Kimberlee Jo Eaton, formerly Stiles, will return to Great Bend with her husband Mark and their band Renewed this weekend for two performances during June Jaunt.
They will perform at 7 p.m. Friday, June 2, at the SRCA Dragstrip, and from 3-4 p.m. Saturday at the Clayton L. Moses Memorial Band Shell in the Barton County Courthouse Square as part of the June Jaunt lineup.
Eaton describes their style of music as “Christian rock … or, rather, as my husband would say, Christian classic rock, sort of Journey-esque.”
Her family moved to Great Bend when she was 11 years old, her father transferring to this Fuller Brush location. Later, her father opened a restaurant, Chez Robert, that enjoyed some popularity until he closed it in the 1980s. She remembers spending time with her best friend, Kim Vink, whose mother was Kimberlee’s voice teacher starting in seventh grade. She practiced with her through her senior year of high school.
Music would hold a lifelong fascination for her.
The 1979 Great Bend High School graduate left to study music and vocals at Wichita State University. She then returned, working at Great Bend radio station KVGB, 1590 AM. She then received her master’s degree in theater from the University of Kansas.
She has worked as a waitress, a bowling alley attendant, and later in life as an actress, a singer, and a Human Resources manager. She also sings the National Anthem before Colorado Eagles Hockey events.
Her musical influences include a host of modern country music singers, with Garth Brooks as the number one. Her husband, Mark, began playing drums at the age of 10. He’s more into classic rock. He has been a police officer, a radio show host, and the team tailor for a long list of Colorado professional athletic teams, including the Colorado Avalanche, Denver Broncos, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Rockies and the University of Denver hockey team.
Renewing lives through music
But music has been their passion all along, and in 2015, the Eatons were inspired to start their Christian worship band, Renewed.
They have a large repertoire of popular praise songs, she said, along with several originals. One, by Mark, is called “Dear God.” It’s a country piece about being a soldier in the military and the choices people have to make.
Another song, her own, is “Scars.” The inspiration was Kim’s realization that the trials she has endured in life have worked to mold her into the person she is today.
“It talks about how Christ’s scars have helped to heal mine,” she said.
The band has traveled all over Colorado to perform shows at churches, community events and fundraisers, like a recent Lakewood, Colo., show where they helped raise $5,000 in one night for New Horizons House, a nonprofit helping women ages 12-16 in India out of the slave trafficking industry.
More recently, they were part of the April 16 Easter Sunrise Service at Red Rocks Amphitheater just west of Denver. The annual celebration, always with a new and upcoming performer, has become a Colorado tradition.
“That was an awesome experience,” she said. “We performed in front of 12,000 people.”
Sample their music and find out more about the band and its members at www.renewedmusicministries.com .