CEDAR CITY — The Nashville Tribute Band, a country-religious band based out of Nashville, Tennessee is releasing its fifth album, “Redeemer: A Nashville Tribute To Jesus Christ,” and sharing it with the community during a concert Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Heritage Center Theater.
Jason Deere, a singer-song writer who has written songs for Lady Antebellum, SheDaisy and others along with Dan Truman from the country band Diamond Rio, started The Nashville Tribute Band by accident as the two singer-song writers were putting together the band’s first album, “Joseph: A Nashville Tribute To The Prophet.”
“We started doing shows and we have done over 1,000 shows all over the U.S., Canada, Australia, China,” Deere said, “and we’re getting ready to go to Brazil so we don’t know how its been a complete accident how we started, but we love to do it and if people keep coming then we will keep coming.”
The band’s music revolves around The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints religion with a country twist on it. The band consists of Deere, Truman, pop duo the Truman Brothers, country group Due West and LDS artist Katherine Nelson as regular members. Through tours and recordings, other artists are invited to become part of the band.
Among the artists that have recorded or toured with the band are pop artist Mindy Gledhill, Kelsi Osborn of SheDaisy , British Mormon singer of Nigerian descent, Alex Boye, who recorded on the new album, and many others.
Deere, Truman, The Truman Brothers and Due West are the band members who will set the stage in Cedar City as they perform songs from the new album after releasing the new album Tuesday at the CD release party at the University Mall in Orem. Deere said the people that have seen the band before will experience something new at the CD release performance.
“This is completely different,” he said. “The stage is going to look different, what we’re wearing is going to be different, what we’re doing is going to be different, and we are only playing songs from this new album because it’s a show in itself, so people will not be coming to see something they’ve seen before.”
The album, which Deere said he knew was going to be created eventually, was unexpected to be released this year, but after talking with Deseret Book Vice President Laurel Christensen, who requested the album dedication to the Savior, the band put the album together.
“I knew we were supposed to do it so we jumped in and started doing what we planned on doing later this year,” Deere said. “I’m so glad that we did because through the process of writing songs, recording, and now rehearsing for this live tour, it has been absolutely awesome and literally changed our lives in a lot of ways.”
The band is gearing toward a broader audience with the upcoming album. Previous albums which include: “Joseph: A Nashville Tribute To The Prophet,” “Trek: A Nashville Tribute To The Pioneers,” “The Work: A Nashville Tribute To The Missionaries,” and “My Call To Serve 2014,” have been specific to LDS audiences, but “Redeemer: A Nashville Tribute To Jesus Christ,” will be a way to show others what the Mormons believe.
“This record opens up, especially in the south and the east, where we live and spend so much of our lives, people who believe in the Savior but thought forever that Mormons believe in a different Jesus or we’re not Christians,” Deere said. “This is going to give us opportunities to play for audiences that are not LDS.”
Deere has been talking to pastors of other churches to set the band up to do shows in those churches where opportunities are given to the congregations to determine whether Mormons really are Christians after the performance.
“This is kind of a whole different ballgame, and some of the people who came in and did guest vocals on this album were not LDS, they knew that we were and, the thing of the matter is, they didn’t care,” he said. “They didn’t seem to see a separation between the Jesus that we worship and the one that they do.”
The areas from Richfield to St. George have become The Nashville Tribute Band’s favorite areas to perform in, Deere said. The band looks forward to performing in Cedar City because one of the band’s first official shows was in St. George, which brought many of the band’s long-term fans based out of Southern Utah.
Marking nine years since the release of the Nashville Tribute Band’s first album, Deere said he is glad to see members of the band grow, not just as musicians, but as people, who share in bearing testimony like the missionaries worldwide.
“Not everyone is getting rich out here doing this in any way, shape ,or form and every minute we’re taking away from the things that really makes us live, is a challenge,” Deere said. “It can be a sacrifice, but its funny how all of us are doing this more and more and more while doing the other things less and less because we love to do it, and feel a calling to testify of these things that we feel so strongly about.”
- When: Nov. 5 at 7 p.m.
- Where: Heritage Center Theater, Cedar City
- Tickets: $13 for floor, $11 for balcony, which can be purchased at the box office or online
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