Meet the Band – Gold Road

After their audition for the Anderson University President’s Gala with the song “When You Say Nothing At All,” by Alison Krauss, Cassidy Clark, and Nathan Fowler were asked by the South Carolina School of the Arts Music department to help start a country band. So they did, and this was the start of Gold Road, the country band that is part of AU’s Commercial Music Department. With a name inspired by their alma mater, the band is quickly gaining popularity and success in Anderson and beyond. They have an upcoming album release and are already booked to play a multitude of events and shows throughout 2024. Featuring fiddle player Kate Strickland, vocalist Caitlyn Burger, lead guitarist, vocalist, and cousin to Dolly Parton, Nathan Fowler, vocalist Cassidy Clark, Ben Smith on guitar and mandolin, musical director Michael Hoffman, and Nick Joy playing a variety of instruments, Gold Road is poised for musical success. We were lucky enough to sit down with the band to learn more about them. 

Anderson Magazine: How would you describe the sound of the band?

Nick: Our band has a modern sound that we incorporate into classic and current country.

Ben: I would say that our sound is warm, melodic, with a slight edge and twang here and there. 

Caitlyn: Our sound incorporates many different styles of country music—blues country, pop country, classic country, and even some beach country music. 

Anderson Magazine: Tell us about your upcoming album.

Cassidy: The title is Take It from the Top. We released an EP at the beginning of the year with four original songs, one of which is a song I wrote called “Sugar Ain’t Sweet,” and I am super proud of it! It’s about the struggles of finding the right guy and there is a line that says, “everything isn’t always what it seems,” and that is really the main message of the song. 

Kate: This album is jam packed with some of your new favorite country songs. A couple titles include Tell You Goodbye and Moonburn. They are really intricately written, with so much of our hearts in each note. We hope everyone enjoys listening to it as much as we’ve enjoyed creating it!

Cassidy: All songs are original and written by band members, current music students and alumni songwriters associated with the band. At this point, several great songwriters are soliciting material to the band. 

Anderson Magazine: What kind of support have you gotten from Anderson University?

Kate: People at school are cheering us on, watching our shows, and giving us lots of encouragement.

Nick: They provide us space to rehearse and record, perform, and occasionally give us advertising. 

Cassidy: AU has let us do our own concerts at school as well as be a part of the President’s Gala for the second year in a row. 

Anderson Magazine: You’ve already had some pretty exciting performances as well as some great ones coming up. Which has been your most memorable so far?

Ben: I think the most memorable so far was our performance at Mill Town Players in Pelzer. It was a three-night show, and the energy was amazing. The audience was engaged, and we had a blast. 

Catilyn: That show helped us realize how much we have gained a following in a short period of time. 

Cassidy: We played the Anderson Soiree last spring, and we will be performing there again this year, as well as Downtown Alive in Greenville on April 25th from 5:30pm-8:30pm in front of the Hyatt. Mill Town Players was the most memorable for me as well. It was the first time anyone asked for my autograph. 

Anderson Magazine: What does the future hold for Gold Road?

Kate: I want Gold Road to be a part of my life for a long time. I know my experiences have made me seriously consider touring with a band professionally upon graduation. I’m doing an internship with violin icon, Mark O’Connor this summer. 

Cassidy: We are not really sure what the future holds for us as a band right now. We are just enjoying the time we have together to play before some of our members graduate in May. I plan to teach elementary music and continue performing. 

Anderson Magazine: Why do you love music?

Ben: I love music because I can glorify God with it. He gave me a love for music and my gifts. 

Nick: Music is an outlet for the thoughts and feelings I can’t always convey. It is a learning experience and an art form that is endlessly evolving. 

Cassidy: Music is everything to me. It has brought me friendships and gotten me through good times and bad. 

Kate: Music gives others a small look into our lives, minds, perspectives, and hearts. 

Ben: Music helps us understand God and the world that He has made. Sometimes we discover things that are not so pleasant, but somehow understanding makes everything better. Being a part of that kind of experience has always been interesting to our group. 

To learn more about Gold Road and to book them for an event, visit their website at https://www.gold-road-band.com

You can also contact Gold Road through Instagram at @goldroad9 and on Facebook at @GoldRoad 

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