(Orem, Utah) --The Nashville Tribute Band, which willingly lets its deep Christian roots show every time it appears on stage, will return to the SCERA Shell Outdoor Theatre for one performance, Aug. 22 at 7 p.m., and give audiences the best of its best.
This talented group of musicians and vocalists merge LDS music with country music for a one-of-a-kind sound that specializes in uplifting and upbeat sounds. And while it uses decidedly Mormon themes, it provides a springboard to showcase Christian values, evident by its large audiences who often are not members of the Mormon faith but appreciate the ideals and principles embodied in the music.
In a “best of evening,” the band will offer its greatest hits and favorite songs from the group’s acclaimed albums, including “Redeemer: A Nashville Tribute to Jesus Christ,” “Joseph: A Nashville Tribute to the Prophet,” “Trek: A Nashville Tribute to the Pioneers,” “The Work: A Nashville Tribute to the Pioneers” and “My Call to Serve.”
One of its charms is that no concert is ever the same. Award-winning songwriter and Nashville record producer Jason Deere regularly invites a revolving cast of talented artists and musicians that he calls the Nashville Tribute Band to join him in touring the world. Over the years Marie Osmond, David Archuleta, Dan Truman (of the Grammy Award-winning country group Diamond Rio), Brad Hull, Matt Lopez and Tim Gates (of the country group Due West), David Osmond, actor and recording artist Katherine Nelson, country artist Billy Dean, Ron Saltmarsh, pop artist Mindy Gledhill and Dyer Highway have joined the stage with the band. The group has done more than 500 shows for audiences in the United States, Canada, Australia and China since 2004. The band has performed in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City as well as several performances in the Tabernacle on Temple Square.
With co-founder Deere at the helm, the band is an outgrowth of the value of faith and testimony. As he explains, “In 1989, four months into my LDS mission in Las Vegas, Nev., my companion and I rode our bikes home to our wretched little pink trailer house on Boulder Highway. After getting settled that night, I walked out on the porch with my guitar and wrote a song about Joseph Smith called ‘Lamb To The Slaughter.’ That moment on that porch was truly the beginning of these projects.”
Because Deere was trying to make a living in Nashville after his mission, he put his religious songwriting skills to rest until 2003, when he taught early morning Seminary.
“We were covering the Old Testament that year,” he explains, “and I immediately had this crazy fascination with the restoration (of the gospel of Jesus Christ). I was teaching Exodus in the morning and reading everything I could get my hands on about the restoration in the evening. I was immersed in both subjects and something started to change in me. Suddenly, songs about the restoration started coming out of nowhere. I wrote two or three, and then called my friend Dan Truman, of the country super group Diamond Rio. I went to his house and played him the songs. We knew we had to do something. We had no idea what the world would think of redneck Mormon songs, but we knew that we had to make an album – for us, if for no one else. In a few weeks, I had written all but one of the songs for the album (the last song, a song about Hyrum Smith, came as songs sometimes do – on the morning recording sessions were to begin).”
That collaborative album was “Joseph: A Nashville Tribute to the Prophet,” released in 2006. The album won Pearl Awards for Contemporary Album of the Year, Inspirational Recording of the Year, Contemporary Instrumental Recorded Song of the Year, and an award to Deere for songwriter of the year. Other awards included LDS Booksellers Association award for Listener’s Choice Award for Album of the Year and Listener’s Choice Award for Best New Artist.
Subsequent award-winning albums followed and for more than a decade the Nashville Tribute Band has been communicating its distinctive messages with a good mix of laughter and love and stirring and inspirational music.
General admission tickets to the concert are $10 for adults and $8 for children (age 3-11) and seniors (age 65 and older). Reserved area tickets include a free chair and range from $12 to $20 for adults and $12 to $18 for children and seniors. Group rates are $6 for 20 or more people purchased in advance. Tickets are available at www.scera.org, by calling 801-225-ARTS, in person at SCERA Center for the Arts, open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 6pm weekdays and Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m., or at the Shell gate prior to the concert.