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Home: A : Addison Road : Biography

Biography (courtesy of Addison Road)

Addison Road

When Dallas based pop/rock fivesome Addison Road went in the studio to record its follow-up to 2003’s self-released Breaking Beautifully, members could’ve very well stayed cozily confined in their artistic comfort zone. After all the album went on to earn acclaim to both the industry and fans alike, propelling the band to increased activity on the road and earning them a slot on the nationally distributed Grassroots Music Sampler CD. But throughout that increase of notoriety and elevated travel schedule, the four guys and one girl who make up the infectious and impassioned quartet were dealt some tricky spiritual situations.

“There’s been a lot of changes in our lives and hearts over the past year and it’s been a journey that’s for sure,” notes singer Jenny Simmons. “We traveled a lot and between the pressures of the road, the busyness surrounding the band and the physical exhaustion we faced, I’d say we all reached a certain degree of burn out.”

A major challenge for the group (also comprised of Ryan Simmons, Ryan Gregg, Travis Lawrence and Jeff Sutton) came in the summer of 2004 after splitting duties between leading worship for 13 weeks at Lifeway’s Centrifuge Camps in Panama City, Florida and serving as Sunday morning praise leaders at First Baptist Church in Richardson, Texas. The vast geographic distance between the two forced the gang to be in a constant cycle of suitcase packing and flight catching, coupled with the allure of other achievements. The same time period also saw Addison Road earning an American Christian Music Award nomination, along with endorsements from major mainstream companies like Martin Guitar and Elixir Strings.

“They were all moving Addison Road as a band in a positive direction, but as people it was all pulling us in a lot of different directions,” Jenny offers. “At times just because of how tired we were, we actually became miserable. What were we really doing this all for? Were we even passionate anymore?”

Those questions culminated in the songwriting sessions for what would become the Always Loved You EP, a noticeably candid yet readily relatable account of where the band’s been as of late. But rather than dipping further into a depressive state, the project is filled with a rejuvenated essence and traces each individual as they regain the plot of their personal lives.

“Being in front of so many kids at camp and touring all year long to all sorts of venues keeps us in tune with our relationships with others. Having all those emotions come out and taking time to center ourselves has put us back on track and that’s the balance of this record,” Jenny continues.

Not only will the meat of the message resonate with listeners, but the musical foundation has also expanded beyond simply youth group friendly spunk. Sure teens will still gravitate towards the upbeat array of pop/rock ruminations, but there’s something for everyone throughout the six choice cuts. Much of that has to do with Addison Road setting up shop at its home base studio to organically create and produce the project. Having already worked with Dove Award winner Barry Blair (Audio Adrenaline) behind the boards for Breaking Beautifully and fellow Dove recipient Chuck Dennie (By the Tree) for 2002’s debut Not What You Think also seeped into members' savyness and skill level.

“We made this project really different than the other two and it was very freeing to be at home,” notes Gregg. “Jenny and I wrote a lot together and we had more freedom and time to take it in whatever direction we all wanted. The other projects haven’t been as artsy or creative, but we’ve gotten a lot more mature and conscious of our style. We did everything at our own pace and being home sure beat staying cooped up in other people’s houses in Nashville.”

>From the Jeff Tweedy-toned tuning of the glorious “I Have Always Loved You” to the assurance stocked rocker “I’ll Be OK” to the uplifting indie toned tinkering of “Rejoice,” the group continues to set new standards and explore additional avenues. There’s also the pounding plea for patience called “Wait,” the radio ready call for accountability “Where Are You” and the piano driven praise of “Need You Now.”

“Three songs are directed specifically about God and the other three are geared around relationships,” Gregg contends. “But when you get down to it, whether it’s a person or God, they all have something to do with love or learning how to love somebody.”

Thus far faithful followers are falling in love with the material while expressing their interest in each individual’s rebirth and increased sea of sounds. With that initial acceptance-generating buzz, members hope Always Loved You will take Addison Road to the next level of the ladder rung.

“We’re at a place where we’ve been plugging away for two or three years and the exposure keeps growing,” Jenny sums up. “Our latest chapter has re-ignited our passion and we’ve become much more established as musicians. Now it’s time to get some additional national exposure and see where God takes it. We’ve learned that it’s all on His timetable, yet we’re getting out there and trying our hardest to be the best we can be.”

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