WANT TO GO?
Winter Jam 2013
Featuring TobyMac, Red, Matthew West, Sidewalk Prophets, Newsong and more
WHERE: Charleston Civic Center
WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday
TICKETS: At the door $10.
INFO: 304-345-1500 or www.charlestonwvciviccenter.comCHARLESTON, W.Va. -- TobyMac likes coming back to West Virginia.
The Christian contemporary singer, who returns to Charleston Friday for Winter Jam, said, "Not everybody knows this about me, but my parents are from West Virginia."
The 48-year-old grew up in Virginia, but he said his father is from Beckley. He's sure about that, but he was a little cloudy about where his mother was from. TobyMac said she grew up in the coal camps.
"Mom moved around a lot," TobyMac explained. "The one place I remember she talked about was War?"
Coming back to West Virginia, he thought, was a kind of homecoming. He also thought it was nice that it was Winter Jam that brought him back.
"I like what Winter Jam does," he said. "They do it big and for $10 anybody can walk through the door, even if they're just a little curious about the music and the performers."
He added, "I've never thought my music was a niche, that it was just for one kind of people. It's for everybody."
The 7 p.m. show at the Charleston Civic Center, his first for 2013, kicks off a brand new year for TobyMac and maybe a continuation of the good things set in motion in 2012.
"Last year was well beyond my expectations," he said. "We released a new CD and it did very well. It went to number one on the overall billboard charts and the Rolling Stone charts, as well as number one on iTunes --and that wasn't something I was shooting for or expecting."
Still, success is gratifying, but not just for the obvious commercial reasons -- the more records he sells, the more money he makes --but because success means he's getting through, his message is at least being heard.
He said, "Music has never been this self-indulgent, creative process for me. It's to serve people and serve their lives."