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What Am I Doing in Winthrop?

Some of you may know that I decided to release my newest album with the help of a record label.  That label is Centricity MusicJason Gray was my introduction to the label a few years ago when he joined their ranks, then Andy Gullahorn and Jill Phillips were invited by the label to visit a retreat center in Washington so they could talk to a group of independent artists.  What?  A Nashville record label that a) likes the Gullahorns and Jason Gray and b) gives a hoot about independent artists?

When it came time to put the finishing touches on Resurrection Letters we sent it to a few labels to see what the reaction might be, and if one of them seemed to get it, and the contract was agreeable, we’d consider releasing the record with their help.  Well, my manager met with the Centricity folks.  On the way home from the meeting she called me with a note of incredulity in her voice to tell me that she thought that it might be time to sign a record deal again.  They loved the record and wanted to be a part of it.  What?  A Nashville record label that 1) likes my music and 2) wants to help more people to hear it?

There’s more to it than that, but you get the idea.  We signed on the dotted line, and both parties are happy with the agreement.  (If you want to know more about the label, you can read the glowing things Christianity Today had to say about them here.)  I’m proud to be a part of their team.

So, what am I doing in Winthrop?

There’s a yearly retreat in this Old West town during which the artists on the label and the staff spend a week together learning, meeting, praying, planning, brainstorming, recording, etc.  I don’t know of any other labels that approach their work with this same kind of care, wisdom, and attention.  These guys seem to truly care about the artists, about the music they’re making, and about their place in the Kingdom.  So I’ve spent the last few days observing, wondering what exactly I got myself into.  And the conclusion I’ve reached is that it feels just right.  Ask me in two years and the answer may be different, but right now, this afternoon in this cowboy town with a few minutes to collect my thoughts, I’m grateful.  Very grateful.

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