By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal
There’s a story behind every song, and Steven Curtis Chapman is telling those stories on his new tour.
The Christian music star is leaving behind big arenas and going for small theaters and churches for his Songs & Stories Tour, which stops in Tupelo in early February.
“A lot of guys here in Nashville, we get together as songwriters and do writers’ nights, and do songs and stories. We tell stories behind the songs,” Chapman said in an interview with the Daily Journal. “The art is to cram years and years of a story into three and a half minutes, and the great songs are the ones that do that well.”
Chapman’s music is personal, so he’s always shared the stories that inspired the songs while out on tour. This new tour, however, is as focused on the stories as it is the songs.
“I can’t not do it – I tell more stories than I sing songs,” he said.
On stage with Chapman are musicians Andrew Peterson and Josh Wilson, and a backing band.
“There are like 46 instruments on stage between six guys,” Chapman said. “Josh is an amazing musician, kind of a master musician and guitar player and a great songwriter. Andrew is this master songwriter, one of the best of the best.”
To accompany the Songs & Stories Tour, Chapman has released “Re:Creation,” an album that includes reimaginings of his biggest hits.
“It felt more like a retrospective look at what I’ve found, which is that my songs are taking on a new meaning,” he said.
These personal songs and stories mean the concerts are a unique chance for Chapman to connect with his fans.
“I feel like it’s brought me closer to the fans – and I always stumble over (that word). It feels so impersonal, like you’re the fan and I’m the performer, the artist. I’ve always been more comfortable with referring to them as my friends, my friends I’ve met through my music,” he said.
Chapman hopes his audiences, full of his friends, will experience a one-of-a-kind evening of music and worship.
“When you have friends, you wanna try to encourage them and try to say, ‘Hey, I’d love to get with you, let’s get together and let’s catch up, let me hear what’s going on in your life.’ That’s what these concerts are,” Chapman said. “My hope is, as always, when people leave the concert and they won’t say, ‘Hey, I went to a great Steven Curtis Chapman show,’ but they’ll walk away saying, ‘I really feel like I was in the presence of God.’ That’s always my hope and desire.”
Who: Steven Curtis Chapman, Andrew Peterson and Josh Wilson
When: 7 p.m. Feb. 4
Cost: $45, $35, $26 in advance. Cost goes up $5 day of show. $25/Soundcheck and stories.
Info: (662) 844-8522 or (800) 965-9324