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Bethel Music at EMU Convocation Center, 3 Things to Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

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Bethel Music's mission is, of course, spreading the good Word. But it's also to make good music.

The worship ministry and record label has been operating out of Bethel Church in Redding, Calif., since 2001, and since 2015 its Artist Collective includes performers such as Josh Baldwin, Cory Asbury, Jonathan and Melissa Helser and others. The troupe records individually and collectively, boasting a roster of 15 at the moment.

Baldwin, 40, came to Bethel from his native North Carolina; His debut Bethel album "The War is Over" premiered at No. 2 on the Billboard Christian charts, scoring him a GMA Dove Award nomination for New Artist of the Year...

Baldwin, who's part of Bethel Music's lineup on the Roadshow Tour 2020, says that the connection with audiences has been "amazing. A lot of people say, 'Do you ever get tired of singing the same songs all the time?' I would say yes were it not for the audiences. Each night it's so different -- each audience, each place, each city has something a little bit different. That makes it a little special each night."

Prior to joining Bethel in 2014 Baldwin was a pastor in Charlotte, N.C., and had released a pair of albums there. He's also seen Bethel Music grow into a larger concern over the years. "It's gone from doing worship here in the church to things like the Roadshow, branching out even more into the world that knows Bethel Music maybe from radio. It's changed things some ways, but in a good way, too. It's been helpful for us to evolve and get better at playing our songs and even just worshipping and bringing people in and helping them encounter the Lord."

Baldwin, who will be part of an upcoming Bethel Music live album and is working on a new solo release as well, says the turbulent political and cultural times, worldwide, create a greater audience appetite for faith-based music. "I think in general, when the country feels divided, you're always looking for something that can unite and bring people together and what better thing than the Lord, than just coming together with one purpose, just to worship and sing songs about him and encounter the presence of the Lord. That's the goal here. Everybody can come together from whatever background, whatever culture, political belief and all that and say, 'Let's be united under one mission, to worship the Lord and go after him.' That's as important as it's ever been."

The Roadshow Tour 2020 with Bethel Music, Matt Maher, Martin Smith, Unspoken and others plays at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 5, at the Eastern Michigan University Convocation Center, 799 N. Hewitt Road, Ypsilanti. $20-$99. 734-487-2282 or emich.edu/emutix.

Web Site: www.umich.edu/emutix

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