strong in our relationship with God and each other."
Leaving the power tools and golf clubs behind will come in due time, but all the guys agree that obedience to God's call in their day-to-day lives will be the source from which Echoing Angels will thrive in its music and ministry. "Obedience isn't just about following a call to ministry but it's a call that God has placed before each of us personally," says Peevy.