POWNAL — Bennington native Joe Frey just released his third musical project, "Hold Fast" and hopes it will encourage people to emerge from their dark path and allow God to lead the way.
He wouldn't label it Christian music, or inspirational, but it's a mix of those two.
He was born in South Carolina and moved to southern Vermont when he was 2.
Playing guitar has always been one of his hobbies until he quit the corporate world to take it more seriously.
Last year he met his bandmates, a drummer from New Hampshire and a guitarist from Boston. Since then, The Broken Vessels have toured 15 states and plan to visit more.
"Hold Fast" has five tracks and features writers Matt Armstrong, James Tealy, Tyrus Morgan and Jay Speight. It came out on Sept. 2 and talks about following God no matter how broken or messy you are. Frey incorporates some punk sounding tunes as well as folk in the new project, but it overall has a soft sound, he said.
Frey's parents have been involved with the church all his life and he said they had a hard time making ends meet growing up. This led him to chase corporate sales, filling emotional voids with money.
"I only found peace and happiness when I put my trust in Jesus and let him direct me where he wants me to go," Frey said.
About four years ago he was worshipping at a church in Buffalo and there was a four-day music conference happening. He attended and brought the only inspirational song he wrote and met a handful of music industry people from Tennessee. This sparked connections and motivation to continue writing and to eventually publish his work.
"It was a neat experience and I had no idea. Going to that conference that weekend was the best thing I ever did as far as music and getting pointed in the right direction," he said. "It was one of those right place at the right time [things]. God was making a cool connection with it."
Frey's focus, as of this year, is performing at church camps and doing worship gatherings on the weekends. He hasn't played much in Vermont, but has a date later in September. He said the gatherings are a way of pulling small churches together.
He's also an ambassador for Compassion International, a program where someone can sponsor a child in poverty. It's motto is 'releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.' It's a social ministry that supports children's health, education and welfare. Sometimes at the end of Frey's concerts, he'll mention the program or take part in other fundraisers. This year he managed to get 85 children sponsored.
Frey currently resides in Pownal with his wife who is a teacher and his four children. This summer they occasionally tagged along on concerts and will continue to for some winter camps. He said they enjoyed it so much they will travel with him all next summer.
To hear "Hold Fast" visit NewReleaseToday.com. Frey is the featured artist of the month. He will be in Concord, N.H. on Saturday, Redemption Church in Boston, Mass. on Sunday and United Baptist Church in Poultney on the 17th.
Contact Makayla-Courtney McGeeney at 802-490-6471.