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Mac Powell to dig into country roots in Columbus concert

Courtesy of Michael Gomez

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One Grammy-winning Christian rock artist is opting for a different type of twang. Mac Powell is taking his talents to country music.

Powell, lead singer of Third Day and solo country music artist, is scheduled to perform 7 p.m. Thursday at The Bluestone.

Third Day has had 25 No. 1 hits and has won four Grammy Awards. Powell’s self-titled country album was released Aug. 21 and has received a positive response from Third Day and country music fans alike.

“We have gotten a great response,” said Shawn McSpadden, who has been Third Day’s manager since 2006. “New and old fans are responding very well.”

McSpadden also manages Powell as he embarks on his first solo stint on the road.

Powell said despite his pursuit of a career as a solo country musician, he still plans to be a part of Third Day.

“I’m really committed to this country music, and Third Day is still really important to me,” Powell said. “I feel like I can do both.”

McSpadden agreed.

“I think it’s the best of both worlds,” he said.

Powell grew up in Clanton, Ala., before moving to Atlanta when he was a sophomore in high school. He grew up with musical parents and regularly sang at church gatherings.

“I grew up in music, I always had it around the house,” Powell said. “I really like good American rock music.”

He also said his biggest inspiration growing up came from artists such as Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty.

Powell and lead guitarist Mark Lee formed Third Day in 1991, when Powell was a senior in high school. The band also consists of bassist Tai Anderson and drummer David Carr.

Despite his Grammy-winning success, Powell said fame will never override the importance of his family, adding he spends most of his off time with his family, including his five kids.

“I’m home quite a bit, but it is definitely a balancing act,” Powell said.

Powell also said touring as a solo artist has taken some getting used to.

“It is different, the main thing was seeing my name and face on a T-shirt with just me on it,” Powell said.

Being the frontman of Third Day for so many years, though, has prepared him for touring as a soloist, including performing as a soloist in Columbus, where Third Day has played several times over the years.

“(Columbus) is very middle America, really nice people and great hospitality,” Powell said. “We dig it.”

Jess Savage, marketing assistant at The Bluestone, said the venue has kept its focus on country music since it opened.

Savage said she is optimistic about Powell’s show.

“We don’t really know what to expect, but it should be a pretty good crowd,” Savage said.

Powell said he expects to bring a lot of excitement to the stage Thursday, while delivering some “good American rock music.”

Tickets are $10 for general admission. The Bluestone is located at 583 E. Broad St.

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