After a very inspirational, moving performance by Faith’s Journey & Friends, the cast of Absolutely Country, Definitely Gospel was kind enough to grant an exclusive interview with the BransonShowTickets.com writing team in a quiet corner of the God & Country Theatre (1840 W 76 Country Blvd). The cast of Faith’s Journey & Friends are married couple Jonathan Edwards (baritone) and Deana Edwards (soprano), Jonathan Lee (tenor), Jaime Layton (bass guitar), and Lee Hendrix (keyboard), and Absolutely Country, Definitely Gospel plays Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 5:00pm.
Q: How did the show get started here in Branson, and how did the current cast get together?
Jonathan E: Well, three of us travel together in a singing trio over the weekends, and we really enjoy singing together. We met at the National Quartet Convention in Louisville, KY, where I did radio. I loved my job at the radio station, and did that for fifteen years until one day I went in and they told me they didn’t need me anymore! But it all worked out, because it’s allowed God to open up this exciting new chapter.
Q: What’s your favorite part of the show?
Deana: The spoken word dedication really means a lot to me. It’s not just a traditional dedication to the veterans who fought so hard for our freedom; but rather, it’s a truly heartfelt thank-you for all the sacrifices they made to make us safe at home.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do in the Branson area?
Jonathan E: We’re real big on family, so we try to go to Silver Dollar City as often as possible. Our favorite restaurant is Shorty Smalls – they have these amazing ribs and pleasant service with a real fun atmosphere. We also go to a lot of shows – Jonah at Sight and Sound Theatres is amazing! They do a real creative job of making you feel like you’re really there. The Statler Brothers, Mike Walker, Billy Dean, and Clay Cooper are all a lot of fun, too! We’re not really into the magic shows though (laughs).
Q: How would you describe Absolutely Country, Definitely Gospel for someone who’s never seen it before?
Jonathan E: It’s the perfect blend of country and gospel – you can find something for everyone in this show. I’m a radio guy, and I can assure you will something fun for everyone, as long as you don’t mind a little gospel! (laughs)
Deana: Did you know that at the Country Music Hall of Fame, the very first exhibit on display is a gospel record? So there’s a real history of the two going together hand-in-hand.
Q: How is this show different than other country/gospel shows in town?
Jonathan L: I could be wrong, but we do a 50/50 split of country and gospel. I don’t think other country/gospel shows in town do a 50/50, but we like to present a good balance of both genres for the audience.
Q: What are your hobbies outside the show? What do you like to do on a rare off day?
Jonathan E: We enjoy spending time with our families. We do a lot of travelling. We absolutely love the beach, and Deana loves going down to Alabama’s Gulf Shores. I just love to golf! (laughs) I’m a big sports guy, too.
Q: At the end of the day, what message do you want your audience to take away from your Absolutely Country, Definitely Gospel?
Jonathan E: We’re old-school Branson. We don’t have a lot of lights and bling, not a whole lot of glitz and glamour. But the show ends around 6:30pm, so it’s convenient for people to go get dinner and still have time to make another show!
As an unexpected bonus, presenting your ticket stub for Absolutely Country, Definitely Gospel at Rib Crib gets 10% off your entire tab, located just across the street from God & Country Theatre on 76 Country Blvd. Tickets for Absolutely Country, Definitely Gospel can be purchased at BransonShowTickets.com, or by calling 877-688-3179 seven days a week 8am-10pm CST.