VOTE: Best Of 2017: Breakthrough/DuoTrio/Soloist

Who were the top artists in Southern Gospel music for 2017?  Today, starts the voting for best breakthrough (new), duo/trio and solo artist.

You get one vote per day.  Poll closes 11/29/17.  Click the link on each nominee to see an audio/video of the nominees.

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VOTE: Best Of 2017: Lead/Soprano/Tenor

Who were the top vocalists in Southern Gospel music for 2017?  Today, starts the voting for best lead, soprano and tenor vocalist.

You get one vote per day.  Poll closes 11/27/17.  Click the link on each nominee to see an audio/video of the nominees.

Silence The Stones: 11th Hour

GRADE:  B+

  • Album:  Silence The Stones
  • Artist:  11th Hour
  • Label:  Sonlite
  • Style:  Progressive
  • Release Date:  11/10/17
  • Digital Download:  Yes (Apple Music)
  • Running Time:  36 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

Today we take a look at the newest album from 11th Hour, Silence The Stones.

This marks the sixth recording in 11th Hour’s recording career.  It also marks the fifth album to be released by Crossroads on the Sonlite Records label.

Silence The Stones is progressive Southern Gospel music at it’s best.  Group member Amber Eppinette contributed to four songs on the album while other member Jaquita Lindsey wrote the closing number.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • “Power In Prayer” immediately stood out to me upon first listen to Silence The Stones.  After several more listens, this blues infused number remained the best song on the recording.  Amber’s commanding lead/soprano vocals continue to impress on this newest effort.
  • Amber is also featured on a song she co-wrote titled “I’d Like To Meet The Preacher”.  This song is a bit different from most of your ‘thank you preacher’ type songs.  It says, ‘I want to meet the preacher who prayed for the preacher who prayed for me’.  Give it a listen.
  • Lead vocalist Grant Gibson slows it down on the best ballad from the album, “Hallelujah”.  This praise style song is modern-day progressive Southern Gospel music.  Probably a too bit progressive for Southern Gospel radio.
  • Grant and Amber trade verses on the album’s up-tempo title track, “Silence The Stones”.  I see this song landing at Southern Gospel radio sometime in 2018.
  • The majority of the up-tempo songs on Silence The Stones fall in to what I call ‘hard driving’.  Think the Martins at the height of their career.  That sound is most evident on “God Will Deliver Me” and “I’ll Be The First One”.
  • Grant slows it down again on the retrospective, “I Want You Beside Me”.
  • Can’t leave the review without mentioning the closing number both written and performed by group member Jaquita Lindsey, “Let Grace In”.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Power In Prayer”, “Hallelujah”, “I’d Like To Meet The Preacher”, “I Want You Beside Me”, “God Will Deliver Me”, “Silence The Stones” and “I’ll Be The First One”.
CRITIQUE:
  • I’m surprised the record label would choose the weakest up-tempo song on the album as the first single.  Maybe they thought is sounded the most Southern Gospel friendly.
  • After several listens, Silence The Stones doesn’t quite match the caliber of the group’s previous effort, What A Moment.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “I Want To Praise Him” and “Doin’ What’s Right”.

WRAP UP:

11th Hour has made strides to become one of the best vocal trios in Southern Gospel music.  The music they are providing listeners justifies why they deserve to be regarded as such.  Don’t let the year close without listening to Silence The Stones.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Doin’ What’s Right”/Amber – Lee Black, Devin McGlamery, Nathan Woodard  2. “God Will Deliver Me“/Grant – Phil Cross, Cassie Hyle  3. “I’d Like To Meet The Preacher“/Amber – Jason Cox, Amber Eppinette, Kenna West  4. “I Want To Praise Him”/Jaquita – Daryl Williams  5. “Hallelujah”/Grant – Jon Azzarello  6. “I’ll Be The First One”/Amber – Jason Cox, Amber Eppinette, Kenna West  7. “Silence The Stones”/Grant; Amber – Jason Cox, Amber Eppinette, Kenna West  8. “Power In Prayer”/Amber – Amber Eppinette, Don Poythress, Donnie Skaggs, Kenna West  9. “I Want You Beside Me”/Grant – Phil Cross  10. “Let Grace In”/Jaquita – Jaquita Lindsey

NQC 2017: Monday Night Recap

Night two of the 2017 National Quartet Convention has wrapped.  Here were the hits and misses.

  • What childhood memories came flooding back during the Squire Parsons/Kingsmen set.  Happy Squire was gracious to share his set with the Kingsmen to sing some classic Kingsmen songs.
  • Give all the awards to the Mylon Hayes Family.  I am a sucker for proper technical singing and this family is one of the best.  Mylon and Wendy have trained their kids to sing with proper technique, something Mylon learned from his own parents.
  • 11th Hour sounded great tonight running through several hit songs, most notably, “He Welcomes The Beggar”.
  • The Erwins were the highlight early in the program with their performance of “He’s Still Alive”.
  • Another young group that continues to excel at their craft is the Ball Brothers.  Their classy, sometimes jazzy sound infused with impeccable harmonies is hard to beat.
  • Thank you Loren Harris for returning to Southern Gospel music.
  • The Whisnants had the longest set of the evening, clocking in just under 30 minutes but they kept it enjoyable with a great set list.

  • Scott Fowler already making money off the latest political issue.  Paint me surprised.  I’m assuming Scott has not read the United States code on patriotic customs and proper respect for the flag.  It clearly states the flag should never be used as wearing apparel or used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever.  Should I boycott Legacy Five now?
  • I didn’t get the Browns set.  By the end it became a train wreck of moos and quacks.
  • The Kingdom Heirs had horrible sound issues at the beginning of their set.
  • Lauren Talley had to carry hosting duties on her shoulders this evening and she did really well.  Her co-host looked like they’d rather been anywhere but there.

 

**Now to crown the best of the night:

Best single song performances (in order of appearance):  (1) “Chasing After You” – Erwins  (2) “He’s Still Alive” – Erwins  (3) “Mercy Tree” – Ball Brothers  (4) “Never Made A Promise” – Kingdom Heirs  (5) “He Welcomes The Beggar” – 11th Hour  (6) “Beulah Land” – Squire Parsons  (7) “Look For Me At Jesus Feet” – Kingsmen (*Best Individual Performance of the Night)  (8) “Is That The Old Ship Of Zion” – Kingsmen  (9) “Victory Is Mine” – Karen Peck & New River  (10) “Why He Came” – Mylon Hayes Family  (11) “I Call Him Lord” – Whisnants  (12) “Hear The Word Of The Lord” – Kingsmen  (13) “The Light Just Came On” – Hinson Family

Best Set of the Night:  The Squire Parsons/Kingsmen segment.

Best Of The Last Decade (2007-2016)

What A Moment (2016) – 11th Hour (Sonlite): “Mountain Moving Faith“; “Look At Me Now“; “Love Still Holds The Scars“; “Bound“; “He Welcomes The Beggar“; “He’s Alive And So Am I“; “When God Shows Up“; “Can You Burn“; “Ain’t No Bones“; “I Trust“.

Shine (2010) – Bowling Family (Big Ten House): “Sunshine On A Rainy Day“; “How Blessed“; “Sailing On Home“; “When We Need It Most“; “This Is Your Moment“; “Run And Tell“; “Tell Them That I Love Them“; “He Did“; “He Already Knows“; “Pray Anyway“; “The Half That’s Never Been Told“; “He Leads Me Each Step Of The Way“; “I Still Glory In The Cross“.

Overrated?? – 11th Hour

11th HourToday continues a new series titled overrated.  It looks at a current artist’s popularity (rated out of 100) vs current chart success/album releases (rated out of 100).  The difference between their popularity score and chart success/album release score is where they fall on the overrated meter.

I am going to flip the script today and actually look at the opposite.  An artist who would be considered underrated.  The artist covered today is 11th Hour.

CURRENT POPULARITY = 78

  • 11th Hour already has an up hill battle in gaining a larger listening audience by being a mixed vocal trio instead of an all male trio/group.
  • With a reputable record label behind them and the access to huge chart hits, its allowing the group to win over new listeners.
  • In an industry where a sea of artists is refurbishing 80s/90s CCM as today’s Southern Gospel, there is no doubt that 11th Hour is releasing Southern Gospel music.

CURRENT CHART SUCCESS/ALBUM RELEASES = 90

  • In pondering the music 11th Hour is currently giving listeners, I score that 90 out of 100.
  • 11th Hour currently has (5) #1 hits under their belt during their short recording career.
  • I named What A Moment the #1 album released in Southern Gospel in 2016.
  • With only four albums in their discography, 11th Hour has a long career ahead to become on of Southern Gospel’s greatest trios.

SCORE ON THE OVERRATED METER = (-12)

  • This score represents that 11th Hour is currently underrated by a net negative (-12).

Best Of 2016: #1

11th-hourThanks once again for indulging me and allowing me to present one of my favorite features of the year.  Today, crowns the best of the best; the #1 album and recorded Southern Gospel song of 2016.

When I first heard this album in February, I knew it would be hard pressed to find another recording to top its caliber.  As the year progressed, many great albums came along but none had quite enough to take the crown.

Ranked #1 as Southern Gospel’s best album of the year is 11th Hour’s, What A Moment.  11th Hour garnered Southern Gospel’s best vocal duo/trio by the readers of this blog as we celebrated the 3rd annual Southern Gospel Views from the Back Row honors. Congrats to 11th Hour on a phenomenal year and giving Southern Gospel music a phenomenal recording.

The (5) Best Songs From The Album:  (1) “He Welcomes The Beggar”, (2) “When God Shows Up”, (3) “Look At Me Now”, (4) “Love Still Holds Our Scars” and (5) “Can You Burn”.

tributeAfter 42 albums and 464 songs, the song ranked #1 among the best recorded Southern Gospel songs of 2016 is “When The Prodigal Comes Home”.

Lee Black has become one of Southern Gospel’s greatest songwriters and the readers of this blog confirmed that when you chose him best songwriter of 2016 in the 3rd annual Southern Gospel Views from the Back Row honors.

“When The Prodigal Comes Home” is his masterpiece brought to life by the vocal talent of Riley Harrison Clark and Tribute Quartet.

Best Of 2016: #7

mvThe Christmas holiday is fast approaching.  Time off from work will come to most at some point this week.  Thanks for stopping by as we get closer to crowning the best Southern Gospel album and recorded song of 2016.

New quartet Master’s Voice find a home in the annual countdown at #7 with their 2016 release, Undivided.  The group toured as a vocal trio since their inception in 1995.

The group added a bass singer in 2015 making Undivided Master’s Voice first quartet recording.

The (5) Best Songs From The Album:  (1) “Things God Doesn’t Know”, (2) “I Know What He Did For Me”, (3) “This Same Jesus”, (4) “Here I Am Again” and (5) “Goodbye To Goodbye”.

11th-hr11th Hour already scored one song in the year’s annual countdown.  The 2016 album release, What A Moment, sends a second song to the top twenty.

Track #5 from What A Moment, “He Welcomes The Beggar” ranks 7th among the best recorded Southern Gospel songs of 2016.

The song was penned by Jason Cox, Amber Eppinette and Kenna West.