My day started off way too early after such a long night, but that's how GMA week is. I met with Johnny Minick first thing. Johnny is a singer/songwriter/pastor with an incredible heart. Ten minutes and 16 floors later, I sat down with Michael Cook, who's debut album Imprint just came out in January. Michael is another guy with a heart of gold and I really enjoyed hanging out with him. The elevators were slower than usual, so I hit the stairs for a six floor workout in order to make my interview with Admiral Twin on time. I'm so glad I wasn't late because John, Jared and Mark were a blast to talk to. They're three regular guys with incredible jobs and we talked about everything from the Tulsa music scene to their CD to hecklers and drive-in movie theaters! I hated to have to leave, but I had to get downstairs to see "my guys" from Forever Changed. Being pretty much family by now, we sat down in the floor in a back hallway on the third floor and chatted about their video, them doing their first TV spot and being nervous about it and, of course, Chuck Norris! Tom (bassist) likes to say that something about hearing my voice relaxes him and he was so beat that he asked me just to talk for a couple of minutes so he could relax and regroup! I love those guys!!!
My last interview before taking an actual 30 minutes for lunch (with a very bad BBQ sandwich) was with The Katinas. James, Joe, Jesse and John (Sam was tied up) are what I call "poster children" for family and fatherhood. They are 100% committed to the music and the ministry that God called them to, but they absolutely DO NOT let their family time slide in the process. I don't know how they have managed to find such balance, but they have and they do it well.
Andy Chrisman was who I met with after the lunch I should have skipped. You probably remember Andy from 4HIM - I know I sure did. His debut solo project, titled ONE is wonderful and really shows his songwriting skills off to their fullest.
Onward to a Q&A with SONICFLOOd ..... Rick, Grant (formerly of the Paul Colman Trio), Chris, Jordan and Trey were all great. They talked about touring, the new line-up, the new sound and the healing that God placed on Rick's life. I think the highlight (for me anyway) was when Grant really opened up about how his take on worship music has changed so dramatically since joining the band. The SONICFLOOd guys had other meetings and interviews to get to and Jeremy Camp, Hawk Nelson and Seventh Day Slumber all came in for their Q&A. Talk about wide open! ... Jeremy and Joseph (from 7th Day) had everyone in stitches within the first three minutes! The guys from Hawk Nelson were great too - don't get me wrong - but they were the quiet ones for the first few minutes. They talked about everything from Jeremy breaking his ankle a few days ago while playing football with his band to the battles people in leadership have to fight to the responsibility of leading a generation to Christ.
A VERY LONG WALK to the Global Cafe' was next on the agenda so I could meet with some of the Inpop artists. Christa Black was my first victim, I mean interview and, as luck would have it, it was her first interview as a solo artist! She's great and just as down to earth as you could hope for. Mat Kearney came in next and I didn't even recognize him! He's shaved his beard off and it gave him a totally different look. I love his music so getting to hang out with him was a real treat. Paul Colman was my last Inpop artist and I left our meeting with a whole new respect for the man behind the music. He's a real guy who has real problems and life issues and he doesn't try to shine them up so they look like tiny bumps in life's road instead of real potholes like the rest of us face.