The passing of Backroad Anthem's lead singer, Craig Strickland, devastated the country music community. On a last minute duck hunting trip with his friend Chase Morland, the two went missing for nearly a week before Stickland's body was recovered.
Strickland left behind his wife, Helen, family, friends, and of course his bandmates. The group decided to reunite after the news, but coming together after going through a real-life nightmare hasn't been easy.
The remaining band members: Toby Freeman, Eric Dysart, Josh Bryant, Brandon Robold and Isaac Senty have continued their musical journey. The music has helped them cope with the loss, but nothing could replace the positive presence that Strickland brought to Backroad Anthem.
In an interview with Rolling Stone Country, Freeman, who has assumed lead vocals, discussed the decision to move forward.
"For the most part it's knowing that this is what [Craig] would want us to do for sure," Freeman said. "He would not want us to stop. He would not want us to take one second to think about it, and we never did, honestly. We just carried on."
About a month after his passing the band released their last music video including Strickland. His bubbly personality, energy, and talent beamed through the camera. The Torn EP was released in September of 2015, and will be the last featuring Stickland's vocals.
The decision to move forward is one that the band agreed, Strickland would support.
"It's hard sometimes to talk about it, but I think what we're just trying to accomplish is to have his legacy move with us forward and for everybody to remember him as this guy who just loved life," Freeman noted.
Watch the music video featuring Strickland below. May he rest in peace.
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