SWOT Analysis – Karen Peck & New River

A new week brings a new SWOT analysis.  This week, Southern Gospel Views from the Back Row takes a look at the strengths and weaknesses of Karen Peck & New River.  Karen started her career with the Rex Nelon Singers and continued with them until forming New River in 1991.

Karen, along with Kim Hopper, is the most awarded soprano singer in Southern Gospel history.  She won the award eleven straight years (1986-1996).


  • Karen:  There wouldn’t be a New River if not for Karen Peck.  Her off stage personality has endeared her to many fans.  She is now even starring in movies alongside Dolly Parton.
  • Song Selection:  Karen has a knack for picking the perfect songs for New River.  Recent hits, “I’m Bound For The Promised Land”, “Last Night”, “Special Love” along with countless others have kept this group at the top of this genre.
  • Four Day Late:  Speaking of songs, Karen Peck & New River is lucky enough to have that mega-song in their arsenal.  “Four Days Late” continues to thrill audiences night after night.


  • Loss Of The Band:  When Karen Peck & New River launched, they had one of the best bands to ever grace a Southern Gospel stage.  When the group scaled back and moved to tracks, their live concert performances took a hit.  It would be nice if the group would do a few selected dates each year with the band.
  • Not Featuring Their Male Vocalist Enough:  Through their career, it seems as though the male vocalist in the group was limited in their features.  New River has had some talented vocalists pass through the group since their start.


  • Being The Top Trio:  Karen Peck & New River is probably the most popular mixed trio in Southern Gospel music right now.  If the Booth Brothers didn’t have a stranglehold on that category, New River would be in line to win that award.
  • Selected Dated With The Band:  As already mentioned, it would be nice to see Karen Peck & New River do selected dates throughout the year with the band.  If nothing else, a live album and video that brings the band back would be great.


  • Losing Great Songs:  With one of the biggest strengths being song selection, a couple of albums with mediocre material could impact the group.



One thought on “SWOT Analysis – Karen Peck & New River

  1. I’ll say that Jeff Hawes is the best male vocallist I’ve heard with them. Can’t say that I’ve heard the men who were before John Darin Rowsey, but Jeff is the best they’ve had since.

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