If you think Bluegrass all sounds the same, you probably haven't heard Canaan's Crossing. Their latest CD, "Words," encompasses Traditional and Progressive Bluegrass with hints of Contemporary Christian and Southern Gospel to form a unique vocal blend with a hard driving edge. It's their sixth release since Tina Miller, Andy Wilks and Tim Maze first got together for a jam session in 2000 and began singing at local events. Josh Palmer and Drew Long now round out the five piece band that has received numerous accolades including a Dove Award nomination for Album of the Year in 2004 and the Traditional Gospel Group of the Year in 2006 by SPBGMA. In early 2006 they signed to record for Song Garden Music Group. By 2010 they had performed on the National Quartet Convention main stage, appeared in major venues like Dollywood and Silver Dollar City plus, performed with virtually every major artist in Bluegrass and Southern Gospel Music. In 2011 they were awarded “Song of the Year” for “Dying to Live “ and “New Artist of the Year” during the Front Porch Fellowship Awards at the National Quartet Convention. They were also a nominee for Bluegrass Artist of the Year in the 2013 Diamond Awards.
Meet Canaan’s Crossing
One of the most talented fiddle players and vocalist that has emerged in a long time is Tina Miller. Tina comes from a bluegrass family from Holly Pond, Alabama where her grandfather started teaching her to play the fiddle at the age of 5. Being an instrument maker and friends with bluegrass pioneers like Bill Monroe and others, he new the basics of bluegrass music and how to start young musicians with proper technique and the "feel" that makes bluegrass a unique form of music. Tina is also featured vocally on many of the songs by Canaan's Crossing including the award winning, “Dying to Live”. Tina lives in the bands hometown of Arab, Alabama with her husband John and their son Collins and enjoys the country life of gardening, deer hunting and bee keeping. Also, Tina is an avid cook. Much to the guys in the band’s liking.
Tim Maze, a founding member of Canaan’s Crossing, has been active in Gospel Music for several years. Tim is a vocalist and plays the upright bass. He resides in Arab with his wife Sharon. Jacob, their son attends Auburn University. They are active members at Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church as well as in their community. Tim enjoys spending his spare time on his farm tractor, watching Atlanta Braves baseball and pulling for the Auburn Tigers.
Andy Wilks, guitarist learned to sing at the young age of 4 with his sisters Sonya and Cheryl where he learned to sing harmony. He continued performing through high school and college with involvement in two state champion FFA Quartets. Andy is active in his church as a teacher and choir director. When it comes to hearing vocal parts, Andy is one of the best. Being raised on a farm, Andy puts his handyman talents to use by making sure Canaan’s Crossing bus is ready to roll every week.
Drew Long is 22 years old and an accomplished banjo and acoustic guitar player. Drew also sings very well and is featured on Canaan’s Crossing latest release “Words” with his self penned song “His Unchanging Hand”. Drew definitely has his heart into the bluegrass sound of Canaan’s Crossing. Drew resides in Hartselle, AL with his wife Kristen and their young son Sawyer. Drew is a genuine country boy. He enjoys the outdoors and can be found in the woods whenever possible.
Josh Palmer, age 21 was playing in Gatlinburg, TN daily when he was contacted by the Ratliff Mandolin Company in East Tennessee to advise him of an opening with Canaan’s Crossing. While playing in the Smokies, Josh still made his home in Gadsden, Alabama so it was a move closer home. Josh’ mandolin style fits Canaan’s Crossing as if he had been here since the beginning. In addition to playing mandolin and sharing some of the vocal duties with the band, Josh is an emerging songwriter. His song, “Closer Than a Brother” is included on Canaan’s Crossing’s latest recording “Words”. Josh’ hobby is music. He is a music major at Gadsden State Community College and is continually looking to hone his craft and make Canaan’s Crossing a better band.
To learn more about Canaan’s Crossing, visit their website atwww.canaanscrossing.com