I was raised Southern Baptist in a small town on the outskirts of Dallas, Texas. The only music that seemed to permeate in that area consisted of country and gospel hymns. Those songs are so nostalgic to me now as I sing them to my upset daughter. Every once and a while I’ll get a treat from our church home as they slip a hymn into the contemporary lineup that usually makes up the worship portion of the service. There’s something about songs that seep right into your soul with the first few notes. Songs that stand the test of time like “It is Well with My Soul.” And yet, you don’t often hear these songs regularly anymore.
I remember months ago when I decided to embark on a girl’s weekend with friends in Fredricksburg. We woke up one morning and decided to go for a drive for what was advertised as a gospel brunch. Down a quiet road we pushed by fog to find a little tin building full of charm. The inside was buzzing with old tunes that instantly took me back. I could have sat there for hours just soaking in the music. I miss opportunities like this where the music fully speaks to you in a way that involves your past and present. Don’t get me wrong, I love the music I hear everyday on the radio but there’s something about the old classics that really speak to me.
I got to experience these same feelings last weekend in a place I would have never imagined, the Austin City Limits Festival. If you were able to get your body moving right as the first acts hit the stage, you might have heard praises of a different kind. In a tent to the right of ACL eats, a gospel band was featured each day. It was the perfect way to open up our Saturday morning, soothing before the crowds would turn the day into quite a chaotic adventure. This feature of ACL is like a hidden gem many don’t know about. That for about an hour each morning, you can enjoy gospel music like the good ole’ days.
Until next year, I’ll have to find my fix elsewhere. I hear Stubb’s Bar-B-Q hosts their own gospel brunch every Sunday with a delicious buffet to accommodate it. That might be my next venture.