I recently had a conversattion with Jodi Hosterman, tenor for the Skyline Boys, to discuss the group and their soon to be released debut album from Crossroads. Here is the interview:
WB: Some folks may not be too familiar with the Skyline Boys. Can you give us a brief overview of the quartet?
JH:The owner of our group Dennis Powers created the Skyline Boys in 1995. The group consists of Rob Nykamp at lead, Bob Nitz at baritone, Dennis Powers at bass, and myself at tenor. This lineup has been together almost 2 years now.
WB: How were you able to catch Crossroads’ attention? What role, if any, did your connections from your Kingdom Heirs tenure play in getting signed?
JH: Our affiliation with Crossroads came about through some business dealings with Zane King who co-owned Journey Records with Dennis. Zane was actually very instrumental in brokering the deal with Crossroads and we are very grateful to him both for his work in producing 2 of our projects and for “selling” Crossroads on the Skyline Boys. To my knowledge, my tenure with the Kingdom Heirs played no role whatsoever. I’d like to think it helped on some level, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a factor.
WB: Stylistically, what can we expect from the new CD? Is it similar to what you have recorded previously and how did working with Crossroads for this release stretch you musically?
JH: This CD is what fans have come to expect from the Skyline Boys: great songs, good singing, and a diversity of styles. This project has something for everyone. We have some straightforward Southern Gospel quartet songs. We have a cover of the classic Goodmans song “Look For Me.” And we have some great inspirational ballads on this CD. Our producer, Jeff Collins, was fantastic to work with. I had worked with Jeff before and I was really looking forward to working with him again. Jeff is great to work with in that he has a very clear idea about what he wants but he allowed us to present our musical ideas as well and we combined a little of each to make a great record. We sang some very intricate harmonies on this project and it was really nice to hear our hard work rewarded in the end product. I also wanted to mention the street date for the project. It is entitled “Free And Forgiven” and will be released on Wednesday night September 10 at the National Quartet Convention.
WB: What two or three songs really stand out to you on the new project?
JH: It is really hard for me to pick just a couple songs that stand out. This is by far our best project to date and I am thrilled with the results. One song in particular is called “Blood On My Hands.” It was written by Daryl Williams and is a fantastic song. I am very surprised that someone hadn’t cut this song before us but, maybe, it was meant for us to record it. It looks at the Crucifixion from our point of view. Meaning that, even though we weren’t present at the actual Crucifixion, we are still just as guilty as the soldiers who drove the nails and that blood they spilled is on our hands as well. But it is that very blood on our hands that has brought redemption. What a message! Our first radio single is also a “stand out” song in my opinion. It is called “I’m Moving Out Of Here” and was written by the President of Crossroads Chris White. Many people don’t know that Chris had quartets and used to travel back in the day and is a very accomplished songwriter. Now let me just say that we didn’t record the song just because Chris wrote it. It was pitched to us along with about 100 other songs and we wanted to cut it from our first listen. It is as pure “Southern quartet” as you can get. We are very hopeful that radio will embrace it and that folks will love it as much as we do.
WB: How much of an adjustment was it to go from the theme park schedule back to a typical road schedule?
JH: It was really no adjustment for me at all. Prior to the Kingdom Heirs, the road was all I knew. It was a bigger adjustment for me to go from the road to the park than vice versa. Now I will say that those KH guys have the best situation there is. You are home in your own bed most every night and you can watch your kids grow up before your eyes in real life instead of through pictures and the cell phone. But they pay a high price for that luxury. I have a lot respect for those guys and the work they do.
WB: What can fans expect from a Skyline Boys concert?
JH: A Skyline Boys concert is, for the most part, what you would expect from any quartet concert. Not a lot of hair, bad jokes, and some questionable fashion choices. Apart from that though, we take the presentation of the gospel very seriously. We want to be the best we can be musically so nothing gets in the way of the message we are singing. We are presenting Jesus when we sing and we want folks to see Him in every aspect of our program. We ask permission to give an invitation at the conclusion of each service as we feel that is the most important thing we will do: to give folks the opportunity to meet this Jesus we have just sung about. That is the primary goal of each member of the Skyline Boys and we are honored that God has entrusted His call to us.
Thanks Jodi, for taking the time to share a little about your ministry and your new recording with this blog and its readers! Be looking for a review of the CD soon.