Circleslide slides into Cape

Saturday, April 8, 2006

Award-winning Christian band to perform at Bethel Assembly of God

In March, they opened for the Newsboys at a sold-out show in Seattle and then played a charity concert the next night to raise money for a mission in Honduras.

They're listed on the cover of this month's CCM magazine as up-and-comers.

And this weekend, the award-winning contemporary Christian band Circleslide is in Cape Girardeau.

The group will perform at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at Bethel Assembly of God Church, where one of the band member's wives is a former youth group member.

Circleslide's lead vocalist Gabe Martinez and his wife Debbie, who attended Bethel Assembly of God Church as a teenager, lived in Cape Girardeau until two years ago, when they relocated to Nashville, Tenn.

"I'd heard so many good things about the group that we wanted them to come here," said the Rev. Phil Roop, pastor at Bethel Assembly of God."

Their ministry is really creative, and they really know how to communicate with their music, with their hearts."

Circleslide got its start as an extension of Gabe and Debbie Martinez's missionary work. Gabe Martinez writes all of the band's songs.

"It's not like hard music, so it's not just for young people," said Debbie Martinez, who serves as band manager. "It crosses generations, all ages enjoy it."

The band's first nationally released album -- Uncommon Days -- will debut July 1.

"That's exciting for us," said Debbie Martinez. "We've never had album available at Walmart or Best Buy."

There is no admission fee for Sunday's event.

About the band

Circleslide's first major recognition came at the 2003 Gospel Music Association's Music in the Rockies event, where the group placed No. 1 in the "band" category. Circleslide has also been named No. 1 band in 2005 at the Music Resource Group's fourth annual Independent Music Awards.

The band members are Gabe Martinez, Tim Martinez on bass, Aaron Gillies on lead guitar and drummer Mark Alvis.

The group's music has influences from folk rock, British pop and 1980s pop. Circleslide has played venues with artists such as Jars of Clay, Casting Crowns and ZOE Girl. Most recently, the group has toured with Newsboys and other bands on the Shoutfest tour. The band members spend about 10 months out of the year on tour, said Debbie Martinez.

"We're able to not only minister in churches, but we're not afraid to go to bars or clubs or a prison or college campuses," said Martinez.

cmiller@semissourian.com 335-6611, extension 128

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