Ohio Avenue exploded onto the rock music scene in 2005 with a sound that demanded attention. Pairing high energy live performances with captivating lyrics, these Alabama natives are determined to relay a message of hope and love through their exciting approach to melodic rock.
The band started as worship leaders in their local church, but the group soon felt God taking them in a different direction. They created a new project that focused on writing original music, which eventually became known as “Ohio Avenue.” Their name was inspired by a street in Indiana where lead singer Derek Williams grew up.
“When my parents divorced, my mother felt God urging her to move to Alabama (along with my brother and I),” says Williams. “We ended up leaving our lives and comforts behind to follow God’s direction. Fast forward a few years and I felt like I was back in the same situation. I was playing in a worship band and God began to urge me to leave and follow the new direction he was giving me. I thought about how I felt when I left my old street and how God took us out of comfort and security to follow his voice. It just made sense to call the band Ohio Avenue. To me, Ohio Avenue is about leaving everything behind to follow God’s direction.”
Though relatively new to the Christian rock scene, the band has managed to make a powerful impact. The band released a 5 song ep with producer Barry Blair (Audio Adrenaline, Bleach, Poor Man’s Riches) in 2007. Their first single from the EP, “Close to Me,” was one of the most requested songs on the Jon Walden Show at 93.7 WDJC in Birmingham, AL. Ohio Avenue has landed opening slots for bands like Kutless and Superchick and performed at national Christian music festivals including Cornerstone, Enfuego, The Big Ticket Festival, and Rock the Light. The band just finished a full-length project in late 2009 with producer Adam Smith (Brooke Barrett Smith, Britt Nicole, Chris Sligh) called “The Sound.” The cd will be releasing on Itunes, Amazon, and other major retailers on February 16, 2010.
Although they are accomplished musicians, the band remains focused on ministry. They value authenticity and honesty in their music and their lives. Lead singer Derek Williams says, “I think the whole basis of our music is that we are all complete disasters. We are not and never will be perfect. Christian or Non-Christian, we all need a savior. So, I think people can relate because we don’t come from the perspective of ‘We’re perfect Christians trying to show all the imperfect people how they need salvation.’ We want to let people know that in the midst of all your pain and disappointments, there is a God who still loves you.”
As of today, Ohio Avenue is traveling and performing at churches all over the Southeast. They hope that their music will impact the people they meet in a meaningful way. The band wants to fulfill the call on their lives, and hopefully, help others to do the same.
education| Posted September 19, 2017
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