The Christian Grass Roots Multi-Media Magazine
The SUNDAY SHOUT!
August 31, 2006
NASHVILLE BLUES CONNECTION - MEET THE REAL GYPSY CARNS
Filed under: FRONT PAGE — Bo @ 12:13 am
by: Robbie Machon (Robbie or as we know her, “Boop” - is the sister of Bo & Dabo KAZKILL. Bo & Dabo thank her for using her writing talent to create this article for the Glory of God!)
I recently had the privilege of interviewing the great General Gypsy Carns, a Christian Blues icon. I originally had plans to hammer out a quick biographical sketch, list of musical accomplishments, and maybe pepper in a bit of testimony. Little did I know when I set about this seemingly simple task that I would discover Gypsy Carns not only as an outstanding musician, but as an anointed American Blues Preacher. Neither did I anticipate encountering such a colorful, bigger-than-life character. A gruff-looking, biker-type guy whose appearance might prompt you to cross the street at dark in order not to get too close, but whom if you actually engage in conversation with find to be one of the gentlest, most humble of men who has the Spirit of God all over him. In contrast, there is also something about Gypsy that causes people to gravitate towards him, to listen to what he has to say, to be captured by those piercing eyes that you know hold worlds of wisdom. The type of wisdom that is acquired thru a hard-lived life transformed by the power of Jesus Christ. Wisdom that cannot be taught in a theological seminary, but can only be instilled by God into a human vessel to accomplish His purposes. Yes, there is something about Gypsy Carns that transcends his style of music, his two Grammy nominations for blues songwriting, his multiple nominations as Blues Musician of the Year by The Music City Blues Society, and the recognition from other artists and the industry as an accomplished, expert musician. That ‘something’ is called the Anointing, and man, has God given him a double dose of it!
Gypsy Carns was raised in the deep south of the United States, and grew up listening to the American music scene on a small transistor radio. Even as a young child, he was drawn to music as a deer is drawn to water. Making music wasn’t just a desire of Gypsy’s, it was an integral part of who he was to become. Gypsy couldn’t be separated from the music that burned in his soul since he discovered that magical sound piping through the airwaves out of Nashville, Tennessee. Throughout his life, he was able to accomplish great prowess as a multi-instrumentalist, including guitar, Dobro, percussion, and harmonica. In 1966, he began his career as a performer in Florida, embracing its music/surfing culture. In 1991 he landed in the Los Angeles music scene, but by this time the enemy of his soul had long recognized the talent and potential that God had given Gypsy, and placed many distractions in his path to prevent his career from reaching the magnitude it could have. During these three decades, Gypsy was fully submerged in a ‘rocker’s paradise’ of drugs, booze, and fast women. As the Word tells us, this lifestyle might have been fun for a season (Hebrews 11:25), but came at a great price as Gypsy’s God-given calling was sidelined for many years.Thankfully for Gypsy, and for us all, God is a God of restoration, and He preserved Gypsy and his talent thru all of the fodder, continually tugging at Gypsy’s heart to return to the One who is the giver of talent and the creator of life. Though the rock’n’roll music scene may have presented many a temptation, the Word is still true as it says in Genesis 50:20, “…you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.” When Gypsy finally yielded to the Holy Spirit in the early 1990’s, God was able to use the experiences Gypsy had in the ‘world’ to mold who he was to become as a musical ambassador for the Kingdom. Though there were bumps and stumbles on the road back to the Lord, Gypsy has come through it all with a unique gift to reach an audience the ‘traditional church’ has left by the wayside, but who desperately need to hear the soul-saving message of the Messiah.Since Gypsy’s decision to return his life and talents to the Lord, he has produced ten CDs, ranging in style from great hard-rockin’ tunes to wailin’ blues originals and classic blues remakes. His style may have evolved, but his message has remained consistent. It is to tell an end-time generation that Yeshua is the true Messiah, and the time to convert is now. As the title and tracks of his latest CD, “Sound the Trumpet” proclaims, his ministry is to alert the Jewish nation, as well as unconverted non-Jews, that the end is near and time is short. His passion for this message is exemplified in his life, as he has toured the United States, Italy, France, England, Germany, Japan, Amsterdam and the Netherlands, and most recently to China and Israel to proclaim the name of Yeshua. He has just returned from a mission directed by the Holy Spirit where he preached the Word and ministered in song at the Wailing Wall and Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. Gypsy Carns is truly what the Word gives inference to as a living witness (Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth,” and Acts 10:43 “To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission (forgiveness) of sins.”) He carries the torch well for the original guitar-playing, street-preaching, American blues preachers, and has taken this genre to a whole new spiritual level equipped for an end-times generation.
To Gypsy’s credit, not only is he a brilliant musician, but an accomplished businessman. While he shies away from his success in the secular world, I must ‘toot his own horn’ for him. In 1975, Gypsy began working in the bottom ranks for the world-renowned Gibson Guitar company. He climbed the corporate ladder and today is Global Director of Customer Service, an esteemed position that brings Gypsy into contact with world famous musicians on a routine basis. Why do I point this out when Gypsy prefers to downplay his success? Because through past weeks of listening to Gypsy’s story, it has become clear to me that his Gibson position is just one more example of the Lord preserving those whom He has called, raising up His beloved and appointing them to the high places (Isaiah 48:15 “I, even I, have spoken; Yes, I have called him, I have brought him, and his way will prosper.”) Not only is Gypsy able to minister thru his unique style of music and preaching to the ‘common man’, but he is also witnessing daily thru example to some of the world’s most powerful musicians and entertainment industry executives. The Gibson gig has also given him an edge to be more than just a ‘struggling Christian musician’ hoping to make a difference. In many ways, it has been the fuel to fire his ministry, allowing him opportunity to minister across the globe and hand out CDs to those who haven’t the resources to purchase them. It is my belief that God has granted Gypsy Carns success in the music business world in order to achieve such an impressive, evangelistic music career.As my time with Gypsy in preparation for this article wound down, I found myself wondering what the Lord held in store for him next. I’m not sure even Gypsy can tell you, but I sense in my spirit that it will continue to be great things. At 56 years old, Gypsy Carns is already a Christian Blues legend and an effective American Blues Preacher, and the trip isn’t over yet! As the Lord continues to speak, Gypsy will continue to listen, and spread the good news to all who will lend an ear.
Meet The Real Gypsy Carns