The Grammy-winning songwriter has been in the industry for three decades. He’s played the popular Winter Jam tour and the Bible tour. There was the Young Messiah tour (that was back in the ’90s) and a concert called “The Story.”
But this is his first time on the Roadshow. Chapman headlines the $10 concert, which also includes performances from Francesca Battistelli, Rend Collective, Passion, Family Force 5, Jordan Feliz and Derek Minor and Urban Rescue. Chapman is excited to be part of such an eclectic lineup of Christian music contemporaries.
“I’m a fan of all of them, honestly,” he says.
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He’s toured with Battistelli before and considers the Dove-award-winning singer a friend. The Irish folk-band Rend Collective actually wrote a song on Chapman’s new album, though it was his daughter who originally introduced him to the band. And Family Force Five is sure to do something crazy cool on stage, Chapman says.
The bands may be sonically diverse, but they carry the same message, Chapman says. It’s something people are desperate for and the reason these kinds of tours are so popular, he says: “The audience senses this sort of chemical reaction thing that happens.”
In a way, the Roadshow and its ilk represent the evolution of Christian music over the past 30 years. When Chapman started, it was mostly mom-and-pop record labels, working in a niche genre. Now you have major record labels like EMI in the game, and artists like Take 6, an a cappella group that creates work well outside the traditional classification of “Christian” music. Now you have Gospel artists like Kirk Franklin and Tamela Mann singing alongside Chance the Rapper at the Grammys.
“Call it whatever you want to, it’s awesome music,” Chapman says.
Between Heaven and the Real World
For his part, Chapman is one of the most awarded artists in the genre. He’s taken home 58 Dove Awards and five Grammy Awards.
He’s playing here in support of his latest album, “Worship and Believe,” and his memoir, “Between Heaven and the Real World: My Story,” which was released Tuesday. The book chronicles the singer’s life and his faith.
This isn’t a shocking tell-all or a song-by-song breakdown of his work, though readers will come away hearing the songs in a different way, Chapman says. It’s more of a spiritual travelogue, following Chapman as he reflects on his life, including the death of his youngest daughter in 2008. She was 5 years old.
“I feel like I’ve lived 20 lifetimes,’ Chapman says.
The idea of writing a memoir had been with the singer for a long time, much longer than the three years it took him to write the book, but he had resisted the urge to this point. He’s a grandfather now and realized that he was reflecting more, remembering the stories of his life. He finally felt he had the perspective to complete the story in an honest way, he says.
“I couldn’t have written this book five years ago,” he says.
Rock and Worship Roadshow
With Steven Curtis Chapman, Francesca Battistelli, Rend Collective, Passion, Family Force 5, Jordan Feliz and Derek Minor and Urban Rescue
- 6 p.m. Sunday; pre-party at 5:15 p.m.
- Save Mart Center
- $10, at the door
- 559-347-3400, theroadshowtour.com
Joshua Tehee’s column will return.