BANGOR – The thing that keeps 23-year-old Rebecca St. James going is her love for God.
“This is much too insane a lifestyle to do it for any other reason than my love for him,” the Grammy award-winning singer said of her life on the road. “But touring has deepened my relationship with God a whole lot.”
The Australian-born singer-songwriter will perform Saturday in Lewiston and Sunday in Bangor as her “Transform” tour winds down. The tour to promote her fifth album began seven months ago in Europe. She averages 200 performance dates a year.
“This new album is a big musical leap,” she said of “Transform.” “The last few before it were kind of rock-oriented. The new one is more pop-oriented and very colorful because I worked on it with four different producers. It has some Euro dance program sounds, but the London Symphony Orchestra also performed on it.”
Like a lot of Christian performers, St. James writes most of her own songs. She also has published two books – “40 Days With God” and “You’re the Voice – 40 More Days With God.” She will begin work on a new book about being a Christian woman in the 21st century. St. James said it will encourage “femininity and letting men be men and protectors.” She added that it will focus on inner beauty rather than outer beauty.
“One element I always want in my music and my writing is realness,” she said. “Both come from my soul. My generation has been messed with so much, I just want to be real. That’s why I use a lot of stories and real experiences.
“We’re sold so many lies like ‘if it feels good, do it,’ ‘please yourself,’ ‘if it doesn’t hurt anybody, go ahead.’ We’re sold this whole lie that there are no consequences and then we’ve got to learn the hard way that there are consequences and there is guilt. I try to stand on the opposite side of that and say, ‘Live for God.'”
The eldest of seven children, St. James said she turned her life over to Christ at age 8 when the family was living in her native Sydney. The family moved to the United States in 1991 and she signed her first record contract three years later.
Her family will be with her when St. James performs in Maine. A couple of her brothers will sing backup vocals, others will run the light show or work as the video technician. Her mother and 8-year-old sister will run the merchandising stands and her father, who worked as a Christian band promoter Down Under, will oversee the entire event.
Tree63, a trio from Durban, South Africa, and the teen brother-sister act LaRue will open for St. James. Tree63’s new self-titled release marks the group’s American debut. It will join Sonicflood on the road this fall. “Waiting Room,” the first single released by Phoenix natives Phillip and Natalie LaRue, quickly became a Top 10 hit on Christian radio.
Rebecca St. James will perform at 6 p.m. Sunday at the Bangor Auditorium. Tickets, $10-$16, may be purchased at WHMX-FM and Lamb’s Bookstore, Bangor, and Glory Bookstore, Ellsworth. For more information, call 947-2751.