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Ten Days sings of God for 11 years

Ten+Days+sings+of+God+for+11+years
Early Saturday morning in a basement room scattered with amps, DJ mixers and musical instruments, Ten Days sets up their equipment for a practice session. Allen Nichols, 41, is on guitar and vocals; Bob Kuhnel, 51, plays the bass; and Rick Vary, 50, does drums and background vocals.

The band has been together for around 11 years, forming only after Kuhnel and Vary’s previous band broke up. The lead singer of the old band left, leaving the two members one man down and little time to practice for an upcoming gig at a coffeehouse.

“We had 10 days to practice for [the gig]. That’s where the name came from,” Vary said.

Not long after, Nichols was asked to come play guitar and when their new lead singer left, he stepped up to the microphone.

“Allen really felt like God was asking him to take that position to sing,” said Vary.

Nichols’ faith has played a big role in his music career.

“I was 16-years-old when I really felt God saying ‘I want you to learn guitar, and I’m going to use you to encourage others,’” Nichols said.

Nichols also started writing all of their songs, adding to what he thinks differentiates them from other local Christian rock bands.

“[We] create simpler but powerful music to share the gospel with a little bit different sound than what is predominately in the market,” said Nichols.

New Vine Media, a nonprofit media label, assists artists like Ten Days in developing, producing and publicizing their sound. John Carter, the CEO of New Vine, said there is growth in the Christian music scene in New York state as well as locally.

“There’s a huge scene in Elmira, there’s a couple groups here in Ithaca that we picked up; Binghamton, Buffalo… There’s been a huge upsurge of that kind of music in the last five years.”

According to Business Wire, digital album sales of Christian/gospel music increased from 4.8 million to 5.3 million between 2011 and 2012.

Despite this increase in popularity, Ten Days still finds it difficult to land gigs because they play mostly original music and a few cover songs of other Christian rock songs. They never play anything secular.

“In our area, there are no places that will generally allow bands that just do their own music,” Vary said. “They want you to play rock covers, 80s covers, classic rock, that’s what they want to hear.”

However, the band has performed in a variety of places such as churches, youth gatherings, coffee houses and they played at the Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally in Binghamton for a couple years.

Kuhnel, who used to perform classic rock by himself in bars, enjoys the changes that came with being a part of the band.

“I went from doing it for my own personal enjoyment to feeling a sense of responsibility to share the gospel,” Kuhnel said.

Right now, the group is taking a break from shows and is focusing on recording at Big Time Studio in Interlaken, NY.

“We’re working on our first full-length CD and when that CD is finished we’re looking to book a lot more gigs,” Vary said.

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