Two years ago, the lead singer of a Harlem band formerly known as Steel Cross tweeted a “stupid guy joke” to Scotty Wilbanks, touring keyboardist for Christian rock band Third Day.
A year later, the band was recording at Rockporium in Canton, Ga., with Wilbanks as producer.
“God opened doors through Twitter,” said Ethan DeMore, lead singer of the band now known as The Remedy.
The group releases its first CD, a mash-up of soulful Southern rock and Christian praise, in Thomson on Sunday.
“We have worked for a year on this record,” DeMore said of the band, which includes Josh Guillebeau on guitar; Ethan Olmstead on bass; Caleb Guillebeau on drums; and Carrel Davis on keyboard.
DeMore started playing with Josh Guillebeau and Olmstead four years ago, when he needed a band for a worship event at a local church.
“We thought it was going to be a one-time event,” DeMore said.
The group kept playing, adding members as it went. Josh’s younger brother, Caleb, who was 12 at the time, learned to play drums and joined the band. Davis, the worship leader at Harlem United Methodist Church, also joined.
Josh Guillebeau and Olmstead eventually abandoned other projects – such as an ’80s cover band – to focus on the group, which, at the time, went by the name Sweet Fellowship.
Sweet Fellowship eventually became Steel Cross, which just last month became The Remedy.
The Black Crowes, which band members name as an influence, have a song called Remedy. It fit the band’s evolving sound while also speaking to the meaning behind the group’s lyrics, DeMore said.
“Every song has a story. This is that CD that people are going to love the music, but there’s also a message,” he said.
“The last song, Lifting His Name, that’s what this record is.”
Today, the band leans on its Southern rock influences as it creates music for people inside and outside the church.
“Slowly, what we really wanted to play came out,” Josh Guillebeau said. The name changes, he added, reflect that growth.
“We grew up with The Allman Brothers, Skynyrd,” DeMore said. “Our background was something different than the Christian music industry had.”
Hopefully, it’ll resonate with a new crowd, Josh Guillebeau said.
“The whole goal,” he said, “is to reach people who haven’t been reached before.”