Recently I was lucky enough to enjoy my first Home Concert. If you’ve never had the privilege, let me enlighten you. The way it was first described to me was pretty apt. “It’s just like a regular concert, only smaller,” Jason Carson quipped as we were introduced. Jason is one half of an exceptionally engaging duo that call themselves The Carsons. His wife, Misty, makes up the other half. One of the great things about this home concert experience was the fact that I was able to spend some time getting to know the artists involved in a comfortable, intimate setting. The concert was hosted in the home of a friend, and the “crowd” for this show was all of eleven people. While your initial thought might be that isn’t much of a crowd, I can tell you that it was the perfect size for the venue. We were able to chat over appetizers before they began to play, and again afterwards as well. It isn’t often you get access to artists like that. What an opportunity to learn about them as people. It made their music that much more meaningful.
There’s something pure about a voice and an acoustic guitar. Bring in a little harmony and that purity turns into a religious experience. Misty and Jason compliment each other vocally about as well as anyone could hope for. They compliment each other in life just as well. This husband and wife duo obviously have chemistry. Their playful banter endeared them to their audience quickly as they shared their story of joy and heartache trying to find their place in the hyper-competitive world of Nashville music. It was easy to see that music is their passion, and that they are committed to making their passion their life.
Maybe you’re thinking, “How good can they be?” I promise you that the quality of their musicianship and vocals are as good as any professional you’ve ever heard. One verse into the first song, Mystery, and I was trying to figure out how this wasn’t a number one hit. Oh, Misty wrote that one, along with most of the others they played, by the way. Not only can this couple sing and play, but they write great music as well. The night was a personally narrated journey through their experiences. Literally, their autobiography in song.
What was really beautiful about all of this was the authenticity. Here was a couple sharing, not just their talent, but their vulnerability as well. As they played an original they wrote after a more challenging season of life, called More Wishes Than Stars, I came to understand just how much courage it takes to chase your dreams, and how much more courage it takes to redefine them.
Their remaking was summed up beautifully in their song , So Can I. The song represents the encouragement that the community of singers, songwriters, and musicians have to be to one another in an unforgiving industry. Misty and Jason have found a niche in Nashville that allows them to combine their passion for music and their passion for people. They run a consulting firm that helps young artists develop their talents, their product, and their vision in preparation for a career in music. This allows them to stand in the gap once filled by record labels, but left void due to the increasingly independent nature of the industry. Now they aren’t just sharing their music with the world, but sharing the craft of music so others can have their voice as well.
Even that isn’t enough of an impact for these two though. As they prepared to sing their final song, Love Wins, Misty and Jason shared with us their true purpose, not just for the evening, but for life. They passed around envelopes with the pictures of children from a village in Nicaragua. You see, they don’t just perform music for themselves. They don’t just help others navigate the rapids of Nashville. They are partner artists with Food For The Hungry. As such, they are committed to bettering the lives of children and communities that have no chance at doing so for themselves.
Now is every home concert going to be like an evening with The Carsons? Probably not. But if you have the chance to attend one, I would encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity. Maybe you’ll be as lucky as I was, and hear some great music, and more importantly, meet some really great people. If you’d like The Carsons to play for you visit their website at http://carsoncreative.me . You see, music isn’t just their career, or their passion. It’s their legacy and their ministry. Sounds like a life lived on purpose to me.