Youth Choir - Shades of Gray (Vinyl)
- 1986 Shadow Records
- Pre-Owned Vinyl
- Contains original lyric insert/sleeve
About The Choir
The Choir was originally formed as Youth Choir in the early 1980s by Derri Daugherty and Steve Hindalong. The two songwriters had been introduced by mutual friend, bassist Tim Chandler, who was touring with Daniel Amos along with Daugherty, who was the band's roadie and sound man at the time. Hindalong and Daugherty quickly became friends and a songwriting team. Youth Choir became part of the Calvary Chapel Christian punk and alternative music scene, which also included the bands Undercover, Crumbächer, Altar Boys and 4-4-1.
The music of The Choir has been described by the Los Angeles Times as "magical songs that combine strains of murky psychedelia with pure pop." Billboard praised the band for its "dark poetic leanings, effects-laden guitars and strong melodic hooks." In 1984, Youth Choir became the first band ever to play at the Cornerstone Festival, the preeminent Christian arts and music festival in the United States. By 1986, the band dropped the "Youth" from its name and began calling itself simply The Choir. Hindalong began writing most of the lyrics for the band at this point, songs that are known for their vulnerability and honesty, particularly about the challenges inherent in romantic relationships and the simple joys of family life.
Although the band has long had a cult following among listeners of Christian alternative music, that did not translate into financial success within the Contemporary Christian music, or CCM, industry, nor did it lead to a successful mainstream crossover experienced by later groups like Jars of Clay, Switchfoot and Sixpence None the Richer, who have pointed to The Choir as a significant musical influence. As a result, the band nearly called it quits in 1996 after their final U.S. tour, a few years after Daugherty, Hindalong and Michaels moved from their homes in Southern California to Nashville, Tennessee, since much of the CCM industry is now based there. The difficulty of this cross-country move also made its way into the lyrics of the band's songs, primarily Speckled Bird. Nevertheless, the band continued recording, and received a Grammy Award nomination for their 2000 release, Flap Your Wings.
In spring of 2005, The Choir returned to the dreamlike rock sound of Chase the Kangaroo and Circle Slide with the album, O How the Mighty Have Fallen, thanks to the influence of new band member Marc Byrd. He also produced the album, which was released independently on the band's own Galaxy21 label. Two months later, on August 19, 2005, The Choir played a 20th anniversary concert at Mariners Church in Irvine, California along with 4-4-1, Altar Boys, Crumbächer and Undercover, in order to acknowledge the birth of the Christian alternative music scene under the aegis of Calvary Chapel in the early 1980s. Although The Choir had essentially quit touring, the overwhelmingly positive response to this one-off concert led to a short series of tour dates to support O How the Mighty Have Fallen in the early part of 2006. A DVD of the Irvine concert was promised, but has yet to be released.