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TobyMac ready to jam again Sunday at Winter Jam

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Christian concert

What: Winter Jam 2013 Tour Spectacular with TobyMac, NewSong, Red, Matthew West, Jamie Grace, Sidewalk Prophets and Royal Tailor. Pre-jam party includes Jason Castro, OBB and Capital Kings. Nick Hall will speak.

When: 6 p.m. Sunday; doors open 5 p.m.

Where: Memorial Coliseum, 4000 Parnell Ave.

Cost: $10; tickets sold at the door only. Ages 2 and younger are free. A freewill offering will be taken at the event.

He returns with songs from a new CD

Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - 9:45 am

Riding on the success of a recently released album, TobyMac will share some of those hits with the audience Sunday at Memorial Coliseum.

Winter Jam 2013 Tour Spectacular also includes Christian music artists NewSong, Red, Matthew West, Jamie Grace, Sidewalk Prophets and Royal Tailor. A pre-jam party features Jason Castro, OBB and Capital Kings.

TobyMac, who marks his return to the Winter Jam lineup after an absence of several years, will perform about four to six songs from his latest album, “Eye On It,” which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard magazine Top 200 Albums chart, as well as topped iTunes' Overall and Christian sales charts.

“As a band, we are excited to play those new songs,” he said. “I felt quite honored the first week when people bought it (“Eye On It”). You never know how it's going to do. It seems like, when you're making music, you're communicating good things to people's lives.”

He said he'll also perform songs from his other CDs. While other performers' sets may last about 30 minutes, TobyMac said his will last about 50 minutes.

He recently took time out of a hectic schedule to speak via phone from his home in Franklin, Tenn., where he had just returned from a school function. He compared his career and family life to a tightrope.

“I just do three to four shows a week when I'm touring and be home three to four days that week,” he said. “I can remain a daddy who's in the mix.”

He and his wife, Amanda, have five children.

TobyMac, who started his career as a member of DC Talk, spoke about the influence of Christian rap in today's world.

“I think there's amazing hip-hop out there that is coming from a gospel perspective,” he said. “You can make a vulgar song or you can take that same style of music and make it positive. What makes music gospel is not the style.”

TobyMac said his musical influences include Bob Marley, The Police and Run DMC, saying, “I am steeped in rock, reggae, hip-hop.” He also enjoys listening to Christian artists Jamie Grace, Capital Kings and Mat Kearney.

He said he will keep busy performing at summer festivals, but, for now, he will be content performing as part of Winter Jam 2013.

“I'm excited about being on it. I want to drop the joy bomb. I want to have everyone come out and leave refreshed in the spirit,” he said.