Canton Junction is back with their new album"Great is Thy Faithfulness (Live)" on May 1st. " Great Is Thy Faithfulness" finds members Matt Hagee, Tim Duncan, Casey Rivers and ACM Award-winning vocalist/musician Gordon Mote showcasing their unmistakable blends in concert, performing riveting renditions of household favorites including "How Great Thou Art," "I Must Tell Jesus," "What a Meeting in the Air" and more.
Canton Junction isn't your typical quartet. As the name suggests, it is a place where four diverse talents intersect united by their love for music, family, and the desire to proclaim in song what God has done in their lives. With individual resumes including Grammy Award nominations, multiple GMA Dove Awards and Singing News Fan Awards, and citing musical influences from southern gospel to country to Big Band, Canton Junction effortlessly blends traditional and contemporary sounds for a cutting-edge style all its own.
Q: Thanks for doing this interview with us. Congratulations on the release of your new album "Great is Thy Faithfulness." This is your first album with Gaither Music, how did you get to work with them?
Bill Gaither has been always been a tremendous supporter of Southern Gospel Music and especially quartets. From the earliest days of Canton Junction, he has graciously welcomed and cheered us on. When the opportunity came for us to work together on this project, we felt honored and privileged to be able to say, "YES!!!"
Q: Since this is a live recording, tell us a little about the background of this recording. What was the occasion? And where did the recording take place?
This recording took place in San Antonio, Texas, at Cornerstone Church where we were asked to be a part of Pastor John Hagee's 60th anniversary in ministry. The songs were chosen to reflect some of Pastor Hagee's favorite gospel songs. It was a wonderful moment in time, and we are so excited to share it with others.
Q: What were some of the highlights of the recording for you?
Anytime Canton Junction gets to perform there isn't anyone on the platform having more fun than me. I enjoy every minute of it. I love hearing the harmony, and it's always a thrill to sing with some of the greatest musicians in the industry. One of my favorite moments in the night was hearing Gordon Mote share his thoughts before singing "Jesus Will Outshine Them All." It brought such perspective to the lyrics that I could hardly hold back the tears as we performed it live.
Q: You have recorded some of the best hymns and Southern Gospel favorites on this recording. How did you narrow down your song choices?
This record could have been 30 songs long, but we considered each selection carefully before we decided to record it. Some of the songs that were finally chosen were a matter of individual choice, like "Up Above My Head" or "We'll Soon Be Done with Troubles and Trials" (those were Tim Duncan picks), "Does Jesus Care" and "I Must Tell Jesus" (my personal favorites); and then some were John Hagee choices. When you decide to dedicate a performance to someone for 60 years of service you ought to ask them, "What would you like to hear?"
Q: With some of the familiar hymns like "How Great Thou Art" and "Great is Thy Faithfulness," how do you sing these songs with a renewed passion?
The passion to communicate a message comes from the conviction that you have for what you are sharing. When it comes to God's faithfulness or His greatness all you have to do is look at how many blessings He pours out on our lives on a daily basis and use the overwhelming fact of His daily goodness and mercies to share with others just how good God is.
Q: I am sure many of these old favorites mean a lot to you. Can you recall a time in your own life where a specific hymn/song from this collection helped you through a difficult time?
The message of the song "I'm Free" has always spoken to me. Freedom is something that everyone craves, and when it comes to our spiritual freedom none of us deserve it. We should be bound in the chains of our sin and transgressions to a pure and Holy God. However, because of what God has done for us by giving us Jesus Christ as a sacrifice for our sin, you and I have been set free; and whom the Son sets free is free indeed. As the song so beautifully puts it, "I've traded my shackles for a glorious song, I'm free praise the Lord free at last!" I'm not sure I'll ever get over that.
Q: In this age of anxiety caused by the coronavirus pandemic, what words of encouragement do you have for our readers?
Hope in God! I believe that everyone needs hope, and for those who have faith our hope is in the God who controls the Heavens and the Earth. Not one detail of our lives are lost in God's eyes. He knows what we need; He knows what we are going through; He knows when and where to move the mountains in our lives that seem too big to climb. Even though things are uncertain in the world around you, you can be certain of this, "His mercies they fail not, great is your faithfulness!" (Lamentations 3:23)