VOTE: Best Of 2017: Single/Song Cover/Songwriter

What were the top songs in Southern Gospel music for 2017?  Today, starts the voting for best single, song cover and songwriter.

You get one vote per day.  Poll closes 12/01/17.  Click the link on each nominee to see an audio/video of the nominees.


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.

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.

And The Nominees Are…

It is time to announce the nominees for the 4th Annual Southern Gospel Views from the Back Row Honors.  I went through all the Southern Gospel album’s released in 2017 and scoured through the radio single charts (January to December) to determine what I considered to be the five nominees to best represent each of the 17 categories.


Recorded Song of the Year (song recorded on a 2017 album, did not have to be a radio single)

  1. “Dying To Be With You” – Nick Akin; recorded by Akins (Eyes On The Road)
  2. “Here He Comes” – Chris Cron, Joseph Habedank, Tony Wood; recorded by Joseph Habedank (Resurrection)
  3. “I Will Pray” – Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey; recorded by the Perrys (Testament)
  4. “Telling The Story” – Kyla Rowland, Jessica Thomas; recorded by the Kingdom Heirs (The Last Big Thing)
  5. “Victory Is Mine” – Lee Black, Gerald Crabb, Karen Peck Gooch; recorded by Karen Peck & New River (Hope For All Nations)

Single of the Year (had to be on the radio singles chart from January to December 2017)

  1. “Chain Breaker” – Mia Fieldes, Jonathan Smith, Zach Williams; recorded by Triumphant (Thankful)
  2. “Don’t You Think You Ought To Worship Me” – Dustin Wisecarver; recorded by the Wisecarvers (Armor)
  3. “It Still Takes The Blood” – Gerald Crabb; recorded by the Freemans (Tower Of Song)
  4. “Never Made A Promise” – Lee Black, Sue C Smith, Kenna West; recorded by the Kingdom Heirs (Something Good)
  5. “They Don’t Know (What The Lord Can Do)” – Jason Cox, Kenna West, Tony Wood; recorded by the Kingsmen (They Don’t Know)

Song Cover of the Year (a previously recorded song covered on a 2017 album release)

  1. “The Answer’s On The Way” – Goodman Revival (Still Happy); Rusty Goodman
  2. “At The Name Of Jesus” – Mercy’s Well (Questions & Answers); Pamela Hall
  3. “He Heals” – Booth Brothers (Between Here And Heaven); Jennifer Layne, Don Poythress
  4. “It Was Finished On The Cross” – Sisters (Simply); Kristie Braselton, Regi Stone
  5. “My Hope Is In The Blood” – Perrys (Testament); Reagan Riddle


  1. Lee Black
  2. Jason Cox
  3. Joseph Habedank
  4. Sue C Smith
  5. Kenna Turner West

Album of the Year (had to be a 2017 release)

  1. Hope For All Nations – Karen Peck & New River (Daywind)
  2. Resurrection – Joseph Habedank (Daywind)
  3. Simply – Sisters (Custom)
  4. Testament – Perrys (Stow Town)
  5. Walk Worthy – Master’s Voice (Sonlite)

Album Cover Design (best album artwork/cover design from a 2017 release)

  1. Beyond Amazed – Brian Free & Assurance
  2. Resurrection – Joseph Habedank
  3. Seasons: A Collection Of The Best – Mark Bishop
  4. They Don’t Know – Kingsmen
  5. Walk Worthy – Master’s Voice

Artist – Breakthrough (New)

  1. Bowling Sisters
  2. Master’s Voice
  3. Sneed Family
  4. Wilbanks
  5. Wisecarvers

Artist – Duo/Trio (no more than 3 vocalists)

  1. 11th Hour
  2. Booth Brothers
  3. Greater Vision
  4. Sisters
  5. Whisnants

Artist – Mixed Group (at least 4 vocalists)

  1. Erwins
  2. Mylon Hayes Family
  3. Nelons
  4. Karen Peck & New River
  5. Perrys

Artist – Quartet

  1. Gaither Vocal Band
  2. Kingdom Heirs
  3. Mark Trammell Quartet
  4. Tribute Quartet
  5. Triumphant

Artist – Soloist

  1. Doug Anderson
  2. Jason Crabb
  3. Michael English
  4. Misty Freeman
  5. Joseph Habedank

Vocalist – Alto

  1. Wendy Hayes (Mylon Hayes Family)
  2. Kim Sheffield (Sisters)
  3. Libbi Stuffle (Perrys)
  4. Tanya Goodman Sykes (Goodman Revival)
  5. Susan Whisnant (Whisnants)

Vocalist – Baritone

  1. Randy Crawford (Kingsmen)
  2. Jon Epley (Greater Vision)
  3. Loren Harris (Kingdom Heirs)
  4. Scott Inman (Triumphant)
  5. Mark Trammell (Mark Trammell Quartet)

Vocalist – Bass

  1. Pat Barker (Second-Half Quartet)
  2. Eric Bennett (Triumphant)
  3. Randy Byrd (Mark Trammell Quartet)
  4. Jeff Chapman (Kingdom Heirs)
  5. Keith Plott (LeFevre Quartet)

Vocalist – Lead

  1. Ronnie Booth (Booth Brothers)
  2. Keith Erwin (Erwins)
  3. Clayton Inman (Triumphant)
  4. Arthur Rice (Kingdom Heirs)
  5. Bill Shivers (Brian Free & Assurance)

Vocalist – Soprano

  1. Amber Eppinette (11th Hour)
  2. Karen Peck Gooch (Karen Peck & New River)
  3. Kennedy Hayes (Mylon Hayes Family)
  4. Amber Thompson (Nelons)
  5. Kaila Wisecarver (Wisecarvers)

Vocalist – Tenor

  1. Chris Allman (Greater Vision)
  2. Ricky Capps (Master’s Voice)
  3. Riley Harrison Clark (Tribute Quartet)
  4. Wes Hampton (Gaither Vocal Band)
  5. Steve Ladd (Old Paths)

So do the nominees represent the best of 2017?  Were there any snubs? The voting rounds will begin Tuesday (11/14/17).

Between Here And Heaven: Booth Brothers


  • Album:  Between Here And Heaven
  • Artist:  Booth Brothers
  • Label:  Gaither Gospel Series
  • Style:  Progressive, Inspirational
  • Release Date:  01/03/17
  • Digital Download:  Yes
  • Running Time:  43 Minutes


Today we take a look at the ghost album from the Booth Brothers, Between Here And Heaven.

The album, which was supposed to be released under the Gaither Gospel Series was made available on the group’s website the end of 2016.  The album never received any promotion, wasn’t widely released by Gaither and to my knowledge only made available to one retail outlet.

All that would seem like non-success but Between Here And Heaven went on to win album of the year at the 2017 edition of the Singing News fan awards.  Because of that I thought it would finally be time to review this album, which I’ve been sitting on since the beginning of the year.


  • The stand out songs on Between Here And Heaven are covers.  I named “He Heals” one of the best recorded songs of 2014 in my annual countdown.  The original recorded by Legacy Five.  Michael turns in a beautiful performance of the song, which is one of the best on the album!
  • Paul Lancaster re-records a song he made popular during his tenure with Palmetto State Quartet; “A Moment Of Grace”.  This is another must listen.
  • Between Here And Heaven lacks up-tempo songs but the one up-tempo bright spot is the Mosie Lister penned, “Come And See The Man”.  This hearkens back to the Booth Brothers early days in the industry.
  • Each member take the lead on a verse of “Grace Divine”.  An awesome Lee Black/Gina Boe co-write.  If the group decides to release a radio single from the album, this is it!
  • The album starts off with “That Says It All”, a song Ronnie recorded on a solo recording a decade ago.  This song is the definition of the Booth Brothers style.
  • The trio tackle the 1994 Steven Curtis Chapman CCM hit, “Facts Are Facts”.  The only other up-tempo song on the album and this rollicking cover by the Booth Brothers is fun and will have you singing along.
  • The Booth Brothers continue to prove why they remain one of the most popular groups in Southern Gospel music.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “He Heals”, “A Moment Of Grace”, “Grace Divine”, “Come And See The Man”, “Stop The Storm”, “That Says It All” and “Facts Are Facts”.
  • “Until The Time Comes To Leave” orchestration sounds like something that should be on some generic Christmas album.  The musical interlude that comes at the end is way too long.
  • As already mentioned, the pacing of the album is slow.  Eight of the ten songs on the album are in the slow to mid-tempo range.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “It Is No Secret” and “Until The Times Comes To Go”.


Why did Gaither shelve this recording?  It is consistent with what listeners have come to expect from the Booth Brothers.  Did the album deserve to win album of the year at the 2017 edition of the Singing News fan awards?  Sure.  It is as good as any of the other albums that were nominated.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “That Says It All”/Ronnie – Mosie Lister  2. “Between Here And Heaven“/Michael – Gina Boe, Joseph Habedank, Tony Wood  3. “Stop The Storm“/Paul – Rebecca Bowman, Joseph Habedank, Sonya Isaacs Yeary  4. “Come And See The Man”/Ensemble – Mosie Lister  5. “He Heals”/Michael – Jennifer Layne, Don Poythress  6. “A Moment Of Grace”/Paul – Joe Wesley Gordon  7. “Grace Divine”/Michael; Ronnie; Paul – Lee Black, Gina Boe  8. “Facts Are Facts”/Paul – Steven Curtis Chapman  9. “It Is No Secret”/Ronnie – Stuart Hamblen  10. “Until The Time Comes To Leave”/Ronnie; Paul – Woody Wright

How, Singing News?

If you’re a subscriber to the Singing News magazine, then you’re aware they are in the midst of voting for this year’s edition of the fan awards.

Top ten voting started last week, to narrow the list down to the final five nominees in each category.  While I overlooked it when the Singing News released the top ten lists in each category, it struck me when I was voting in the list of ten.

The Booth Brothers album, Between Here And Heaven, is among the top ten for albums of the year.  How is that even possible?  If you look at the album art, you can clearly see the album is a Gaither Gospel Series recording.

Gaither is not promoting this recording.  It is not available on for purchase.  It is not on any online streaming service.  It is not available at any major online retailer.  Instead, Gaither is promoting a soon to be released Gospel Favorites Live recording by the Booth Brothers.

Will Between Here And Heaven not be released by Gaither, or are they planning on releasing it later this year?  If it is released later this year, wouldn’t that mean the album wouldn’t be eligible for nomination in the Singing News fan awards until next year?  I guess I’m confused if Singing News even follows their own album nomination criteria.

Overrated?? – Booth Brothers

booth-brothers-300x300Today 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.  The artist covered today is the Booth Brothers.


  • There is no doubt in any Southern Gospel listener’s mind that the Booth Brothers is the most popular artist in the industry at the moment.
  • The trio has won a total of 57 Singing News fan awards over the course of the last decade.
  • The group built that success on impeccable harmony.  When the group first hit the scene it was tough not to be mesmerized by the Booth Brothers stage presentation.


  • In pondering the music the Booth Brothers is currently giving listeners, I score that 59 out of 100.
  • The Booth Brothers prime recording years, thus far, came between 2001 and 2006.
  • Albums such as This Stage Of Grace (2001), The Booth Brothers (2003), Pure Southern Gospel (2004), The Blind Man Saw It All (2005) and Harmony (2006) represent the best in the group’s entire discography.
  • On an added note, the Booth Brothers have a new album due out in April that could bump this score up.


  • This score represents that the Booth Brothers is currently overrated by a net positive +39.