American rock band
“We’re from a small town in South Carolina called Possum Kingdom,” NEEDTOBREATHE frontman Bear Rinehart explains when asked about the place he and his younger brother/co-writer Bo were raised. “Trust me – there was absolutely no music scene there.”
And, though he makes light of it, the relative isolation that came with growing up in such an environment must have played some part in fostering the independent-minded approach the Rinehart boys would later bring to their band. In this way, it makes perfect sense that NEEDTOBREATHE’s third album is called The Outsiders’ and listening to the anthemic title track that opens the 14-song collection, it’s clear that they embrace this label as both a badge of honor and a battle cry.
The sons of an Assembly of God pastor, Bear and Bo Rinehart had inherited their father’s gift with words, and put it to good use in their songwriting; their mother taught piano, making music a constant part of their young lives. Formed in 1999, NEEDTOBREATHE (with childhood friends Joe Stillwell and Seth Bolt) built an impressive regional following, playing throughout the Southeast. Along the way, they sold more than 15,000 copies of their self-released EP’s, recorded by Seth, who had earned a degree in record engineering. 2006 saw the release of the band’s major label debut, Daylight, and a relentless, national touring schedule. Despite being on the road nearly non-stop, NEEDTOBREATHE returned the following year with The Heat, which went to #2 on the Heatseekers chart and spawned the hit single “More Time,” a top 10 success at Triple-A radio (sitting alongside established artists like Coldplay and Jack Johnson).