Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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April 12, 2012

Kansas Bible Company in concert Friday

GOSHEN — The band came later.

“We all met at Goshen College, just kind of as a group of friends,” Goshen native Jake Miller recalled. “And then we all kind of figured out we play music and enjoyed playing music together.”

Such was the beginning in 2008 of Kansas Bible Company, which has grown since then to include more members from the GC community. The band relocated last year to East Nashville, Tenn., making its Friday concert a homecoming show of sorts.

Kansas Bible Company is set to perform at The Goshen Theater, 216 S. Main St. Showtime is 7 p.m. The group has previously performed at the theater for First Fridays, and also at A Constant Spring downtown.

The Kansas Bible Company lineup consists of Miller, James Green, Luke Yoder, Michael Ruth, Charles Frederick, Jacob Snyder, Isaac Lederach, Nate Klink, Jacob Martin, Jeff Yoder and Nathan Morrow; Rafael Chavez is a former member who will be sitting in at Friday’s show. The band’s sound includes a five-man horn line, three guitars, two percussionists and a bassist — and the range of its members’ musical interests.

“There’s not one direction that we’re going,” said Miller, vocalist/guitarist with the Bible Company. “Everybody comes to the table from very, very different backgrounds musically. Everybody’s influences are very different than the next person’s.”

Songwriting in Kansas Bible Company is a collaborative process, Miller said, with someone bringing in a bare-bones idea that evolves into a song as the band works on it as a whole.

“I’ve learned that when playing with this group, I like to bring something very raw that’s not worked out a whole lot,” Miller said, “and then give it to the group and everybody gets to add and shape and change and form the song until it comes into fruition.”

A collection of those songs makes up “Ad Astra Per Aspera,” recorded and produced by Chavez and KBC in November 2010. It’s a musically assured debut that defies easy comparison.

“Oh man, yeah, that is a tough question,” said Miller, tasked with making just that comparison. “If you like music with horns, then we have that. I think we have some very rock and roll elements — like maybe the Rolling Stones, some of that attitude — but also more contemporary artists, like maybe a little bit of Weezer or the Arcade Fire, kind of some of those bigger arrangements.”

Kansas Bible Company more recently has gone increasingly progressive with some of its music, Miller said, “along the likes of some more classical composers like Stravinsky.”

“There are a couple of guys in our band that are really into progressive music like King Crimson, too,” he added.

Kansas Bible Company is recording a new album and is hopeful of a May or early summer release. Last year, the group also released its “Surf Rock Trilogy” EP, available for free download from the website www.kansasbiblecompany.com.

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