The final look at radio singles for 2012. The following five current radio songs piqued my interest over the preceding month. One of my all time favorite songs covered by the Sneed Family tops the list for December. You will also find new artists the John’s River Quartet and Shannon Knight. The Kingsmen and Bledsoes round out the five songs. Enjoy!
March has become an active concert month. For the third consecutive Saturday I attended a Southern Gospel concert event. On Saturday (03/19/11) I went to Dobson NC for a full evening of Southern Gospel music. All four artists on the program were from North Carolina. Here are some highlights in order of appearance.
The Hayes Family, out of Boone NC, kicked off the program. Traditional Southern Gospel music at its finest. The Hayes Family are known for their pitch perfect harmonies and convention style singing. Their set featured music from their latest recording Trusting Jesus. Keep Howard Hayes in your prayers as he is suffering from some back problems. His performance of “A Few Steps From Home” was a highlight of their set.
Hometown favorites the Bledsoes were next on the program. One of the best regional artists I have seen, this group is ready to move up to the next level in Southern Gospel music. A mixed trio which sings a mix of original material and classic songs. This group stepped away from the tracks for a segment with just piano and bass and this was the highlight of their entire set. Singing classics such as “I Firmly Promise You” and “He’ll Stand By Me” brought the crowd to their feet.
The Kingsmen were third on the program. They sang mainly newer material but threw in a couple Kingsmen classics. “Beautiful Home” was featured fairly early in the program. The group also included “Glory Road”, “When It’s All Said And Done”, “When God Ran”, “Missing People” and “Someday”. The highlight of the group’s set was their two closing numbers. Tenor Harold Reed outdid himself Saturday night. He hit it out of the park on “Look For Me At Jesus Feet”. The group used the arrangement similar to the Mississippi Live recording. When they got to the power ending I thought I was hearing classic Kingsmen for a minute. It was awesome. The group closed with Harold’s signature song, “God Saw A Cross”. This is probably the best I have seen the Kingsmen in several years.
The concert closed with Mercy’s Well. This trio, out of Greensboro NC, uses several different styles in their performance. From the new album Power the group performed “Big Praise” and “The Power”. The group also rolled out “God Put A Rainbow In The Cloud”, “Leave Your Sorrows And Come Along”, “When They Ring The Bells Of Heaven”, “Who Is He In Yonder Stall”, “More Than I Deserve”, “I’ll See You Soon”, “Nothing But The Blood” and closed with “It Is Well With My Soul”.
All in all it was a good night of music from North Carolina based artists. Another concert coming next Saturday (03/26/11). Busy month.
By bringing you the iPod track of the week, my hope is to introduce some great new music that you as the listener may have not thought about before. There are a lot of talented artists recording Southern Gospel music. Amidst the ever-growing landscape of ‘sangers’, it is nice when you get that rare treat of finding a song by a virtually unknown artist and thinking, I need to hear some more of that. Such is the case with this week’s iPod track of the week. This week actually brings a regional artist based in Dobson North Carolina.
The Bledsoes began their recording career in 1992 and actually found minimal chart success. In the span of the last 18 years the group has six recordings including their current album, Onward. Being a resident of North Carolina myself, I have heard the Bledsoes before. Onward is straight ahead Southern Gospel music and this week’s iPod track of the week, “What A Wonderful Change”, is a camp-meeting style song. I will readily admit this is not the only song on the recording that got the repeat treatment during the first listen. This recording has several songs that could easily be featured as the track of the week.
“What A Wonderful Change” is track #8 on the recording. I have provided the first verse and chorus. Enjoy!