The New Haven Canal Days Committee, together with the New Haven Adams Township Parks and Recreation Department and WBCL 90.3 FM, is pleased to announce that Grammy and GMA Dove Award nominated Southern and Christian Rock band, the Rhett Walker Band, will be appearing in a free concert in Schnelker Park during the 2014 Canal Days festival on June 7th. This will be the festival’s 2nd inaugural Faith & Family Night, which aims to bring together all generations and all denominations to celebrate the community of New Haven, Indiana.

In 2013, the bands Love & the Outcome and the Sidewalk Prophets drew an estimated crowd of 4,000 to New Haven for an evening in the park; concertgoers came from as far away as Ontario (Canada), Pennsylvania, and Iowa to enjoy the show. “Come to the River”, the Rhett Walker Band’s debut album, released to wide critical acclaim in 2012. The album’s debut single, “When Mercy Found Me”, garnered the band a Grammy nomination for Contemporary Christian Music’s song of the year in 2012; the band was later nominated for GMA Dove Awards for New Artist of the Year, Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year and Rock/Contemporary Song of the Year in 2013. The album-titled single was released in 2013 and charted in the Billboard Top 20.

Rhett Walker, the enigmatic lead singer of the band, is known for being unlike any other rising Christian artist you have ever met or will ever meet again. The outspoken 27 year old son of a preacher is Southern-born and raised, which is reflected in his soulful voice that melds the tones of both Georgia and the Carolinas.

His personal story, which defines the music of the Rhett Walker Band, has been described by many critics as a shining example of faith, family, and country in an increasingly modern world. While Walker’s music serves as a catalyst for sharing that grace comes with a calling, just a decade ago few would have predicted this would be his own calling in life. “We moved away from my hometown when I was 16, and I didn’t like that. I just went nuts, doing whatever I wanted to do in the moment,” said Walker. “I mixed with the rough crowd, got into fights and drugs. It wasn’t long before I was expelled from school—just always in trouble. So they sent me to this Christian school, the only one that would take me, and I met this girl. It wasn’t long after that we found out she was pregnant. That was the stop in the path for me.” Even though Walker had grown up in church, even playing the drums in a praise band, he admits that he just generally stopped caring. When presented with a ton-of-bricks reality at 17, Rhett could stay on the downward spiral or step up. He stepped up. “It was like, Man, what am I doing?” he remembers. “I’ve still got my senior year left, but I’ll have to leave this religious school where I’m high most of the time anyway. My girlfriend’s having a baby, and I have no job. I finally sat down with April, who is now my wife, and said: We’ve done everything wrong that we possibly can. Let’s do everything right from here on out.” By all appearances, Walker has made good on that promise.

He will bring his story (and his band) to Schnelker Park in New Haven on June 7th, 2014 at 7 pm.

Carrollton, a Centricity Music Label artist originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, will open for the Rhett Walker Band on June 7th. The New Haven Canal Days Festival committee has launched a special Indiegogo campaign to assist with the funding of Faith & Family Night and hopefully establish this event as an ongoing, annual tradition for the community. Supporters of the Indiegogo campaign will receive special perks not available elsewhere based on their level of support, including VIP Access Passes, invitations to an exclusive pre-show Meet & Greet with the band, or enjoying a private breakfast/evening meal with band. To learn more about the Indiegogo campaign, visit www.NewHavenCanalDays.org or look for New Haven Canal Days Faith and Family Night at http://igg.me/at/NHFaithAndFamily .

POSTED: 04/09/14 at 6:50 am. FILED UNDER: Church, Entertainment, News