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.