Christian music mega-tour Winter Jam is back, with 10 acts hitting 40 cities from January to March.
Winter Jam will touch down at the Schottenstein Center on Saturday.
Headlining this year’s lineup, which also includes Jeremy Camp and Andy Mineo, will be relatively young band We the Kingdom.
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Martin Cash, 23, plays drums for the band, which is based in a little town south of Franklin, Tennessee, and also includes his father, uncle, sister and a family friend.
He spoke by phone from Cincinnati, the fifth stop on the tour.
Though he grew up as part of a musical family – his father, Ed Cash, is a major Christian songwriter and producer – they didn’t play together much until he was in high school, and already playing in a local band with some of his friends.
In 2017, he and other family members were asked to perform at Christian summer camp run by the Young Life organization in North Carolina, with which they had been involved for years.
“We wrote our first song, ‘Dancing on the Waves,’ for these kids,” Cash said. “They fell in love with the song, and planted the seed that we should be a band.”
They released an EP, “Live at the Wheelhouse,” in 2019, which included both “Dancing on the Waves” and their breakout single, “Holy Water.” They have since released two albums, “Holy Water” in 2020 and “We the Kingdom” in 2022.
Writing and producing their songs is a family effort. While Cash sticks to drums when they’re playing live, he doesn’t have that kind of constraint when they’re writing songs.
“We have everybody on every which instrument. It’s kind of a hodgepodge of whoever picks it up first is playing it, so it’s a lot of fun,” he said.
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Cash said the group’s bond allows for transparency in the studio.
“If someone throws out an idea or a lyric that the rest of us think is complete trash, we’re not afraid to say it,” he said.
“On the other hand, I think we do a really good job of celebrating great ideas. When you get in a room with a co-writer that you just met, you still have that wall of politeness. You’re trying to impress each other, or you’re walking on eggshells a little. But with family, you get to the bottom of things quicker, which I think is a blessing in our songs, because that’s a huge part of what we do, to be honest with our audience, with real human feelings.”
The audience responds to that kind of feeling.
“When they’re singing these songs back to you, it’s so encouraging,” he said. “It’s so life-giving. We’re beyond grateful.”
He believes that much of the impact of the band’s music, for him personally and for those listening and responding, is based on the fact that the music explores the full range of human emotion.
“A lot of times in the faith world, we can focus a lot on the joy and the praise and kind of worshipping your pain away,” he said.
“Other times, the truth of the matter is that life is very challenging, and we have our struggles. I think to not acknowledge them can be detrimental to us as human beings. So when people listen to our music, I pray that they would feel joy and some sense of sadness, because that’s important to feel, too. You don’t dwell on those emotions; you take them to God.”
At a glance
Winter Jam will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Schottenstein Center, 555 Borror Drive. Admission is $15 requested donation, cash or check, at the door. Tickets not required. Ages 2 and younger free. For more details, visit schottensteincenter.com and jamtour.com.