Off the Chain
We brothers, broken and redeemed, seek not to be exalted, exalting only the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Through music, the language of the soul, we offer finely crafted and bold songs to connect with the broken and seeking. In us they see what they seek: delight in the Lord, embracing His promise, and joy in this gift of life. They see our love for God, Christ and each other. Our music, conduct and presence represent Christ in the world. Mike McKeown, vocals and guitar, is a gifted singer/songwriter, starting out as a solo pub circuit singer then fronting the classic rock cover band, Pound for Pound, in Dallas. Moving to Austin in 1989, Mike started the bands 14 Bones and Mayan Bike to showcase his original material. He is known as a powerful singer of rock, contemporary sacred, folk and classical music; touching hearts and raising spirits wherever he performs. "Off the Chain" is Mike's third recording project, following 1996's "Spoke" with Mayan Bike and 2004's "Marley's Ghost" with Hilary Kaufman-Smith. Mike moved to the Texas Hill Country in 2005 and recommitted his musical gifts to God. In addition to Cross Over, Mike is a member and tenor soloist for the First United Methodist Church Chancel Choir in Marble Falls, Texas, and in demand as a singer at special events. By continuing to say "yes" to every opportunity to sing or play as called, Mike met his band mates. In January of 2008 Cross Over gathered for the first time and quickly realized the powerful synergy they generated. Mike is married to Luciana and has two children. Joe Frantz, guitar and vocals, has generations of music talent in his blood, from his father and grandfather's combined 100 years playing classical French horn to his mother's lively Arkansas Baptist Church piano-playing roots. Joe has played acoustic, electric, and pedal steel guitars in various rock and country bands since college. He is a regular Praise and Worship leader at the First United Methodist Church, in Marble Falls, Texas and has performed in various community plays. Joe is married to Deborah and has four children. His heaven on earth is found in his daily prayers and his called ministry of rockin' praise. Reverend Mike Morris, vocals and keyboard, started playing drums in 4th grade with a set of twins and another school pal. He came from a musical family; his mother played and taught piano and other instruments, and his father played guitar, banjo and harmonica, although no instrument was beyond his reach and ability. Mike's grandfather was a Big Band leader in the 1940's, playing in Austin and St. Louis. Mike has been involved in musical theater most of his life, and has tap, jazz, ballet, and voice. Mike graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 2003 and is currently appointed associate pastor at First United Methodist Church in Marble Falls, Texas. Mike stays active musically; performing in local bands, community theater and church productions. Mike met Joe as cast members in a production of "Oklahoma!" and they began playing together at church and local venues. Then, from the broader Christian community in Burnet County, the other members got together for a few jam sessions, and soon Cross Over was born. Mike is married to Karen and has two children. Thomas Cooper-Hicks, bass, purchased his first bass guitar in 1997, and since then music with church praise teams every week has become a vital part of his life. Being raised in East Tennessee, Thomas had an equal influence of gospel, country, bluegrass, and rock music. But it was not until his move to the Texas Hill Country in 2001 that Thomas was truly inspired. While working with people like Carla Cooper-Hicks, Jackie English, Brooks Blake, and the individual members of Cross Over, doors were opened, permitting artistic expression beyond Thomas's education, and experiences beyond his expectations. These people are an expression of the Encouragement and Grace of Jesus Christ through mankind; influence to the faith and music of Thomas. Thomas is married to Carla Cooper-Hicks.