Brothers McClurg in partnership with Integrity Music recently announced the August 2 release of “Alive”, a digital EP and the debut recording from rock/folk-influenced worshipers Brothers McClurg, formerly Relevant Worship, a band that has organized and inspired a grassroots following among young people in the region.
The Alive EP offers six new songs including “Just Say,” a co-write with Dove Award winning writer Paul Baloche. It also includes two co-writes with the band’s label mates All Sons & Daughters (David Leonard and Leslie Jordan) on the title track and “Psalm 23” and features Leonard and Jordan as guest vocalists.
Brothers McClurg actually began as two separate bands fronted by brothers Anthony and Chris Hoisington but became a group of Christian brothers from various church traditions who share a desire to see lives changed through worship.
Until recently, this six-piece group from Western New York were known as Relevant Worship, the name of their community-wide ministry. With their signing to Integrity Music, the band decided to embrace their musical heritage by taking the name Brothers McClurg. The name pays homage to Anthony and Chris’ greatest influence, their maternal grandfather Pastor Bill McClurg, who led the southern gospel group The McClurg Family Singers. “We see it as a way of continuing the legacy and ministry while giving it a fresh vision,” says Chris Hoisington. “As young kids, my grandfather instilled within us an understanding of the power of God through music ministry. And he’s still going strong… at age 85, he’s still on staff at a local church and he ministers in nursing homes every single week.”
That family tradition of music is something that has made Hoisington’s family proud (they were all there for the CD release at Kingdom Bound) and is somewhat of a fulfillment of God’s promises and a reaching of a promised land of sorts for the band who had their starts as a rock band 14 years ago while leading their youth group at Evangel Assembly of God in Amherst. “That is kind of where it started, in the basement of Evangel and hearing people believe in us and sharing with us that maybe someday we could do what we are doing today,” recalled Chris.
The band has been working to bring a bit of warmth and hope to an area known for its winters and slumping economy. Their mission is to carry Jesus’ message of life, hope and forgiveness to a city that has been told for years that it is dead, hopeless and forgotten. The Brothers work to reach their community through prayer and acts of service, blessing the Church and uniting the body of Christ in worship.
“We want to spur one another on, lifting up the name of Christ inside the church, as well as in the streets,” adds Anthony. “Our goal is to rally the church to action, loving one another and also loving the ‘unlovely’ and replicating this passion in every city and community we encounter.”
Joining the Hoisingtons in Brothers McClurg are Matt Poulsen (guitar), Dan Swain (bass), Justin Michau (guitar) and Peter Bordin (drums). On occasion, they are also joined by their sound technician Karl Maciag filling in on lead guitar or their friend Ed Chilungu on keys.
Chris Hoisington explains, “Brothers McClurg is a traveling version of your church’s worship team, with many