Lance Stafford possessed unusual qualities for a musical front man. He dealt with stage fright, was informally trained in music and had no desire to follow in his father’s musical footsteps. Still, Lance transformed himself from a small town student to the lead singer of the exciting new Christian band, Cloverton.
Lance grew up in rural northwest Kansas. His father, a music teacher, started Lance with piano lessons. The rest of Lance’s musical abilities came from informal experience. He sang in a local choir and discovered he could play the piano by ear. In college, his music was kept as a hobby, rather than a career ambition. Throughout his studies, he played in a worship band, which ultimately led him to pursue music.
“There are words and melodies that God has written on people’s hearts that connect us to Him and to each other,” says Lance. Thus, upon graduation, Lance poured himself into writing. Joined by his twin brother Layne, Lance formed a band along with Tim Brantl, Matt Brown, and Kirby LeMoine who all met while playing in a worship band for their local church. With Lance on piano, Tim on lead guitar, Matt on rhythm guitar, Kirby on drums, and Layne on bass guitar, Cloverton’s sound is a blend of piano driven rock/pop with influences by Coldplay, Leeland and Third Day.
Nashville offers many musicians opportunities and Lance stumbled upon his own. Early in 2008, Lance signed up to perform in Embassy Music’s Talent Search, which was held during Gospel Music Week. Keeping his entry a secret, Lance performed solo, winning both the regional songwriting and performance categories. The win entitled him to an industry showcase and studio time with Nashville producers.
Lance’s win gave Cloverton a channel for their passion and energy, as their five-song EP is now available. The band’s central theme is simple: pointing people to a right relationship with God. “We hope to connect our listeners with something much bigger than any of us.”