I finally got to my first Steve Bell concert even though I've been listening to his music for years.
He has surrounded himself with a fine band and one of the things that differentiates his concerts from others is the amount of time given over to instrumentals and jamming - he often just lets the band play in addition to singing his songs of faith and Christ journey.
It was a solid two hour concert, no breaks, and what with all the lyrics and music and humor and stories and chit-chat, by the end I came away with the feeling I'd just sat in on a concert in my living room - it was that real and down to earth and full of peace, God's peace.
I appreciated his appeal for real love and real Christianity among politicians in Canada and the US and his musings on love as the essential nature of God, a love wrapped up in, not divorced from, his holiness, which is also nothing less than a holiness of love.
He also spoke a lot about kindness which is actually the name of his new CD. So the spirit of the entire evening was given over to good will, good heart, good soul, and our good God.
Steve is not heading into America on this winter tour but he will, very shortly, be hitting Calgary and Edmonton and Vancouver, and possibly Kelowna and Kamloops and Abbotsford and Victoria as well. I haven't seen his itinerary, which I'm sure is online, but I do know he is heading west from Lethbridge, the city where I heard him sing of Christ and faith and struggle and joy last night, the 10th of March.
The batch of songs and musicians he has put together - take note of his piano player Mike Janzen - is well worth the price of admission. It's like buying a ticket to sit in a garden of particularly rare and beautiful orchids in order to take in the entire, wonderful ambiance of the setting.
So if you're free, treat yourself to a tall cup of spiritual peace. Indeed, treat your soul.
The music and words will bathe your spirit and bring you to a place of restoration.