“High Christianity’s positive contribution to artistic culture can actually spill into every area of our lives.”
Ed: Keith, the album is dropping today. Tell me, what is this all about?
Keith: It’s called Sing! An Irish Christmas Live at the Grand Ole Opry.
We started writing this Christmas music ten years ago, and we could never have dreamed we’d get to do this ten years on.
But the Sing! Conference this year was ‘The Life of Christ,’ and the first day was ‘An Incarnation.’ Just as we were thinking about that and what we would do in the evening, we were talking about a new television special with PBS. TBN came around and said, “We want to put this around the world,” and they made a bigger vision for it. They said “Let’s create a new television special.”
So on the hottest day in 2019 in August, we recorded two Christmas shows at the Grand Ole Opry. So it’s really exciting; it’s part of a campaign to help to get the nation to learn the ten great carols of the faith in the hope that the people learn them and sing them to their kids and their grandkids and their friends, and that it will be something that they remember as the years go on.
When we were PBS artists, we would do half of our interviews on faith radio and half would be public television interviews, and there was quite a lot of questioning about why we would be trying to do religious carols, because apparently, in current surveys, only one in the top 40 Christmas songs is religious now, and this got me really riled up.
I thought, I’ve got to get people back to learning these carols, because they’re the master works of the Christian faith, and they help us learn it, and they are just so good to sing.