Smalltown Poets is an alternative CCM group known for
singing "good old rock and roll music." They have had more than a dozen
successful songs on the radio, received two grammy nominations, seven
Dove Award nominations, and now have record sales well over 250,000.
They are known for their ability to reach both Christians and non-christians
who love the alternative rock sound.
High school pals from Tifton, GA, Michael Johnston (singer/guitarist),
Danny Stephens (Keyboardist), and Byron Goggin (drummer) were the formative
members of the band. In 1996, guitarist Kevin Breuner and bassist Miguel
DeJesus joined the group and a year later, they released their self-titled
In 1999, the group, now consisting of Johnston, Breuner,
DeJesus and drummer Nathan Blackstone, released Listen Closely through
Forefront Records. Third Verse was released in the fall of 2000 by Ardent
Records. Today, the group consists of Michael Johnston (vocals), Matt
Goldman (drums), Troy Staing (guitar), and Alex Peterson (bass).
Their much anticipated lastest release, It's Later Than
It's Ever Been, came out October 19, 2004. "Overall, this new release
is consistently melodic, undeniably sincere and inescapably uplifting
from start to finish, and it will probably make many hearts glad to
hear Smalltown poetry in motion once again." Dan MacIntosh, CCM Magazine.
With this new album also came a change in their record
label. Since their contract was up anyways, they decided to look for
a label that would stand behind them completely and who had the same
goals and priorities as they did. They found that in BEC.
In an interview by www.jesusfreakhideout.com on February
17, 2004, lead singer Michael Johnston comments on the change in labels:
"It became evident very quickly that we (Smalltown Poets and BEC) have
very similar vision in regard to making music for Christians that at
the same time creates a sort of foyer environment for people who may
not totally understand what we believe. We believe BEC wants and we
want our music to be compelling to people whether they are inside or
outside or in the process of discovering the Christian faith. We think
BEC Recordings is the right label to partner with because they understand
what we have done in the past and where we want to go from here."
Johnston was also asked how God had been working in his
life between the last two albums. "Life is an incredible gift that God has
given us on purpose, and I can cruise through it aimlessly or enjoy
it and make the most of it in light of what I know about eternity and
God's intentions for me while I am here. One of the new songs, a song
called "Here" touches on that a bit. I have been enjoying life with
my wife and son, serving my local church, creating good music with friends
and trying to let my whole life be worship rather than this bit here
or that bit there. All that God has done is because he loves the earth
and what He has made."
Although the band did take some time off before this last
record to get married, have babies, change labels, and re-formulate
their members, they are back now and and will be making appearances
at various places. They advise their fans to play close attention to
Christian Music Festivals around their towns and ask that they come
support them and their new album.