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CARBONDALE — Tickets are still available for multi-platinum selling Skillet and Grammy winning For King & Country’s Carbondale stop on their “joy.UNLEASHED” tour, which will hit SIU Arena at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 26.

The tour started in mid-April in Amarillo, Texas. Joel Smallbone, who along with his brother, Luke, make up For King & Country, said the groups should have “everything sorted out” by the time they get to Carbondale.

“It is a little serendipitous,” Smallbone said. "Skillet closed the very first tour we did in February 2012.

“We’ve been friends of them for years. To have that kind of initial tour with them, and now to come back around a partner on a tour feels like a bit of homecoming."

He explained that you never know if you will get along with another group or even like one another, but the already know with Skillet.

The name of the tour is a combination of projects from each band, too.

Skillet's last album was named “Unleashed.” “Joy” is the first single released from For King & Country’s new album, which will be released later this year.

“On this tour exclusively, we will be playing a second unreleased song from the album, along with playing a lot of the songs people know us for,” Smallbone said. “This tour is in some ways is the closing of our last record and stepping into the new project. It is kind of bittersweet.”

As the band goes to Europe and at festivals and fairs, Smallbone said they will be looking into telling a new story with the new album. When he is writing, he is always looking to this moment of live performance.

“I feel as though the live show is the really the culmination of music. We live in a time where we can reach into people’s homes, phones and cars and share these albums with them,” Smallbone said. “What I think is incredible is when you take this songs and thoughts and put them together in a live show. This combination of people will never be together again. It is a party, celebration and inspirational moment together.”

The duo has been working on the new album for about a year. Smallbone said the songs all carry with them an honesty and a story.

He added that records are kind of dropping a pin for a moment in life and of what you are walking through at that moment. To him, their third album feels much more settled.

“It has a sense about it. It has a sure-footedness about what it is and who the band is,” Smallbone said.

He said the popularity of the band has been interesting. Their fan base is in the middle of the country, beyond coastal California and Florida.

“It’s been a good run. And I think people understand when you love something it shows through,” Smallbone said.

To purchase tickets for the joy.UNLEASHED tour, visit and click on tickets.



Marilyn Halstead is a reporter covering Williamson County.

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