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Billy Croft
& The 5-Alarm

Billy Croft
vocals, guitar

Lucy Hix Croft
vocals

Dave Eno
lead guitar, vocals

Mike Gerbitz
drums

Chris Plasch
keyboards, vocals, bass


Chris Babb
Bass

 

Billy Croft & The 5-Alarm is a red hot smokin' country rock band! With music from the best of country rock legends like The Eagles and Linda Ronstadt, to contemporary hits by Keith Urban, Jason Aldean, Rascal Flatts, Lady Antebellum, Sugarland and so many others, to his own music dedicated to service workers from the heartland, Billy Croft & the 5-Alarm will leave you begging for more. If you've got a dance floor, consider it filled! Billy's commitment to service lead him to became a fireman; his love of music to form Billy Croft & The 5-Alarm. Now he brings it all together for rockin' good fun to everyone around them.


Billy Croft
Billy Croft was born and raised in Illinois' Fox River Valley but he's had a boot planted firmly in Nashville for many years.  Billy's family included vaudevillians and musicians, but he did not connect with his own musical talent as a youngster. A high school girlfriend got Billy involved with dance, his first outlet as an entertainer. He eventually joined a community theater group giving him an opportunity to find his voice and increasing his comfort level on stage. That led to an appearance at Pheasant Run, where Billy met country music legend Kenny Rogers. After hearing Billy sing, Kenny invited Billy to join him onstage for his annual Christmas concert. Billy worked at a local hospital while attending paramedic school, experiences that solidified his calling to service and in 1995 he was hired by the Naperville Fire Department as fireman and emergency medical technician. But music continued to call. Billy's father ran Karaoke nights at nearby watering holes and Billy took his next step into public view, singing his heart out and impressing the crowds. Billy won a Karaoke contest which netted him a trip to Tennessee, with a budget to record a 10 song CD of country covers. The resulting work landed him radio airplay, a manager, co-writers among Nashville's elite songsmiths and, as he himself says, "no accountability." After winning a wrestling match with personal demons, Billy emerged ready to engage in his Christian faith, while a mission to Honduras brought Billy's personal life mission into focus. After returning home Billy formed a Christian band, Unified, landing a deal with NuWay Records in 2005. Unified recorded two CDs and the song "It Started with a Child" has been in rotation on Christian radio during the Christmas season ever since. After a stint with "The Mighty Glue Sticks," where Billy met Dave & Lucy, two of his current band members, Billy is looking to give back to his community by bringing it all together through his work as a fireman and musician in Billy Croft & The 5-Alarm. He plans to record a new CD that will reflect the values and bonds of the brotherhood of firefighters everywhere.


Lucy Hix Croft
Lucy's passion for music was inbred by her parents, owners of Hix Music in Aurora. She sang in a variety of local bands, as well as with choirs until she landed a part time job as music director 6 years ago. One of the highlights of Lucy's singing career was  singing backup for Kenny Loggins out in Conneticut for a Christmas show, alongside her daughter and husband. Prior to joining 5-Alarm, Lucy was a member of The Mighty Glue Sticks. She currenlty resides in St. Charles, IL.


Dave Eno
Dave started playing guitar at age 14 and quickly took to the instrument. He also picked up piano and bass which have been utilized mostly in recording projects and song writing. Dave spent a number of years teaching guitar and playing the Chicago club circuit until the necessity of a more steady income became a reality. But the "music bug" never went away and Dave continued playing off and on while raising his family. Dave currently is very involved in the Music Ministry at First Baptist Church in Aurora. Other musical accomplishments include forming and playing in the Eric Clapton Tribute band "The Core" which played the Chicago club circuit from 1989 to 1996, and joining the Christian band "Unified" where he met Billy Croft. They later formed "The Mighty Glue Sticks" and "The Billy Croft Band" which eventually led to Billy Croft & The 5-Alarm!


Mike Gerbitz
Mike Gerbitz has been active in the Chicago music scene for the last 16 years, playing with a wide variety of local original and cover bands.  His musical approach to his instrument and his flexibility allow him to cover a range of music styles, from country and pop,to theater productions,  steel drum bands to southern rock and blues to progressive rock and heavy metal.  Says Mike: “Music is music, regardless of ‘style’ or ‘genre.' Each style has its idiosyncrasies, but in the end it‘s all related.  The key is to develop the basics (technique, meter, dynamics, etc.) and then develop a basic vocabulary for each style of music.  You don’t want to be the guy who plays speed metal fills in a country tune!” In addition to his steady gigs with Billy Croft & The 5-Alarm, Mike freelances as a session drummer and owns his own home studio.  He also volunteers his time and talent playing in the worship band at Christ Community Church in St. Charles, IL.


Chris Plasch
Chris began his musical journey early on with parents who encouraged his musical pursuits before he could read.  He studied classical piano privately for 17 years, and jazz in college for 2 years.  He served as an organist/pianist at several local churches throughout grade school and high school, and performed in several local bands.  Moving to Oklahoma City in the late 80’s, he got his first taste of country music and toured nationally for two years with two different bands, “Pacific Highway” and “Gypsy Rain,” sharing the stage with the likes of Toby Keith and the Mel Tillis Band.  After moving back to Illinois, he made his living playing in a musical duo for a number of years until he and his wife started a family.  Still feeling the music bug, he played in several local bands, and served as music director at a Catholic church in Yorkville.  He has served for the last 8 years on the worship team at New Life Church in Yorkville, and also formed “Providence,” a locally popular praise and worship band.  He has several directing, recording, production, and arranging credits on his resumé.  Chris met Billy Croft while performing at a local Christian café in 2007, and first worked with Billy as a bass player in his Christian band.  Chris jumped at the chance to perform with Billy again when the 5-Alarm formed, and made the move back to keyboards in 2010. 


Chris Babb
Chris Babb has always had an ear for music and first picked up a guitar when he was 13. After learning to play and then joining his first band, he noticed a bass guitar sitting in the corner and no bass player sitting in the band. First out of curiosity, and then out of necessity, he picked it up and never looked back. Throughout the years, Chris has played in many different bands of varying musical styles. In 2001, Chris was invited to join Providence, a local Christian Band and since then, has become  very active with the New Life Church Music Ministry in Yorkville. Chris Babb and Chris Plasch have been playing together in bands for almost 30 years and in 2007, Chris met Billy Croft when Billy was invited to sing at a New Life Church Christmas concert. In January 2010, Chris got the call to join Billy Croft & The 5 Alarm.

Billy Croft
Lucy Hix Croft
Dave Eno
Mike Gerbitz
Chris Plasch
Chris Babb