Hearts of Saints shoots a video for the single "Merciful God" in Jacmel, Haiti. The Christian rock group visited the country in April in partnership with Conduit Ministries. It will perform tonight in Paducah.
Hearts of Saints frontman and Paducah native Craig Felker knows he has much to be grateful for.
The six months since the Christian rock quartet released its two-disc sophomore album, “For All of Us,” have been nothing if not busy, and Felker sees that as a blessing.
The group visited Jacmel, Haiti, for six days in April to shoot a music video for “Merciful God,” a song that offers a message of hope in the face of disaster. The group — which includes drummer Jason Killebrew, guitarist Jesse Grisham, and bassist Joel Purdy — partnered with Conduit Missions for the trip.
“In the midst of a poverty that for Americans is hard to understand, (Haitians) have such a joy,” Felker said. “Our goal was to go down there and show not just the poverty, but capture the joy and the beauty of the people and the country.”
The video was released about two weeks ago, Felker said, about the time the band’s radio single “Birth of a Legacy” finished a 16-week run on Billboard’s Christian Rock radio chart.
“That was the first time that’s happened for us, to have something stay on the charts for that long,” Felker said.
And the title track of “For All of Us” has been picked up by one of the top five artists in the Christian music industry, who plans to cover it this autumn. Felker said he’s not yet allowed to reveal who the artist is, but he suspects the cover will mean a major increase in exposure for the band.
As if that isn’t enough, the group signed a publishing deal with Daywind Music, which Felker said will give the band new avenues — such as films, television, and even sporting events — where people can discover their music.
“It has been a complete whirlwind, but it’s really good,” Felker said. “It’s not been all ups. Part of the journey is the struggle.”
Despite a flurry of developments both professional and personal — Felker and his wife, Stephanie, are due to have a son in about three months — the band has found the time to perform in Paducah.
Hearts of Saints will play in the Riverfront Concert Series at 7:30 tonight on the lawn of the Luther F. Carson Four Rivers Center, 100 Kentucky Ave.
Felker, who lives in Lower Town, said he’s looking forward to playing a show practically in his own backyard. “I think there are going to be people from all walks of life (at the concert) to see and support what we’re doing,” he said.
“I hope we’re a part of breaking that stigma of what something that is labeled Christian sounds like.”
Felker said it’s taken eight years of hard work for the band to reach its current level of success, but he gives God most of the credit.
“God has his hand in this. We want to be obedient and trust Him through it. It’s given us thankful hearts,” he said.
For more information on Hearts of Saints, visit www.heartsofsaints.com.
Contact Laurel Black, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8641 or follow @LaurelFBlack on Twitter.