Juggling road shows and motherhood has Amy Grant saying her current 11-month tour will be her last.
"I laugh at Elton John, who's had four 'last' tours," Ms. Grant said. "And I don't say it to bring some dramatic finality to this tour. Honestly, I don't think it makes sense to juggle motherhood, singing and road life for very long."
Instead, she sees herself continuing studio work, which includes completing three albums.
Son Matthew Garrison, 16 months, not only has changed Ms. Grant's life but the way she and her husband, guitaristsongwriter Gary Chapman, travel.
Now instead of riding in a bus with 10 other people, they have a family bus to themselves.
"I used to see a lot of movies and sleep late and mostly be a hotel rat," she said. "Last year we started the tour with bicycles under the bus. We took a lot of picnic lunches and we did a whole lot of getting out in cities and meeting more people than we ever had before."
She saw a small park on her way to a performance in Billings, Mont., one day last fall and pledged to take Matt to play the next day. When she followed on her promise, she found herself in the middle of a play-care group woth mothers all about her age.
They laughed and talked and she offered to treat the women to the concert that night if they could fond sitters.
"That kind of casual interaction makes me feel like home," she said.
In additon to juggling career and family, some perceive that Ms. Grant must juggle a pop and Christian audience.
Her new album, "Lead Me On," which was noiminated for a Grammy Award for Best Female Gospel performance, was released simultaneously by a religious label, Myrrh Records, a part of Word, Inc., and by A&M Records.
But Ms. Grant rejects the tendenccy of both Christrian and pop audiences to compartmentalize her into one category or the other.
"All I do is walk down the path stretched in front of me." she said. "Sometimes I feel people coming along with a stick of chalk trying to mark a line here. Lines are irrelevant to me."
Ms. Grant said she doesn't see her audience divided among pop and Christian fans.
"I feel like I am the same person when I go to see Elton John or Stevie Wonder as I am when I see Bob Bennett or Michael Smith," she said. "I don't wear different clothes."
She said sometimes the music makes her feel different "but I dance to it all."
I give my audience the same credit for not being some inert mass of compartments," she said. "When we trun the lights up, I can't tell who is who."
Her favorite songs on the album are "Saved by Love," "Say Once More" and "Alright," but the song in which she says she's most revealing is "Faithless Heart."
It talks of the lonely time of the strggle in her marrriage when she was attracted to other men and felt like leaving but wanted to stay and work things out.
Twenty years from now she sees herself wrinkled and "possibly a little fatter."
"I'll probably be driving my kids around and going to a lot of plays and ball games," she said.
"I want to be involved with my kids and writing songs. And long after I stop singing, I sure hope I'll be writing for someone else."