Many families--couples, brothers, and sisters—work together on music projects in the Christian music industry. It's the norm. The emerging band CLINE is a great example. The band, comprised of Garrett Cline, his wife Jacquelyn, and his brother, Darrick, are becoming well-known for their music. In 2021, the trio has dropped two singles: "Anchor" and "Refuge" and plans to release more in the coming months. I caught up with Garrett, Darrick, and Jacquelyn to talk about the band, working with country artist Dylan Scott, and more.
Introduce us to CLINE. How did you get started?
Garrett: Jacquelyn and I have been married for over 10 years. Darrick and I grew up playing music together. We've spent the last seven years touring with Dylan Scott who's a country artist with Curb Records in Nashville. But, before that, we were touring and playing at worship camps.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we lost our main sources of income. We lost our jobs because the touring world shut down. And, when this happened, we felt like it was an opportunity to reach back into what has been an ongoing project for us, CLINE.
We've worked on our band for a long time. So, we were thrilled when all these doors started opening for us. It's like what Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 16:9 (NIV): "Because a great door for effective work has opened to me." During our journey, we have met many people along the way who share our vision for what worship music can be and how it can impact our church, our community, and, hopefully, our world.
So, the three of us started making a record. We wrote songs with Curt Gibbs, a songwriter, and producer at Curb Records. Darrick and I had already worked with him quite a bit. "Refuge" was the first song we wrote together during the pandemic.
And, with the pandemic, many bad things have happened—and continue to happen. But, like God always does, He has taken the bad and has birthed songs we hope can impact our local and the global church.
You briefly mentioned how you worked with Dylan Scott. What has that experience been like for you?
Darrick: It's been a major blessing. Before meeting Dylan, we didn't know much about how the music industry worked. Through it, we've met many people and formed many different friendships. We met our producer, Curt, who also produces music for Dylan. We also met our friends at Curb who have been helping us out. God continues to use the pandemic as a door for our music and our ministry.
Garrett: We still tour with Dylan. He has some shows booked for this year. Our number one goal is to write and release music that the church can sing. So when we're not touring with Dylan, we're booking shows with CLINE. We're trying to say "yes" to as much as we can, as well as honor our commitments with Dylan.
When we started the conversation about pursuing CLINE more intentionally, we didn't want to leave what God called us to do with Dylan. There have been opportunities where I've counseled people in a catering greenroom in an arena as much as in our local church. We feel it's very much a calling. Jacquelyn also feels like it's a calling. It's a calling for her to take care of life at home, while Darrick and I are away.
There are ways that Jacquelyn can impact people at the gym where she can't in a 30-minute worship set on a Sunday morning. We've tried to live our lives in such a way that we are Christians in the world, but not of the world. There's no difference between Jacquelyn when she's leading worship, and Jacquelyn when she's training somebody at the gym. Or, Darrick when he's playing drums at church versus him playing drums at Bridgestone Arena. There's no difference.
Every day, we try to do the work that God's called us to. We try to be very aware of our surroundings and how God might use us to minister to people.
You recently released your new single, "Refuge." What's the story behind the song?
Darrick: "Refuge" is the first song we completed at the beginning of the pandemic. During that time, everything felt like it was ripped away from us. There was a moment for me when I had to get in check with what I find my hope and my joy in. Is it music? Because as much as I love music, that's wrong.
Jacq killed the lyrics on "Refuge" with, "A broken melody/I bring to the throne of God." It's so powerful.
Jacquelyn: We knew Jesus is our refuge. But, during this pandemic, we're learning that in a completely--yet very unexpected--new way. I love the lyrics that Darrick mentioned, "A broken melody/I bring to the throne of God." Even my best song is still not worthy to bring to God. But, because of Jesus, that's what he wants. He wants all of it.
Because of Jesus, God only sees the good in me. So I'm worthy to bring Him all my broken pieces. That's part of the lesson we're learning as we navigate through the pandemic. It's saying to God, "We're broken. We don't know why we're having to go through this season of brokenness, but we're still going to offer you this. We're going to trust that you're our refuge." The song expresses what we were learning in that season.
CLINE is an independent band. What are some of the pros and cons of writing and releasing music on your own?
Garrett: One of the pros of writing and releasing our own music is that no one can tell us what to do. There's nobody setting our release schedule. And there's nobody telling us that we can't write or sound a certain way. Another one of the pros is the freedom of being independent. Because of our work with Dylan, we understand more than we used to about the music industry and how it works.
One con is we don't have a lot of resources for marketing. But God has connected us with some key people that have helped us expand our reach. Another con is we don't have the resources to impact a wide range of people. It doesn't matter how great a song you write is if no one can hear it.
I say this all the time: if God wants something to happen, there's nothing we can do to stop it. And if He doesn't want something to happen, there's nothing we can do to make it happen. We're just trying to be faithful with every dollar and lyric that God gives us. That's something every artist can do—whether they're independent or signed to a record label.
Jacquelyn: Our income doesn't reflect what we're capable of doing with CLINE. God has continuously given us what we need to keep moving forward. Through the pandemic, we learned that when we need something (and it was God's doing), He will provide in some way. To Him, money is just a number. We said to God, "We trust you." And, with that trust, He's been kind and generous to take care of us at every step.
What's next for CLINE? Any upcoming new music?
Garrett: We're hoping to release a lot of music this year. I can't talk too much about the next song. But, we have it ready. We have three or four more songs coming this year. We're trying to take everything one song at a time, and we'll see what happens.
Grace Chaves has been a fan of all things Christian music since 2016. She is one of NRT's youngest writers. Homeschooled, Grace is an author, loves Jesus, concerts, and road trips.
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