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Third Day’s Powell solos with a country flair

By JACK W. HILL SPECIAL TO THE DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE

This article was published October 4, 2012 at 3:29 a.m.

— If the name Mac Powell doesn’t ring a bell, then go not to the next level, but to the third — as in Third Day, a contemporary Christian rock band where he is the lead singer and main songwriter. While Third Day members are enjoying a hiatus, lead singer Powell has been able to do his own thing with a new solo album.

“I’ve always wanted to do a country record,” he says. “I grew up in Alabama and then moved to Georgia, and grew up singing country with both of my parents. I got away from it for a while, but it’s something I couldn’t get away from. I couldn’t not make the record, and when Third Day got some time off, I got to do it.”

He has wanted to perform in such venues as the House of Blues, the Hard Rock Cafe and Little Rock’s Revolution Room (where he’ll perform Saturday) — all small in comparison to those where Third Day is accustomed to performing.

“It’s like going back to the beginning,” he says, “not in a bus, but in an RV, pulling a trailer with our gear in it. But when you’ve got a passion to do something, and it comes from the heart, then it’s going to be a great experience. We’ve been out for three weeks and will be out until the first week of November.”

He will bring a full band. While no actual members of Third Day are coming, multiinstrumentalist Jason Hoard, who has toured with Third Day since 2010, is along, Powell says. Hoard produced Mac Powell, the album.

“Jason and some great guys he grew up with make up the band, which is bass, drums and three guitar players, who switch around between acoustic and electric and some mandolin and stuff,” he says. “I play a little bit of acoustic guitar.”

Powell, who was born on Christmas Day 1972, started Third Day in the early 1990s in the Atlanta area. The band has won four Grammy Awards and 28 Dove Awards from the Gospel Music Association. The group has released 17 albums, and its next release, Miracle, is set to come out Nov. 6. Brendan O’Brien, who has produced albums by Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam, produced Miracle.

“We’ll be touring in the spring,” Powell says, noting that most of the Third Day fans he has heard from have been supportive of his move from Christian music to country, with some hailing his efforts to reach more potential fans with his positive messages.

The first 100 tickets to Powell’s Rev Room show are $10 each. There are also 50 limited advance “VIP” tickets that include a meet and greet with Powell, along with a photo opportunity with him, plus a free autographed copy of the solo CD and early entry and choice of seats before other ticket holders enter. A group of eight who buy regular or VIP tickets will get two free tickets, according to promoter Dan Fife.

Mac Powell

9 p.m. Saturday, Revolution Room, 300 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock

Admission: $10 for first 100 tickets sold; $15 regular advance tickets; $20 day-ofshow tickets; $50 advance VIP; $60 day-of-show VIP

(501) 823-0090

revroom.com

Weekend, Pages 35 on 10/04/2012

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