Music will take center stage at Chingawassa Days

Clockwise from left: Eddie Montgomery of the Montgomery Gentry country band, the headliner act for 2018, takes the stage at .9:30 p.m. Saturday. Jason Gray– 7:30 pm Friday, Drake White – 7:30 pm Saturday and Unspoken - 7:30 pm Friday.Music will take center stage, literally and figuratively, when Chingawassa Days planners welcome four significant performing groups for this weekend’s festival in Marion’s Central Park.

Friday evening

Contemporary Christian singer-songwriter Jason Gray will be joining the live music lineup for Chinga­wassa Days when he takes take the main stage at 7 p.m. Friday.

With multiple ASCAP performance awards, five top-five radio singles, and a single at No. 1 for nine weeks, Gray continues to reach audiences with his well-known confessional songwriting.

Described as having a distinctive vocal style and artful pop aesthetic, Gray aims to deliver a message of hope and God’s redemptive presence.

“Where the Light Gets In,” Gray’s newest project, is a hope-centered travelogue.

“I had to say ‘The worst has happened. Now what? Where do we go from here?’ And in that aftermath, I started to write the songs I needed and the songs I needed most were songs of hope,” Gray said.

Saturday evening

Christian rock band Unspoken has been added to the lineup of bands for Chingawassa Days. They will be headlining the main stage at 8:30 p.m. Friday.

Members of Unspoken are Jon Lowry, Chad Matt­son, Ariel Munoz and Don Eanes—an talented group of musicians known for their vocal harmonies, international influences and soulful pop sound.

Having four top-10 singles and a No. 1 single, “Start a Fire,” the band has connected with people through what they describe as “transparency”—relating to listeners via their personal experiences of redemption.

“Follow Through,” the band’s second full-length album with Centricity Music, incorporates a powerful blend of hip-hop, soul, pop and folk influences.

Unspoken member Chad Mattson describes the latest record as “joyful and uplifting.”

He added, “We’re just grateful for where we are now, for where God has brought us on this journey.”

Saturday performers

On Saturday night, June 2, country rock artist Drake White will take the main stage at 7:30 p.m. followed by Montgomery Gentry at 9:30 p.m.

With the recent release of his new extended-play release, “Pieces,” White continues to be in high demand as a performing artist. “Pieces” features five new songs, including “The Best is Yet to Come” and “Grand­pa’s Farm.”

Known for his rock-infused country style, Drake has been featured in Enter­tainment Weekly’s “New Artists Who Will Rule 2017,” and Rolling Stone’s “10 Country Artists You Need To Know.”

Drake’s debut album “Spark,” shot to No. 1 on the iTunes Top Country Album Chart immediately upon its release. Fans from all genres of music voted Drake as CBS.com’s Grammy “Artist of Tomorrow.”

Country rock’s Montgom­ery Gentry and the “Here’s to You Tour” will be performing on the Chinga­wassa Days main stage at 9:30 p.m. June 2.

With the release of the platinum-selling band’s “Here’s to You” album, Eddie Montgomery and crew are now on tour.

Chingawassa Days is currently the only venue in Kansas at which the band will be performing. This is a must-see event, organizers say, with an extraordinary farewell tribute to the late Troy Gentry.

Known for energetic live performances, Montgomery Gentry has been a “representative of the workingman,” releasing blue-collar anthems for what Eddie Montgomery calls, “The good, the bad, the ugly and the party on the weekend.

“But the songs are about more than just factory workers who like to blow off a little steam,” he added. “They’re about passion for doing a good job, for working hard and playing harder, for being an honorable person, for loving your God, your country, your family and your life.”

Throughout the years Montgomery Gentry has earned both ACM and CMA Awards, sold several million albums, and been honored with memberships into the Grande Ole Opry and the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame.

For ticket information on these concerts and the schedule for other events, go to chingawassadays.com.

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