on the run
Railroad blends rock
music with Christian ministry
Middle School principal
shows musical side
Helen E. McKinney
(December 2008) Fifteen years had elapsed
before Chris Kraft picked up his guitar again and played in front of
anyone. The result was a band with a mission of ministry.
Kraft is one of three original members left in a five-member band known
as Jericho Railroad. Begun as a praise band in his local church, Wall
Street United Methodist Church in Jeffersonville, Ind., the band brought
three strangers together, said Kraft, originally from Clarksville.
Railroads music has been
described as a crossover between
Christian rock and classic 70s rock.
The three men decided to make their music a ministry,
turning it into an outreach project for the church and eventually adding
more members. Bassist Jeff Goddard described their music as a
crossover between Christian rock and classic 70s rock.
Jericho Railroads music presents positive, traditional messages,
said Goddard, who is originally from Louisville. We want to give
people some alternative to what the world offers.
The band consists of Kraft on vocals and guitar, Shawn Cagle as lead
guitarist, Mark Eastridge on drums, Greg White on guitar and Goddard
on bass. They have a long list of influences, which includes Eric Clapton,
James Taylor, Bad Paisley, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Rick Nielsen and Jimmy
Kraft is principal for Oldham County Middle School. Even though he has
worked for the school system for 20 years he said, My entire life
has revolved around music.
He began taking guitar lessons when he was 12 and has always enjoyed
One of Krafts songs, Modern Day Christian, was inspired
by his 17-year-old son who thought he knew more than his father about
the modern day world we live in. In the lyrics Kraft asks what Jesus,
who lived so long ago, would know about life in the 21st century.
There is a single purpose that draws the band together, said Kraft.
Their goal is to knock down the walls or barriers that separate people
from God, just as the Biblical Jericho walls fell when Joshua marched
around them seven times.
Members have been in previous bands and performed in the local area.
Being a Christian band doesnt limit us to only Christian
music, Kraft said. We look for lyrics that appeal to us,
and have a message we like.
Goddard has worked with a lot of different bands, meeting and learning
from famous rock musicians and country artists. One of his songs, Today
was written with former Beatle George Harrisons nephew.
At age 5, Goddard, now 41, began banging on his sisters toy piano.
From there he learned to play guitar and this led him on a path to continue
Goddard, who is employed by United Parcel Service, said the bands
original name was The Gospel Train. Just as a train stops from town
to town, the band took the gospel to the streets. Goddard filled in
from time to time, eventually becoming a fulltime band member.
Some of the venues the band has performed include different area churches,
Kentucky Kingdom, competing in Louisvilles Battle of the Bands,
and the Kentucky State Reformatory.
This last location was not nearly as scary as I thought it would
be, said Kraft. The inmates were hungry for people to tell
them about the Word.
Kraft said such a venue gave him a renewed sense of purpose
for what he does with Jericho Railroad. Were a band that
will play for two or 2,000, he said.
For more information, visit www.jerichorailroad.com
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