Marc Bailey, 30, is one half of Ira Grace & The Bible Belt Prophets, playing a CD release show at 8 p.m. Saturday at The Gas Lamp, 1501 Grand Ave.
Q: How did Ira Grace & The Bible Belt Prophets come about?
Sara (Williams, the band’s other singer/guitarist) and I have known each other for quite a few years; through high school and stuff. She was living in Nashville (and me in Des Moines) but she came back for the fair and we met up and realized we both play guitar and write songs. We started sending songs back and forth to collaborate and I was texting photos of Iowa, begging her to come back. She moved back last summer and we’ve been playing ever since.
Q: So is Ira Grace a character the two of you came up with?
It’s made up, a meshing of the two areas we come from. I live out near Bondurant, and Ira is the name of a town out there. Grace comes from her family. We wanted to make it sound like an old revival tent act. Back then everyone had an extremely long name. It throws people off, because they think we’ll be a very big band. We call the audience our prophets.
Q: Have you ever been mistaken for a religious group?
Yes. We have played a church gig, but it was Unitarian so they were very accepting. We won’t turn down a gig. Not a lot of our songs have swear words.