Blessid Union of Souls to play at Tennessee Tech May 4

Tickets are now on sale at Tennessee Tech University for the upcoming concert at Memorial Gym starring one of the country's premier pop bands, Blessid Union of Souls.

The band comes to TTU on Friday, May 4, beginning at 7 p.m. Blessid Union has scored with such hits as "I Believe," a ballad about racial equality, from their 1995 debut album Home, and the 1999 smash, "Hey Leonardo (She Likes Me for Me)" from their third album, Walking Off the Buzz.

Opening for Blessid Union will be Dimples Malone, a local reggae/punk band made up of several TTU students. Tickets for the concert can be purchased at TTU's Roaden University Center Information Desk or at the Sound Shop in the Cookeville Mall; cost is $7 for Tennessee Tech students with I.D. and $10 for general admission.

Now on a summer tour to promote their new CD, The Singles, a compilation of their biggest hits plus some new music, Blessid Union of Souls has quietly established itself over the last five years as one of the premier pop bands.

Originally specializing in touching ballads, the band recently broke out with a catchier rock and roll edge to their music as heard in the hit, "Hey Leonardo (She Likes Me for Me)" which includes such lyrics as: "She likes me for me/Not because I hang out with Leonardo/Or that guy who played in Fargo."

"Students did a survey not too long ago asking other students who they would be willing to pay $7 to see perform in concert at TTU. Blessid Union of Souls was one of those bands and we were fortunate to be able to book them," said Ilene Qualls, assistant director of Student Activities.

"Our hope is to be able to have a fun concert every spring for the students and the community to enjoy. A way to bring everyone together. And because May 4 is the last day of classes before final exams, we're calling this concert a 'Jam Before Exams,'" she said.

Band members are Eliot Sloan, lead vocals and piano; Jeff Pence, guitars; C.P. Roth, keyboards, bass and harmonica; Eddie Hedges, drums and percussion; and Tony Clark, bass and guitars.

The Singles offers a vital summation of where this compelling group has been -- and brand-new cuts including "Storybook Life" provide an exciting glimpse at where they're headed, according to information posted on the band's official website, www.blessidunion.com.

The group -- which is not a Christian pop band -- took its name from dialogue of the hit comedy series "M*A*S*H" in which Frank Burns, in one of his frequent attempts to seduce Hotlips Hoolihan, tells her, "Be with me tonight, Margaret. I need to feel the blessed union of our souls."

While Blessid Union has been fortunate enough to stay in the public's eye and gain significant success over the years, it hasn't been easy. To date, the band has been signed with five separate record labels, the latest label, which released The Singles, being Push/V2.

Along with all their signature tunes, The Singles includes the new songs "Storybook Life" and "...And Then She Hit Me," as well as a live rendition of "Hey, Leonardo" and a fan favorite, the punk/reggae version of "I Believe." Also featured is "Brother, My Brother," from the soundtrack of the hit feature film "Pokemon: The First Movie."

The concert is sponsored by TTU's University Programming Council. For more information, call Ilene Qualls at (931) 372-6252 or (931) 372-3123.
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