Tonight was awesome! Remember in September how Gerald and I ended up working Gordon Mote’s table at the Gaither concert at the ACC? Well, a few weeks ago, we realized that the Gaithers were going to be here in Nashville this week. So we wrote Gordon’s manager, offered our services, and ended up working the table at tonight’s concert!
I was so excited to see the show, and I hoped I would run into some people I knew. Our table was right next to the Speer table, so I got to have a lovely visit with Ben, Miss Mary Tom, and some of the family. Mike Allen was there, and I also got to say Hi to Reggie Smith, who helped coach me and Scott Baker for our "I’ve Just Seen Jesus" duet this summer.
Gordon was fighting a cold, so we didn’t get to see him in person, but he was in fine form on stage. Actually, the whole show was pretty incredible. Most artists did Christmas music, so that was great, and the stage was simply decorated with wreaths and trees covered in white lights. It opened with the awesome Christ Church Choir, directed by Landy Gardner, with Joy as the soloist. I’d heard great things about their choir, and I was not disappointed. It was a total star-studded evening (and I use that word with proper respect), just full of great artists. Reggie and Ladye Love did a duet, followed by sets from the Easters and the Isaacs, whom I always love! Linda Randle did a few songs, including "His Eye in On the Sparrow", which she practically owns at this point. Ben sang the SG classic, "Beautiful Star of Bethlehem". Signature Sound and GVB were absolute crowd-pleasers, and they just sounded great.
One of the true highlights was Mark Lowry! The only time I’ve really seen him as a soloist was at the Toronto taping last fall, and it seemed that he never really got a lot of air-time. But last night, he was relaxed and funny and completely entertaining. He did a solo and told some great stories, and carried a pocket of one-liners tailor-made for Bill. But the finest moment was when he sang, "Mary Did You Know". Of course, I’ve sung this song often and I just adore it, but what a treat to hear it sung by the writer himself. Actually, as he was singing, I remembered this summer, when I heard Buddy Greene, the co-writer, sing his interpretation of the song. Both men sing it very differently, but both also sing it from a deep and grounded place. Such a blessing to hear both writers sing their song within months of each other.
And here was the other highlight: Gloria was there! It is no secret that I am a huge fan of this lady and her presence and her incredible ability to recite wisdom through a simple lyric. She did a few stories and poems, and laughed as Mark told tales of their breakfasts together, and their talks of God and His wonders. It’s very clear I’m not Gloria’s only fan.
The show went very late, but the hours just flew by. At the table, we got to talk to lots of great people - long-time Gaither fans, and people attending their first Homecoming concert ever. I even had the quirky experience of meeting Wendy V, a lady who reads my blog and who once reviewed my CD. There were people who had never heard Gordon play, and people, like me, who have become recent, but devout, fans. People were quick to share stories of the effect Gordon’s music has had on them.
Such a great night of joy and blessings! And, as these concerts always are for me, it was a reminder of what I want to do, and of the high standard being set by those around me. Tonight, I am inspired... to sing... to write new songs... and to spread the Gospel through song.