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Backroad Anthem: ‘We Know Craig Strickland Would Want Us to Continue’

Following Craig Strickland‘s death, Backroad Anthem have confirmed that they will continue on without him; in fact, they have a number of shows on their calendar already.

In a note on their Facebook page, the band explains that Strickland was only one of the band’s two lead singers. “We could never replace Craig,” the comment adds, “but we know he would want us to continue.”

Backroad Anthem’s next scheduled concert is set for Jan. 16 at George’s Majestic Lounge in their hometown of Fayetteville, Ark. According to the Facebook post, they have added a second show at the same venue on Jan. 17, “[d]ue to the overwhelming support” and “in honor of Craig Strickland.” A complete list of the band’s upcoming shows is available on their website.

Backroad Anthem began their career in October of 2012. Without Strickland, the band consists of Toby Freeman on vocals and electric guitar, fiddler Eric Dysart, guitarist Josh Bryant, bassist and vocalist Brandon Robold and drummer Isaac Senty. The group has opened for country artists including Chris Young, Gary Allan and Tyler Farr.

Search and rescue teams — including members in the air, on land and in sonar-equipped boats — had been searching a two-mile area of Kaw Lake in Kay County, Okla., where 29-year-old Strickland, his 22-year-old friend Chase Morland and Strickland’s dog Sam went for a duck hunt early on Dec. 27, despite severe weather conditions. (Evidence suggests that they likely never got an opportunity to begin their hunt.) The searchbegan after Strickland and Morland failed to make contact with their families for 24 hours.

Morland’s body was recovered on the afternoon of Dec. 28, with Sam found, alive, next to his body. On Dec. 31, search crews discovered footprints, boat marks and dog prints that helped them narrow their search area, and a few days later, Strickland’s body was recovered in the same general area. The singer had been able to get out of the water after his boat capsized.

For friends and fans looking for a way to help out, a GoFundMe account has been set up to help cover expenses associated with the search efforts and Strickland’s burial.

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