It’s Sunday night around 10 pm Nashville time. My work and pent up curiosity have brought me to Nashville, Tennessee for the GMA (Gospel Music Association) Conference. What began years ago as a giant celebration of Christians in the music industry has now become a spectacle of all things Christian-Culture. Today alone I’ve witnessed everything from godPods and godtube, to Convert tennis shoes and yes…even Christian water. I’ve heard song after song sung from Christian songwriters: some famous, some not, and some who aren’t but think they are.
In a moment of pure jet-lag induced exhaustion, I turned around from the acoustic showcase I was supposed to attend, out the hotel doors, and began walking into the brisk, southern air toward the neon lights of Music City. Following the cadence of about 20 different drum sets down one block to another, I slipped inside a bar where acoustic instruments were exploding with electric energy. My ears perked to the sound of dueling fiddles clashing against the rhythms of a double bass as the smell of alcohol and smoke filled the room, a room filled with passion and realness…and more cowboy hats than I’m normally used to seeing.