Jul 26, 2014
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New Westborough Band's First CD Hits #34 on iTunes Christian Charts

The Andy Needham Band has an album release event here Sunday.

New Westborough Band's First CD Hits #34 on iTunes Christian Charts New Westborough Band's First CD Hits #34 on iTunes Christian Charts

Andy Needham and his three bandmates release their first Christian music CD in Westborough on Sunday.

That's the latest sign that music no longer is a hobby for them, Needham says.

"Last year and starting this year, this is something that we've put all of our chips in," he says.

"We were getting to the point where we were doing four or five events a month. That's when a hobby gets a little dangerous. Last year, we did 50 events. This year, we did 150 events."

The Andy Needham Band will hold a worship night and album release event for "Lifted High" at 6 p.m. Sunday at Westborough's Chapel of the Cross. Grammy Award-winner Mitch Dane produced the CD.

Nate Parks from Camp Berea, "the leading youth organization in New England right now," will be the guest speaker, Needham says. Parks will speak for about 20 minutes. The band will perform during the rest of the program, which should run 75 to 90 minutes, Needham says.

The band features lead vocalist and guitar Needham, lead guitar Joel Rousseau, bass Jonathan Mason and drummer Andrew Picha.

"We wanted to have a celebration of what God's been doing this year for us," Needham says.

Needham says the band grew out of his experiences as a worship leader at New Hampshire's Monadnock Camp.

Over eight years there, he put on programs, hiring speakers and putting on games.

"Through that, we also needed music. I love doing that. So, I built a team of young people around me to do that. And it became distinctive of the program. It was something we were known for as a camp," Needham says.

"Every week, it would be a different group of guys."

Needham says he met Mason and Rousseau during this time. Picha joined during the summer of 2011.

Needham came to Westborough in 2008 as director of student ministries. He spent just over three years there before deciding to pursue music full time.

All four musicians from different churches.

"The thing that's cool about it is that Jonathan goes to a one-room church building that's a 200-year-old Congregational church where they do mostly traditional music. If it's contemporary, it's just one acoustic guitar," Needham says.

"Joel is part of a new church planned in Worcester which meets in a high school. Andrew goes to a church reunion in Boston that meets in a hotel ballroom, and they're a very contemporary church."

The CD hit #34 on the iTunes Christian charts on Tuesday, Needham says. The iTunes version of the album is here.

The CD is "sort of a game-changer one for us," Needham says.

"This is not exactly the hotbed of our genre of music, here in the Northeast," he says.

"That's kind of our opportunity and our challenge. We don't have a lot of 'competition.' At the same time, even in my own church context, the idea that somebody would go and try to do this for a living is an odd idea."

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