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Artist of the day: EmberLasting




Singer/songwriter/guitarist Brian Jones grew up playing the Brass Mug and Gasoline Alley. But at age 18 he became a Christian, and he’s now the frontman the rock worship band EmberLasting.

The group formed two years ago, its name suggesting that their fire for God will always burn. They typically play at festivals, camps and churches, including CenterPointe Community Church in Temple Terrace, where Jones and his wife, bassist Sheila Jones, are on the worship team. Guitarist Rich Tiemann, keyboardist Justin Ure and drummer Jon Whitten round out the band, which has shared a stage with Sonic Flood and BarlowGirl.

After the jump, check out Julie Garisto's profile of EmberLasting...

Pop messengers: Brian Jones, vocals and guitar; Sheila Jones, bass; Rich Tiemann, guitar; Justin Ure, keyboards; and Jon Whitten, drums; make up the melodic and acoustically blessed Christian rock band EmberLasting. Jones answers questions.

What brought them together: “We met each other at Centerpointe Community Church in Temple Terrace and over MySpace. We shared a love for music from bands like Leeland, Desperation Band, Relient K and others.”

Before and after being born again: “I started playing in Tampa Bay area bars at the age of 15 at all-ages shows, and continued on through high school hanging out at places like the Brass Mug, Gasoline Alley, and the State Theatre. Half of my friends were into drugs and music, and the other half were into sports. There was I, a long-haired teenager holding a basketball and a guitar at the same time. I was trying to figure out life, always knowing that something was missing. I had an experience with God my senior year of high school and he completely filled the void in my heart and gave me real purpose and direction.”

Together in both worlds: Jones elaborates on what it’s like to be in band with his wife, Sheila: “It was the best decision I ever made. We have been married for 10 years now, and she has supported me from the sidelines the whole time. One day I realized how much both the band and our relationship would better if I shared music with her. We usually keep home and band life separate, but every once in a while the two will mix, giving way to either an amazing creative burst or a knock down drag out difference of opinion!”

Some insights: “I remember writing the song Ocean and thinking, 'Wow, Sometimes I really depend on others way too much. I want them to understand me and what I am going through, when really, I should just cast all my cares upon God.’ At that moment I really felt his presence in a much deeper way than I had before that. The CD we are currently writing and recording will be the result of that realization and experience.”

Media exposure: Spirit FM, college stations and podcasts around the country. “We have a distribution deal in Canada, and have even been played on a stations as far out as Central America. As a solo artist, I have appeared on the INSP Christian Cable Network, and also heard on Spirit FM and Joy FM, and various college radio stations.”

Positive feedback: “Kids at the shows have told me before that they had been really depressed and thinking about suicide, and that a certain song we had played that night, had really affected them and changed them in a deep way.”

Hear ‚Äôem: Saturday 3:20 p.m. at Real Fest '09 with Flyleaf, Since October, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster and others, 11225 U.S. 19 N, Clearwater. $20. Event begins at 10 a.m.

[Last modified: Friday, March 27, 2009 7:00am]


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