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Dailey & Vincent: Keeping the Faith
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On December 29, 2007, Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent kicked off their first paid tour date, standing on the Ryman Auditorium stage without their band, singing the gospel song, “By the Mark.” Dailey and Vincent’s debut on the Grand Ole Opry’s historic circle demonstrated their commitment to gospel music, and the award-winning bluegrass twosome hasn’t wavered in their desire to sing praises to God.

“We love gospel, and that’s usually our favorite part of the show,” says Dailey. “Sometimes we like to rush up the front part just to get to the gospel part.”

Since their auspicious start, the dynamic duo has dominated the bluegrass music world. They made history when the International Bluegrass Music Association chose them as the first act to win Emerging Artist and Entertainers of the Year in the same year (2008), a category they dominated for three consecutive years. Last year, they received the GMA Dove award for Bluegrass Album of the Year for Singing From the Heart.

Their latest CD, The Gospel Side of Dailey & Vincent (Cracker Barrel), features a mixture of styles including Southern Gospel, traditional bluegrass and some contemporary numbers. One song in particular touched the crowd at a festival in Switzerland.

“We did a song called 'Come Back to Me' (talking about the prodigal son), and the full house, 3,000 people, gave it a standing ovation,” Dailey recalls. “This is in a nation where they have a lot of secular people, so that was pretty overwhelming for us.”

“I almost cried,” Vincent admits. “I was just so touched that the Lord would use us to get the message out to them.”

They don’t call what they do a ministry. They’re simply two Christian men who try to remain steadfast in their faith.

“We have so many folks that come up to us and say ‘there’s something about when you guys sing,’” Vincent says. “I have the feeling I know what that is. The Lord shows up and touches them through the songs and the way we sing.”

Vincent grew up in church, and remembers he was about 10 or 11 and “it was just an overwhelming desire to walk up to the altar and bow on my knees and say ‘I want to accept your son, Jesus Christ, as my Savior.’”

His partner made his life-changing decision as a teen. “I was sitting in the pew one night, and I had this overwhelming feeling and just started crying and carrying on,” Dailey says. “I went down to the front and gave my heart to the Lord, and I was baptized in the Church of Christ there.”

Their Bible-believing fans admire the guys, not only for their music, but also for the way they walk the Christian walk — so much so that they are bombarded with prayer requests through Facebook and at concerts.

“I don’t know why they ask,” Vincent says. “I guess they see the Lord in us and know that we try to seek and be as close to Him as we can. I’m thankful that they want that. You’re supposed to ask your brothers and sisters for help if you need help. On Sunday morning, when I’m at church, I always make a point to go down to the altar and lay all those burdens that those people have, and I take it to the Lord for them on their behalf. I intercede with their hearts in mind. I pray that the Lord hears that and knows my heart. I’m not saying that to get more record sales or be better than anybody else. That’s my personal conviction.”

While Dailey and Vincent are moved by their devotees’ desire to ask for prayer, Dailey is also nervous when people turn to them for answers.

“I’m a singer with a message,” Dailey says. “I don’t want people putting me up on a pedestal, thinking I have the answers or have the right way. I’m like everybody else. I’m just a beggar trying to tell everybody else where the food is.”

The two hunger for help from God with stresses in their career and question how others can handle struggles on their own.

“I don’t understand how people can have problems and have nobody to turn to,” Dailey wonders. “The Lord is the only one you can turn to that you can really trust. People who don’t believe — how do they get by without just going crazy? You have to take your burdens and lay them at His feet. And that’s hard to do because we’re human, and we want to take control of things and do it ourselves. We can fix it. We’re not nearly the heroes we all think we are.”

Over the last four years, Dailey and Vincent have left a significant mark with their music, not only with award trophies and CD sales but also as unintentional missionaries for God.