|By GREGG WANDSNEIDER - Special to TimeOut||
June 19, 2014
It’s been a while
since we’ve heard the name Danny Gokey.
It was four years
ago when Gokey released his first album, “My Best Days,” after
making it as a finalist during the eighth season of “American Idol.”
On Monday, Gokey’s
newest musical project, “Hope In Front of Me,” will be released on
BMG records, a division of Sony Entertainment.
A few days after that - June 27 - Gokey and his band will bring
their soulful sounds to Fox River Christian Church in the Town of
Waukesha. The concert will benefit Exploit No More, a local organization
dedicated to prevention of and education about sex trafficking.
So what has Gokey,
34, been up to? He has spent the last several months raising a family
with his wife of two years, Leyicet. Together, they have one child and
have another one on the way. They live in Nashville with their two dogs.
with the opportunities that have been presented to us,” Gokey said.
close to his heart is Sophia’s Heart, a shelter for the homeless that
Gokey said is in honor of his first wife of the same name. The shelter
now has three locations, in Nashville and Milwaukee. Through his stories
and songs during the concert and his newly released book, “Hope In
Front of Me,” Gokey hopes to share stories of the positive changes
that have taken root in people’s lives because of this organization.
“I want to mix
hope with entertainment,” said Gokey, who uses the social media
The title track from
Gokey’s sophomore album, “Hope in Front of Me,” also is the lead
single. According to his website, the song has defined his life and
underscores his mission to reach out to others with hope and
“I want to deliver
a message that feeds the soul, but makes you want to move and groove to
the music. That’s always the goal when I write. I’m a person of
faith, so I always want my songs to have a strong message of hope,”
Gokey said on his website.
Though he is not
calling this a tour, in addition to the show in Waukesha, Gokey also
will be playing at the House of Blues in Dallas on Friday and Houston on
Saturday, and in Green Bay for two shows June 28.
“I have one foot
in the church and one foot in the entertainment world,” said Gokey,
who performs in a variety of venues, from churches to nightclubs.
“I don’t shy
away from being a Christian,” he added.
Gokey grew up
singing in a church with his family, including his five siblings, and
also has been a worship leader. He said he feels good about coming back,
so close to his hometown of Milwaukee, describing it as cultural and
such a great food and music scene,” he said.
Gokey states that he
has a “really great relationship” with Wisconsin Vision, who helped
him develop a line of eyeware to give glasses to those who can’t
Gokey continues to
give encouragement for those who are trying out for “American Idol,”
and pursuing a career in music. Though his music career flourished after
“Idol,” Gokey, who was a worship leader for eight years, said he
spent years pursuing a music career before “it really happened.”
Gokey has some
advice for people just beginning to pursue a career in music: “Follow
your heart, but take your brain with you.”
At a glance
What: Danny Gokey
album release concert to benefit Exploit No More
When: 7 p.m. June 27
Where: Fox River
Christian Church, S46-W24130 Lawnsdale Road, Town of Waukesha
June 26, tickets are $20 for Artist’s Circle, $10 for general
admission. A VIP add-on ticket for early entry at 5:30 p.m. and a
question-and-answer with Gokey is $10. Tickets at the door are $23 for
the Artist Circle and $13 for general admission.
544-6000 or www.itickets.com