Husband-and-wife duo Jeff Barbra and Sarah Pirkle have found “kind of a little niche” as Sunday morning co-hosts of In the Spirit on WFIV 105.3 FM.
“If you came to Jeff and Sarah’s for brunch on Sunday, this is what would be on our stereo—positive, feel-good music,” Barbra says. “We play Sam Cooke, Sam Bush, Merle, Bob Marley. The show is gospel-based, but not the stereotypical all-Southern, all-praise, or all-contemporary Christian.”
The two tape ahead of time at their home in Walland, which is about 10 minutes from the nondenominational Faithway Fellowship in Jesus Name church they attend, and where they sometimes play.
“It used to be a cow barn, and they cleaned it up—literally had to get a couple of trucks and log chains to pull it up,” Barbra says. “Now it’s small, but very high-spirited. I joke around about it being closest to ‘liberal Pentecostal.’”
Listeners can also catch In the Spirit online at myi105.com. Barbra says they’ve been getting a lot of feedback, including salutations from a fan in Abu Dhabi. “Of course, our Sunday morning is 6-7 p.m. for them,” he says.
The hosts have played a couple of songs from their own new collection of original gospel, Family Singing, which is on sale at CD Baby and will be released physically sometime in October. They’ve even found a way to include Barbra’s band the Drunk Uncles in the mix, spinning their version of Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” from their debut album. Says Barbra: “I consider that a gospel song.”