By JORDAN MCMORROUGH
LAKE WYLIE — Scarecrow and Tinmen were no strangers to many of the teens attending the eighth annual Diocesan State Youth Conference. The group performed here previously for the Junior High Youth Rally and has played countless gigs at venues across the Southeast for the past five years.
In 1994, lead singer/keyboardist Chris Padgett founded what would become Scarecrow and Tinmen. Eventually, Bradley DeRosia joined in the band as lead guitarist, and acoustic guitarist Ryan Gingerich and drummer Darren Yoder came on board. By 1996, the band decided that God was calling them to pursue music ministry as a full-time venture. Since going full-time, the band has been extremely busy, playing up to 220 dates a year and releasing two independent albums.
Brad described the age of their listeners as young, high school to college age, and said the group plays at a lot of “youth rallys and Sunday morning stuff.” The band is also preliminarily slated to perform in Rome next year.
Explaining the meaning behind the name of the band, Chris says, “We wanted something that people would be intrigued by, but would exemplify our music, which has a dominant Christian intent, from evangelism to encouraging the body of Christ. In ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ the Scarecrow needed a brain and the Tinman needed a heart. As Christians, we are given a new heart and a new mind. We thought that pretty much encapsulated what we’re about.”
“The goals that we started talking about four years ago have developed into long term goals,” Chris said. “Brad has a big desire to really revolutionize the Christian market, to plan a seed of sincerity and keep things focused on Christ. I have that desire too, but I also want to use this platform in a global way to deliver a positive message to youth and promote the reality of who Christ is.”
The members of Scarecrow and Tinmen like to describe their music as “technofolk.” “Our style is extremely unique, so it’s hard to pigeonhole,” Brad explains. “There’s an underlying techno vibe, but the music is song-based, very melodic, with huge harmony lines. Technofolk music is characterized by the use of old analogue synthesizers, mixed with the element of acoustic guitar.”
He also described the song lines as “very Billy Joel-esque.”
The group’s debut national release, “No Place Like Home,” scheduled to hit the stores on April 6, serves up a mix of diverse songs, including melodic ballads and contemporary pop/rock sings.
On the new album, “The song ‘You Are My Son’ really ministers to me,” says Chris. “It seems to be a song that influential in blessing people. The primary concept of the song is about God as our Father, which is a strong reality of who we are, where we have been, and what we want to convey to people about God. God never leaves us or forsakes us and he demonstrates unconditional love for us. He has involvement in our lives and our interests. This song is really a blessing to me.”
“Chris writes about 80 percent of the songs and I write about 20,” says Brad. “I come from an in-your-face rock-and-roll background, while Chris has written everything on the piano.” Chris adds, “I feel like God has put us together to compliment each other that way.”
If you would like to have Scarecrow and Tinmen (the band) come to your parish or youth event, call Chris Padgett at (941) 755-7338. Information about the group can also be found on the internet at www.pamplinmusic.com.