Playing for the Lord

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 9, 2010

It’s one man’s love of music that has turned into a family affair bringing joy and inspiration to others.

Dale Maddy, an Ironton minister and chaplain at Kingsbrook Lifecare Center, has always been involved with music, playing piano, guitar and a little banjo. About two years ago his grandson, Mitch Robinson, then 8, came to him and said he wanted to learn the piano.

“I would teach him a few lessons and he seemed like a natural,” Maddy said.

Next his cousin, Nathan LaCava, then also 8, said he wanted to learn the guitar. So Maddy took on the role of tutor again.

“He started picking it up and they’d get together and I would play guitar or banjo,” Maddy recalled.

Then the brainstorm hit, Mitch suggested the trio team up to form a band.

“He said we could call it Christian Boys 3,” Maddy said.

Like many a good thing, the idea of a band captivated some of the other members of the Maddy clan, like Whitney Maddy, another cousin of Mitch’s, who has always enjoyed performing vocals at her church.

Then along came Mitch’s father, Marlon Robinson, joining in playing bass. Now they were five.

They produced a great sound but the name no longer fit since the trio had quickly become a combo. But following the principle of the more the merrier, the band asked Mitch’s younger sister, Haley, if she wanted to join in.

“She wasn’t interested. She’s shy and she didn’t want to perform in front of people,” Maddy said. “But about a year ago, she said I’m going to join your band. I’ll play drums.”

It was an offer Maddy wasn’t sure about but that he just couldn’t refuse. A heavy touch with the sticks could translate into some unwanted pounding.

“I wasn’t sure I wanted drums,” he said. “But I showed her the basics.”

Proud grandfather was floored as Haley’s natural ability went on a roll.

“I saw a bunch of drumming on the TV and thought I would try it,” Haley said.

Now with a revised name — CB-Six — the Christian band goes out on gigs about twice a month with its repertoire of modern and gospel.

“I get to meet a bunch a different people every time we play,” Mitch said.

Tonight the band will perform at Pine Grove Baptist Church at 6 p.m. where Maddy will preach a sermon for youth about the importance of faith. Then on May 26, the band will perform at Rose of Sharon Baptist Church in Proctorville at the 7 p.m. Wednesday youth service.

“Music is a great hobby, a great pastime,” Maddy said. “If they do well in music, they do well in math. Music is just numbers. Musicians do well in most of other classes. It’s teamwork. If there are six people playing instruments and one person is not doing the best of their ability, the whole team suffers.”

But Maddy sees this youth band as having a greater mission in that it can be an example for others, besides giving the clan what he calls “precious family time.”

“The main reason they do it is this is their God-given gift they can use to minister to the needs of others,” he said. “Other kids are inspired, watching kids their own ages. Moms and dads and grandmothers and grandfathers see those kids involved. We are having the time of our lives, traveling around and ministering to people.”