While I have a strong passion for fishing, I believe my real calling has always been to play music. That’s why when COVID hit the world in 2020 and our fishing tournaments were few and far between, I decided to pick my bass guitar back up and begin trying to form a band playing the music that I love — Christian rock.
I’ve always loved music and before I even thought about a career in professional fishing, I was a professional musician. I played in rock bands for many years, opening for some great acts. However, as time went on I found myself not really interested in the party lifestyle that being rock ‘n’ roll artist had to offer. So, I decided to turn my attention to fishing and that’s what I’ve been doing for more than 20 years now.
But then 2020 happened, and I found myself falling back into my music. I continued to dabble in music for the 20 years where I was just fishing, but I was never able to dive fully into it like I really wanted because I’ve always thought of myself as a 100% guy. If I wasn’t able to do it to the best of my ability then I didn’t need to do it.
With more free time than I knew what to do with, I started The Band 814. I went around to different churches in the Erie, Pennsylvania, area just to see what the area had to offer and who might be interested in joining this passion project. Before I knew it, I had nine talented musicians in this new band including my brother on drums and my wife on vocals.
So far in 2022, we’ve had seven gigs in about six months, which was our goal for the 2022 calendar. However, we were approached with a very special opportunity not too long ago that just so happened to coincide with a trip I was already planning to make for the Bass Pro Tour.
RURAL Music Fest is taking place from Aug. 25-28 in Isle, Minnesota — just 13 miles from the Stage Seven host city of Onamia, Minnesota. This will be the first-ever RURAL Music Fest, so it’s really an honor for us to be considered as one of the bands worthy enough to be on the list of performers. We’ll be sharing the stage with bands and artists like Sanctus Real, Mac Powell, Riley Clemmons, Jason Gray, Disciple, 7eventh Time Down and many more. We definitely don’t have the same following that these artists do, so it’s really awesome to see our band’s name up next to theirs.
We’re set to take the stage on the final day of the festival, opening up for JJ Weeks and Building 429. We’re beyond excited to play this festival, but even more excited that it gives us an opportunity to share our music about God and Jesus Christ with other believers. We’re just a band from Erie trying to share the gospel with a larger audience.
When I was touring with other bands before my fishing career, it was hard for me to find other people who loved music and also loved sharing the gospel. I rarely could ever find just one person like me. Now, thanks to this band, I’ve found nine other people who share my beliefs and my faith. That, in itself, is a miracle in my eyes.
I can’t wait for Aug. 28, and I hope if you’re in the Isle, Minnesota, area that you’ll come out and see us play.