For all those that know me, know I am a sucker for a good Southern Gospel concert. When a group rolls through your hometown it is even better. Last night (09/07/12), I had the opportunity to go to Trinity Baptist Church here in Mooresville NC to see the Hoppers.
There is not another group in this industry that I have seen more in concert, over the course of my lifetime, than the Hoppers. And what makes it even more impressive is that in that 30 years of seeing them live, I have never walked out of one of their concerts disappointed by their performance.
The concert gave the group the chance to highlight their new recording Count Me In. Stand out performances from the new album included “I’ll Take You Home” (a classic Hoppers sounding tune penned by Jean Canter in the mid ’80’s), “He Didn’t Just Carry The Cross” (a familiar Hoppers style ballad that features Kim), “Count Me In” (a great up tempo number penned by Ronny Hinson, also the first single) and “Mighty Is The Word” (a great up tempo number penned by the late Shannon Childress). Be looking for a full album review of the Hoppers new album Count Me In on Tuesday amongst all the NQC coverage.
The Hoppers also had the crowd on their feet after their performances of “Something’s Happening”, “Jerusalem”, “Yes I Am” and “I’ve Come Too Far”. After two hours of giving it their all, the Hoppers closed with a chorus of their classic song “Mention My Name”. It was also interesting that the group did not sing “Shouting Time” (not even a chorus). I doubt the group is retiring the song, but this may have been the first time in 15 years (since the group started staging the song again) that I have not heard “Shouting Time” in a Hoppers concert.
So, because I am feeling good today and the new album is great, I thought I would give one of my readers a chance to win a brand new, unopened copy of the Hoppers new album Count Me In. I wanted to make this give-away a little different from just a trivia question.
***To win, email me (email@example.com) a couple of sentences of your greatest Hoppers concert memory. From those responses I will choose a winner of the new CD.***
I had the opportunity to go to the Liberty Baptist Church here in Mooresville NC on Sunday evening (09/02/12) to see the Greenes. This was the first time to see the group with newest members Keith Skiles and Jason Gordon. It just so happened this was group member Jason Gordon’s home church.
The group was sounding great and I was more than happy to hear some Greene classics. The crowd seemed to enjoy the Greene classics the most. “More Precious Than Gold”, “Miracle In Me” and “When I Knelt, The Blood Fell” all brought the house down.
I mentioned last week when reviewing the Greenes new album that tenor Keith Skiles is a quartet style tenor. He really adds that extra vocal punch to the group’s overall sound. Tim Greene was also sounding great. Words can’t express how happy I am seeing Tim being able to travel and sing once again. God is good!
The most memorable moment of the evening was Tim’s touching story of Tony’s last moments. There wasn’t a dry eye in the sanctuary. It is hard to believe it has been nearly two years already.
I wanted to offer my readers a chance to win the Greenes new album We Need America Again. The first person to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) the answer to the following trivia question will win.
**QUESTION: The Greenes were known for the high soprano vocal focal point. There were four women who filled that spot over the years. Everyone is familiar with Kim, Amy and Taranda. Who was the fourth women to fill the soprano vocal during the mid ’90’s?
UPDATE: This contest is considered closed. We have a winner, who guessed Milena Parks as the fourth soprano vocalist who spent time with the Greenes in the mid ’90’s. Thanks for your continued readership and look for more free music giveaways in the coming weeks.
I decided to attend the last night of the 2012 Singing In The Foothills in Wilkesboro NC on Saturday (06/23/12). Six artists capped off this event to a large crowd of Southern Gospel enthusiasts. On this particular night Jonathan Martin was recording some social cam videos. I will also be providing some audio sound bytes of each set to give my readers a small taste of the event. Here are highlights in order of appearance.
Kingsmen – The Kingsmen kicked off the event to a crowd ready to hear some great music. This was my first opportunity to see the group with Chris Jenkins (tenor) and Bob Sellers (lead). They sounded great. Chris was a great addition to the group. He is reminiscent of the classic high tenors the Kingsmen were known for in the past. Here is a social cam clip from Jonathan Martin and some sound bytes for you to enjoy.
Nelons – This was the third time in a two month time span that I’ve seen the Nelons. Similar set, but I am still in awe at the vocal talent that Amber possesses. Enjoy these audio sound bytes of their set.
Talleys – It was great seeing the Talleys in a four-part harmony mixed group. They did quite a bit of material from the new album (Love Won), most notably “Make Way For The Master” and “Broken World”. But the song that caused that crowd to come unglued was their closing number, “He’s Alive”. Wow! Here are some sound bytes of their set.
Karen Peck & New River – New River is a favorite among the Singing In The Foothills crowd. It was evident from the first song. It was great hearing “On The Banks Of The Promised Land”, but the crowd would not let them leaven the stage after performing “Four Days Late”. Jonathan Martin picked up a social cam video here. Enjoy sound bytes from New River’s set.
Primitives – Bluegrass Southern Gospel artist the Primitives delighted the crowd with their brand of mountain flavored music. A favorite of folks in North Carolina, the Primitives highlights included “I Don’t Have To See The Tomb” and “Walking In The Highway”. Another social cam video of the Primitives picking here. Also, sound audio sound bytes of their set.
Martins – I can’t tell you how great it was to see the Martins again. It has been several years since I had the chance to catch up with these folks. They have never sounded better. “The Promise” and “Unredeemed” knocked my socks off. Jonathan even got a social cam video of the group on stage, here. Enjoy sound bytes from the Martins set.
As a result of the great time I had at Singing In The Foothills, there is some free music to give away. I have two brand new, unopened copies of the Talleys newest album Love Won. Easily one of the best Southern Gospel albums released so far in 2012. The first two individuals to email me (email@example.com) the answer to the following trivia question will win.
***Question: Name the group Debra Talley was a member before marrying Roger and joining the Hoppers.***
UPDATE: Congratulations to Charles and Justin for being the first two to answer the Songmasters correctly. They won a copy of the Talleys new recording Love Won. Thanks for the continued readership and more free music to continue through the summer.
On Thursday night (06/21/22), I had the chance to attend night one of the 2012 Singing In The Foothills. This annual outdoor event in Wilkesboro NC is a benefit for the Ebeneezer Christian Children’s Home. A couple thousand folks were on hand Thursday night to enjoy some great Southern Gospel music. Here are highlights in order of appearance. I missed the first artist on the program, the Pfeifers. I have also provided some audio sound bytes of each set, considering I was sitting too far back to get any good video. The audio is not the greatest but should give you an idea of how the evening went.
Singing Cookes – This had to be the first time in twenty years that I have seen the Singing Cookes in concert. Their set consisted of mainly slower songs until they closed with “Ain’t No Grave”. Jason Crabb was running his social cam most of the evening and caught a clip of the Cookes here. Enjoy that along with some audio sound bytes of their set.
Sisters – The Ruppe sisters (Heather, Kim, Valerie) were great as usual. One would be hard pressed to find a better vocal group traveling the Southern Gospel circuit. These ladies can sing! Their a cappella number “Thou Oh Lord” was about the best vocal performance heard the entire night. Jason got another social cam clip here. Enjoy that along with some audio sound bytes of their set.
Triumphant Quartet – The group’s popularity continues to be on the rise as they thrilled another couple thousand folks at the event. Their set was standard fare, filled with many of their hits including “Saved By Grace” and “Love Came Calling”. Crabb was having a good time also as he got another social cam clip of Triumphant Quartet performing here. Enjoy that along with some sound bytes of their set.
Jason Crabb – The evening closed with Jason Crabb and his band. My readers already know how I feel about live music. This set was phenomenal. The musical interlude in the middle of “Still Holdin’ On” is the reason you can’t beat live music in a concert setting. Enjoy audio sound bytes of Crabb’s set.
On Sunday (06/17/12) I went to Northwest Baptist Church in Concord NC to see LeFevre Quartet. This was the first opportunity to see the group with Harold Reed (tenor) and Brandon Barry (bass). The group performed for well over ninety minutes providing the audience with great quartet music.
The group turned in some great classic quartet performances on songs such as “Oh The Glory Did Roll”, “Crown Him King”, “Then I Met The Master”, “When I Get Carried Away”, “Hold On” and “Little Is Much”. I also enjoyed the performances of “Let Me Tell You About Jesus” and “Jesus Saves”.
Seeing Harold Reed with the LeFevre Quartet, I was wondering if he would do “God Saw A Cross”. A song he made popular with another group is a Harold Reed signature song. Just because he no longer tours with said group, he still needs to be singing his signature song.
Well, if you realize the trend, a concert review seems to bring free music. I have two brand new, unopened, copies of the group’s recent Live In Memphis CD. The first two individuals to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) the correct answer to the following trivia question will win.
***Question: Harold Reed has quite the resume as a tenor vocalist. Name the three quartets Harold Reed was a member prior to joining the LeFevre Quartet.***
UPDATE: I wanted to congratulate Wes and Charles for being the first two to answer correctly (Dixie Melody Boys, Florida Boys, Kingsmen). I want to thank all of my readers for participating and keep on the lookout because it seems as though every time I attend a concert there is some free music to follow.
Friday (05/25/12), I decided to go to South Iredell High School in Troutman NC to see the Nelons. I had a chance to catch the group at the beginning of the month, but since they were so close to home, I figured why not? They performed a lot of the same songs from the other concert but turned in several power house a cappella numbers.
“Down To The River” and “Were You There” were absolutely flawless. Amber Thompson has become one of the top female vocalists in Southern Gospel music. Her performance on the last verse of an a cappella version of “Were You There” had the crowd on their feet. Amazing!
It was nice to hear Kelly on “Settled At The Cross” and the crowd loved the up tempo closer, “I’m Going Home With Jesus”. So, in honor of another good concert performance I feel like giving away some more free music. The first person to email (email@example.com) me the answer to the following trivia question will win a brand new, unopened copy of the Nelons new CD, Come On Home.
***Who was the first/only group to take the song “I’m Going Home With Jesus” to #1 on the Southern Gospel charts?***
UPDATE: Congratulations to Bradley for being the first to answer the McGruders as the correct answer to the trivia question. Consider this contest closed. Thanks everyone for participating and keep checking back because I plan to give away free music all summer.
I had the opportunity to see Old Paths in concert Sunday (05/20/12) at the Piedmont Baptist Church in Kannapolis NC. The addition of Daniel Ashmore on bass has added a great vocal blend the group seemed to lack as a trio. This young man has a vocal presence reminiscent of bass singer great Pat Barker.
The Old Paths performed for nearly two hours to an enthusiastic crowd, ready to have a good time. The group performed several songs from their new release Right Now. I enjoyed hearing “Battle Stand”, “I Know My God Can Do It”, “God’s Great” and “The Blood On My Hands”. Doug Roark had a heart touching story about his older brother, who happened to be in attendance at the concert, and his 21 years spent in prison.
Jeremy did a remarkable job on “I Of The Storm” and the group even had a fun bit on “Echoes From The Burning Bush” where Jeremy sang bass and Daniel attempted to sing tenor. Jeremy did surprisingly well singing bass. All in all, the Old Paths did a great job.
So because of that, I have a brand new copy of the group’s new CD, Right Now, to give away. The first person to email me the answer to the following trivia question will win. Good luck!
***The Old Paths recorded a song on the Right Now recording “When It All Starts Happening”. Name the group who originally recorded this song on a 2006 recording.***
UPDATE: Congratulations to Wayne for providing the correct answer of Mercy’s Mark to the trivia question. As of now this contest is considered closed. More free music coming this summer, so be on the lookout. Thanks again for your continued readership and support!
I want to take this time to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all my readers who happen to be mothers. If you are blessed to still have your mother in your life, be sure to give her a call today and tell her how much you love and appreciate her. I also want to give a quick concert review with two Southern Gospel mothers; Connie Hopper and Kim Hopper.
On Friday (05/11/12) I went to the Green Room Theater in Newton NC to see the Hoppers. I prefer concerts where there is only one artist on the bill. It gives them a chance to open up and really give the audience a full concert experience. The Hoppers delighted the crowd with over two hours of music. They also gave one lucky audience member three nights of tickets to the 2012 National Quartet Convention.
With over two hours of music the Hoppers performed all of their major hits. They opened with “Stepping On The Clouds” and went into “I Will Serve Thee” (one my all time favorite Gaither tunes). The group has also started staging “I’ll Worship Only At The Feet Of Jesus”. Wow!
I also enjoy impromptu moments in the live concert setting. You could tell Claude was ready to introduce another song when Connie asked Claude to stop. She mentioned she had a song on her mind and asked if Kim would be willing to do “What A Lovely Name”. With just piano accompaniment, the Hoppers ‘tore up’ the song to an enthusiastic crowd response. It was nice to have Josh Simpson back on the keys for the Hoppers.
I even did a little shouting on “Something’s Happening”. The part in the song where Connie recites …’then I heard Him cry from the cross It Is Finished, we watched Him die but somewhere deep within my being I know this is not over’… and it goes into Kim singing ‘something’s happening at Joseph’s grave’, I definitely had the ‘glory bumps’.
I enjoy seeing the Hoppers in the live concert setting, especially when they are the only artist on the program. They never disappoint!