4:00 pm. Today was a light day for me at GMA. I took one last gander at the displays in the exhibit hall at the
Convention Center which was closing down right as I got there. After replenishing the depleted stack
of Christian Activities and a couple of brief mini-meetings, I got to hear dc Talk soundcheck for their big late night showcase before I
headed over to the Ryman for the Provident showcase.
Jim Van Hook did the introductory honors
before the stage was dominated by a video presentation of Kirk Franklin and Mary Mary. Then Kirk
took the stage, live and in person, to sing “Lovely Day.” Kirk has presence and when he takes the
stage, he is the consummate crowd pleasure, poking a little fun at his racially mixed audience and
crossing these same boundaries with sly wit, sheer talent and love for the Lord. He was almost both
mascot and measuring stick for the evening as every artist who followed him made some reference to
Kathy Trocolli was the veteran hostess of the evening and did a good job charming the audience and
belting out her own songs in the inimitable KT style between sets. The act I was most interested in
observing was next. True Vibe took the stage by storm with their tight harmonies, energetic
choreography, and boy band exuberance. A lot of expectations are riding on these young shoulders
and they lived up to their early hype and made the crowd wanna Jump, Jump Jump.
Next up was popular college band, Caedmon’s Call. Still considering themselves a college band, this
group has managed to reach far beyond the university campus and has amassed a following of fans
of all ages with hits like “Love Has Come.” They are working on a new worship album of songs
from their home church in Texas and performed “The Dance” to give us a taste of things to come.
The Canadian presence was big at GMA this year with Jake and Steve Bell and now Matt Brouwer.
Matt brought special guest and fellow new artist Joy Williams on stage for one number, which was
another fun moment in the night’s entertainment.
Over in the ballroom things were hoppin’ as Benjamin’s Gate was wailing to a large crowd. Other
artists were wandering in and out including John Schlit and Jackie Street. After catching a little bit of dc
Talk I was out of there for a little catch up on some work projects as well as my nightly report!
Photos are coming soon and as well as more details. Check the Gospel Music Week section for more news, GMA activities and earlier Journal and Update entries.
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