Kari Gooch: The “Quirky” Member of Karen Peck and New River

Kari Gooch of Karen Peck and New River
Kari Gooch of Karen Peck and New River

Younger Perspective on Kari Gooch: By Erin Stevens

A word from the writer…

I have kept you all waiting long enough for this exciting interview! I knew it was finally time to help you get to know the daughter of one of the most prestigious, highly awarded and well loved ladies of our Gospel music industry. Who else could I possibly be referring to other than Karen Peck Gooch? Today, let’s dive into her darling daughter’s life, the sweet Kari Gooch, and find out what roadie livin’ looks like through her eyes.


It’s your turn to take center stage, Kari…


Erin: What was it like growing up with your mom being such a prominent figure in Gospel music?

Kari: As I get older, I see how loved and respected my mom is in the industry. Honestly, she has just been mom to me. She has always been there for me, and has always tried to put my brother and me before anything else.


Erin: For those that may not know the backstory, share what your first night on stage was like.

Kari: About two years ago, my mom got sick and completely lost her voice. I have always been really shy, and the thought of going on stage and singing terrified me! However, when my mom lost her voice, my Aunt Susan came to me and asked if I would help her sing, and I’ve been on stage ever since. Sometimes I still get nervous when I have to sing, but I’m trying to work through that!


Erin: How would you describe what it’s like being raised on a bus? Feel free to share pros and cons.

Kari: Being raised on the bus has definitely kept my life interesting! I practically learned to walk on a bus, so I have great balance. I’m really blessed to get to go different places every week, and to see things that most people my age have never seen. One downside to being raised on a bus is the space. When I was little, my brother, cousin, and I would try to think of different games to play. It’s really hard to play hide and seek on a 45-foot bus.


Karen Peck and New River
Karen Peck and New River

Erin: If you could do a duet with anyone in the music industry (any genre) who would it be?

Kari: One of my favorite artists right now is Tori Kelly, so I’d love to do a duet with her.


Erin: Are there any good books you’re reading lately that you’d like to share?

Kari: I am currently trying to finish up my freshman year of college, so most of the reading I do is studying for my classes. However, the last book I read for fun was “Good or God” by John Bevere.


Erin: When you’re off the road, how do you unwind and regroup before leaving out again?

Kari: One of my favorite ways to unwind from the road is going to the gym. It’s a good way for me to clear my head and prepare for the next trip. Plus, it makes up for all of the junk food I eat on the road!


Erin:  Do you have a special Bible verse that means a great deal to you?

Kari: For my 18th Birthday, my mom gave me the book, “The Prayer of Jabez” by Bruce Wilkinson. Ever since then, The Prayer of Jabez has become a big part of my life. “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil.” (1 Chronicles 4:10)


Karen and Kari Gooch
Karen and Kari Gooch


1) Beach or mountains? Kari: Beach

2) Hunger Games or Divergent? Kari: Hunger Games

3) Ice cream or cheesecake? Kari: Both!

4) Make-up days or no make-up days? Kari: Make-up days

5) Birthday or Christmas? Kari: Christmas

6) Fun with friends or solitude? Kari: I like both. I love my friends and I love hanging out with them, but at times I can be a loner. Those same people I hang out with make fun of me because of it!

7) Morning person or night owl? Kari: I really don’t feel like I’m either one of these. I’m definitely not a morning person, but then I don’t like staying up late either! Everyone always laughs at me because I sleep more than a 100-year-old woman!



Erin: What is your favorite food in the history of all foods everywhere?

Kari: I have a lot of favorite foods, but my all-time favorite food would be my mom’s homemade lasagna.


Erin: What are four words you would use to sum yourself up?

Kari: Shy. Dependable. Organized. Quirky.


Ricky Brady, Kari Gooch, Susan Peck Jackson-Karen Peck and New River
Ricky Brady, Kari Gooch, Susan Peck Jackson-Karen Peck and New River

Erin: Is there a venue that stands out to you as a significant event you loved being a part of?

Kari: I look forward to Singing in the Sun in Myrtle Beach each year because I get to see a lot of my friends during that week.  


Erin: With all the pressures and expectations our world is pushing on young girls today, how would you extend a word of inspiration to young women your age as you’re crossing from teen years into adulthood?

Kari: I would tell young girls to always be yourself, and don’t give into the pressures of the world. God made you to be unique and special. Be secure in yourself and keep God at the center of your life. When you focus all your attention on Him, nothing can stop you! 


Closing words from the writer…

I can say without a shadow of a doubt, that Kari’s encouraging words can not only impact young ladies, but women of all ages. It’s a tough world we live in; may we keep our focus upward, and remember that there is no one else as unique as you, as me and as Kari. Spend some extra time today thanking Him for the miracle of life He’s given to you. We can say with the Psalmist: “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.” (Psalm 139:14) And may I also add a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to Kari for taking these few, special moments to chat with us today.


Until next month, Scoops fans. And that’s my take on it.

You can connect with Erin on Twitter – @photosforkeeps • Instagram – @photos_for_keeps Who would YOU like to see Erin interview next?

First printed in SGNScoops May 2016.

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