Three men. One stage. Forty-seven instruments.
That’s how Steven Curtis Chapman’s Songs & Stories tour racks up as he travels the country performing for sold-out crowds with Josh Wilson and Andrew Peterson.
At each concert, Chapman takes the stage with the two emerging and critically acclaimed artists. The trio stops in Aiken for a concert at Millbrook Baptist Church on March 8. For tickets, call (866) 440-7880 or see wafj.com.
“All three artists are on stage for most of the night,” said Josh Wilson, a labelmate of Chapman’s. “We all come out together and share the stage. We play the first eight or nine songs together. There’s a real community feel to it.”
The setup showcases each musician’s fluency on a variety of instruments.
“At first it was really a challenge,” Wilson said. “It was difficult to remember what instrument we’d play when. There are literally 47 instruments on the stage: the 12-string mandolin, a mandola, an Irish eight-string bouzouki, an electric 12-string mandolin, banjos, a pump organ.”
It was Chapman’s idea to play on one another’s songs, Peterson said. “I’ve been on lots of tours where somebody says, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to learn each other’s songs?’ ”
Chapman was the first he’s worked with who has actually made it happen, Peterson said. The trio gathered for two days of rehearsal before taking off on tour.
“It was really humbling that Steven learned to play my songs,” said Peterson, who has long admired Chapman’s work. “I’ve gone in a very short time from not knowing him to now I think I’d take a bullet for him I like him so much,” he said with a laugh.
Wilson said he couldn’t ask for a better group of guys to travel with. “It really does feel like a traveling community, a traveling church,” he said. “I think it comes across on stage.”