The Summer of Praise Under The Tent at the top-of-the-hill Maine Top Mill, across from Ralph’s Homes on Route 1, will present a special Sunday concert July 17 at 4 p.m. featuring Mike Upright and Heaven’s Blend.

By now, those who travel Route 1 through Waldoboro have probably noticed the tent at the top of the hill. This is the fifth summer that the Waldoboro Word of Life Church has set up the tent, allowing those who attend different churches and those who don’t regularly attend at all to come together for praise, worship and learning. Many have been attending the Friday night concerts, and this week adds one on Sunday afternoon.

Upright, who been singing songs of hope and inspiration to God’s people and sharing the gospel around the United States for more than 15 years, comes to Maine from his home in the mountains of North Carolina. Dubbed by some as The Southern Gentleman of gospel music, Upright shares the message in his songs with a smooth vocal style that is very distinctive. Fans of such classic country greats like Merle Haggard and Marty Robbins will notice their influence.

Upright has appeared on TV shows such as TBN and “Front Porch Gospel” and has charted many songs in the nation’s top gospel music magazines. His music can be heard on XM radio and gospel music stations throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Netherlands and more. Upright spent nearly six years as manager and lead singer of the Bluegrass gospel group Standing Tall before launching a solo career.

Heaven’s Blend, formed in 2000, began as a quartet and became a trio before being a duo for a short time; it is now a quintet. Tom Rawley, a Waldoboro native, has been the senior pastor of the Waldoboro Word of Life Church for more than 25 years and also is the chaplain of the Waldoboro Fire Department. Many may remember Rawley, a vocalist, keyboard player and composer, from other local musical groups The Country Wranglers and Hosanna. Pastor Tom, along with Gary Leet, is one of the founding members of Heaven’s Blend. Leet is the senior pastor of the Lisbon Free Baptist Church, as well as founder and teacher of the Life-changing Faith Bible Center. His musical background is that of a rock drummer, and he adds both vocals and drums to Heaven’s Blend. Marcel Ward of Rockland is a talented harmonica player and part of the worship team at Waldoboro Word of Life Church. Craig Tuck, a Youth Pastor at the West Harpswell Baptist Church, plays bass guitar with the group and has also composed some of the its music. Vocalist Tim Connelly, who also ministers in many local churches as Just Tim, completes the group; he is performing as Just Time Friday, July 15, at 7 p.m.

As they are under a tent, all events are held, rain or shine. All are welcome to stop by for as long as they are able to stay; bring your own lawn chair (or a cushion) if folding metal chairs are too uncomfortable. The tent now has screens, which has reduced the bug attendance. A goodwill offering will be taken to help cover traveling and other expenses. For more information, call 446-3288.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or