Twitter was abuzz with #Hutchmoot tags yesterday after Andrew Peterson’s announcement of the special guest for this year’s Nashville faith and arts conference: singer/songwriter Rich Mullins. Mullins, 57, had big Christian music hits in the 1990’s with “Awesome God” and “Sometimes By Step”, has been nearly unheard from since the release of “The Jesus Record” in 1997.
Mullins has spent most of the last decade on a Navajo reservation in New Mexico, continuing to teach music lessons to children and reportedly working on a memoir. It’s not immediately clear what prompted Mullins’ desire to jump back into the music world by attending Hutchmoot.
“I was stunned to get the phone call”, said Hutchmoot organizer Andrew Peterson. “Rich has been an inspiration to me for decades. Rich’s music is the common fabric that inspired so many of us who write at The Rabbit Room and who record as the Square Peg Alliance. It’s a great honor to have him join us and share at Hutchmoot this year.”
Adding to the Hutchmoot buzz was a tweet from long-time Mullins producer Reed Arvin (@reedarvin) who said yesterday “Exciting phonecall from an old friend. Can’t produce this time but he couldn’t have picked a better producer.” This was followed, ten minutes later, by a single-word tweet from Andrew Peterson collaborator, pianist and producer Ben Shive (@benshive): “Speechless”.
Tickets for this year’s Hutchmoot have long been sold out, but Rabbit Room proprietor Pete Peterson notes that he is keeping a waiting list if there are any last-minute cancellations.
Rich Mullins passed away as the result of a car accident 15 years ago today. Those of us who grew up loving Rich’s music are forever in his debt. We miss you, Rich. Rest in peace awaiting the resurrection.