Award-winning songwriter and Nashville record producer Jason Deere regularly invites a revolving cast of talented artists and musicians that he calls the Nashville Tribute Band to join him in touring the world performing the stories and songs from the albums Joseph: A Nashville Tribute To The Prophet, Trek: A Nashville Tribute To The Pioneers and THE WORK: A Nashville Tribute To The Missionaries. Over the years Dan Truman (of the Grammy Award-winning country group Diamond Rio), Brad Hull, Matt Lopez and Tim Gates (of the country group Due West), entertainer David Osmond, actor and recording artist Katherine Nelson, country artist Billy Dean, Ron Saltmarsh, pop artist Mindy Gledhill and Dyer Highway are all among those who have often joined the stage with the band. The band has done over 500 shows for audiences in the U.S., Canada, Australia and China since 2004. They have performed in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City as well as several performances in the Tabernacle on Temple Square.
“In 1989, four months into my mission in Las Vegas, Nevada, my companion and I rode our bikes home to our wretched little pink trailer house on Boulder HWY. After getting settled that night, I walked out on the porch with my guitar and wrote a song about Joseph Smith called ‘Lamb To The Slaughter.’ That moment on that porch was truly the beginning of these projects.
Trying to make a living in Nashville, I didn’t write another religious song until 2003, when I was called to teach early morning Seminary. We were covering the Old Testament that year, and I immediately had this crazy fascination with The Restoration. I was teaching Exodus in the morning and reading everything I could get my hands on about The Restoration in the evening. I was immersed in both subjects and something started to change in me. Suddenly, songs about the Restoration started coming out of nowhere. I wrote two or three, and then called my friend Dan Truman, of the country supergroup Diamond Rio. I went to his house and played him the songs. We knew we had to do something. We had no idea what the world would think of redneck Mormon songs, but we knew that we had to make an album – for us, if for no one else. In a few weeks, I had written all but one of the rest of the songs for the album (the last song, a song about Hyrum Smith, came as songs sometimes do – on the morning recording sessions were to begin).
In June of 2005, the first album with this project was released: ‘Joseph: a Nashville Tribute to the Prophet.’ The release, to our amazement, has been one of the best-selling LDS albums ever, leading to hundreds of concerts for thousands of people all over the United States, Canada, Australia and China. It’s also led to another album, ‘Trek: A Nashville Tribute to the Pioneers,’ and in 2011 yet another, ‘The Work: A Nashville Tribute to the Missionaries.’
We love our history. We love our religion. We love the way we feel each time we look out at a group of people and sing songs about people who we know lifted the fullness of the everlasting gospel from the dust of the earth with their own sweat and blood so we could be so blessed today. We love to meet you after the shows and hear how you love the “main characters” of the Restoration as well. These years, and these songs, have changed us all forever.
That’s how it all began, and I hope that this is truly the beginning of many more opportunities for all of us who live at the end of this dispensation to connect with those at the beginning of this dispensation. We are one dispensation. We are strong. We are blessed. May we be forever thankful.”