Cochren & Company to perform ‘backwoods Motown’

Mercury Bowen, Verge Reporter

Cochren & Company, a Christian band capturing a mix of genres, is set to perform 7 p.m. Saturday at Jackson Avenue Coffee.

The band performs what Michael Cochren, the lead singer, jokingly refers to as “backwoods Motown” music.

“It’s easygoing piano rock that makes you stomp your foot,” Cochren said. “It’s reminiscent of blues and rock with a little country flair to it.”

Cochren & Company has opened for several artists such as the Newsboys, Crowder, Jeremy Camp, Tenth Avenue North, Sidewalk Prophets, City Harmonic and Chris August.

Started in the summer of 2011, the band now consists of five members; Michael Cochren, Leah Cochren, Tanner Brooks, Kyler Lee and Michael Mathis.

Cochren said many of the members went to high school together, as there was only one high school in the county he grew up in. He said he got ahold of some of the people that he knew played music in his high school to start the band.

“Some of us were friends before and some of us became good friends through it,” Cochren said. “I actually got married last summer so our newest band member is my wife.”

Cochren’s wife, Leah, plays guitar and piano and sings with the band for performances.

Cochren said his reason for performing at Jackson Avenue Coffee was that he had performed there with a different band his first summer after recording his first CD and the atmosphere had made an impression on him.

“I remember the cool artwork on the back wall,” Cochren said. “It was so mindful of art and culture and had that small-town feel to it.”

Dano Reible, owner of Jackson Avenue Coffee, said he found the group through a referral and is looking forward to hearing the band perform in person.

Cochren said the band hopes to encourage everyone with a message of hope, but also that people walk away having enjoyed the music.

“One of the main reasons that we play music is to give honor to our God,” Cochren said. “So we hope that people can relate to that aspect and that we can encourage those who have faith.”

Reible said Jackson Avenue Coffee hosts both Christian and secular groups and much of the time the Christian groups draw a bigger crowd than the secular ones.

“We will see some audience(s) change sometimes,” Reible said.

Cochren said he finds it interesting how the music industry is so keen to label musicians or groups as Christian or secular.

“We’re all Christians in the band so that’s our reference point,” Cochren said. “It influences everything we do. We certainly don’t want people to feel uncomfortable around us but we also want people to know that we believe we have a hope and that hope is for everyone.”

Reible said he thinks Cochren & Company will get a good turn out.

“We’re looking forward to the night and seeing how it goes,” Reible said. “We’re looking forward to having a good time.”

Admission is free to the public.

Mercury Bowen can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]