Friday January 28th, 2011 I had the chance to attend the Tony Greene memorial concert in Lenoir NC. This was an event that used to be promoted by Tony as the annual Lenoir Gospel Winterfest. This year’s line-up was a mixed bag of artists. Here are a few highlights in order of appearance.
*McKameys - This Clinton TN based family kicked off the evening. It was interesting to see that each artist seemed to bring their own group of fans to the event. Enthusiastic while their preferred group was on and then quiet while the other artists performed. The McKameys took the audience through current hits such as “Above And Beyond, “I Keep Praying” and “The Shepherd’s Point Of View”, while also performing classics such as “God On The Mountain” and “I’ve Won.” “I’ve Won” was the closing number for the McKameys and by the time the group made it to this song, Peg’s shoes took a trip across the stage. I first saw the McKameys live sometime around 1987 and their style and presentation has remained consistent since that time.
*Brian Free & Assurance - The lone quartet on the night received a tepid response from the crowd for nearly their entire performance. It took the encore of “Long As I Got King Jesus” to get the crowd on their feet. The group did give the crowd several songs from their current recording. “Never Walk Alone”, “Anything Is Possible” and “Remind Me Of The Cross” were all great additions to the groups performance. “Go Tell The World”, “I Am Redeemed”, “Glory Road” and “You Must Have Met Him” were also in the mix.
*Taranda Greene - A memorial video of Tony Greene preceded Taranda’s solo performance. The video brought many in the crowd to tears. By the time Taranda was introduced the crowd were on their feet. Taranda started with “When God Has Another Plan”. You could tell it was tough for her to be there without Tony. She struggled through the first verse of “When God Has Another Plan” and the crowd let her know they were behind her. Most of her time was spent talking about Tony and how her life has changed since his passing. She also sang “Sky Full Of Angels”, “God Is Singing Over Me”, “Oh The Cross” and “The Hallelujah Chorus”.
*Primitives - The Primitives closed out the program with their own brand of mountain/bluegrass gospel music. “The Blood Of God’s Only Son” and “No Longer An Orphan” highlighted this group’s style.
Promoter Bill Bailey was on hand to assist with the program and he also emceed the event. It sounded as though he may take over the event in the future. Another highlight was this was the 2nd week in a row that I have been to a concert event that has been sold out. There were over 1,000 in attendance at the Crabb concert attended last week and 800 packed out the JE Broyhill Civic Center in Lenoir for this event.
EXTRA CONCERT NOTE: I also had the chance on Saturday January 29th, 2011 to go to Thomasville NC.
*Freemans - Held at a Baptist church, this program was definitely more of a church service than a normal concert program. The group performed for over an hour and rolled out all of their biggest hits which included “He Chose Me”, “The Father And The Son”, “He’d Still Been God”, “Three Rugged Crosses”, “He’d Have To Walk Through The Blood”, “Sing Hallelujah”, “Seawalker” and ”Once Was Enough.” The group also threw in a few classics, “I Can’t Even Walk” and “Hold To God’s Unchanging Hand.” The service ended with a powerful and moving rendition of “What A Day That Will Be”. I was glad to have been a part of this service.