NQC 2016: Thursday Night Recap

11278Thursday night of the NQC is over.  The music was very good tonight, but the night nearly ruined by the biggest miss of the entire week.

  • It was like a hit parade tonight.  Many artists decided to do entire sets of some of their biggest hits.
  • Gold City had an entire set of classic Gold City songs.  The Perrys decided to use all hit singles in their set. Add Jeff & Sheri Easter to that list.  A ton of great music.
  • Josh Townsend, pianist for LeFevre Quartet, was styling tonight in that jacket and he also pulled off an awesome piano solo.
  • Congrats to Ronny Hinson for finally being inducted in to the Southern Gospel hall of fame.  Long overdue.
  • The back to back sets of Ernie Haase & Signature Sound and the Nelons provided some awesome music.  Karen Peck joining Kelly Nelon on “You Can’t Make Old Friends” was a special moment.
  • I’ve always loved Squire Parsons composition, “King Of Eternity”.  The Kingdom Heirs (trio) did a fantastic job on that particular number tonight.
  • The Taylors capped off a great night of music with a solid three song set.

  • There is only one miss tonight, but it is the biggest of the week.  Why do individuals feel the need to spew their political views?  A certain preacher had to hock a new book to tell us how horrible America is and tell us that we have to vote for a certain candidate who for the last year has also been telling crowds how horrible America is.  Putting your trust in an individual that will ultimately go down as the worst presidential candidate in the history of this nation is not something you should be proclaiming to large crowds of people.  When are individuals like this going to realize not everyone thinks the way they do.  Everyone (yes even evangelicals) will not vote the same way.  That is what it means to be American.  We are free to differ on issues but in no way is it ok for anyone (especially in his position) to tell another how to vote and by not voting the way they say is wrong/bad and somehow the nation is doomed.  If you want to live in that kind of country, go to Russia.

 

**Now to crown the best of the night:

Best single song performances (in order of appearance):  (1) “I’m Getting Ready To Leave This World” – LeFevre Quartet  (2) “Praise His Name” – Jeff & Sheri Easter  (3) “There Rose A Lamb” – Gold City  (4) “Keep On” – Perrys  (5) “Redeemed” – Ernie Haase & Signature Sound  (6) “I Think I’ll Read It Again” – Nelons  (7) “A Moment Of Grace” – Booth Brothers  (8) “King Of Eternity” – Kingdom Heirs (**Favorite song performance of the evening)  (9) “He Won’t Fail You” – Taylors

Best Set of the Night:  There were several contenders tonight but I had to give it to the group that was high energy from start to finish; Ernie Haase and Signature Sound.

NQC 2016: Wednesday Night Recap

l5NQC 2016 is now half way through.  How did Wednesday evening’s performances stack up?  Lets find out.

  • Congrats on Connie Hopper winning another alto award this afternoon.  This blogger considers Connie the best Southern Gospel artist to ever grace a Southern Gospel stage.
  • It was nice for McCray Dove to pay homage to Ed O’Neal by joining the Dixie Melody Boys on stage to begin the night.
  • Was glad to see Goodman Revival given some time after winning horizon group.
  • Legacy Five was about as solid as I’ve seen them.  See how much more enjoyable your performance can be when you don’t infuse your political views.
  • Tribute Quartet decided to showcase some of the best material from their new album.  Absolutely enjoyed “God Of The Storm”.

  • We are at that point in the week where artists start to recycle their set.  For individuals that watch the entire week, you are only left bored.
  • Has Ivan Parker thought about retirement?
  • Lost the web cam feed during a segment of the Talleys set tonight.
  • Why did the convention board think it was a good idea putting the Browns last on the program after several artists did that 68 minute segment.  The last thing I wanted to hear after that was barnyard noises.

 

**Now to crown the best of the night:

Best single song performances (in order of appearance):  (1) “I Hold A Clear Title” – Goodman Revival  (2) “It’s Almost Over” – Mark Trammell Quartet  (3) “Pray Now” – Karen Peck & New River  (4) “If I Shout” – Jason Crabb  (5) “Worry Ends Where Faith Begins” – Whisnants  (6) “God Of The Storm” – Tribute Quartet (**Favorite song performance of the evening)  (7) “It’s What He’s Done” – Wilburn & Wilburn  (8) “He Made A Change” – Legacy Five  (9) “Jesus, The One” – Hoppers

Best Set of the Night:  A full set of solid music and no commentary gives Legacy Five the set of the night.

NQC 2016: Tuesday Night Recap

2016-lefevre-branded-photo-800x480Tuesday night of the 2016 National Quartet Convention is now in the record books.  The night overall was mediocre, especially compared to last night’s memorable moments.  I was hard pressed to find the highlights.  Tonight, there are definitely more misses than hits.

  • I’ve enjoyed the hall of fame segments the last two evenings.  Carroll McGruder’s music, along with the McGruders had a ton of impact on me as a teenager.  Glad to see him honored.
  • Boy, do I miss hearing a steel guitar at Southern Gospel concerts.  Thank you Jeff and Sheri Easter for providing that highlight tonight.
  • The Down East Boys was an early highlight.  “One Way, One Name, One Door” is one of the most played Southern Gospel songs in my playlists for 2016.
  • Kim Collingsworth’s speech about music/life was far better than anything else the group’s segment provided tonight.
  • The LeFevre Quartet ended the evening on a strong note.

  • Did the tenor mic seem off tonight or was it just the tenor singers?  The tenor vocal in the mix (at least through the web cam) overpowered the other vocalists for the majority of sets.  The sound crew didn’t take the mic from last night’s presidential debate, did they?
  • Did Mark Bishop burp on the ending to “Pray On The Little Days”?
  • Have the Inspirations thought about retirement?
  • The Booth Brothers trying to create a musical moment with the Collingsworth Family derailed when “Life’s Railway To Heaven” turned in to a train wreck?
  • Speaking of the Booth Brothers/Collingsworth Family segment; combined the artists got one hour on stage and they still went over.

 

**Now to crown the best of the night:

Best single song performances (in order of appearance):  (1) “One Way, One Name, One Door” – Down East Boys  (2) “It Is No Secret” – Booth Brothers  (3) “I Know” – Kingsmen  (4) “I Want To Walk With My Lord” – LeFevre Quartet  **some of you would think I didn’t watch the entire night because of the number of song performances I enjoyed.  But I did, oh I did.

Best Set of the Night:  I nearly named my bed best set of the night for keeping me comfortable while watching tonight’s program but the LeFevre Quartet came through in the end (despite staging “Oh What A Savior”) to pull off the most solid of any on the night.

NQC 2016: Monday Night Recap

2nd-half-qt-800x471Night two of the 2016 National Quartet Convention has wrapped.  I thought tonight’s program was filled with a ton of great moments.  Here were the hits and misses.

  • I remember Claude Hopper telling the story of his first Gospel concert where he saw Dad Speer walk the stage and sing “Never Grown Old”.  I believe that was 1957.  Tonight to hear Claude walk the stage and sing “Never Grow Old” and then the second verse to Connie was such a moving moment and performance.
  • Mylon Hayes Family cut the tracks and performed an awesome a cappella version of “He Loves Me”.
  • Speaking of cutting tracks, I absolutely loved the Second Half Quartet’s performance tonight.  Just goes to show that great musical moments can be created with just piano, bass guitar and vocals.
  • I was happy to hear Squire Parsons sing one of my favorite Squire compositions, “Master Of The Sea”.  A true living legend
  • As far as living legends, another sweet moment in the evening came when Peg McKamey Bean accepted her Southern Gospel music hall of fame honor.
  • Another living legend proved he can still forevermore sing; Arthur Rice and “Forever Changed”.
  • I know I’ve already mentioned the Hoppers, but I can’t get enough of their new song, “If We Ever Gotta Look”.

  • Did the program start late or did the Diplomats run over?  I came into tonight’s program around 6:10 and the Diplomats were already on stage.  Whatever the cause, it made the rest of the night run late.
  • After thoroughly enjoying their new album, the Tribute Quartet missed an opportunity to showcase their best new material.

 

**Now to crown the best of the night:

Best single song performances (in order of appearance):  (1) “If We Ever Gotta Look” – Hoppers  (2) “Never Grow Old” – Hoppers  (3) “We Shall Wear A Robe And Crown” – Karen Peck & New River with Ernie Haase & Signature Sound  (4) “Jesus Changed Everything” – Ernie Haase & Signature Sound (*Best Individual Performance of the Night)  (5) “Master Of The Sea” – Squire Parsons  (6) “Forever Changed” – Kingdom Heirs  (7) “He Loves Me” – Mylon Hayes Family  (8) “The Prodigal Son” – Second Half Quartet

Best Set of the Night:  It came down to three artists this evening that provided the best moments.  Of the three I will give the best set honors to the Second Half Quartet.

NQC 2016: Sunday Night Recap

hoppersThe 2016 National Quartet Convention is under way for its third year in Pigeon Forge Tennessee.  Tonight’s opening program included Greater Vision, Hoppers, Jim Brady Trio, Legacy Five and Mark Trammell Quartet.  Each artist got two sets on the program.  Here was the hits and misses of the evening.

  • There were a couple of occasions where the word harmony was used to describe why folks had gathered.  I don’t understand why it has taken Southern Gospel music so long to market itself as harmony driven music.  That is what separates it from most forms of Christian music.
  • Three of the artists were showcasing new music as each have a new album out.  I really enjoyed the new songs from the Hoppers.  Can’t wait to hear the entire album (Life Is Good).
  • Randy Byrd, bass for Mark Trammell Quartet, added some unintended comic relief when he forgot the verse to a new song.  It surely made the song memorable.
  • Didn’t realize Trey Ivey was a vocalist.  He provided Legacy Five’s best moment of the evening on the song, “Hands Of A Carpenter”.
  • Have to give the production team kudos.  Sound and camera work were both strong considering it was the first night. Goods signs for the week ahead.

  • Are there really that many new folks attend every year that artists have to use the same stale jokes told a hundred times before?
  • I thought it odd that Legacy Five would leave the stage while the track (voices and all) for “He Made A Change” was still playing over the speaker system.

 

**Now to crown the best of the night:

Best single song performances (in order of appearance):  (1) “If We Ever Gotta Look” – Hoppers  (2) “I Wish I’d Done More” – Hoppers (**Favorite song performance of the evening)  (3) “Hands Of A Carpenter” – Legacy Five  (4) “All The Way Home” – Mark Trammell Quartet  (5) “When He Saved Me” – Jim Brady Trio  (6) “Jesus, The One” – Hoppers  (7) “Standing On Holy Ground” – Second Half Quartet

Best Set of the Night:  The Hoppers

Southern Gospel Tidbits

DID YOU KNOW?:  The 2016 edition of the National Quartet Convention gets under way in Pigeon Forge, TN tomorrow evening.

I will be providing evening recaps of this year’s event providing all the hits and misses as I’ve done the last five years.  Are you looking forward to NQC 2016?

*Video Credit (Clarke Beasley)

Here For You: Tribute Quartet

tributeqt2016hereforyouGRADE:  B+

  • Album – Here For You
  • Artist – Tribute Quartet
  • Label – Daywind Records
  • Style – Traditional, Progressive
  • Release Date – 09/16/16
  • Available For Digital Download? – Yes (Apple Music)

SYNOPSIS:

This week we take a look at the latest album from the Tribute Quartet; Here For You.  The album hit retail on 09/16/16.

Tribute Quartet is celebrating their first decade in Southern Gospel music.  Three years ago the group got their first #1 hit with “Good News From Jerusalem”.

Tribute has had vocal consistency over the last five years with Riley Clark (tenor), Gary Casto (lead), Josh Singletary (baritone) and Anthony Davis (bass).

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Tenor Riley Clark has the big stand out songs on Here For You.  The biggest on the album is the Lee Black penned, “When The Prodigal Comes Home”.  A Southern Gospel power ballad that could give Tribute their second #1 hit.  You have to hear this song!  May very well be the best recorded Southern Gospel song of 2016.
  • Riley doesn’t stop there as he delivers another powerful tune with “God Of The Storms”.  This would also make for another radio single possibility.
  • Riley closes the album with another stand out, “Nothing Stops The Savior’s Love”.  A nice reminder of God’s love for us.
  • The album opens with a progressive up-tempo number with the standard Wayne Haun brass/horn arrangement.  “Here For You” is a song from the Ernie Haase and Signature Sound playbook; jazzy and fun.
  • From “Here For You”, the group goes right in to another up tempo stand out, “Never Forsaken”.  Wayne Haun and Joel Linsdey penned both the former and latter.
  • Gary and Riley trade-off on verses to the ballad, “Grace At Its Best”.  One can never hear enough about the grace of Jesus.
  • Tribute Quartet has given listeners a Harry Connick style tune on each of their albums as it tends to fit Josh’s vocal style.  Here For You has a nice Connick style tune that Josh and Anthony trade verses; “Somebody Sing Me That Song”.  Fun song.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “When The Prodigal Comes Home”, “Nothing Stops The Savior’s Love”, “God Of The Storms”, “Here For You”, “Never Forsaken”, “Grace At Its Best” and “Somebody Sing Me That Song”.
CRITIQUE:
  • Tribute Quartet attempt a Hoppers cover with “Jesus Saves”.  This was a Connie Hopper co-write originally recorded by the Hoppers on their 1998 album, One Foundation.  The cover did not live up to the original.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Jesus Saves” and “That’s How I Know”.

WRAP UP:

I’m going to go ahead and claim Here For You the best Tribute Quartet album of their ten-year career.  This is the kind of album I have been waiting for from this group.  I knew they had it in them.  You should definitely give this album a listen.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Here For You”/Ensemble – Wayne Haun, Joel Linsey  2. “Never Forsaken“/Gary – Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey  3. “Somebody Sing Me That Song“/Josh; Anthony – Lee Black, Sue C Smith  4. “When The Prodigal Comes Home”/Riley – Lee Black  5. “Meeting In The Middle Of The Air”/Gary – Lee Black  6. “God Of The Storms”/Riley – Jeane Bope, Mikah Boudreaux, Carrie Inabnit, Tim Inabnit, Daniel Johnston  7. “Everybody Come See Jesus”/Josh – Dianne Wilkinson  8. “That’s How I Know“/Anthony – Becky Bowman, Sonya Isaacs Yeary  9. “Grace At Its Best”/Gary; Riley – Gary Casto, Barbara Huffman  10. “Jesus Saves”/Ensemble – Geron Davis, Connie Hopper  11. “Nothing Stops The Savior’s Love”/Riley – Daniel Crews, Don Koch

VOTING: Greatest Songwriter: Round 2 – Poll 2

Today continues round 2 voting in our search for Southern Gospel’s greatest songwriter.  Please click on the link in the poll to hear a song written by poll 2’s fourteen contenders.  Here are the rules for voting:

  • All readers of this blog can vote.
  • You are allowed to vote for up to three choices.
  • You are allowed one vote per day.
  • The top (6) by vote tally will advance to round 3.
  • Voting closes Monday (09/26/16).