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Getting to Know Cana’s Voice

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I recently got to chat with the members of Cana’s Voice and hear their hearts about their new record and new venture. Take a peek inside and see what they have to say….

Jennifer Wilkerson: Tell our readers how you got your start in Gospel Music?

Doug Anderson: As far back as I can remember my family has been around music.  When I was in college I worked in some recording studios in Indianapolis and Nashville, where I did background vocals, jingles and demos for country songwriters. I also did sessions at the Gaither Studios.  I sang with a couple of regional quartets before meeting Ernie Haase, which led to me becoming a member of Signature Sound a couple of years later.

TaRanda Greene: I’ve sung with my family since I can remember, but at 18 years old I won Bill Bailey’s talent contest in 1997. From there, I submitted a demo to The Greenes and the rest, as they say, is history.

Jody McBrayer:   I started traveling with a Christian group called TRUTH immediately following college in 1991. I guess you could say that was my start because I had never been on the road full-time until then. [Editor’s note: Jody is most well known as one fourth of the Dove Award winning group Avalon, most known for songs like “Testify to Love,” “Adonai,” and “Can’t Live a Day.”]

JW: How did Cana’s Voice begin?

DA: For the past nine years, my family has vacationed with a friend of mine and his family, Landon Beene, President of IMC/StowTown Records, at a lake in Kentucky. After the kids are worn out with the water activities, Landon and I sit on the back porch to talk and dream about the future, which included putting something together that was just exclusive. TaRanda Greene was a part of that dream and we just needed a third person.  Landon came up with the idea of Jody McBrayer, so we all met one night and wound up around a piano.  It was magical immediately.  Like minded hearts and purpose. We gelled very quickly and a group was born!

JW: When fans come to a concert, what can they expect? Do you each do a solo set or sing any of your hit songs?  

DA: We each have our own solo careers that we have worked really hard to build, but if we are honest, we are group singers at heart.  We always intermingle some of our solo performances into each set, but the highlight for me is singing together.  Fans can expect to hear great music and hear our hearts.

TG: So far, each set has been different. Sometimes we don’t even know what to expect, but the audience can count on lots of singing, lots of worship and lots of heart.

JM: We try to offer a lot of different things. Obviously we do all of the Cana’s Voice songs, but we do some solo songs from each of our projects as well. More importantly, we get to share our hearts and all that God has done. I think that’s the part that I enjoy the most…being able to make that connection.

JW: Your new project is fabulous. I have it playing constantly. It is so hard to pick a favorite. But, is there a song that maybe speaks to each of you and that you enjoy singing?

DA: First of all, thank you.  I have had different ones speak to me at different times. Right now, the song, “Holy Spirit Come and Fill This Place” is the tune I wake up singing each morning.  It’s setting the tone for my day.

TG: I love so many of the songs for different reasons.  However, I’d say that I consistently look forward to singing “His Heart is Big Enough” every time we perform it. There’s a reassurance in the song that I seemingly need to hear every time.

JM: I love “Same Hands.” The message is something that all of us probably need to be reminded of everyday. Regardless of our circumstances, God has us. I also love “Holy Spirit Come and Fill This Place,” not just because I sang the lead on it,but because we are nothing without the Holy Spirit working through us and our music.

JW: What does the next year look like for the 3 of you and as a group? Any special events or projects?
DA: We are getting to travel overseas together for the first time in October, with performances in Sweden and Norway. We have had a lot of interest from our friends abroad. Cana’s Voice fall tour launches in Nashville, TN on August 23 and will also include dates in California, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, Ohio and Texas. Our final tour date this year will be a Christmas concert with Ken Davis on December 2nd.

TG: We just want to be available to whatever God has for us. We’re thrilled for the doors that are opening. We have several things lined up in the states as well as a European tour in the fall. We’re on the move!

JM: The next year is super busy. The record came out in June and then we took the summer off to spend with our families, so we haven’t really been out promoting it. However, we are definitely making up for lost time over the next 12 months. A lot of great things are coming around the pike this year.

JW: You 3 have each been part of award winning groups in gospel music and have sung with the best of the best. What sets Cana’s Voice apart from what you’ve done in the past?

DA: I think we are at different points in our lives and our priorities have changed.  I wouldn’t trade my past for anything, as it’s put me where I am today.  This just feels right.  I want to make a difference and be a part of something bigger than me.  Jody and TaRanda are the same way.  We are not trying to be anything but ourselves, and I think that comes across to the people when we sing.

TG: It’s a new day. Each of us are transformed from who we were, when we were with the other groups. We’re working under new mercies and a new mindset of God’s graces. We’ve accepted who we are and that we’re absolutely NOTHING without Jesus, so that makes for an uninhibited reliance on Him to do what He wants with us. We have no expectations except for Him to work through us. That’s it. And that’s what’s different for us this time around. We have nothing to prove. Nothing to win here. This is kingdom work. This is fanning the flame on the road home.

JM: Our age. Haha! Honestly, with age comes experience. If I could go back and have a ‘do over,’ knowing what I know now and after all that I’ve been through personally, I would most definitely do things differently. However, we all know that’s not possible. Cana’s Voice is giving us the opportunity to communicate the love, mercy and grace of God and how it has been at work in our lives. It’s giving us the chance to ‘go back’ in a sense and use what we’ve learned to help hurting and broken people.

JW: Briefly tell us about your families…do any of your spouses or children travel with you?

DA: I married my high school sweetheart Michele and we have been married for 18 years.  I have a 15 year old daughter, Isabel and a 12 year old daughter, Emma.  They are the light of my life and family always comes first.  That’s the main reason I’ve made the career changes over the past few years, in order to make more time to be with them.  They travel with me some on my solo dates in the summer. As a matter of fact, I just did my first solo tour overseas, so they were able to go.

TG: Landon and I try to travel together as much as possible, and seeing as he is Cana’s Voice’s manager, he’s usually at our tour dates. We have a blended family with four children, who during the school year are at home and very involved in our home community. At times they do travel some with us as much as their schedules allow.

JM: My wife (Stephanie) and my daughter (Sarah-Clayton) come along as often as possible. We’re all navigating crazy schedules with school, sports, etc. so it makes it difficult for them to come along all the time.

JW: What one message do you want fans to take away from your music and your concerts?

DA: Jesus Never Fails.  No matter what you are going through,  He will be there to catch you.

JM: That God has a plan. Even when we don’t see it, understand it or feel it…HE IS WORKING. Even through the heartache and disappointment, His plan is being fulfilled. Have faith and hold on.

TG: Keep moving.

JW: Any embarrassing stage moments or a  funny road story? Those are the best!

DA: Ha! We haven’t been touring together that long, but I’m sure they both have something on me. We have fun laughing at each other for sure.

JM:  Other than the time I stepped off the front of the stage and landed on my face in the center aisle? Or the time I went to sing a big note and spit in the face of the women sitting on the front row? Or the time when I was sick with a stomach bug and I would walk to the side of the stage in between songs and throw up in a bucket, swish with water and then walk back and sing the next song? You mean moments like that?? They are endless….

JW: How can fans get in touch with you? And how can a pastor or promoter schedule you for their church or event?

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Jennifer Wilkerson
Reviewer/Contributing Writer at Absolutely Gospel
Jennifer Wilkerson, recording artist, singer and speaker is a preacher’s daughter from Illinois, and has spent her life in ministry. She studied Music and Education at Olivet Nazarene University and has been a school teacher, worship leader, background vocalist, worked in the music industry in various capacities and also sung with such southern gospel groups as The Chuck Wagon Gang, and McMillan and Life. Jennifer married Dr. Bob Wilkerson in October 2009 and had twin daughters in 2015.

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