There are plenty of influences at work in the Alternative Christian Rock of NeedToBreathe, and not all of them are musical. Brothers Bear and Nathaniel Bryant “Bo” Rinehart (named after the legendary Alabama coach) are the sons of an Assembly of God pastor and his piano teacher wife, and products of their upbringing in tiny and isolated Possum Kingdom, S.C.
The brothers were playing instruments by the time they enrolled in college. Bear was a standout wide receiver at Furman University, where he played in a duo with drummer Joe Stillwell, while Bo was an architecture major at Clemson, where he met recording engineering student/bassist Seth Bolt. The foursome coalesced as NeedToBreathe in 1999 and used its free time to record and tour, attracting a sizable fan base and selling over 15,000 copies of their self-released EPs along the way.
In 2005, after generating a huge buzz on its own, NeedToBreathe came to the attention of Atlantic Records, who signed the band to its Lava imprint for the full-length debut, 2006’s Daylight.
Although the album didn’t chart, it paved the way for 2007’s The Heat, which made its way into the Billboard Top 200 and all the way to No. 11 on the Christian album chart. It also scored the band a couple of Dove Award nominations.
NeedToBreathe’s soulful take on Blues and Southern Rock finally broke through with last year’s The Outsiders, which put the band in the Billboard Top 20 and barely missed the Christian chart’s top slot. Like a lot of bands, NeedToBreathe has garnered a big audience through TV and film placement, including the shows One Tree Hill, The Hills and Cougar Town and the movies P.S. I Love You and Employee of the Month, as well as promotional usage on ESPN and Fox Sports.
But it’s the road where the band shines brightest and where they’ve earned the bulk of their fan base. The faithful of every stripe will be on hand when NeedToBreathe hits the highway.
(Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.)