By JOHN GREEN Contributing Writer
---- — MALONE — Top Christian recording artist Michael Robert brings his Revived Hymns Tour to First Congregational Church Church here tonight.
The concert, set for 7 p.m., is open to all.
Despite their popularity in the Christian music industry, it was Robert and his Michael Robert Band, not the First Congregational Church, who reached out about putting on a concert in Malone.
“They responded to an advertisement that we ran in an email,” Robert said in a phone interview. “It just so happened that I was going to be in Maine for the weekend … so I thought, ‘You know what? Let’s do it.’ ”
Robert and his band, from Southern Oregon, have traveled the world during the tour, including stops in Japan, Europe, Canada and many locations throughout the United States.
After performing in Malone, Smith will rejoin his band and travel to Maine, New Jersey, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina and the United Kingdom, as they continue their tour.
There is no admission to any of the performances.
“It’s free, (but) there will be what’s called a love offering,” First Congregational Music Director Bonnie Curtin said.
“If you want to put something in the plate, (it will) help them with their expenses. It’s not going to go to us; it will go to them because they’re doing this all for free, so they’re paying all of their own travel (fees) and all of that.”
‘THERE IS HOPE’
Having dealt with many life threatening medical issues involving his children, Robert has taken from those experiences to create music that helps others find God during troubling times.
Over the last four years, the Michael Robert Band has released five CDs, and several songs have topped the Christian radio charts.
“When you’ve gone through difficult trials, it’s hard to understand why,” he said. “It’s motivated me to share (my experiences) with other people that are going through hard times.
“I think that’s the primary message that I bring is that there is hope, no matter how hard it may seem at the time.”
OLD MADE NEW
In addition to writing and producing his own music, Robert has also found a niche revamping old hymns — making them fresh for the newer generation of Christians by putting them into more contemporary arrangements.
Most recently, the band struck gold with their renditions of “At the Cross” and “Crown Him,” as each song has been played on thousands of radio stations around the world.
“There are so many rich lyrics in the hymns, so to spend time singing them and reading through them all, there are just so many great concepts and ideas,” Robert said. “I enjoy taking what other guys have written and expanding upon it.”
ROOM FOR A CROWD
With such a great performer coming to Malone, Curtin and the rest of the members of the First Congregational Church, located at 2 Clay St., hope to have a large crowd for the show.
And with a church that can hold as many to 530 people, there will be no shortage of space.
“We’re doing whatever we can (to promote it),” she said. “He’s very good, so I really think that people are going to really enjoy him … so we’re anxious to have him come.”
For more information about the concert, call 483-3950; learn more about the Michael Robert Band at MichaelRobertMusic.com.