published Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Co-Love lets the music speak

CO-Love will perform tonight at Riverbend on the Volkswagen Stage at 7:30.
CO-Love will perform tonight at Riverbend on the Volkswagen Stage at 7:30.

Ever since they were small children, Brandon, Joseph, Ami, Chris, Lorna, and Christy McKinney have been told they remind people of the Jackson family.

Today, the six siblings are members of CO-Love (Children Of Love), which is based in Pinson, Ala., just outside of Birmingham. They will perform tonight at 7:30 on the Volkswagen Stage at Riverbend as part of Family & Faith Night.

Like the famous Jackson family, the McKinneys are a mix of boys and girls and they sing with a passion and skill that is rare. So rare, in fact, that at least one record label owner told them they would one day be as big as the Jacksons — if they quit singing Christian music and sang more pop-driven songs.

Christy said it was never considered as an option.

“It’s a lot more fulfilling doing the Christian music,” she said. “You get a chance to inspire people in their faith — if they are in the faith — and if not, we try to inspire them to be.”

The second track on their newest CD, “Victory,” is “Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That.” It was written by a songwriter who heard about the label owner’s offer, Christy said.

“Do we regret not changing?” she said. “NO. Not at all. It’s really worthwhile doing what we do. I love where we are now.”

“Victory” is earning the group a lot of attention in the Christian music world because of its surprising diversity. You’ll hear gospel, soul, R&B, funk and a little rock/pop.

“It crosses all kinds of borders, musically and internationally. It’s selling overseas and ‘Victory’ only scratches the surface of what we can do.

“It all comes together naturally. We’ve been exposed to a lot of types of music. We’ve been inspired by people like Elvis, James Brown and [tonight’s Riverbend headliner] Chris Tomlin. We love Chris.”

Contact Barry Courter at or at 423-757-6354.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

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