NewSong tour hits Winchester

Christian contemporary band NewSong will perform at the Body Renew Fitness Arena in Winchester along with Mandisa and Danny Gokey on the band's Beating Hearts Tour. Photo courtesy of NewSong

Joined by American Idol artists Mandisa and Danny Gokey, NewSong’s Beating Hearts Tour will make its second-to-last stop at the Body Renew Fitness Arena in Winchester on Saturday.

The tour has celebrated the Christian contemporary group’s new “Faithful: Live Worship” album, released March 10. The “Faithful” DVD was nominated in August for a Gospel Music Association Dove Award under the Long Form Video of the Year category.

Lead singer, guitarist and founding member Billy Goodwin said that having performed in conjunction before, he knows Mandisa’s and Gokey’s performances draw in a wide variety of listeners to the tour, and the three artists have been able to learn from and pray for each other during shows.

“There’s a unity of spirit among a lot of Christian artists…you get to hang out with them behind stage and off stage and you kind of get an opportunity to feel their heart,” he said.

Just as NewSong gets to feel their fellow performers’ hearts, Goodwin said they can see their audiences’ hearts as well. Audience members have contacted the band to describe how their music has reached out to them – especially at performances in smaller, more personal venues.

“It’s really a little intimate kind of setting, which I enjoy because you’re closer to who you’re playing to and it’s almost like one big family when you’re in there,” he said.

Those wanting to sit in on the artists’ Q&A session to further reach out to the group can purchase a deluxe add-on ticket.

The band’s sound has changed from more praise- and worship-centric music to Christian pop, and Goodwin said the combination of both elements make NewSong a group many can enjoy.

“I think those two areas are sort of beginning to merge together because we’re having our opportunities to share worship music,” he said. “Folks who don’t understand that … they still enjoy the music and it can raise a desire in their hearts.”

Goodwin and Eddie Carswell are the only two original members since the band’s founding in 1981, but he said the band’s faith has kept them on a steady path.

“I think God is just honoring our attempt to be obedient to him over the years,” he said. “Through the years we’ve had some down times and up times but even through 35 years, we’ve never had any sense that God is letting up or telling us to slow down.”

Plus, he said the mix of older and younger members make for a constantly fresh and rich font of talent and sound.

“We’ve had a lot of member changes in NewSong over the years … it gives you a little bit of variety in how a song could sound,” he said. “When it all comes together it becomes just who we are. The younger guys keep us young and we try to keep them busy with us.”

After a final show in South Carolina, NewSong will gear up its famous Winter Jam Tour on the West Coast in early November, which will include a wealth of performances from artists like Skillet, For King & Country and Family Force 5.

• 7 p.m. Saturday at the Body Renew Fitness Arena at 221 Commonwealth Court, Winchester.
• Tickets range from $12 to $35 and can be purchased online at http://tinyurl.com/o6jo3aj. Contact 540-533-8705.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com