GMA Week Updates: Sunday, April 22

Because there is so much to see and do in Nashville, one person cannot possibly cover it all so we brought in Kurtis Kegley to add his take to each day’s events. This is the first in a series of daily updated by Kurtis.
Music Without Walls is the theme of the 2001 Gospel
Music Week. GMA President Frank Breeden welcomed
Media Sunday with a press conference announcing that
overall sales were up 17% over last year which
included a large gain in General Market sales. Mr.
Breeden also welcomed Larry Jones of Feed the Children
announcing that the charity was the official charity
of the 2001 Dove Awards. Dr. Jones sent out a call to
the Christian community to reach out to their
communities by sending Food Trucks to their own towns.
He also announced a GMA week food drive that would
benefit the city of Nashville.
Among the events of the day included an exiting radio
show, Live From the Lambs, broadcast live from
Nashville’s Starstruck Studios, featuring acoustic
performances and interviews with Katy Hudson, Phil
Joel and PFR. I was among the media in the live
audience for the show which featured new artist Katy
Hudson who performed songs from her debut project.
Among the tunes was “My Own Monster” where she
reflects on her walk with God as a preacher’s kid. She
exclaimed “hold me close, I’m so tired of holding
myself”

Later, Phil Joel joked with the audience about having
to wear headphones which felt like a headband, as he
pulled his hair forward. Joel performed a long
acoustic set of songs from his Inpop album “Watching
Over You”. He opened the set with “Strangely Normal”
and then performed “Be Number One” He also talked
about the song and how it was inspired by the Biblical
quote, “If any man would come after me, let him take
up his cross and follow me.”
“El Salvador” was performed with an introduction about
how the song was inspired by the Newsboys trip to that
country. Joel said that the trip rekindled his focus
on responsibility as a follower of Christ to keep his
focus right.
The highlight of this show was the newly reformed PFR
which played some old and new songs from the new
Squint album “Disappear” which is being released this
Summer. The most enjoyable part of PFR’s performance
was the band’s laid back approach to the program and
improvisatonal performances of Ricky Skaggs song and a
song about Three Mile Island.
The evening worship service was held at the historic
Ryman auditorium, which was the former home of the
Grand Ole Opry. Michael W. Smith led worship and
proclaimed the service, the most important event of
the week. This service was truly a blessing to all
who attended. Artists involved included Lincoln
Brewster (on guitars)and an all star artist choir with
Out of Eden, The Katinas, Rebecca St. James, Third
Day, Cindy Morgan, among others. Paster Don Finto
gave a brief and energetic message which started with
proclaiming God’s power and majesty using the
Beattitudes.
Capping off the evening was the Songwriter’s Showcase
sponsored by BMI. This event was held in the ballroom
of the brand new Hilton Hotel across from the soon to
open new Country Music Hall of Fame. The ballroom was
packed with Gospel Music Registerants. The evenings
hosts were Nicole C. Mullen, and Aaron Wilburn.
Among the highlights was Mark Shultz who told the
story behind his Dove Nominated song “He’s My Son.”
The song was written about a family from his Church
who had a son fighting Leukemia and written from their
perspective. Shultz said that he spent a few months
trying to write this song and one night it was
basically given to him by God when he was sitting in a
room. Adding a comic moment to the showcase was Mark
Heimerman, who introduced himself as Stacie Orrico
before He and Stacie performed “Don’t Look at Me” from
her debut project. Heimerman spoke about how when the
idea of the song came up, it was an appropriate way to
introduce Stacie as a new artist in that she was not
just another teen pop star to be idolized and the fact
that Christian’s are not perfect was a great way to
keep her introduction in perspective.
Later, Michelle Tumes introduced the song “Breathe”
which was recorded by Sixpence None the Richer, from
the Streams project. She said that this song had been
pitched for the project reluctantly because she felt
it was not that good of a song when it was being
considered. The song was about the Holy Spirit and
how it permeates our lives like air.
John Cooper from Skillet also performed his Dove
nominated Rock Song Best Kept Secret from the
Invincible album. He also took a comedic tone when he
said that the song featured the line “I’ve found you
out” which could be taken as an inadvertant
Calvinistic reference. The sarcasm in his facial
expressions was very tongue and cheek in referring to
Calvinism.

Keep checking back for MORE GMA WEEK COVERAGE!

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