Christmas with CAIN: Hartselle natives return for hometown concert at FBC Hartselle
Hartselle natives Madison, Taylor and Logan Cain, collectively performing as the rising Christian band CAIN, will be returning for a hometown concert at First Baptist Church Hartselle Dec. 13. The group will be performing at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., and limited tickets are available for each show at the church office and online.
Madison said she and her siblings are excited to be returning to their Hartselle roots.
“We were born and raised in Hartselle. We have a rich Hartselle history; our grandfather was the principal of Hartselle High School for about 30 years, and because of that the football stadium is actually named after him,” Madison said. “It’s so cool because Logan got to play football at J.P Cain stadium, and my sister got homecoming queen, and our grandfather crowned her.
“It really is a rich Hartselle history. Our parents still live in Hartselle; they have been pastoring a church there for well over 30 years, so we do come home often to visit.”
Despite a year that has made traditional concerts and tours impossible, Madison said the group has had great success this year, and they credit that to their recent shift from country music to Christian music.
“We originally pursued country music. After a while, we really got plugged into our church in Nashville, and it was really kind of crazy how everything fell into place when we made everything centered around Jesus and the church,” Madison said. “From making the switch to Christian music, we had a record within two months. We spent five years doing it on our own, and it has been such a joy doing Christian music.”
Before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, CAIN was set to open for Zach Williams and We the Kingdom in a large, multi-city tour. The first show the group received a standing ovation, and things seemed to be going well – until the tour was canceled five shows in.
“It has been a rollercoaster. I was hoping this would be a big year for us, but then the first half of it seemed like it was going to be the end for us,” Madison said.
“We all went home, and our songs went out to the radio, and we were supposed to do a month of radio tours,” she said. “You usually do an artist visit with every radio station, and we did not do a single one. So for the first weeks we were just getting reports that no one was playing the song.
“It was just one of those things – I just felt so helpless. I could not contribute to the cause,” she said. “So I really did examine my whole motive. Why did I do this? Did I really lay this down to the Lord or am I still hoping to be a big success?
“Somewhere around the beginning of August, a big station started picking it up. Then, between August and September, it had already climbed into the top 10. So I do feel like that has been a theme for our life: Lay it down and let God do what He is going to do with it.
“It truly has been one of my favorite years of my life, and I had so little to do with it.”
From there, the siblings continued to do small concerts. Madison said they have been able to do a mixture of outdoor shows and smaller venues during their free time. Their successes continued to build, despite the interesting year, as they fulfilled a dream of performing at the Ryman in Nashville and then their song became No. 1 on the radio.
Despite their success this year, Madison said the group never imagined becoming professional musicians. Growing up, they took to music naturally and were active in their parents’ congregation, but Madison said they never imagined working professionally in the music industry.
“We have lots of videos, as early as 4 and 5 years old, standing on the stage,” Madison said. “At 12, 13 and 14, we started leading corporate worship at our church. That was a really great early exposure. I feel like that really helped prepare us for public speaking and things like that, but we never really had a dream of doing music full time. It just didn’t seem attainable. It felt on par with being a professional athlete or an astronaut.”
During their time at Tory University, the siblings took a chance in a competition to open for Dave Barnes after being encouraged by a friend.
“It was a lot of voting. We got 30,000 views on this video, and that was huge. We wound up winning, and our very first show ever – we had not even written a song – we got open for Dave Barnes,” Madison said.
“So through that process, that gave us the idea that maybe we could be good at this.”
From there, the group worked several years in country music before making the switch to Christian music. Madison said the swap has changed everything for them, and they are still in awe of the year they have had in 2020.
Madison said hearing their song on the radio for the first time was a surreal experience.
“Our radio person Facetimed us and told us K Love was playing the song. I threw my phone across the room, I was so shocked,” Madison said. “The song would come on the radio, and there was a jolt of electricity just recognizing it … When we got to No. 1, some bigger artists called to congratulate us, and that is crazy to me – that people have heard it!”
CAIN has a six–song EP out and is working on the next. Madison said the writing experience is something that can change from day to day but is a process that is given to them by God.
“God is the creator, and creating things is part of His nature. It’s something we get from Him,” she said. “Being creative is having a likeness to God. He has to give us ideas. Sometimes writing a song is more like science, where you pick a key and words, and then sometimes it’s an art, and you can’t ever know what days you’re going to get the art, but you just have to start with the science.”
Madison said the concert at First Baptist Church will be an exciting opportunity to play some of their songs as well as a Christmas set, and she is grateful to her hometown community.
“It would be amazing to see everyone come out. We would be so honored,” she said. “A huge part of who we are came from growing up in Hartselle, and we are proud of where we grew up.”