Bless the Maker reunites for Chestnut Center concert
For Hub City Times
MARSHFIELD — Country gospel band Bless the Maker will share its traditional-style music in a live concert on Saturday, May 21. The concert will take place at and benefit the Chestnut Center for the Arts. The band will perform for two hours, beginning at 7 p.m.
Bless the Maker features seven members of the Terry Howard family, all from central Wisconsin. Combining harmonizing vocals with guitar, mandolin, banjo, autoharp, harmonica, piano, and bass, the group plays old-time gospel classics and mixes in a few modern favorites. On May 21 the band will also feature guest appearances from grandchildren, ages 7-12, playing violin, cello, guitar, and ukulele.
Influenced by the world-famous Carter Family, the Howards formed the band to reintroduce the gospel music they love to a new generation. Terry and Carol Howard’s three children all grew up singing and were soon on stage with the band.
“It’s great to see the next generation carrying on the family tradition of country gospel,” said Carol Howard, in reference to her 11 grandchildren.
The band once played multiple concerts every weekend, performing in locations from Chattanooga to Colorado Springs. While they stopped touring regularly several years ago, the band occasionally reunites for special benefit concerts.
“It’s always nice to get together and jam with the family again like old times,” said son Christopher Howard, a Marshfield businessman.
The group has even added contemporary rock and bluegrass touches to their gospel repertoire.
“Once, in Rockford, Ill., we even had Little Richard in the audience,” Terry Howard said. “He joined right in with the singing and clapping.”
“Folks enjoy these songs for the same reasons we do. They bring back cherished memories, and we love it when people sing and clap along because we know they’re having as much fun as we are,” Terry Howard said.
Admission of $10 will be charged at the door. Advanced tickets are also available. Children 10 and under will be admitted free. All proceeds will be used to support the nonprofit Chestnut Center for the Arts. More information about the Chestnut Center for the Arts and its performances can be found at chestnutarts.org.