When Andrew and Ethan Worley’s parents signed them up for a talent competition without their permission, the two brothers were understandably nervous. Along with their friend and cousin Caleb Caudill, they had two weeks to learn several songs and prepare for their first performance in front of a live audience.
Not only did the unsuspecting trio win the talent competition, they continued to develop their music, welcomed a fourth member to their band, dubbed themselves Frontier, and half a decade later, boast nominations in five different categories at the annual Josie Awards – a prestigious ceremony recognizing up-and-coming independent musical artists.
Andrew Worley’s talents don’t stop there, though. When he’s not basking in the musical limelight, he is excelling in the classroom. A senior at Eastern Kentucky University, Worley boasts a perfect 4.0 GPA as a communications disorders major. Though Worley is interested in speech pathology as a career, the London native plans to make his music his primary focus after graduation.
The band, which consists of Andrew Worley (guitar and vocals), Ethan Worley (guitar and vocals), Caleb Caudill (bass and vocals) and Dave Grisby (drums), began in 2012, when the former three were still teenagers. The group quickly developed a following, opening for popular bands such as Sundy Best and appearing on season two of Tim Farmer’s KET program “Homemade Jam,” which features musical talent across Kentucky.
Frontier has released two successful studio albums, both of which are available on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon. Their first album, “Longer Roads,” consisted of eight original songs and was produced by Randy Hayes, the guitarist for the late country music legend Keith Whitley. Their second album, “This Dream,” released in 2016, was produced by multi-platinum producer Jef Powell, who has produced music and managed sound for such artists as Tom Petty, Sheryl Crow, The Fray, and many more.
“Jef let us record the album how we wanted it. We didn’t bombard it with digital effects, auto-tune, and other modern industry tools,” Andrew Worley explained, “It sounds like us, and we are proud of the way it turned out.”
Worley should be proud, as three songs from “This Dream” were nominated for Josie Awards. “Come on In” and “Body and Soul,” both written by Worley, were nominated for Pop/ Contemporary Song of the Year and Rock/Classic Rock Song of the Year, respectively. “Back into Your Heart,” written by Worley’s brother Ethan, snagged the nomination for Folk/ Bluegrass/Americana Song of the Year.
The band was also nominated as Multi-Genre Artist of the Year, as well as Multi-Genre Vocalist of the Year. Though their style is clearly eclectic, Worley describes their sound as similar to that of a 70’s rock band. Frontier’s musical influences include The Eagles, Zac Brown Band and Tom Petty.
As Worley climbs the ladder of success, he is quick to remember the people who helped him there, including many of his professors and classmates at Eastern.
“I have met a lot of great people and have been given some wonderful opportunities,” Worley said of his college experience. “All of the students and faculty in the Communications Disorders program have made my time here a lot of fun. I don’t imagine I will ever forget them and the fun times we’ve had together.”
He also credits his parents, who have been exceptionally supportive of their sons’ musical endeavors.
To learn more about Frontier, find out where they’re playing next, or purchase a CD, visit frontierband3.com, their Facebook page, or find them on Twitter or Instagram (@frontiertheband).
-- by Yasmin White, Student Writer, EKU Communications and Brand Management