Most of the time, you'll hear a song and you'll think "Hmmm, I like that song" and you let it run as background music while you do other things. Then if you're lucky, a song will come along that makes you put whatever you were doing to a stop and you really listen to what it's saying and all you can say is "Wow." I wasn't just lucky, I was blessed because I had 2 of them hit me that way from the same artist -"24 Hours" and "The Basement" by Joseph Habedank. When you're going through something and you're really struggling, it's songs like these that completely change your perspective on things.
I immediately wanted to find out more about this guy - who he was, his story, did he write his own music. I did my research, read old articles, watched some of his interviews and performances on Youtube and talked to some friends who knew him on a more personal level. As someone who is getting her own life back on track and focusing on her faith, I knew Joseph and his music would be an integral part of that process as his music is based on his own faith and he doesn't just write and sing about it to bring in a buck, he lives it "24 Hours" a day.
Joseph, a 2 time Grammy nominee, 3 time GMA Dove Award winner, 6 time fan voted solo artist of the year and former lead singer-songwriter of the gospel group The Perrys, developed an ulcer in his throat in 2008 and began using prescription opioids for his pain. This turned into a years long addiction to oxycodone and hydrocodone. In the middle of his struggles, he met his wife and best friend, Lindsay, who loved him and stayed by his side through the battle which he eventually won with the help of Musicares, who paid for and helped place him in a recovery center, and through his trust in God. His story is a life changer, not just for him but for the many out there who have heard his testimony, his music and have come to his shows. I knew I had to go to a show if he ever made it out my way. I got that opportunity last night when his 2024 Winter Tour included a stop at Faith Baptist Church in Goldsboro, NC.
When I arrived at the show, the parking lot was PACKED. I knew this was going to be a special night. I walked into the auditorium and grabbed one of the few available seats and met Lindsay at the merchandise table because I had offered to help sell merchandise after the show. While standing in the lobby waiting on Lindsay, I talked to an older gentleman who asked me if I knew who this Habedank guy was, he'd never heard of him and he hoped he was really a Christian singer because so many that claim to be for the sake of the spotlight turn out to be something different than how they portray themselves. I told him that I was familiar with him and I could promise him that he would leave the show a different person that he was when he walked in the door. He said "I hope you're right because I need a change."
The show started and you could feel a different energy in the room, a stronger energy than you usually encounter at a church performance, a deeper energy. I knew this was going to be special and I was not wrong. He came on stage and started the set with "Welcome Home" and followed it up with "Religion Isn't Working" which scored a huge round of applause. He talked about his life growing up in church, how much he loved it and debuted a new unreleased song about his home church. It made me think of my church growing up and sitting in those pews. I didn't know it then, but those pews were more than just a place to sit and hear some man talk while your stomach growled but they were life lessons that most don't appreciate until years later. I know I sure appreciate it now.
He told his story about addiction and how he recently reached 10 years sobriety and since kicking his addiction, his shows are now testimonies set to music, not just another concert. He's wanting to make a difference in lives by talking about the difference in his. That's certainly something this world needs, honesty and vulnerability and the want to help others. He sang one of his newer songs, "The Basement" and you could literally hear people paying attention. Yes, hear them because it was so quiet other than his voice singing about what goes on in that dirty, dingy room of redeeming therapy that no one wants to talk about. He talked about it and people listened. There were many in the room who were either addicts themselves to something or they loved someone who is dealing with the battle and you could see the tears in their eyes as the intently listened to the message. There was a group of women from a local recovery center in the audience who gave him a standing ovation with their most heartfelt applause. It made him emotional.
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