Facets of Faith for Nov. 24, 2012

Just as with headliner TobyMac (see the related story on this page), Brandon Heath is riding some recent success.

The release of his most recent album, “Blue Mountain,” coincided with his Grand Ole Opry debut. Heath said, “It was one of those days that will definitely go down in history for me.

“Growing up in Nashville, it’s (the Opry) one of those things. We revere the Grand Ole Opry, so it was special for me to be on that stage,” Heath said.

That excitement carries to the Hits Deep Tour.

Heath said, “I LOVE Toby. I am such a fan of his. We’re friends, too. I think this is my fourth tour with him. He’s such a great role model, but also a great friend.”

Heath was excited the day of the interview because the members of the tour were gathering a few days later at TobyMac’s house.

In response, TobyMac said, “Brandon is big on communicating and fellowshipping and hanging out and trying to learn from each other.”

And it was that spirit that led TobyMac and his wife to feed about 30 members of the tour for a chance to talk “about the tour and what we were hoping for, the heart behind it,” TobyMac said.

Heath said, “This Toby tour ... is going to be more fun than anything else. I’m only doing three songs during the night, but I get to use Toby’s band, so it’s going to be fun.”

Friday night will be Brandon Heath’s second performance in Baton Rouge.

“I really love it down there,” Heath said. “I love Louisiana in general. It feels like home, good and Southern.”

However one memory of Baton Rouge may not seem traditional Southern, “My favorite place to eat in Baton Rouge is Tsunami’s,” he said.

“I took a ride by the university the last time I was there. We went to the tiger den. We got to see the live tiger, that was cool.”

And Tiger Stadium “is amazing.”

Heath has been touring for his “Blue Mountain” album.

“The whole thought behind ‘Blue Mountain’ comes from a C.S. Lewis quote that says some people are like blue mountains: Blue and majestic in the distance, but if you were to get up close to them, you would see that they are brown and green like everybody else is.”

This led him to record in Asheville, N.C., in the mountains and to bring in his love of Americana and country music. “I think a lot of that is really working these days with Mumford & Sons and other bands,” Heath said.

He also “really wanted to bring in a little bit of folklore,” which shows up as small-town characters in the songs.

“And I think the mountains are such a cool, mysterious place. It was the right place for a lot of story songs,” Heath said. “This is a storyteller’s record.”