By Kaylea M. Hutson-Miller
Life is not all black and white.
Contemporary Christian artist Mitch McVicker knows this first hand. In fact, it's an issue he has struggled with during the last 15 years.
This week, McVicker will bring his music, a blend of guitar driven pop and folk rock, to Grove for an evening concert.
McVicker, who began his musical career under the mentorship of Rich Mullins, will perform a variety of music, including works from his newest release The Grey: When Black & White Fade to Grey at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18, at Grove's First Baptist Church, 501 East 13th Street, Grove. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.
Admission for the concert is free, however donations will be accepted at the door to defray costs. McVicker is coming to Grove through the efforts of Richard Castaldo.
"I've known Mitch for a few years," Castaldo said. "We reconnected in March at a Ragamuffin retreat in Kansas.
"I loved [his music] so much, I had to bring him to Grand Lake."
In addition to donations at the door, Castaldo has established a Go Fund Me Crowd Source fundraiser to help defray concert expenses. It can be found at www.gofundme.com/mcvickergroveok.
Castaldo hopes the concert serves as a family-friendly event, that helps draw the community together for a time of worship and more.
More about McVicker
McVicker said he brings a mix of music, with his one-man band performance, that can be described as a "Jesus style folk and rock" mixture.
He jokes that the stage is often looks like a garage sale because of the numerous instruments.
With the music on his latest album, McVicker has worked to explore the "greyness of God's kingdom," including the vast nature of God's love for the world, which he said is incalculable.
McVicker got his start in the music industry after meeting Mullins at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas. At that time, McVicker was a basketball player working to obtain a theology and Bible degree.
Through Mullins, McVicker discovered an ability to sing and perform, saying Mullins allowed him to "live a dream I didn't know I had."
The two were working together, traveling to various concerts, when in September 1997, the pair were in a car accident in Illinois. Mullins was killed and McVicker was seriously injured.
McVicker said the accident serves as a benchmark for his life and career, saying it is almost as if he has lived two different lives.
"I was grateful to have another opportunity to try my hand at living life," McVicker said. "I saw every day as another opportunity to give it another shot."
More than a decade since the accident, McVicker said the residual effects are limited, however his eyesight will never be back to 100 percent.
It took a number of years for McVicker to resume singing, because his vocal cords were impacted by the accident. Since the accident he has recorded a number of albums. His newest album marks his 10th release.
He said the music on The Grey comes from the struggle which often takes place as people try to make sense of the world around them.
"We all experience a number of things that don't make sense," McVicker said. "[Most] is way beyond our ability to make sense.
"I hope people look beyond themselves to something greater. Hopefully they will get an understanding of what is more important and less important, and not be afraid to dive into life, and live less on the surface."
McVicker said much of his life as a musician can be credited to Mullins influence.
"I wouldn't' be doing this apart from Rich's investment in my life," McVicker said. "He is who I was around, as I was learning to do this.
"He's the best communicator, writer, performer there [was]. He was my friend and my greatest influence."
In addition to living as a musician, McVicker said he juggles life on the road, with being a husband to Paula and father to Brooklyn, 9, and Payson, 4.
"It's important to try to be there, whenever I can," McVicker said. "I miss enough [as it is]."
Editor's Note: This story originally appeared in the Tuesday, Sept. 15 issue of The Grove Sun.