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Band conveys the message of connection and hope

05/29/2013 12:48AM, Published by Brian O, Categories: In Print, Arts+Entertainment, Today


Tim, left, and Chris Ehrhart of Beautiful Mess.



Beautiful Mess to appear at June 8 concert

By Richard L. Gaw

Staff Writer

Logistically, it's a miracle that the band Beautiful Mess continues to pull off miracles -- ones that  have helped redirect the course of hundreds of lives.

Chris Ehrhart, the band's lead singer, lives with his family in Lincoln University. His brother Mike, the executive producer and songwriter, lives in Liverpool, N.Y., a stone's throw from Syracuse. Mike's son Tim, the music director, is a student at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. By virtue of technology – Skyping from 350 miles away from each other -- and the precious time spent at family gatherings, however, the vast distance between the three vanishes when they perform live and share messages of connection, hope and revolution. 

“At some point, everyone connects emotionally to music,” Tim said. “There is something about music that speaks to people's situations. It allows you to look deeply into your life and see what might be missing.”

Beautiful Mess, who will be performing at the Christian Life Center in New London on June 8,  is quickly becoming known for their multimedia events that combine music with video, culminating in a powerful, spiritual message. Their “Never Too Late” production, performed last January at the center, paints a contemporary and relevant story about two men on separate journeys, whose lives intersect in a meaningful way. Together, they build a strong relationship and work together to overcome their challenges. 

The January show drew raves. “What makes their show so significant is that it brings to light the realization that we all need each other,” said Mark Cirino, a pastor at the Christian Life Center. “Many people in life are connected to no one, but deep in our hearts, we all long to connect.”   

“We'd like our audiences to leave our performances challenged a little bit, that the lesson doesn't end there,” Chris said. “We want them to commit to those challenges. We want to develop a community willing to perpetuate what we call a revolution – people caring for other people. It only takes one person to reach out to another person to really have an exponential effect.”

The Ehrhart brothers grew up near Mystic, Conn., in a loving home where there was a firm and applied understanding of faith. “We saw it in practice by our parents,” Chris said. “I remember a lot of people who were not related to us, who would come over just to spend time with our family. The basis of what our message is – that we're all connected to each other – really began for us at home.”  

When the band formed in 2010, their goal was simply to write and record songs. One night, Chris began to look at the songs a different way, not as separate but as part of a connective message. He called Mike with the idea of reworking the songs as part of a running narrative. Suddenly, what began as just a band playing music had evolved into a production. 

At first, they toyed around with the idea of having live actors, but the logistics were precarious. Instead, they worked with a top-flight video production team and voiceover narrator to produce the accompanying video storyline.

Beautiful Mess has performed in the Syracuse area and plan to extend their reach to the Lancaster County area. On June 15, they have an unplugged event scheduled for an Oxford Lighthouse Youth Center fundraiser.  They're also developing a broader online presence to be launched this summer. The band has already recorded three CDs, and Tim is considering re-recording them, incorporating new ideas and sounds. 

“There's a lot of applications where this type of production can be used to help people,” Chris said. “This could keep us busy for quite a while.” 

Beautiful Mess will be performing at the Christian Life Center's Sanctuary (125 Saginaw Rd., New London Township) on June 8, beginning at 7 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.beautifulmessmusic.com .

To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail rgaw@chestercounty.com .


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