JJ Weeks has a powerhouse voice, a dynamic band and a stage show filled with attractive visuals.
The band also has a slew of songs contemporary Christian fans are likely to know, like “Let Them See You,” “Count Them All” and “Rooftops.” If you’re looking for a solid night of music, the JJ Weeks Band is happy to provide it.
But Weeks hopes the audience gets much more than just that.
“Our hope is when we come off that stage, people can say it was a very great show, but man, I felt the presence of God there as well,” Weeks says. “That’s of utmost importance to us.”
The band dedicates a moment of each show solely to worship, Weeks says. Weeks will bring his prayerful show to WJTL’s Landis Hall in Manheim Sunday.
The 39-year-old Georgia native says he always loved music but instead decided to study youth ministry. He left college before graduating to accept a job as a youth pastor.
Then, he says a conversation with God led him back to music.
“He made it real clear that night that he wanted me to sing, and that was my mission,” Weeks says.
He began performing in 2001, adding other musicians a few years later. The only member of his band who has been with him from the start is bassist David Hart.
The current lineup features Weeks, Hart, drummer Jon Poole and guitarist Cody Preston. Weeks says his bandmates are bonded by a common love. “All of us have a heart for ministry… like, we care about the people who come up to the table and talk to us and their experiences and what they’re facing,” Weeks says. “We really do care, and it’s nice to have a group of guys who all care.”
Weeks is the band’s primary lyricist. He says he’s had inspiration strike spontaneously while he’s mowing the lawn or using his air compressor, which adds some colorful background noises when he records himself singing a new idea with his iPhone.
“Our song ‘Let Them See You’ is an example of something God put in my heart and on my mind,” Weeks says.
Other times, he’ll make a concerted effort to make time for writing music and see what comes from it. All of the songs share the common thread of being born from real experiences. “We as a band try to write out of what’s going on in our life,” Weeks says. “That’s just the way I found that this worked best for us and for me in particular. It’s just right out of what God’s doing in my life now. So, if you listen through the record, you will definitely see that.”
On 2013’s “All Over the World,” Weeks shared personal family struggles. His son, now 5, was born two months prematurely and stayed a month in the neo-natal ICU after birth.
The band’s latest album “As Long As We Can Breathe” was released in 2016. While the production value has improved and the music sounds more polished, Weeks believes the biggest development is in the lyrical content.
“I was 21 when I started. I’m now 39,” Weeks says. “And a 21-year-old faces different things than a 39-year-old. So you definitely see that in the progression of our records, for sure.”
While the music might evolve, Weeks and his band’s commitment to their faith remains constant.
“We always say this: We can sing at you for the next two hours and not change anything in your life, but God can come in and in a moment change everything, and that’s what’s most important to us,” Weeks says.