B.S.U. Bluegrass Brand Anticipates New, Full-Length Album
"I had no idea when I came here that I'd be working with bluegrass. I was just trying to think of ways to connect with students," says Wes Brashier. "So I brought my guitar and mandolin, and we would hang out and play music."
Shortly after he joined NGU as associate BSU director in Fall 2013, Brashier began hosting a jam session for students in his office every single week.
Seeing that NGU students were very interested in the bluegrass genre, Brashier then decided to form a more permanent group that would find ways to reach beyond the university with its music.
Last semester alone, B.S.U.Grass - NGU's official student bluegrass band - performed at more than 15 churches, festivals, and other special events, including Five Forks Baptist Church, Dacusville Farm Days, St. Andrews Baptist Church, and Pumpkintown's Pumpkin Festival.
"There was a man [at one of the churches we played] who came up to me after service and said, 'We love hearing young people bring life to that style and use it for the greatest purpose we have: to evangelize and minister.' That's our main goal," says B.S.U.Grass lead guitarist Ben Owens.
The band plays both traditional and more contemporary Christian songs in true bluegrass fashion, with acoustic strings and soulful vocals that blend in toe-tapping harmony. Crowd favorites include the band's take on familiar hymns like "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms" and "Victory in Jesus."
"We try to do songs most people know by heart," says Brashier, who serves as the band's director and mandolin player. "When people hear [the songs of our faith], they instantly connect with them."
B.S.U.Grass also makes its music available through recordings. The band recorded its first six-track EP in Spring 2015, which included "What a Day That Will Be" and "Carried to the Table."
Plans to produce the band's first full-length album during the Spring 2016 semester are already taking shape.
B.S.U.Grass donates the proceeds from album sales, as well as offerings received at concerts, to missions at NGU. For more information about B.S.U.Grass, visit ngu.edu/bsu-bluegrass-band.php.
(Image credit: B.S.U.Grass)
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