It’s funny how things come together at just the right moment. The Vine Records founders Mario Costabile and Greg Freeborg were in the studio with Canadian songbird Samantha Hebert recording demos when they realized that her vocal gifts and vivacious spirit were made to sing Christian Music. With Mario Costabile as the producer, he used the studio environment to assemble players as diverse as Midwest singer/songwriter David Olson, complete with divinity degree, NYC bassist Jon Price, specializing in funk/jazz/soul, Jersey drummer extraordinaire Chad Vitale, Chris Lopresto on keyboards from Hoboken, New Jersey and, all the way from France and now residing in New York City, guitarist Laurent Medelgi. Thus, the birth of Sacred Road, a multi-talented ensemble of artists united in a mission to reach audiences with the gospel message through a conduit of sonic excellence and musical diversity. With the help of some incredible songwriters, Costabile and the Sacred Road team have crafted an album of thirteen engaging songs, covering styles as wide-ranging as straight-up pop, funk-infused R&B, and luxuriantly orchestrated ballads. Even reggae makes a showing on this momentous offering, just in time to serve up the mix of entertainment and truth the mainstream music scene longs for.
Produced in the northeast, sacred Road has a different approach to Christian Music, and it shows in their sound. Having two lead vocals is just one of several unique Sacred Road characteristics. Samantha Hebert’s breathy vocal is front and center on the first single, radio-friendly pop track “I Need An Angel,” infusing life into the heartfelt cry for protection for young children, a universal desire that crosses all religious borders. The song was mixed by veteran multi Grammy recipient, F. Reid Shippen. Her passion pours forth readily from acoustic “Dear God,” requesting help from above. But it’s David Olson’s soft tones, easy on the ears, that ring out on “New Creation,” overflowing with sincerity. Just when you think you’ve got Sacred Road figured out, they surprise you with the punchy “Bring On Love,” a rhythm-driven, techno-laced track calling listeners to bring love to everyone. And anyone would be hard-pressed to stay seated for the soulful funk track, “I Want To Thank You”.
Easing into heavy radio rotation, “I Need An Angel” will release digitally in July, and Universal Music Christian Group drops (the album) into the national scene September 22nd. Sacred Road will spend the summer touring from the New York area, hitting both coffee house and church circuits, as well as making it to some of the big summer festivals. The band will also be highlighted in another Mario Costabile and Greg Freeborg production, an independent theatrical production called “Array of Hope,” a wide-ranging concert experience geared toward teens and young adults. “Array of Hope,” serving up entertainment of high caliber and value, will feature multiple music acts, motivational speakers, comedians, multimedia presentations, and teen testimonies. The high profile presentation, geared toward being an instrument of healing and encouragement to troubled young people, will feature Sacred Road along with other The Vine Music artists. It’s a mission that feels very natural to frontman David Olson, coming out of his past ministry work as music director. “My role is still the same,” Olson shares, “simply to help direct people toward God through our music.”
Indeed, the “I Need An Angel” video is due to hit the Christian music channels shortly (look for Sacred Road on Gospel Music Channel and other Christian sites in the next few weeks), but this is a band with tremendous crossover potential as well. With the first single’s message as universally relevant as the heart of a parent, look for Sacred Road to make a strong showing in mainstream America as well. Apparently that early moment of clarity in the Vine Music studio was actually right on time.