Strings of Victory is an NC based Bluegrass Gospel Group that travels throughout the southeast region singing and playing traditional gospel music in a bluegrass style. They have just released their new album "The Price of Freedom," which comprises of new compositions and covers. Some of their covers include Joey + Rory Feek's "A Bible and a Belt" and Carrie Underwood's "Temporary Home."
The band comprises of Madison McCorkle, Jeff McCorkle, Donnie Miller, Hubert Furr, and Aaron Efird. Performing unique original songs mixed with familiar gospel standards, they accompany themselves with authentic acoustic instruments. A rhythm guitar, 5 string banjo, mandolin and upright bass provide a rounded instrumental ensemble to back up to the vocals.
Q: Jeff, thank you so much for your time. For starters, who is Strings of Victory?
Strings of Victory is a regional Bluegrass Gospel group with our own distinctive sound. We are based out of Central NC. The current line up is Madison McCorkle on lead vocals; I'm her father, Jeff McCorkle on banjo and vocals; Donnie Miller on Bass and vocals and Hubert Furr on guitar and vocals.
For 12 years, we have traveled throughout the region singing and playing Traditional and Southern Gospel Music in a Bluegrass style. Performing all live music, we accompany ourselves with authentic acoustic instruments. A rhythm guitar, 5 string banjo, mandolin and upright bass provide a rounded instrumental ensemble to back up to the vocals. We perform old standards as well as our own original songs.
Q: Tell us a little about your journey. How did you begin and why the name "Strings of Victory"?
Donnie and another gentleman, Tommy Young and I were all serving as Deacons in the same church. One time the Pastor had the Deacons to handle the Sunday evening service. The 12 Deacons testified and sang some songs but the music was a little lacking. Later, Donnie suggested we get the ones who could actually sing, the "singing" Deacons together to learn some songs. The three of us gathered in Donnie's living room with him on guitar, to sing the old songs we all knew. That began the SINGING DEACONS.
The group operated under that name for seven years. The name was always causing us trouble. We were constantly fielding comments and questions about Deacons. By then, not everyone in the group was a Deacon and that seemed to bother some people. We learned that every church we went into had different requirements for Deacons and different opinions of Deacons. We searched for a name that would not tie us to a certain person by name or class of person and would not limit us. We went through about 30 names to settle on Strings of Victory, the Strings for our love of acoustic music and the Victory to point to the Gospel side of our music. We sometimes shorten it to just "The Strings".
Q: How would you describe your style of music? Who were some artists who influence you sound wise?
Our music is a smoothed out, non-twangy Bluegrass sound with a touch of Southern Gospel, Quartet and A Capella sound. We try to avoid the same old songs every Bluegrass Gospel group does. We try to bring in some contemporary covers with the old songs and originals to create a blend that appeals to every age group.
The focal point of our music is Madison's powerful lead vocals backed by the men's harmonies. We are frequently told Madison "sounds just like Alison Krauss", which is a great compliment but not exactly accurate. She sounds more like Rhonda Vincent and is influenced by hearing her music growing up.
Q: You have recently released your new album "The Price of Freedom." How do you wish this new record could impact the lives of your listeners?
Each of our albums has scripture on the disc and on the package. Each one has a short spoken Gospel message at the end. So, of course we want the Gospel message to go forward. We hope folks will find the mix of songs a blessing to them as they listen in their cars and homes. The album is a good representation of music that one of our performances contains.
With the Price of Freedom, in addition to getting the Gospel message out, we really wanted to honor our nation's veterans. As we began performing the Price of Freedom and all the other songs on the album, it ended up being OUR lives that became impacted. We have been so honored to meet many veterans who come up to us to tell us about their service and thank us for our music.
Q: One of the songs that really grab my attention is your cover of Carrie Underwood's "Temporary Home." Why did you choose this song?
Madison brought this song to us so I asked her to answer and here is her response:
I am a big country music fan to begin with and I especially love Carrie Underwood. She is very talented and also a fellow Christian. When I heard this song I knew immediately that it would speak to so many people. Our mission as Christians here on Earth is to spread the gospel but it's also to give hope to the hopeless. I think it's a great reassurance to know that as bad as things get in this world, we have a home beyond here that is filled with peace, love, and comfort. This song puts that concept into perspective in three ways to really remind us that there are hard times we will face but we can rest in the peace that we will inherit the Kingdom of God and move on to a better place and that the loved ones we say good-bye to will be there to greet us as well.
Q: You have also chosen Joey + Rory Feek "A Bible and a Belt." What inspired you to cut this song?
Madison also responds to this one:
This song really reminds me of how I was raised and inspired me to want to use it and speak on the subject of raising children (the way I was). My mother kept behind me about studying the Bible, making morally sound choices, and creating a relationship with God to shape my concept of right and wrong, and my dad was the strong authoritative figure that held me accountable for my choices and showed me the consequences of making the wrong ones. This is a light hearted and fun song with a strong message to parents about the values of directing and disciplining your children the way God has instructed them to. The older generations really love it and get a good chuckle out of it!
Q: Talk to us about some of the originals on the album. If you have to choose a couple to introduce to our readers, which would they be? And why?
"You Take Me Higher" came from a guitar lick that Donnie came up with and kept playing. He later built a song around that guitar part, the sound that is heard at the beginning of the song, and is used throughout to drive the tune along. We like to refer to this one as our Praise and Worship song as it praises God for lifting us and sustaining us. It is kind of different but it really grows on you.
"The Emmaus Road" is a song we used to do years ago, back when it was just us men. We brought it back and added Madison's vocals to brighten it up some. The song is written as a first person account of the events on the Emmaus Road when Jesus appeared as a stranger. The song starts with a slow bass thump that is to simulate footsteps. We ask folks to listen close and use their imagination to try to put themselves there and imagine the emotions those present that day would have experienced.
Q: For our readers who would like to find out more about you or your music, where can they go?
Our website: stringsofvictory.com There you will find photos, bios, samples and videos and several ways to contact us. We try to keep a strong internet presence and are on most social media sites as well. What an exciting day we live in when folks from around the world can share in our little ministry. It is an honor for us to know that that is happening with our music and that it is appreciated enough for someone to write about it. Thank you and your audience for allowing us this opportunity. We are in the beginning stages of the next project so keep us in mind and in your prayers.
To purchase their new album, click here.