Honor The First Families Of Gospel Music: Hoppers

GRADE:  B-

  • Album:  Honor The First Families Of Gospel Music
  • Artist:  Hoppers
  • Label:  Gaither Gospel Series
  • Style:  Traditional
  • Release Date:  04/06/18
  • Digital Download:  Yes (Apple Music)
  • Running Time:  38 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

Today, we take a look at the tribute album from the Hoppers; Honor The First Families Of Gospel Music.

The award-winning family chose eleven songs from the Gaither catalog.  That tended to keep the Hoppers limited in the songs they could/did record.

The album is traditional Southern Gospel and scaled back musically from what listeners are used to from the hoppers.  There are no over orchestrated, track heavy songs on the recording.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • I want to start by saying the best thing about the album is the scaled back approach the Hoppers took with this recording.  I was happy to not get the over orchestrated tracks listeners have become so accustomed.
  • I also preferred the songs that haven’t been recorded a thousand times before.  The stand out for me was “I’m Longing For Jesus To Come Back”.  The accordion used throughout the song only adds to its charm.
  • The same can also be said of a song remembered from the Chuck Wagon Gang, “Lord Lead Me On”.  A simple arrangement with Connie adding that alto on the chorus makes for a must listen.
  • I also enjoyed that the Hoppers chose to record the Luther G Presley, “I’d Rather Have Jesus” than the George Beverly Shea song of the same name; which has been recorded more times than need be.
  • The album opens with an old song that I can’t recall ever hearing until this recording, “Be An Overcomer”.  The song was also chosen as a radio single from the recording.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “I’m Longing For Jesus To Come Back”, “Some Glad Day”, “Lord Lead Me On”, “I’d Rather Have Jesus”, “Be An Overcomer” and “He Is Mine And I Am His”.
CRITIQUE:
  • Even with the unique Cajun music given to “I Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now”, I did not want to hear another version of this song.
  • For that matter, we can also add “God Walks The Dark Hills”, “He Looked Beyond My Fault” and “Gentle Shepherd” to that list.
  • You know what would have been more unique; one of the biggest mixed groups in the history of the genre honoring Southern Gospel’s greatest quartets.  It would have been neat hearing them record songs like “Meet Me At The Table” (Kingsmen), “John Saw” (Gold City), “The Flowers Kissed The Shoes” (Oak Ridge Boys) and “The Bridegroom Cometh” (Singing Americans) for example.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “I Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now”, “God Walks The Dark Hills” and “He Looked Beyond My Fault”.

WRAP UP:

The Hoppers have nothing to prove.  They have given Southern Gospel listeners nearly 30 years of unparalleled success, with the same vocal line-up.  That is unheard of in Southern Gospel music.

SONG (tempo)/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Be An Overcomer” (Mid/Fast)/Ensemble – Andrew Byers, Charles Naylor  2. “Lord Lead Me On” (Mid)/Ensemble; Connie – Marion Easterling  3. “God Walks The Dark Hills” (Slow)/Kim – Audra Czarnikow  4. “I’m Longing For Jesus To Come Back” (Mid/Fast)/Connie – Traditional  5. “One More River” (Mid/Fast)/Dean; Kim – Bud Chambers  6. “He Is Mine And I Am His” (Slow)/Ensemble; Claude – George T Speer  7. “I Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now” (Fast)/Claude – Jimmie Davis, Rusty Goodman  8. “I’d Rather Have Jesus” (Slow)/Ensemble; Connie – Luther G Presley  9. “He Looked Beyond My Fault” (Slow)/Ensemble; Kim – Dottie Rambo  10. “Some Glad Day” (Mid/Fast)/Ensemble – Will Ramsey, Clyde Williams  11. “Gentle Shepherd” (Slow)/Ensemble – Gloria Gaither, William Gaither

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VOTE: Best Southern Gospel Album Of The 1980’s: Round 2a

Today begins voting in round two of the March madness competition in search of the best Southern Gospel album of the 1980’s.

Each reader is allowed ONE VOTE PER DAY.  Polls will be open through Friday (03/23/18).  Be sure to look for (2) posts today to account for each bracket in round two.

VOTE: Best Southern Gospel Album Of The 1980’s: Bracket 4; Round 1

Today begins voting in round one of the March madness competition in search of the best Southern Gospel album of the 1980’s.

Each reader is allowed ONE VOTE PER DAY.  Polls will be open for one week.  Be sure to look for (4) posts today to account for each bracket in round one.

VOTE: Best Southern Gospel Album Of The 1980’s: Bracket 2; Round 1

Today begins voting in round one of the March madness competition in search of the best Southern Gospel album of the 1980’s.

Each reader is allowed ONE VOTE PER DAY.  Polls will be open for one week.  Be sure to look for (4) posts today to account for each bracket in round one.

NQC 2017: Saturday Night Recap

The 2017 edition of the National Quartet Convention has wrapped.  The final night brought some good memories.  Here are the hits and misses.

  • The reunion segments were all noteworthy this evening.  Great to see both Tim Riley and Jay Parrack during the Gold City reunion.
  • The Perrys line-up of 30 years ago started their reunion segment.  I remember seeing the group for the first time during this era.
  • The Nelons segment honoring Rex Nelon was also strong.  Going through many of the group’s early signature songs was awesome!
  • Outside the reunion segments, the Isaacs had a strong set.  Everything from the Hebrew song to the rousing “He Ain’t Never Done Me Nothing But Good”.
  • The Kingdom Heirs proved at the end of the night that you don’t need tracks.  It would be nice to hear more of that in Southern Gospel music.

  • Since it was the end of the week, listeners were treated to a bunch of recycled songs that had already been performed during the week.
  • I don’t know if anyone else did, but there were webcast issues all evening.  it would freeze, then crash and freeze again and I guarantee you it wasn’t my internet connection.
  • You think they would have chosen a closing song that all the artists on stage, knew.

 

**Now to crown the best of the night:

Best single song performances (in order of appearance):  (1) “I’d Rather Have Jesus” – Blackwood Brothers  (2) “I’m Not Giving Up” – Gold City  (3) “When The Prodigal Comes Home” – Tribute Quartet  (4) “We Shall Reign” – Perrys  (5) “Never No Never” – Joseph Habedank  (6) “He Is Mine And I Am His” – Hoppers  (7) “I Have A Father Who Can” – Isaacs  (8) “I Love You More” – Isaacs  (9) “Come Morning” – Nelons  (10) “Ain’t No Grave Gonna Hold My Body Down” – Nelons  (11) “Give Me Jesus” – Ernie Haase and Signature Sound  (12) “I Know He Heard My Prayer” – Kingdom Heirs (*Best Individual Performance of the Night)  (13) “Jesus The One” – Hoppers

Best Set of the Night:  The Isaacs

NQC 2017: Tuesday Night Recap

Tuesday night of the 2017 National Quartet Convention is now in the record books.  The night offered some strong single song performances.  Here are the hits and misses.

  • What a touching moment from 20-year-old pianist, Josh Townsend.  He has suffered more in 20 years than most do in a lifetime.
  • You’d be hard pressed to find a stronger male vocalist in any genre of music than that of Joseph Habedank.  Wow, what a performance tonight!
  • We need more live music at NQC.  High Road left me gobsmacked late into the night with their performance of “Christ My Hope, My Glory”.
  • The entire Daywind artist segment near the end of the night offered some strong moments.

  • There was a song sung early in the night that stuck out because of how awful it was.  A song about God being against the law.  It was dreadful.
  • There were once again sound issues at the beginning of the night that worked itself out as the night progressed.

 

**Now to crown the best of the night:

Best single song performances (in order of appearance):  (1) “The Lord Will Make A Way Somehow” – Dixie Melody Boys  (2) “Forgiven” – Ball Brothers  (3) “My Hope Is In The Blood” – Perrys  (4) “God’s Been Good” – Josh Townsend  (5) “The Song Of Moses” – Hoppers  (6) “Rolled Back Stone” – Greater Vision  (7) “Here He Comes” – Joseph Habedank  (8) “Beauty Of The Blood” – Joseph Habedank  (9) “Never Forsaken” – Tribute Quartet  (10) “When The Prodigal Comes Home” – Tribute Quartet  (11) “Christ My Hope, My Glory” – High Road with Jason Crabb (*Best Individual Performance of the Night)  (12) “Plain And Simple” – Wisecarvers

Best Set of the Night:  Joseph Habedank.

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