They may be new to the gospel music scene, but a little group from Cullman County is already making waves.
Gènesis (more about that accent mark in a moment), a six-member local band that formed from longtime friends in 2018, already is moving up the charts with their radio release “Down on My Knees” — only a few weeks after releasing the song for radio play. Tracked by Christian Voice Magazine, the song is currently at #66 on the gospel charts for April — and climbing.
“It was our first single release, and already the magazine has nominated us as one of the bands that people can vote for as ‘Horizon Southern Gospel Group,’ and we’d love it if people would give us a listen and then go to christianvoicemagazine.com and vote,” said Karen Cook Heaton, who sings and plays piano.
“That little accent above the ‘e’ in our name; we call it the ‘squiggly’ mark. It really is a symbol for new beginnings. We look back to Isaiah 43, and it’s about God showing us a new beginning, which for us is a reference to how we all used to live our lives. We’ve all known each other a long time, and out in the world, we may have lived other ways in the past. But now we’re together in Christ, and He has molded us and given us the promise of a new life.”
In addition to Heaton, the band also features Cullman County natives Greg Quick (steel guitar, dobro, lead guitar); Johnathon Heaton (bass, mandolin, saxophone, vocals); Tim Turney (acoustic guitar, lead guitar, banjo, piano, vocals); Tyler Edmonds (a sound engineer who also fills in on multiple instruments); and Tennessee resident Jason Medley (drums).
Nearly everyone in the group can step into a different instrumental role depending on where the music takes them, and even before they released their first radio single, Gènesis had been playing across the Southeast, as well as at local events like Dodge City Days, church picnics and the annual quartet singing convention in Jasper.
“We’ve all known one another and played music together here and there in the past, even though in our different walks of life, we weren’t all as focused on getting our hearts right with God. One after another, each of us decided that we wanted to start doing what God has called us to do, and it kind of fell into our laps from there,” explained Heaton.
So far, the most reliable way to check out Gènesis’ music online is to visit the group’s Facebook Page at @Gènesis5Ministries. Heaton said the band is currently working on getting a YouTube channel up and running as well — and they sell CDs wherever they turn up to play live music.
“Right now we’re really focused on growing and engaging with people and lifting each other up,” said Heaton. “There’s about 140 years’ worth of combined music experience between us, and for now we’re just really excited and grateful to be getting this kind of attention from radio listeners. It’s definitely been a ‘God’ thing.”