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I met the band Seraph last night. They opened for me at a minor league baseball game gig in Mobile, Alabama. Great guys. It's so rare that I get to work with indie musicians. It's even rarer that I'm this enamored with them afterward. Good music. Great attitudes.

The guys in Seraph are congregational worship leaders at heart - meaning they sing songs the rest of us sing along with. And they're good at this. Their lead singer, after all, is a music minister at a local church in Mobile. He's not a cheerleader and I like that. I didn't feel like I was at a pep rally for Jesus, being told at the start of every song to put my hands together or sing louder. No, these guys just played, did it well and had so much fun doing it that we wanted to sing along. And we did, to every song - originals and covers of popular "worship" tunes by the likes of David Crowder and others.

They use a lot of toys: mandolin, banjo, harmonica, electric guitars and bass, drums, keyboard, programmed loops. But the high energy noise they make with it all is tasteful and not distracting to the folks singing along. This is one of the most professional sounding indie groups I've heard live.

But still there are hundreds of artists who can do what they do musically. They'd be the first to tell you that they're not blazing new territory, not all that unique in the end, not dethroning U2 as the best band in the world anytime soon - or even trying to. What is unique about Serpah, what most impressed me, what makes them truly great, is what they love to do most. They love going to youth camps (what??) and getting to know the kids for an entire week there and continuing to correspond with and support those kids long after camp has ended. They're not rock stars. They're approachable and generous with their time. As they put it, they don't slip out of a green room to play a show and then climb on a bus and drive off when it's over. They hang out all day every day at these camps they play AND make good music to top it all off.

Every artist doesn't have to be this way of course. Some of us just don't connect with kids so well. Some of us hate camp food. Some of us still have nightmares involving underwear and a flag pole. But these guys love the whole camp and youth group thing. So I highly recommend Seraph to you, especially if you're a youth minister looking for good musicians who care about kids to come to your next event or camp. They'll show up on time, work hard, have a great attitude while they do it and befriend everyone they meet. They'll make you a fan.

Check 'em out:

  • www.myspace.com/seraph6

  • E-mail them: burningcoalmin1@GMAIL.com

  • Book them: www.burningcoalministries.com

    Thanks to everyone at Hank Aaron Field last night for a great time, and a stadium hot dog.

    Blogger Kathryn said...

    they sound very cool.

    Blogger Rachel said...

    Check 'em out...shot 'em a message...definitely dig them. :) Thanks for sharing, Shaun.


    Blogger Rachel said...

    *checked ;) oops

    Anonymous Ryan G. said...

    Indie's live and breath on summer camps. It's #1 source of income for most indies who are "successful" i.e. don't have to suppliment their income with another job.

    Ever thought about doing summer camps Shaun? :P

    Blogger Shaun Groves said...

    Yea, from time to time, but thankfully I wake up...usually in a cold sweat, and go about my normal soft rock star day - you know, shopping for leather pants, looking in a mirror a lot, doing vocal exercises, that sort of thing.


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