Monday, October 17, 2005

Nashville Pneumonia

I had a brief run in with a guy who is trying to make a go of it as a Christian musician down in Nashville, TN. Our conversation led to a number of different issues about faith, music, and the industry. There was one odd theme I was struck with as I listened to his stories, producers.

You need them if you are going to cut a record, I understand this. But as a musician, when can you start saying no to their ideas and suggestions. For example, when this guy was signed one of the first things his "Christian" producer mentioned to him was he thought he should get into the weight room. Now we are not talking about a large guy or someone who looks out of shape, but someone of average physically health. Something just doesn't sit right with me thinking about this situation. I guess there is a business side to the Christian Music Industry, but if we were to boil it down shouldn't it still be a ministry.

As I think back to all the the Christian concerts I have been to over the years, there is one aspect that sums them all up. I wish I could say it was giving praise to God or empowering people to change the world through service, but unfortunately it was their polished image.

Is there hope for the Christian Music Industry?


At 5:51 PM, Blogger Lukas McKnight said...

You've hit on a good subject here, I think, and I hope many else add their opinions.

I listen to almost zero "Christian" music (but I see God in other kinds of music, even if it doesn't have that label). Why? I can stand almost none of it. It has no freshness, and ALL of it has, as you put it perfectly, the overly polished image. It doesn't seem real. I don't want all the songs to end up happy and tidy; life isn't that way. It doesn't have to be squeaky clean. I think I learn more about God listening to Bono sometimes than I do from many of today's Christian artists. I hope to hear some more opinions on this one. Bueno blog, Ja.

At 9:55 AM, Blogger jay baehr said...


I am fully with you regarding its "tidiness" being unrealistic. I have found most of my life spent as a schizophrenic individual who relates well to the ups and downs of the Psalms more than the 'ups' of "Christian" music

As a worship leader I have found a 'few' artists who do press well into the heart of the worship music realm.

Sorry for all the 'quote' symbols.

At 12:14 PM, Blogger Josh Rude said...

Forgive me because this does not pertain to your post, but is that a picture of you and Buster?

At 12:17 PM, Blogger jay baehr said...


As a matter of fact it is.

At 1:33 PM, Blogger theultrarev said...

I saw Jars of Clay this summer at the Fair. Fabulous concert.

Now, lest you think I'm getting rich up here in the snowbelt, my band at church had bought me the tix.

Anyways ... these are folks that are definitely not polished. Especially the one dude's guitar. Where the pick guard was supposed to be — there was a hole worn through the wood. And one of the other dudes played this beat up base with scratches and chipped paint.

Instruments looked like crap. Music was incredible.


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