Cardinal: EP release concert

Crowds flooded the University Christian Fellowship House on Highway 280 to see local band Cardinal premiere their EP.

Cardinal is a young band with three eager artists: Ethan Asters, Contemporary Worship Leader at Brookwood Baptist Church, Samford University student Brent Beachtel and University of Alabama at Birmingham student Kyle Carpenter. Cardinal produced their first EP through a Kickstarter campaign.

“Kickstarter is a way for people to fund their idea for a product by getting people to pay for the product in advance. We are so fortunate to have friends and family who helped us.” Brent Beachtel said.

In an intimate concert setting, Cardinal’s music brought together many supporters and established a strong connection with its audience. “We don’t want to just communicate to our audience, but we want them to feel emotion with us,” Beachtel said.

The group formed a little over two years ago when Asters called Beachtel with the idea to start a band. Beachtel was excited from the beginning and later recruited Carpenter as their drummer. Beachtel couldn’t pinpoint why the name Cardinal stuck but said Ethan had always been a big Cardinals baseball fan.

Juggling college, work, church life and music is not an easy feat, yet the members of Cardinal expressed their desire to prioritize rehearsal time and the call to pursue music.

Beachtel believes that they are unlike any other band in Birmingham. They want to add something unique to the Birmingham music scene. Their desire is to “stand out” and hopefully produce a full-length album sometime soon.

“We are in it for the long haul,” Beachtel said.

Cardinal’s music is available on iTunes, Spotify and CDBaby. To keep up with the band, visit the Cardinal Facebook page.

By Eleanor Stenner
Photography by Eleanor Stenner

Jeremy Moore: Up and Coming

The passion, piercing lyrics and haunting melodies coming from Jeremy Moore make Birmingham proud to claim him as a native. Moore, a recent Samford graduate, grew up in Birmingham as a worship pastor’s kid—a “PK” as some call it.

Moore led worship for church services and Disciple Now weekends for years, honing his skills on drums, guitar and piano. Although he never anticipated a solo career, Moore went to Samford for classical music training to serve as a basis for his musicianship. Moore believes, “If you don’t know where you come from musically, you don’t know where you can go musically.”

With an ever-developing style that delights the ears, Moore’s music ranges from rock to blues, yet his lyrics primarily revolve around relationships. “I want people listening to my music to have something they can fall back on to that connects to their emotion at that moment and helps them realize either a greater truth or a deeper meaning. If someone listens to one of my breakup song after a break up, I see that as the highest compliment.”

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The main priority in Moore’s life is his faith. As the Music Associate at Briarwood Presbyterian Church, he is able to use his musical gifts on a weekly basis. Moore experiences the tension between the Christian and secular music industry as many others do, however, Moore thinks that faith and music are intended to intertwine. “I think they can play a vital part in the struggle and in the content you write about. You’re asking hard questions but at the end of the day you come back to the realization that God is sovereign and He’s always going to be something you can rely on no matter what.”

Jeremy Moore is an aspiring Birmingham-renowned musician. After releasing his Perfect Mold EP in May 2013, Moore started to play at open mic nights and music competitions around Birmingham. He recently won Moonlight on the Mountain, which led to a radio spot on Birmingham Mountain Radio and the production of an upcoming EP with Higher Ground Studios.

You can download Moore’s Perfect Mold EP on iTunes or support him by “liking”

By Eleanor Stenner
Photography by Eleanor Stenner

Mulberry Heights

Caroline Bradford began her love affair with antiques sometime during a childhood spent looking through her grandmother’s attic. “I’ve always loved old things,” the Birmingham native and mother of three said.

It was that pleasure for the old-fashion that lead her to start Mulberry Heights Antiques. The small business sits along Canterbury Road in Mountain Brook Village. Cars and foot traffic are frequent as they pass by. The elegant store is one of many in the area and attracts visitors from all over the region.

Nearly eleven years has passed since Bradford first started her antiques store. What began as a childhood fascination with decorating lead her 18 years ago to start an interior design business with a friend. From there eventually became what is now Mulberry Heights. Bradford found having her own business outside of her home much easier and enjoyable.

“The fact that when you’re helping personal clients it’s so time consuming and you can’t leave it it’s always something you’re thinking about I just know that I’d rather have a retail shop and still sell and work with beautiful things.” The store first opened in a small house in Cahaba Heights, not originally in Mountain Brook. Bradford says that after a while they discovered that Cahaba was at the time, “Off the beaten path.” Only then when the store was moved to Mountain Brook did her business begin to pick up and sell more.

And its that same environment that she sees as so important to the benefit of Mulberry Heights.  “Mountain Brook is just a true destination place,” she says. Her business holds many of the things one would always find in an elegant antique shop but is known famously for its hand-painted Mulberry China found all throughout the store.

While having the store in Mountain Brook has been wonderful for business there was in Mulberry Heights a concern that being in an area such as Mountain Brook might be as Bradford puts it “intimidating.” “It’s getting better. Definitely several years ago that was a real thing we had to try to get over.” The concern of a fancy antiques store intimidating potential customers has not been a problem for Bradford’s business.

She believes very strongly that Mountain Brook has worked hard to be more inviting and overcome an old money stigma. “When you get personal with the businesses I think that really helps and makes other people see that this is just like anywhere else.”

And that personal touch has translated into a successful operation that appeals to all kinds of customers, especially through advertising. Bradford credits the company’s website along with their Facebook page as helping to branch out and reach more people.

Walking through the store one can find a rich variety of items all shipped from overseas. Many come from France where Bradford and her husband have visited often.

Customers who visit the store find it to be quiet and inviting. And while most are normally from the Mountain Brook area, some occasionally defy such a mold. One recent buyer included a former producer for the program “7th Heaven.” A sign that Mulberry Heights, like its antiques, can stay a part of Mountain Brook, while reaching beyond it.