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.

VOTE: Best Of 2017: Alto/Baritone/Bass

Who were the top vocalists in Southern Gospel music for 2017?  Today, starts the voting for best alto, baritone and bass vocalist.

You get one vote per day.  Poll closes 11/23/17.  Click the link on each nominee to see an audio/video of the nominees.

Still: Greater Vision

GRADE:  B+

  • Album:  Still
  • Artist:  Greater Vision
  • Label:  Daywind
  • Style:  Traditional
  • Release Date:  08/04/17
  • Digital Download:  No
  • Running Time:  44 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

Today we take a look at the latest album from Greater Vision, Still.

Greater Vision is coming up on 27 years in Southern Gospel music.  Still marks the 45th recording the group has given listeners in those 27 years.

Still also marks the first Greater Vision recording to not include Gerald Wolfe vocally.  Instead, listeners are treated to newest vocal member Jon Epley.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Chris Allman proves why he was voted favorite tenor vocalist at this year’s Singing News fan awards.  He has all the best features on Still.
  • The stand out track is the up-tempo, “Rolled Back Stone”.  This Lee Black/Dianne Wilkinson co-write is a future hit in the making.  Chris performs it perfectly.
  • I can hear Marcia Henry’s touch on the Rodney Griffin co-write, “Nothing To See”.  Kudos to the arrangers who decided to use a crying steel guitar on this country flavored song. Another Chris feature that I absolutely enjoy!
  • Chris also performs his own composition, “God Doesn’t Care”.  The message contained in this song makes it one of the strongest on the recording.  God doesn’t care where you’ve been or what you’ve done.
  • The album’s first radio single features and was also written by Rodney.  “Still” is a proclamation type song that may very well top the Southern Gospel radio singles chart.
  • Newest member, Jon Epley, takes the second verse on the up-tempo, “All The Above”.  One you will want to add to your musical playlist.
  • Its been 20 years since Greater Vision recorded “Common Garments”.  Listeners are treated to a cover of what I consider to be one of Griffin’s greatest compositions.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Rolled Back Stone”, “God Doesn’t Care”, “Nothing To See”, “Still”, “All The Above”, “Common Garments”, “His Grave Wrote The Song” and “I Believe It All”.
CRITIQUE:
  • Greater Vision has decided not to make Still available for digital download; not even from their website.  I still don’t understand the reasoning.  I will venture to say that it will be made available at some point, but the newness of the recording will be long passed by then.
  • Have to admit, I missed not having at least one Gerald feature on a Greater Vision recording.  Will have to get used to that.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Forgiven By The Lord” and “Jesus Stood”.

WRAP UP:

Greater Vision has had a consistent trend of top-notch recordings.  For any listener who thinks Greater Vision is past their prime recording years; I would have to argue the opposite.  This decade has provided some of the trio’s strongest albums.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “There Is Hope”/Chris – Chris Allman, Rodney Griffin  2. “Still“/Rodney – Rodney Griffin  3. “Rolled Back Stone“/Chris – Lee Black, Dianne Wilkinson  4. “I Believe It All”/Ensemble; Chris – Janice Crow  5. “God Doesn’t Care”/Chris – Chris Allman  6. “His Grave Wrote The Song”/Ensemble; Jon – Rodney Griffin  7. “Jesus Stood”/Rodney – Rodney Griffin  8. “Forgiven By The Lord”/Chris – Chris Allman  9. “Common Garments”/Rodney – Rodney Griffin  10. “All The Above”/Ensemble; Jon – Rodney Griffin, Babbie Mason  11. “Nothing To See”/Chris – Rodney Griffin, Marcia Henry  12. “The Gospel”/Rodney – Chris Allman

NQC 2017: Sunday Night Recap

The 2017 National Quartet Convention is under way as it celebrates its 60th anniversary.  Tonight’s opening program included Greater Vision, Hoppers, Jim Brady Trio, Mark Trammell Quartet and Tribute Quartet.  Each artist got two sets on the program.  Here was the hits and misses of the evening.

  • The Hoppers have been a testament to the strength given to face the trials that come in life.  So good to see Dean with the family tonight!
  • This was my first time to hear John Epley with Greater Vision.  His rich baritone fits with the trio nicely.
  • If you like classics (songs), then tonight was your night.  Mark Trammell Quartet had the best with one of my all time favorites, “He Is Mine And I Am His”.
  • Jim Brady Trio had a nice moment with just piano and vocals.  Something I hope we hear more of during the week.
  • Strong finale to close out the night with “How Great Thou Art”.

  • Sound issues abound during most of the first segment.  I could hear the cavernous sound of the hall coming through my TV screen.
  • Not only that but the streaming system crashed several times early on.  By the second segment things sounded good and the system didn’t have a hiccup.
  • With all the classic songs sung tonight, it did get a bit boring.  I found myself dozing off a couple of times toward the end.

 

**Now to crown the best of the night:

Best single song performances (in order of appearance):  (1) “I’ve Come Too Far” – Hoppers  (2) “You Were Faithful Yesterday” – Greater Vision  (3) “God Of The Storms” – Tribute Quartet  (4) “What A Day That Will Be” – Jim Brady Trio  (5) “He Is Mine And I Am His” – Mark Trammell Quartet (**Favorite song performance of the evening)  (6) “Wherever I Am” – Jim Brady Trio  (7) “Grace Will Get To You” – Hoppers

Best Set of the Night:  The Hoppers

2017 Song Of The Year??

I’m back!  One week ago Singing News announced the top ten list for the 2017 edition of the fan awards.  The only category I follow each year is song of the year.

This year’s nominees included:

  1. “Calling” – Karen Peck & New River (#1)
  2. “He Does” – Greater Vision (#3)
  3. “I Love You This Much” – Whisnants (#3)
  4. “If We Ever Gotta Look” – Hoppers (#7)**
  5. “It’s What He’s Done” – Wilburn & Wilburn (#1)**
  6. “Living In The Promised Land” – Triumphant Qt (#3)
  7. “My Father’s House” – Nelons (#7)**
  8. “Never Forsaken” – Tribute Qt (#1)**
  9. “Somebody’s Miracle” – Brian Free & Assurance (#4)
  10. “Still” – Legacy Five (#4)**

As is the case every year, Daywind Records dominated the song category claiming 8 of the 10 nominees.  Above I highlighted the peak spots on the chart as of the announcement.  The ** signifies the five songs deserving of making it to the final round.

Two songs deserving of a top ten spot were, “Home” by Jason Crabb and “He Welcomes The Beggar” by 11th Hour.  What songs did you feel were overlooked this year?

VOTE: Best Of 2016: Breakthrough (New)/DuoTrio

3rdannualHappy Wednesday.  Vocalist categories are still open.  Today we start the artist categories.  Who were the top breakthrough artist and best vocal duo/trio of 2016?  You get one vote per day.  Poll closes 11/30/16.  Click the link on each nominee to see an audio/video of the nominees.