The Associated Press State & Local Wire
April 10, 2003, Thursday, BC cycle
During Gospel Music Week, Christian music reigns in Nashville bars, nightspots
BYLINE: By BOBBY ROSS JR., Associated Press Writer
SECTION: Domestic News; State and Regional
LENGTH: 591 words
DATELINE: NASHVILLE, Tenn.
Fiberglass horses and neon signs emblazoned with “Budweiser” and “Jose Cuervo” aren’t usually part of the backdrop for a Christian music concert. And the patrons at the Wildhorse Saloon don’t typically order iced tea and water.
But this is Gospel Music Week, when some of Nashville’s most popular bars and nightspots trade lying-and-cheating songs for hymns about prayer and redemption.
Dressed in black and strumming a guitar, 37-year-old Paducah, Ky., native Eric Horner looked like any other country music singer as he joined an ear-piercing band onstage at the Wildhorse. But the lyrics of his new album’s title cut, “Prayer Warrior,” gave him away.
“The army of the Lord must daily take our stand,” Horner sang at a talent showcase Tuesday. “He is our rock, our sword, our shield, even on the battlefield.”
About 3,000 Christian music artists, promoters, retailers and record executives have gathered in Nashville for events that culminate with the 34th annual Dove Awards on Thursday night. The awards recognize everything from staid gospel quartets and country to rock, rap and teen pop.
Nashville may be the home of country music, but the Christian music industry – with 50 million albums sold and $1 billion in revenue in each of the last two years – is also a force here.
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