The 2015 National Quartet Convention is under way for its second year in Pigeon Forge Tennessee. This year I decided I would recap the free opening night concert. On the program was Greater Vision, Hoppers, Jim Brady Trio, Mark Trammell Quartet and Tim Lovelace. Each artist got two sets on the program. Here was the hits and misses of the evening.
- The Hoppers continue to re-invent themselves. They have their own traveling variety show these days and I mean that in a good way. The number of individuals and the different vocal configurations they can now utilize is amazing. With the added bonus of the new Hopper Brothers 2.0 quartet, this group has enough for another twenty years.
- I enjoyed what the Jim Brady Trio offered the audience tonight. Melissa absolutely knocked it out of the park with “The Greatest Of All Miracles”. As I said in my review of their A New Chapter recording, this is the best version I’ve heard of this Squire Parsons classic.
- The Kim Hopper/Melissa Brady performance of “There Is A Fountain” is worth a mention. The set up of the song with the story of the songwriter was effective.
- It was great to see both Connie and Claude Hopper on the stage tonight. Their special performance of “Thank You Lord For Your Blessings On Me” was fitting.
- Interesting how the sound problems from early in the evening cleared up as soon the free streaming portion was over. I see what you did there NQC. Sly move, sly move!
- Mark Trammell Quartet was showcasing their new tenor tonight. As is the case when any new member joins a group, it just takes a bit of time for all the voices/harmonies to gel.
**Now to crown the best of the night:
Best single song performances (in order of appearance): (1) “Steppin’ Out In Faith” – Jim Brady Trio (2) “Thank You Lord For Your Blessings On Me” – Hoppers (3) “That Sounds Like Home To Me” – Jim Brady Trio (4) “The Greatest Of All Miracles” – Jim Brady Trio (**Favorite song performance of the evening) (5) “It’s Almost Over” – Mark Trammell Quartet (6) “Something’s Happening” – Hoppers (7) “It Pays To Pray” – Greater Vision
Best Set of the Night: The Hoppers second set fired on all cylinders.