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Bemidji's Kent Dudley signed by major record company

Some know him as Pastor Kent Dudley, some as an Elvis impersonator, but as of Aug. 8, he can add recording artist. Dudley wrote and produced his own CD, "If It Wasn't For The Blood," which caught the eye of Tate Music Group. Tate offered him a national recording contract. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper

On Aug. 8, Kent Dudley went to his house to find a national recording contract waiting for him from Tate Music Group.

"They said they were impressed," said Dudley, who has been playing music the majority of his life.

A pastor for Faith Bible Chapel in Clearwater County and a 16-year as chaplain of Havenwood Care Center, Kent Dudley has found solace and inspiration in his music. This year, he has signed with Tate Records to create his first CD, "If It Wasn't for the Blood."

The new album is full of Dudley's original songwriting, and covers a large time span as some tracks were written more than 20 years ago.

Dudley plans to re-record the album in late October of this year.

Dudley's music takes on a country gospel feel.

"I sing about my relationship with Christ, my inspiration with Him, and my family," Dudley said.

Dudley's most popular single, "He Gave Me a Friend" is a song he wrote for his wife, Shantel.

Dudley said his family has been a big motivator in his life. With 11 children, he said the focus of his ministry is toward families in general.

"We have seen healing, restoration, joy, and hope in the midst of our trials," he said, "We hope to bring that message of hope through the Lord to all families."

Dudley said he feels grateful for the support that he has received from the local community. His schedule has been full of music festivals around Minnesota.

"At 49 years old," he said, "this will hopefully be the beginning of a new adventure."