Third Day Ready to “Lead Us Back….”

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Third Day hillside235 Mark Lee, Mac Powell, David Carr, Tai Anderson (l. to r.)     The faith-based, pop-rock band Third Day has a new album and a new tour. And lead singer Mac Powell says he couldn’t be more excited about it.

     “We knew we wanted to present something musically different from we’ve done before,” said Powell during a conference call from Atlanta. “We wanted something new and fresh musically and lyrically.”

     The result is “Lead Us Back: Songs of Worship,” a new collection released earlier this month. The first single, the blues-touched “Soul On Fire,” is already climbing Christian music charts and provides the title for the new tour.

     Grand Rapids gets one of the early tour stops – DeVos Performance Hall on Sun. March 22 (see details below).

                          WORKING WITH WORSHIP

     The worship-based selections include several collaborative efforts both in songwriting and vocals. “A lot of the song (process) started with me on acoustic singing the melody and then everybody else coming in and adding things,” Powell said.

     Thematically “Lead Us Back” borrows from the Exodus – Moses leading the children of Israel from slavery to freedom. It’s a parallel of Christ coming to free his people from the bondage of sin to new life in Him.

   “We wanted it to be melodic enough for people to be able to hear it and sing back the second or third time they heard it. From a lyrical standpoint you have songs focused on God and giving him praise, as well as about things that come as a result of that.”

   Worship music was one of the reasons the band originally got together. Back in the early 1990s Powell and guitarist Mark Lee played for churches and Sunday school classes and did versions of worship songs among others. Then they met drummer David Carr and bassist Tai Anderson and Third Day was born and they began writing original songs while developing their artistry.

    It was 15 years ago that the band released “Offerings,” the first of two successful worship-based collections that proved to be among its best-selling projects. But “Lead Us Back” differs in that it features a small choir in the recording sessions giving the songs more of a corporate worship feel.

     “We have one song in particular (“In Jesus Name”) that has some great friends on it – Natalie Grant, Michael W. Smith, Michael Tait from Newsboys and David Crowder all sing on it,” Powell noted.

     David Leonard and Leslie Jordan, the duo behind the group All Sons and Daughters, sing on two other selections.

     If Powell had to choose a favorite among the new tunes, he says it would be one called “Victorious.” “Whether it’s a battle on a battlefield or a battle within our inner selves, God can help us be victorious through those struggles,” said the singer. “We rehearsed it just yesterday and I was literally having church right there realizing that we wrote it for other people and for God’s glory but are able to take part in that ourselves.”

                                                    LIVING ITS TRACK RECORD

     Third Day may be the quintessential Christian pop-rock band: the players have won four Grammy Awards and been nominated for seven others. Add to that dozens of gospel music Dove Awards and appearances on various late night TV variety shows, a cover story in Billboard Magazine, and numerous top Christian radio hits such as “Cry Out To Jesus” and “Call My Name” all while selling more than eight million record albums.

     Regulars in West Michigan, Third Day has performed at the Unity Christian Music Festival numerous times as well as in the area’s largest church auditoriums. The band played Van Andel Arena as part of the 2012 Winter Jam Tour.

     Now the players are ready for the next step with “Lead Us Back: Songs of Worship.”

     “It’s not a message that we’re only speaking to other people, it’s a place where all of us are in the band,” said Powell. “There are a lot of things that are important in our lives…our families, our careers…you could go down the list. But scripture says, ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these other things will be added.’ We want to seek God and then everything else will fall into place and be the way it should be.”

Third Day and the “Soul On Fire” tour with special guest Ellie Holcomb

       7 p.m. Sunday March 22

       DeVos Performance Hall, downtown Grand Rapids

       Tickets range from $24 to $73, plus applicable fees (top price tickets includes VIP meet and greet)

       Available at DeVos Place ticket office, Ticketmaster outlets, 800-745-3000,

Author Information
Terry DeBoer
Terry is journalist who writes for newspapers, magazines, newsletters and websites. His most frequented “beat” is arts and entertainment. He is married with two children and lives in Grand Rapids.

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