The following article was written for The Westview, the local newspaper for West Nashville.
April's Gospel Music Week and Dove Awards ceremony showed how much the Christian music industry has changed almost overnight. There were fewer old familiar faces, and many new trendy young male bands in evidence as I walked the halls of the Renaissance Hotel and Nashville Convention Center.
One of the familiar faces at GMA Week this year was veteran songstress Margaret Becker from West Nashville. Margaret was on hand to discuss her new book "Coming Up for Air" released through Nav Press, and she was interviewed by several radio stations and publications regarding the book.
"GMA gets better every year," Margaret told us. "The Indie Impact track was outstanding, a must for Indies and signed artists alike."
West Nashville's Mario Canido was one of the new faces on hand for GMA Week. Mario is part of "The Red Letters Project" that releases in early fall on Velocity Entertainment. This project is the Book of Matthew put to music -- a rock opera of sorts with an amazing multi-media show.
"This was my first GMA I've attended with product in hand, not just as a spectator," said Mario. "I was surprised to see how progressive the whole music scene is and how much talent and enthusiasm is out there. It was great to be able to go around all the local clubs, that I've played in so many times, and see them packed with music and people from this particular market. I was fortunate enough to catch Leigh Nash, who I've always been a fan of, perform at a venue I didn't even know existed until now. I was able to see friends that I haven't seen in awhile and made some new ones, which is always a good thing. Musicians, artists and journalist had nothing but positive things to say about The Red Letters Project and I was honored to be able to do radio spots and T.V. talk shows. Hopefully next year, we'll be able to rock it live."
Bellevue's Geoff Moore (far right), whose career spans a couple of decades, was on hand to support the Dove Award winners for New Artist of the Year, The Afters, who are the new kids on the block. Geoff and The Afters share the same management.
Last, but certainly not least, perhaps the most familiar face in contemporary Christian music is still recording award-winning albums. Belle Meade's lovely Amy Grant captured one of the two Doves issued this year for Inspirational Album of the Year (a tie vote) for "Rock of Ages...Hymns & Faith;" which her husband Vince Gill, another famous West Nashvillian, also worked on for Word Records.
Other winners of the 2006 Gospel Music Awards include:
Song of the Year "How Great is Our God;" Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, Ed Cash; Worshiptogether.com Songs (ASCAP), sixsteps Music (ASCAP), Alletrope Music (BMI)
Songwriter of the Year Christa Wells
Male Vocalist of the Year Chris Tomlin
Female Vocalist of the Year Natalie Grant
Group of the Year Casting Crowns
Artist of the Year Chris Tomlin
A complete lists of Gospel Music Awards winners is posted at:
2006 Dove Award Winnersh
The 37th Annual GMA Music Awards will air in national syndication starting on Easter weekend April 15 through May 21.