Members: Philip Meade, James Aaron, Keyth Harkleroad, Big Blue Barry (Triple Threat)
Based in Nashville, TN, Judah First is a hypnotically heavy, stage driven group of four friends and musicians: James Aaron (Vocals), Philip Meade (Guitar), Keyth Harkleroad (Bass), and Big Blue Barry (Drums). Judah First began their assault on the stage during the summer of 2000 with the desire to not only create great hard rock music, but to put together a stage show that would leave the audience gasping for more.
With a positive message in the music and a ministry minded vision, the band dedicates itself to putting 100-percent energy and effort into every performance. In early 2003, Judah First began work on their debut album, The Vision Road. Recording with Russ Long (Sixpence None the Richer, Steven Curtis Chapman, All Star United) and Chris Grainger (Sixpence, Wilco, Schvilkus), the band independently released the record on May 30, 2003, and the record contains guest performances by both virtuoso violinist Tracy Silverman (Turtle Island String Quartet, Windham Hill) and Chris Grainger (Schvilkus).
The purpose of The Vision Road was to take a no-nonsense, riff-oriented approach and fuse it together with an understandable vocal style. 1340Mag raves that "one of the great things is they've moved the vocals up in the mix so you can understand what they're singing ... this record is comparable to any of the label produced metal."
After touring with The Vision Road for a year and a half, the band began detailed work on their 2nd release, Devil's Dice. Once again partnering with Grainger, JF recorded Devil's Dice in early 2005. The music took the energy and excitement of The Vision Road and stepped up the musicianship to another level. The record has a theme of the tendency to be lukewarm as Christians. Songs like "Identify" and "Devil's Dice" warn the listener of the consequences of just playing the religious game.
Even before the mixing was finished, interest in the record escalated and the title track "Devil's Dice" has enjoyed nationwide radio play.