Mixing Christian country, bluegrass, Southern Gospel and even some yodelling, Lawson Bates' latest release "Freedom Sure Ain't Free" is a breath of fresh air. The album even features two of Bates' own compositions. We are honored to be able to catch up with Lawson for this exclusive Hallels' interview:
Hallels: Congratulations on the release of "Freedom Sure Ain't Free." Before we start talking about the new CD, can you briefly tell us more about yourself?
I am 21 years old. I am the 4th child of 19. Most people know me and my family from appearances on TLC's "19 Kids and Counting" and "The United Bates of America."
Hallels: Have you always been a fan of Country/Southern Christian music?
Yes! I grew up in east Tennessee where bluegrass gospel is a favorite, and I was definitely influenced by it. I began playing guitar and mandolin around 12 or 13 yrs. old, developing a huge love for the southern gospel and bluegrass sounds.
Hallels: You have also written two songs on this new record. Can you tell us what inspired you to write these two songs?
The title track "Freedom Sure Ain't Free" was inspired by a military veteran who shared a testimony about his sergeant who lost his life serving in Iraq. I was deeply moved by the story about this man's sacrifice and began to work on the lyrics for this song.
My goal in writing "The End Down Here" was to show a Christian's perspective of death. There is hope and peace for those who place their trust in Christ. It is a song to offer encouragement in a seemingly dark hour.
Hallels: I really love your rendition of "Happiness is the Lord," especially your yodel. Why did you choose to record this song?
Well, I've always been a cowboy and western fan, and learned to yodel listening to Roy Rogers. I wanted to add a yodeling song to the album, and "Happiness Is the Lord" had a perfect old school swing feel, so I worked on creating a few new yodeling licks to add to its lively tune.
Hallels: I have read on your website that you are working on a movie. Can you tell us more about this movie.
The movie is going to be a western drama/ comedy set in the 1880's - 1890's. The underlying theme of the movie will be forgiveness. Filming is tentatively scheduled to begin in 2015.
Hallels: For our readers who may want to purchase your album or find out more about you, where can they go?
The album can be purchased at lawsonbates.com, Itunes,googleplay, and other online stores. You can keep up with new projects and information through my website or twitter and Instagram @lawbates.