Judah First

Judah First will be headlining the Albion Family Fun Day concert put on by the Albion Area Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 3.

Judah First Band is an award-winning Christian band formed in 2015 from Mount Vernon. Coming from various musical styles, the divine placement of artists that make up the band create an addictive sound.  

Recently, the band was named Christian/Gospel Group of the Year at the 6th Annual Josie Music Awards held Sept. 5 in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

The Josie Music Awards is touted as the largest independent industry award show and prides themselves on the fact that winners are selected by their talent, skill, material, professionalism and more - not by pressing a button to vote.

Judah First Band is comprised of Ryan Overbey, on vocals and guitar, Carmen Overbey, Ryan’s wife, who plays bass and Paul Catron, who plays the drums. “The band was created in 2015 literally at a grocery store in the produce section in Mount Vernon,” according to Ryan Overby.

“Ryan and Carmen Overbey ran into Paul and Becky Catron in the produce section, started talking and realized they all had a lot in common and a desire to part of a music ministry.”

Judah First Band’s biggest desire is to spread joy, love, and the message of hope from our Lord and Savior Jesus to everyone, through music. “If there isn't a ministry behind what we do, then we as a band and individually have no desire to do it.” Simply put, Judah First Band's mission is to deliver the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Judah First Band has been ministering at many youth camps, community events and Christian festivals over the years. 

Ryan noted that “the name of the band was derived from Judges 20:18,” and that the verse the Lord keeps in front of them can be found in Proverbs 3:5-6: “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

On winning their first award, Ryan said, “at the time of the show when it was announced, we thought they made a mistake.” The band, according to Ryan, was shocked when their name was announced and he said, “it didn't set in to us until our music started playing.”

“The award was 100 percent unexpected,” he added. 

The band felt that being nominated was a blessing in itself. Actually winning from over 30,000 nomination considerations, plus “an auditorium filled with the most unbelievable talent was surreal,” Ryan said.

They could not express how grateful they were for the support from their hometown; “…seeing everyone that supports us back home rooting us on and congratulating us, it was emotional for us. We don’t get to play near our home town a lot, so seeing them cheer us on was an awesome feeling.”

Judah First Band will take the stage at the Albion Fall Family Fun Day on Oct. 3 at 4:30 p.m. Judah First Band shirts will be available for purchase as well. “We as a band want the residents of Albion to know and realize [that] they are special…Don't come to the event to focus on the Judah First Band.”

“Come to the event to sing praises to our heavenly father Jesus Christ in unity as one community, as one body. Come and lets raise a hallelujah!”

The band, according to Ryan, will pray before the show. They don’t want it to be viewed as a concert - they want the focus to be 100 percent on the Lord; a time for worship for all.

As for what else to expect, Ryan said, “we will play a mix of the best praise and worship songs from several years. We will mix in a couple hymnals and a couple of our own released music…because most everyone will remember hearing the songs and we urge everyone to sing along in unity.”

Furthermore, at each and every show, Judah First Band brings up a couple of topics very important to them: anti-bullying and suicide awareness. 

“This is a big big problem in our world and we want to try to be a part in socializing the message. By the way, October is National Bully Prevention Month!”

“We stand against bullying. We really like to help people. Every once in a while, we come across someone that is changing people's [lives], which then…affects your own life.  Maybe they need a hand, and if we can we try to help in some way,” they do.

 Later this fall, Judah First Band will release a new single, “Atmosphere.” Though they have no plans of leaving Mount Vernon, one type of atmosphere the band prefers, it appears, is that of Edwards County. 

“Judah First Band loves the Edwards County area and have supported the ministry of West Village Christian Church at a few functions and fell in love with the community's genuine character to want to help each other.  That is the atmosphere we want to be a part of,” said Ryan.

“Albion [residents’] will to want to help each other, pick someone up when they are down, helping a family when a need is present…is very rare to find.  Don't ever change that!” Ryan shared.

Judah First Band thanked Josie Boone Passantino and Tinamarie Passantino, the partnership behind The Josie Network, LLC who have branded the Josie Music Awards. “If it were not for them, the Josie Music Awards would not exist,” said Ryan. And while it was a surprise to win, the award means so much to the members of the band.

“We are having fun serving the Lord.”