Lurgan based country gospel band, Live Issue, is heading bak to the United States for a substantial tour this July.
The two week ‘On The Line’ tour will also see the group appear on the Grand Ole Opry and host other major radio broadcasts in Nashville, including the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree. Next to the Opry itself, the Midnight Jamboree is the second longest running radio show in the world.
Live Issue have also been invited to appear with Joanne Cash, sister of the famous Johnny Cash, on the Nashville Cowboy Church from the Texas Troubadour Theatre. .
This is Live Issue’s third visit to the United States since they reformed in 2006 and the group still holds the notable position of being the only band from Ireland and the second from the UK to appear on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. The recent success of the hit television show ‘Nashville’ on the More 4 channel has created a much greater awareness of the home of Country music and the honour it is for a local band like Live Issue to play at major Nashville venues such as the Opry.
The group’s bass player and vocalist, Colin Elliott explained how the tour came about: “It had been a couple of years since we toured America and we were getting regular requests to come over and sing. It’s not practical to tour America every year but as demand increased, we felt the time was right to return. The invitation to play the Grand Ole Opry, the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree and the Nashville Cowboy Church with Joanne Cash meant that we couldn’t really say no! We were also delighted to be offered the opportunity to represent our local area by appearing at the LaGrange Independence Day Celebrations.”
In February 2012, the group’s position in Country music was recognised when they were invited to perform at the “International Festival of Country Music” held in the Odyssey Arena in Belfast. During this event Live Issue had the opportunity to share the stage with artists such as Reba McEntire, Ricky Skaggs and George Hamilton IV. In recent years, Live Issue has also had the opportunity to record with legends such as Charley Pride, Pat Boone, Connie Smith, Marty Stuart, Ricky Skaggs, Charlie Louvin and George Beverly Shea.
Live Issue, which is based just outside Lurgan, comprises of Colin Elliott, Roy Dreaning, Sam Armstrong, Carl Sands and McLernon.
Although the group still plays at many events in Northern Ireland, Live Issue is also regularly found performing at concerts and conventions throughout the British Isles. Many believe that the band’s popularity is not only down to their musical and singing ability but also for their warmth, humility, sense of humour and love for the Lord. This is clear to anyone who has had the opportunity to see the group play live.
Each August one of the group members, Roy Dreaning, organises ‘Gospel Fest’ which is a weekend festival of Gospel music that takes place on his land between Waringstown and Banbridge. With over a thousand people filling the Gospel Fest marquee each night, the event has attracted visitors from all over the UK, Ireland and Europe. This year’s ‘Gospel Fest’ will be held from the 16th–18th August and will feature locally based artists as well as some from America.
It is clear when you both watch and listen to Live Issue just how much the members of the group love their music, yet more importantly the band believes that the message behind the songs is the most important aspect of their concerts. The group members take their ministry and faith very seriously and believe that God has given them important opportunities to spread the Gospel through their music.
Live Issue’s latest album “On The Line” and all their previous albums and DVD are available in Christian bookshops or alternatively online at itunes or www.liveissuemusic.com
For further information on Live Issue or Gospel Fest visit www.liveissuemusic.com