While I was in Utah for the LDS Booksellers Convention the first week of August, I attended the release concert for the Nashville Tribute Band's newest album, The Work, A Nashville Tribute to the Missionaries, at the Sandy Amphitheater. I'm not a real fan of country music in general but had come to enjoy Nashville Tribute's previous album honoring the pioneers (Trek). There was the usual electric feel that comes with a live performance, but when they opened with "Children, Go Where I Send Thee," I was hooked. Jason Deere was the announcer and shared many of the stories behind the songs. There were many inspiring songs, many of which got the audience clapping, but the title song The Work made you want to clap and stomp your feet. It was an amazing experience to feel the spirit in such circumstances.
We experienced a thunderstorm downpour during three songs in the first half of the performance, but instead of dampening the enthusiasm, it seemed to energize the crowd as we watched the stage hands move the speakers under cover. Special guest performances at the concert (and on the CD) include David Osmond, The Jets and Billy Dean. Michael McLean also come to help perform a song he co-wrote with Jason Deere. Having seen these songs performed in person, I now appreciate them even more as I listen to the CD while driving around in the car.
I actually got to meet some of these amazing performers at the convention before the concert, and they signed a CD for me. The core band members are all successful LDS country music performers and/or songwriters. Songwriter Jason Deere is the moving force behind their coming together to write and perform music honoring Joseph Smith, the pioneer and now missionary work. Some other band members for The Work include Katherine Nelson, Due West, and Dan and Ben Truman and Ryan Innes. This definitely was one of the highlights of my LDSBA convention experience.