OA: Christian performer says life offers plenty of inspiratio

Life isn’t always extreme highs and lows. Singer/songwriter Matthew West finds inspiration in the ordinary.

The Christian adult contemporary performer from Nashville said he writes, sings and believes with his ears and eyes wide open.

West performs with Josh Wilson, a singer/songwriter from Lubbock, Texas, on Saturday, Nov. 8, at Mesa Theater and Club.

West said he considered postponing his current tour given the economic decline, but he decided to proceed, anyway.

“In difficult times people need encouragement,” West said. He wants to be that encouragement.

Just before recording his latest CD “Something to Say” in 2007, West lost his voice.

Physicians discovered a vascular polyp and hemorrhaged blood vessels on West’s vocal cords, making it impossible for him to sing without treatment and time spent not speaking.

The documentary “Nothing to Say,” excerpts of which will be shown during the Grand Junction concert, is about West journaling and praying, his surgery and recovery and, communicating with his wife and young daughter via a dry erase board and marker.

“I feel better than ever vocally when I step up to sing (now),” West said.

West said he decided not to change the songs and lyrics he had written before surgery, adding that the songs made more sense to him after he healed.

“Now that I’ve been given my voice again, I don’t want to waste any opportunity to use it,” West said.

That’s a main reason why his tour has teamed up with World Vision to sponsor a village in Colombia struggling with homelessness. His tour also is reaching out to nonprofit organizations along tour stops to provide tickets to the shows to people might not otherwise be able to afford them.

West calls it a 30 day mission trip, instead of a tour.

On Christian adult contemporary radio, West’s single “You Are Everything” from the latest album was the No. 1 song for four weeks. West was the bestselling Christian artist on iTunes the week “Something to Say” was released.

He has had other chart-topping singles from his previous two albums “Happy” (2003) and “History” (2005).

West has written songs for Rascal Flatts, Billy Ray Cyrus, Natalie Grant and Mandisa.

Despite his success, he said being a headliner is a peculiar feeling.

“I use to just ride on the coattails of someone else,” he said.

But the “Something to Say” tour has been an experience to remember.

Find out more about West at http://www.matthewwest.com and http://www.myspace.com/matthewwest.


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