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Between the Liner Notes

The New Nate Sallie

By Jennifer E. Jones
CBNmusic Producer

CBN.comNate Sallie is a changed man… but you can tell that from his album cover.

He sits on top of a rusted piano in the middle of a forest. His head is shaved; his clothes sport a hip vintage look. He’s a far cry from the gel-haired, one-man-boy-band that he portrayed just a few years ago for his debut album Inside Out.

We last saw Nate Sallie on The 700 Club, chatting with Lisa Ryan about his fatherhood, his new single, “All About You”, and his Dove award nomination. It seemed like all was right was Sallie’s world. Then, he disappeared.

“That was a blessing in disguise,” he tells CBNmusic. “With the radio, the Dove nominations, singles that did tremendous, you would think that the project would have skyrocketed and done very well. It would have spawned another project right behind it. But thank goodness, God looks out for us, and He works all things together for our good. He did that in this case.”

The surprisingly lackluster sales of Inside Out moved Sallie in a new direction, for which he is extremely grateful.

“This complete fog lifted,” he confesses. “For four or five years, I had lived in this mediocrity – just getting by without even knowing it. It’s easy to look back now and go, ‘What in the world was going on? Why was I barely making it?’ But I didn’t know it at the time.”

The new Nate emerged when he sat down at the piano ready to pen the first notes of a song. He loves to tell the story of how he turned around to his wife and said, “I’m back!” She knew exactly what he meant.

“There was this clarity of mind. The words just began to pour out where I could see them materializing immediately,” he describes. “[I prayed] ‘God, I don’t want to write another song just to write another song. I’ve written a million songs throughout my life. I don’t want to try to find a clever title or a cool idea or a slick radio single. God, I want You to write the song through me.’”

Those songs became the connecting puzzle pieces to Ruined for Ordinary, Sallie’s latest album on Curb Records. Track after track is full of enthusiasm and passion for a life lived beyond the world’s expectations. Talking with Sallie made me realize that the music is simply an overflow of what God poured into his life.

"There's a heightened level of excitement, because it's Him that you're allowing to go before you. I wasn't running out before God, yelling out, 'Come bless what I'm doing.' I was saying, 'God, whatever you're blessing, that's where I want to be.'"

The transformation in Sallie's life affected more than just his music. It also changed his role as a husband.

"There was unconfessed sin and unforgiveness that was in my life that I didn't even realize. It was hindering me from living in fullness and completely experiencing all that God had," he says. "The enemy would say, 'If you confess this to your wife, your marriage is going to crash.' That was the lie. Thank goodness, as we walk in truth, the truth sets us free. But we've got to believe that, and I did. It was quite the opposite. My marriage went to a new level. It went to heights and, right now, is stronger than it's ever been, because there was nothing hidden. My wife and I live in freedom with one another -- completely open, honest."

Sallie says that his relationship with his daughter blossomed as well. "I want to get to the heart of my daughter instead of just disciplining for discipline's sake. 'Go to your room' or whatever. You become a more focused parent instead of just a shotgun effect. We're agents that God has raised up for this child and hopefully more children in the future."

That future looks pretty bright for the new Nate. He has tour dates scheduled well into the fall and is promoting his new book, Sing Through Me, a collection of stories that get to the heart of Ruined for Ordinary.

Among those songs is “Undercover Belief”, where Sallie sings about bearing his soul on his sleeve. It’s the message of a man truly changed from the inside out with a faith that can’t be held down.

You know what I believe
It’s not a mystery
Or a secret place in me…
I don’t ever want anyone
When it’s all said and done
Saying, ‘Why didn’t you tell me?’
I want the world to see
It’s not an undercover belief

“If we contain what God has poured out in us, then it becomes stagnant,” he explains. “We want to rub off on people. We want God to be so evident in our lives that people wonder what is different. We want to glorify Him in every single thing we do. It’s a fully integrated lifestyle. It’s not compartmentalized. It’s not, ‘Hey, this is the private me; here’s the public me.’ It’s not divided. It’s completely 24/7. I want everybody to know that.”


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