Conversations with Missy: Backroad Anthem from the Wildhorse Saloon

by Missy Wolf / 2934 days ago / Comments

There are times when an interview can become emotional. I was certain during my conversation with Backroad Anthem that I would break down in tears.  The tragic event that struck this band has been heartbreaking to see. Their desire to carry forward has been equally as beautiful.

This five- man country rock band based out of Fayetteville, AR. has captivated audiences with their amazing personalities, undeniably entertaining stage presence, unique sound and unmatched chemistry. Birthed as a cover band, they soon found their own creative style that became Backroad Anthem. They were established in October 2012 by founder and friend Craig Strickland. Many of you may recall the catastrophic event that struck this one-time six-man band. Strickland was tragically killed during an accident while on a hunting trip with a friend.

Backroad Anthem was on their way to amazing things when Strickland's disastrous trip took a fatal turn. Not sure if they were going to continue what he set in motion proved to be an emotional time for the remaining band members. As a tribute to Strickland during their first performance since his death, they sang "Go Rest High On That Mountain." Center Stage Magazine was there for this beauteous moment. They did it again at the Wildhorse Saloon. I was captivated by yet another breathtakingly beautiful moment.

While sitting with Toby Freeman (Lead Vocals/Electric), Eric Dysart (Fiddle), Josh Bryant (Lead Electric), Brandon Robold (Bass) and Isaac Senty (Drums), I discovered that these five friends have been a blessing to not only the fans who come to see them play, family and friends, they became a blessing to me as well. After our conversation, I found myself needing to hug each of them tightly as though I had known them for years. I felt elated.

Listening to them explain how the band started as a group of acquaintances at church with a common love for music was touching. It was not long after their first performance that they knew they wanted to perform country music their own way. Having the ability to play off one another was intriguing. Fans became more abundant and it was clear they were on the right path. As Strickland once said, “The stars are aligning for this band.”

During our conversation, we spoke about the moment they knew this is what they wanted to do. Deciding to march on in honor of their beloved brother was bittersweet. I know Strickland is proud to see his boys continue this vision. These guys have so much talent among them, and I felt like an extremely lucky girl to have the opportunity to sit down and speak with them. Looking back, I should have positioned myself in the middle. Next time guys.

Watch now to find out who was first to quit their job to pursue this dream and what that moment was like. Backroad Anthem hopes to continue their success and share the stage with even more great artists along the way. Opening for artists such as Chris Young, Josh Turner, Gary Allan, Easton Corbin, Tyler Farr, Joe Nichols, Eli Young Band and Dustin Lynch has no doubt been a blessing to them.

They released their first album on May 3, 2013, titled "Small Town Fame," which reached #24 on the iTunes Top Country Music Charts. This has been followed by their EP Torn, released September 2015. Watch now to see what the guys have coming up and be sure to follow their social media to stay up-to-date with current show dates and more. Please take a moment now to remember their friend, their brother, Craig Strickland. May he forever rest in peace. ~Missy


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About Missy Wolf

Missy Wolf Co-Founder, Editor, Journalist & Vice President of the American Country Music Association

From an early age I knew music and entertainment were in my blood. I have always been enamored with the idea of being in this industry, though I never wanted to be a front and center "Star". Taking the audience behind the scenes for up close conversations with the artists they love is where I want to be. Life in lyrics has always been my style, so as my favorite country artist Wade Hayes sings, I am living my life and chasing my dreams! Conducting interviews, meeting talented people and sharing stories and adventure are my passion. My new favorite hashtag is #iaskyouanswer, so stay tuned for more interviews, articles and adventures!