Birmingham SlossFest profile: NEEDTOBREATHE

Birmingham SlossFest profile: NEEDTOBREATHE
NEEDTOBREATHE performs at SlossFest Saturday, July 15. (Contributed)


Type of music: Folk alt-rock

About: Despite growing up in the small town of Possum Kingdom, South Carolina, NEEDTOBREATHE’s Alabama roots are obvious – the founding members and brothers are named Bear and Bryant “Bo” Rinehart in homage to the beloved University of Alabama football coach.

If that does not capture your attention, NEEDTOBREATHE’s mix of alternative rock-and-roll and modern pop with heavy soul and gospel influences are sure to put them on your SlossFest 2017 must-see list.

NEEDTOBREATHE began exploring those influences back in the early 2000s, when the Rinehart brothers started playing with their childhood friend and current band member, Seth Bolt. Since then, the band has added a fourth member, Josh Lovelace.

Over the past decade and a half, NEEDTOBREATHE has built a loyal and devoted fan base that has followed them since the beginning, when they would play in small clubs, to outdoor amphitheaters and arenas.

Album cover from NEEDTOBREATHE (Contributed)

Originally starting out as a Christian rock band, they have shied away from using the term now to not silo their music and its reach. NEEDTOBREATHE strives to create music that’s part of an ongoing, all-encompassing conversation on life and love.

“When people listen to our records, it’s like being invited into their home, and we take that very seriously,” said Bear, per a news release from Atlantic Records. “We want to make the kind of record that impacts people’s lives, the way they love and work and dream and live. We hold that in our mind when we’re writing, and we keep on refining everything until we feel like it’s in a place that absolutely deserves to be a part of that conversation.”

That understanding is woven throughout the band’s discography of six studio albums and a double live album, and can be experienced in the band’s most recent album release – H A R D L O V E.

“There’s something very tough and bold about the concept of H A R D L O V E — it’s about full-on commitment, and it’s a statement that we want to sing proudly and loudly,” said Bo.

NEEDTOBREATHE originally started as a Christian rock band. (Contributed)

H A R D L O V E included a more pop-based sound that still reflects the larger-than-life intensity of NEEDTOBREATHE’s unforgettable live show.

Their most recent release uses the momentum of their blockbuster 2014 album, “Rivers in the Wasteland,” which landed the band their first-ever Grammy Award nomination. The album also topped Billboard’s Top Rock Albums and Top Alternative Albums charts, and earned their highest-charting single yet with the Top 10 hit “Brother” (featuring Gavin DeGraw).

Discography: “H A R D L O V E” (2016), “Live from the Woods” (2015), “Rivers in the Wasteland” (2014), “The Reckoning” (2011), “The Outsiders” (2009), “The Heat” (2007), “Daylight” (2006)

You may have heard: “Brother” featuring Gavin Degraw, “TESTIFY,” “HAPPINESS,” “Multiplied,” “Washed by the Water,” “Drive All Night,” “Keep Your Eyes Open,” “The Outsiders,” “Lay ‘Em Down,” “Girl Named Tennessee,” Something Beautiful.”

NEEDTOBREATHE performs at SlossFest Saturday, July 15.

Sloss Music and Arts Festival takes place at the historic Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham July 15-16 and features 40 performers on four stages. Tickets can be purchased here.


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