Formally, CrossWalk has been around since 1992, and several of us played together for years prior to that. We have experienced much change throughout the years but our ministry objective is the same – to share the gospel of Christ through music and song. CrossWalk’s original members included Don Hicks (drums), Jim Hammer (bass) and Don Sautter (vocalist), Steve Metcalfe (lead guitar), Leslie Martin (vocals), Don Myers (piano) and Charlie Burt (saxophone).
Early CrossWalk music took on a decidedly gospel feel, showcasing Don Hicks’ more traditional writing style and the musical influences of Andrae Crouch and The Archers. These influences are evident in Don’s songs There Will Be Peace and I’m Gonna Make it Over. This gospel feel was accentuated by the driving left hand of Don Myers at the piano. As Jim Hammer began to share in the song writing and singing, CrossWalk’s music began to evolve into a more contemporary and soft rock mix as evident by Jim’s songs Standin’ on the Rock and Offering of Praise. The blend of musical styles of Don and Jim as well as re-arrangements of traditional hymns would become a hallmark of the band that allowed us to play to a variety of venues and appeal to musical tastes of both the young and the old. It was during this time that other ENC graduates would take a role in the group including Jon Andree (bass), Jennie Gorton (vocals) and Tim Knepper (piano). CrossWalk would travel for a number of years in this configuration and record their first self-titled CD, CrossWalk, affectionately referred to as “the white album” (no longer in print), with Dave Spaulding at Double Edge Records.
In the mid to late 90’s CrossWalk evolved into the five-piece format of today. The new configuration would include original members - Don Hicks, Jim Hammer, Don Sautter, Charlie Burt as well as the energetic bass playing and infectious smile of ENC professor Russ Bedard. With all-male vocals, CrossWalk would develop a signature blend of complementary harmonies as well as each vocalist offering distinctive solos. CrossWalk’s second CD offering, Faith Like A Child, recorded at Long View Farms studios in W. Brookfield, MA would feature a variety of gospel, Christian contemporary and soft rock. Songs written by Don Hicks (Band of Angels, Surely, I Am Determined) and Jim Hammer (Faith Like a Child, Heaven, There for You) would exemplify the sound that is so characteristic of the group today.
Early in the new millennium, CrossWalk would undergo yet another change. After numerous years at the helm, Don Hicks would step back from touring with the band to focus on personal song writing and recording projects. Not ready to hang up the house speakers, the remainder of the band would continue to tour with the capable assistance of Steve Howard (drums), also a graduate of ENC. When Steve relocated to be closer to family, the search was once again on for a new percussionist.
In 2004 Jim Hammer contacted Sands Marshall, a percussionist who had attended Jim’s home church in Uxbridge, MA some years earlier. Sands’ mastery of the drums, his positive, outgoing personality and testimony made him a perfect fit with the group. Later that year CrossWalk would release a third CD, Shine, which included new live recordings as well as re-mixes and re-masters of works from prior CDs.
In 2007 the band released its fourth recording, called “Sight Unseen.” Recorded at “the Lakehouse” in Lakeville, MA, this recording would be the first to showcase the songwriting and singing talents of Charlie Burt. It is perhaps the most contemporary, highly produced recording that the band has released yet, and has been very well received.
We look forward to many more years of testimony through song. The changes we have seen since our beginnings have made each of us better musicians, best of friends, but most importantly, stronger Christians. Don Hicks is fond of saying that music is a powerful tool with which to share the gospel of Christ. Each of us can testify to this and have personally witnessed that live music is the perfect medium for touching souls. We have been richly blessed with musical talents, have considered it an honor and a privilege to minister as a group these many years and look forward to God’s challenge to continue to their use in the furthering of His kingdom. -- Luke 9:23.
CrossWalk (present): Russ Bedard (electric bass), Charlie Burt (sax, vocals), Jim Hammer (keyboards, guitars, vocals), Sands Marshall (drums, percussion), Don Sautter (piano, vocals).
Contact us today to find out more about scheduling a CrossWalk concert!