There are some names in the Southern Gospel Music industry that are synonymous with Southern Gospel. One such name is Hinson.
Weston Hinson and his wife Christy, along with daughter Jordan and newest vocalist Logan Smith, currently carry on the family legacy left by the original Hinsons.
We recently caught up with the group. Their feedback is as follows …
Jimmy Reno: The original Hinsons were a legendary group in Southern Gospel and turned out numerous hits like “The Lighthouse,” “Call Me Gone,” “That I Could Still Go Free,” and so many others. Does the Hinson Family follow in the same style of songs and arrangements, or do you feel your ministry is moving in a different musical direction of its own while still reaching back to the roots laid by the original Hinsons?
Weston Hinson: I think it’s important to draw from influences while at the same time be true to who you are, and I believe if my dad were alive he would tell me, “be yourself.”
Reno: Kenny Hinson won numerous awards and impacted so many other artists with his voice and ministry, including myself. Growing up with your father achieving so much success in the Southern and Country Gospel genres, Weston, how soon did you know that your calling would also be in singing?
Weston: I think being in and around music and ministry my whole life, I may have looked over – or to be honest, didn’t take being called seriously – until I reached my early 20s. It would be easy to see the success of my dad and assume his children would want to follow in that, but I wanted to make sure success and accolades were not the reason I followed the call of God on my life. I can assure you it’s not why my dad followed the call either.
Reno: Christy, you write songs in addition to contributing vocals to the group. Where do you draw your inspiration for new songs, and how does that process work from the original idea to the finished piece when you’re writing?
Christy: Well I’m not really one of those give-me-a-phrase-and-I’ll-write-you-a-song-type writers. (That’s) not to say I haven’t done it, but I just tend to write from either experience or something that moves me. Uncle Larry (original Hinsons) calls me a heartfelt writer, and usually it all comes at once, the lyrics and music together. It may take two or more days to work it out, but it’s usually just like God’s downloading a song straight to me. I only have one song it took me three years to complete, and it’s coming out on our next project. It’s called “Say The Word.” Be listening for it.
Reno: The Hinson Family music has a more modern country style in its arrangements and instrumentation. Do you feel that this style is the future of the industry moving forward?
Weston: Well, to say some of our music has a modern country feel would not be wrong, but as a whole, we are pretty diverse. We do a lot of throwback to our roots with some conventional and original family music. Let me say this … we have many flavors, from bluegrass, classic country, modern country and just good ole’ Southern Gospel. It’s who we are; if you look back, my family did the same thing in their day, and we are just carrying on the tradition. I wouldn’t want to speak for the industry, because everyone is different. That’s a good thing. This is just the way we feel we should go.
Reno: You’ve recently added a new member to your group. Can you tell us a little about Logan Smith and what he brings to the Hinson Family?
Weston: Logan Smith and our daughter Jordy were engaged in December of this last year, and because we didn’t feel newlyweds need to be separated, we had to talk about what we would do. So, Logan decided to be a part of our group, and we were more than happy to have him. If you have heard Logan, then you know he has a phenomenal voice. He first made his appearance on tour with the Gaithers at the ripe old age of only 10 years old. He would belt out songs, and you thought Vestal Goodman herself just walked on stage. So how can you go wrong mixing Goodman and Hinson flavors together? It’s pretty good stuff.
Reno: Jordan, was singing something you knew as a child you wanted to do? Did you envision this opportunity of singing with your family?
Jordan: I always loved traveling with my parents and grandparents as a child to hear Gospel Music and listen to them sing, but I don’t think I ever envisioned myself singing with the group one day. I was great in school and always wanted to be a nurse or veterinarian, but after a few months on the road with mom and dad when I was 14, I was hooked. I knew that this was what God had called me to do. I am so blessed, not only to get to sing and serve God, but I am blessed by all the lives we see changed in the process. To me, seeing people’s lives changed is worth every mile.
Reno: When the Hinson Family performs in concert, what do you want the audience to take away from the program?
Weston: A life change and to know that God can take any situation, any broken heart and put it back together.
Reno: You have a brand new project, and the first release was a song penned by Gerald Crabb entitled “The Light Just Came On.” The song says, “Mercy found where I was living.” They are powerful lyrics, and you do a fantastic job on it. Are you seeing this song reach people and having an impact?
Weston: What can I say but, “awesome song by an awesome songwriter.” And oh yeah, we have seen big ole’ guys cry on this one. You can tell mercy found them where they were living.
Reno: What are the goals for the Hinson Family? Where do you see your ministry going, and what do you hope to achieve through your music?
Weston and Christy: Our goal would be to do music that reaches more and more people, and we see our ministry doing just that, so that broken lives can be mended and lost lives can be saved. Ain’t that what it’s all about?
Reno: You have been in the middle of a move to Nashville, Tenn. Christy has said she dreamed of moving there one day and changing the world with her songs. Can you describe what the move means for you as a ministry and how it benefits what you do?
Christy: For me, it gives me a chance to collaborate with other writers. It also moves us closer to most of our dates, which is a lot easier on my health … well, everyone’s health to be honest.
Reno: What upcoming events or things are you excited about that you want fans to be aware of?
Weston: We are so excited about our new project with Song Garden Music Group, called “Now Is the Time.” There are some great songs. There are songwriters like Gerald Crabb, as we mentioned, and Kenna Turner West, Lee Black, Michael Farren, Chris Unthank, Jason Cox, Teri Wilkins, Larry Hinson, Jordan Honea – our daughter – and Christy and I, all wrote songs on this new project. And, of course, we would love for people to come see us at Silver Dollar City on Aug. 14 and 16.
If you have the opportunity to attend a concert in your area by the Hinson Family, I strongly encourage you to go. Their combination of ministry and powerful songs gives the Southern Gospel fan a memorable experience. As the original Hinsons before them, the Hinson Family shares their talents with the goal of serving Christ and answering the call on their lives. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Photographs courtesy of the Hinson Family.
By Jimmy Reno
First published by SGNScoops Magazine in June 2017.
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