MOULTRIE -- After forming just over one year ago and facing several delays in the process, South Georgia band Elijah Ride is preparing to release its first CD. The band will hold a concert for the CD's release at Northside Baptist Church in Valdosta starting at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 15.

Elijah Ride was formed in December 2003 when radio station 95.3 FM "The Hook" in Ashburn held an audition to form a band. Eight guys from throughout Georgia, hailing from Valdosta, Moultrie, Leesburg, Bainbridge, Ashburn and Douglas, were picked from the audition, and Elijah Ride was born.

The band has lost one member in December when singer Brad Price left for family reasons. Since then, however, Elijah Ride re-recorded the CD with the seven remaining members and is set to release it April 15.

Since the audition and first practice together on Jan. 15, 2004, singer Todd Trebony said, the band has been truly touched by God. The release of their first CD is really exciting for the band and members hope it's the first of several such releases.

Brant Pickard, acoustic guitarist and songwriter, said the CD will help the band expand its ministry. The band's primary hope is that people will take the CD home with them and share it with friends to help bring them closer to Jesus Christ, he said.

With many of the songs he wrote recorded for the CD, Pickard said it was just as exciting hearing the finished project as it was having his work recorded. It was exciting for him to hear how each member of Elijah Ride took a song he wrote acoustically and added their own twist to it, making each song truly a part of Elijah Ride.

Lead guitarist Brian McMillan said it feels really good knowing the band's first CD is about to be released, and he is really excited about the CD release concert. The show itself will be similar to a larger band's concert, with the sound and lights being professionally done, along with a video introduction of the band.

The CD release concert is free and open to everyone, and Trebony said The Hook will broadcast live from the show. The band is also hoping to record the performance for a live CD and even a DVD.

Following the performance, Trebony said Elijah Ride will begin selling their CD and T-shirts for the first time. CDs will be available for $12 and shirts will be $15.

For those who want the CD but cannot make it to the show, Trebony said regional Christian bookstores will have the CD available following the concert for $14. Stores that will sell Elijah Ride CDs will include Roy Ann's in Thomasville, Christian Books, Etc., in Moultrie, and the Potter's House and Extreme Music in Valdosta. CDs will also be given away on 95.3 FM the week leading up to the release.

The band recently released its second single from the CD, "Where Were You," to radio stations, Trebony said. Members encourage everyone to call to request it and their first single, "Here I Am," on both 95.3 FM and 89.3 FM.

The CD itself is being released independently, but Trebony said the band would like to spread its ministry before signing a record deal. Members want to reach throughout Georgia, into Florida and eventually into the Southeast United States and have a solid footing in ministry before expanding into a national record deal.

Whatever the future holds for Elijah Ride, Trebony, Pickard and McMillan all said it's less about what the band wants but wherever God leads them. Pickard said the opportunities already given to Elijah Ride have come from God and they will continue to trust in him for direction.

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