1. Hillsborough

Gospel star comes to town to boost South Brandon Christian band's debut

Valley's End Chuck Ammons, Ruth Spiegel and Chris Thomas (courtesy of Valley's End)
Valley's End Chuck Ammons, Ruth Spiegel and Chris Thomas (courtesy of Valley's End)
Published Oct. 1, 2018

Christian recording-artist Ginny Owens travels the world sharing her story of walking by faith not sight.

Owens, blind since the age of three, is a three-time Dove Award winner known for inspiring lyrics and raw vocals. In 2000, she earned the Gospel Music Association's Best New Artist title for her debut album Without Condition. She followed up her upbeat 2016 release Love Be the Loudest with Fly Away, a ballad featured in the documentary Trafficked.

On Saturday (Sept. 29), Owens appeared as a special guest at the record release party for local Christian band Valley's End. The concert event took place at 7 p.m. at the Jaeb Theater, Straz Center.

Chuck Ammons, Ruth Spiegel and Chris Thomas make up Valley's End, a vocal group founded at South Brandon Worship Center.

"We're like a Christian Lady Antebellum," Ammons says of their sound.

In 2016, the trio started writing music together to perform at church. The more they wrote, the more they felt the music leading them to more. In April 2018, they traveled to Nashville to record their first album. There, they performed at the Bluebird Café and worked with producer Andrew Osenga, who connected them with Owens.

Like Owens, the Valley's End members use their music to share the Gospel and help others.

"We want our songs to be anthems of hope," Ammons, 48, said. "There is so much bad news, so much hurt in the world right now. We want to share how powerful God is, how much He loves us and wants to speak to us and draw us near to him."

The Straz Center was Valley's End's first major stage performance.

"We've been playing in coffee shops and living rooms," Thomas, 39, said.

Thomas, Ammons and Spiegel are all married with children ranging from age 2 to 23. They alternate leading Sunday worship with other church bands. They sing for the joy, not the accolades.

"We're all middle-aged mommies and daddies," Ammons said. "Our goal is to get our music in front of people, whether the crowd is big or small, we just want to get our message of hope to them."

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