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Rockin 4 Jesus: The Next Great Band You Haven't Heard Yet

Rockin 4 Jesus: The Next Great Band You Haven't Heard Yet

Nicole Brice

Oct 22, 2022


Many bands label themselves and label themselves wrong. Case in point, Baton Rouge's own, Empowered.

A Christian Rock band fronted by Benny DiChiara with Shane Madere Jr. (lead guitarist, backing vocalist), Jeff Maddox (bass and background vocals), Mic Capdeville (percussion and background vocals), and Justin Burdette (guitarist and background vocals), this band has a serious unique sound that needs to be heard and is much more than just Christian Rock.

With lyrical content that pulls at your heart strings, Empowered proves they are a band you should take notice of and listen to.

credit: Gary Governale

Empowered got its start in 1998 and was the brainchild of DiChiara who had previous success on the local music circuit singing with various secular bands. In 2011, they released the album "Soulcry" to modest success, but it wasn't until 2019's "Three Days" that the band really began to pick up steam. "Three Days" was produced by Mikey Howard of 7eventh Time Down / Love Journey Music and showcases the Empowered sound in all its glory.

To follow up the success of "Three Days", Empowered have recently released their third EP, "Yahweh-Nissi" via Slingshot Records, an Indie label based in Baton Rouge, LA.

The title track is straight up in your face rock-‘n’-roll with a hardcore message and the rest of the EP is a finely produced melodic journey of love and Jesus that will leave you singing at the top of your lungs.

Empowered performing at Yes Fest in Baton Rouge, LA on October 15, 2022 credit: Gary Governale

Shane Madere Jr., lead guitarist for Empowered, said of the sound he achieved for recording the title track, "I used a combination of my Ugly Amps Big Ugly 100 on the Ugly Channel plus an emulation of an Xotic BB Preamp from my Fractual Audio AX8 unit to get the sound I was looking for." Shane definitely got it right and the guitar has a nice crunch with the sound emulating the stomps of an army on the march.

When I asked Shane of his guitar influences, he cites Eric Johnson.  “My solo sound and even the notes I used on the studio recording of Yahweh-Nissi was very much influenced by him.  He writes very melodic solos that fit the song."

Shane Madere Jr. (guitar) credit: Gary Governale

Recently, Empowered took the stage at Yes Fest 2022 to play their new EP in its entirety at the state fairgrounds in Baton Rouge sharing the bill with 7eventh Time Down and Kari Jobe amongst others. Their set was a powerhouse performance of finely tuned music that left you wanting more.

Justin Burdette (guitar) credit: Gary Governale

Of the experience playing Yes Fest, DiChiara has said, “Playing Yes Fest in Baton Rouge was such an exhilarating experience, not only being on that stage, but the ministry aspect of it as well.  It’s an amazing and humbling thing to see God work things out for our good – but only if we are looking to see it."

Mikey Howard of 7eventh Time Down with Benny DiChiara credit: Gary Governale

He went on to say, "A special thanks to all of the artists who we got to share the stage with. 

It wasn't just about meeting other artists and hearing about their ministries, but we also got to share the stage with our mentor/producer/friend/brother in Christ, Mikey Howard.  We sang our new radio single 'Jesus Can Heal The World' and it was an incredible moment."

Mikey Howard took the stage to perform "Jesus Can Heal the World" with Empowered credit: Gary Governale

Empowered's sound is definitely unique and DiChiara has said of their sound, "Well, it’s not necessarily that we're trying to write to a sound.  Over the past two records, we do seem to have come into our own.  Someone said if U2 married Daughtry, we’d be their band baby."

Jeffrey Maddox (bass) credit: Gary Governale

When asked what inspires the band, he went on to say, "The inspiration simply comes from God.  Yahweh-Nissi was a direct discussion between He and I, and I was told of the direction for the title track.  It’s simply a war cry for believers to rally with Jesus and take it to the evil that seems to be everywhere in the world right now.  I think that the rest of the record points everyone in that direction as well.  Who’s gonna rise tonight?".

These guys in Empowered are definitely on the rise and people should take notice.

Mic Capdeville (drums) credit: Gary Governale

Empowered's new EP, Yahweh-Nissi, is available NOW on all streaming platforms and you can learn more about the band via their social media and YouTube.

Empowered | Facebook

EmpoweredOfficial (@empowered_rockin4jesus) • Instagram photos and videos


‎Empowered on Apple Music

Empowered | Spotify

*All photos by Gary Governale*

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