Something Good: Kingdom Heirs

GRADE:  B-

  • Album:  Something Good
  • Artist:  Kingdom Heirs
  • Label:  Sonlite Records
  • Style:  Traditional
  • Release Date:  02/03/17
  • Digital Download:  Yes (Apple Music)
  • Running Time:  33 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

This week we take a look at the latest album from the Kingdom Heirs, Something Good.  An album that seemed to be originally slated as a table project, but released on Sonlite Records.

The Kingdom Heirs continue to remain at the top of their game as it relates to giving listeners traditional Southern Gospel quartet music.  Something Good is also the first Kingdom Heirs album to feature Loren Harris.

The 2017 edition of the Kingdom Heirs is composed of Jerry Martin (tenor), Arthur Rice (lead), Loren Harris (baritone), Jeff Chapman (bass), Andy Stringfield (pianist), Dennis Murphy (percussion) and Kreis French (bass guitar).

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The Kingdom Heirs may be the best they’ve ever sounded with Loren Harris in the group.  He is the highlight of Something Good.
  • The quartet have now recorded “Never Made A Promise” three times.  On A New Look (2015) featuring Brian Alvey, on Carolina Live (2017) featuring Andy Stringfield and now on Something Good featuring Loren Harris.  Third time is the charm as Loren’s version is the best.
  • Loren also brings a couple of songs he recorded when he spent time with the Perrys.  Both “Damascus Road” and “Calvary Answers For Me” are highlights.
  • I enjoyed the Kingdom Heirs cover of “Better Hurry Up” to close out the recording.  Great ensemble work!
  • One can’t go wrong recording a cover of the Squire Parsons classic, “Master Of The Sea”.
  • Jeff and Jerry trade verses on a nice version of the Ira Stanphill classic, “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow”.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Never Made A Promise”, “Damascus Road”, “Better Hurry Up”, “Master Of The Sea”, “Calvary Answers For Me” and “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow”.
CRITIQUE:
  • When an artist records a table project, the listener can expect songs that have been recorded a thousand times before.  In this case the listener is treated to “I Just Feel Like Something Good Is About To Happen” and “How Long Has It Been”.  Sadly, not long enough.
  • Eerily, I thought I heard Libbi Stuffle on “Calvary Answers For Me”.  I am certain they didn’t use the Perry’s recorded track??
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “How Long Has It Been” and “I’m Telling The World About His Love”.

WRAP UP:

For a table project, Something Good is quite enjoyable.  Sonlite Records picking the album up makes me believe they were in a hurry to get something out with Loren Harris.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “I Just Feel Like Something Good Is About To Happen”/Ensemble; Arthur – William J Gaither  2. “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow“/Jeff; Jerry – Ira Stanphill  3. “Damascus Road“/Loren – Kyla Rowland  4. “Master Of The Sea”/Ensemble; Arthur – Squire Parsons  5. “I Want To Walk With My Lord”/Ensemble – Squire Parsons  6. “Calvary Answers For Me”/Loren – Joel Lindsey  7. “I’m Telling The World About His Love”/Ensemble – Kenneth Fulkerson  8. “How Long Has It Been“/Jerry – Mosie Lister  9. “Never Made A Promise”/Loren – Lee Black, Sue C Smith, Kenna Turner West  10. “Better Hurry Up”/Ensemble – James B Paris

And New Artist Of The Year Goes To…

If you have been a reader of this blog for any length of time, you are probably aware there are times I will start what seems to be a feature and then never continue.  A direct result of too many ideas always floating around in my brain.

In April of 2016, I had a POST where I decided to go back through Southern Gospel awards history to determine how many new artist of the year award winners went on to have lengthy careers.  I wanted to use both early Dove Award and Singing News Fan Award winners in this feature.  The post only featured early Dove Award winners.  I thought I would finally pick up this feature and continue with Singing News fan award winners for horizon group.

Singing News awarded the first horizon group in 1988.  Interesting enough, the Dixie Melody Boys won.  After a lengthy career leading up to 1988, the Dixie Melody Boys diverted to Christian country music in the mid 80s and eventually became the DMB Band.  Fans reacted when Ed put the traditional quartet back together and awarded him with horizon group in ’88.

Another quartet, which is now a staple among Southern Gospel listeners, the Kingdom Heirs, were handed horizon group in ’89.  Rick Strickland (tenor), David McGill (lead), Steve French (baritone) and Bob Caldwell (bass) was the vocal line-up at this time.

We’ll close today’s segment with yet another quartet win for horizon group.  1990 saw the award go to the Down East Boys.  After a string of strong recordings in the late 80’s, this win was no surprise.  Speaking of lengthy careers, all three award winners highlighted are still touring today!

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017

2017Everything that needs to be said of Southern Gospel music in 2016 is said.  Lets take one last look at the year that was and look ahead to 2017.

Some Stats:

NelonsTop Five Read Posts of 2016

  1. In Honor:  Steve French
  2. VOTING: Greatest Songwriter: Championship Round
  3. Is It Time For Acceptance In Southern Gospel Music?
  4. Stronger Together:  Nelons
  5. NQC 2016:  Thursday Night Recap

**The greatest songwriter search/series was the biggest blog feature of 2016.  In the end, Dottie Rambo claimed the title.  Album reviews and NQC recaps continued to be some of the most read features.

vocalevent2015whispers150Ten Most Played Southern Gospel Songs of 2016

  1. “I Have Decided” – Jay Parrack & Vocal Event
  2. “One Way, One Name, One Door” – Down East Boys
  3. “Small Town Someone (Lunch)” – Jeff & Sheri Easter
  4. “I Know” – Kingsmen
  5. “Jesus, The One” – Hoppers
  6. “Reassure Me” – Dunaways
  7. “He Won’t Leave You There” – Jason Crabb
  8. “Just To Save Me” – Wisecarvers
  9. “Just Can’t Make It By Myself” – Nelons
  10. “Jesus Never Fails” – Cana’s Voice

**I present the fab five feature at the start of every month to let you know the most played Southern Gospel radio songs in my musical playlists.  I get asked on occasion what I am currently listening to and this allows me to let the readers know.  These were the ten most played songs of the entire year.

rambos1972 (199x200)In Honor of those who passed in 2016

  1. Norman Almand (Artist-Rebels Quartet)
  2. Earl Brewer (Artist-Harvesters Quartet)
  3. Miles Cooper (Artist-Pine Ridge Boys)
  4. Ralph Dean (Concert Promoter)
  5. Boyce Flener (Artist-Crossmen Quartet)
  6. Steve French (Artist-Kingdom Heirs)
  7. Joe Moscheo (Artist-Imperials/Prophets Quartet)
  8. Buck Rambo (Artist-Rambos)
  9. Tina Sadler-Stark (Songwriter)
  10. Gail Shelby (Artist-Eternal Vision)
  11. Ira Smith (Artist-Dixie Echoes)
  12. Scott Spangler (Artist-Naomi & Segos)
  13. Jerry Lee Starnes (Artist-Truthseekers Quartet)
  14. D. John Stolzfus (Concert Promoter)
  15. Carl Whitman (Artist-Trav’lers Quartet)

Looking ahead to features you will find in 2017

  • 4th Annual Southern Gospel Views from the Back Row Honors
  • Album Reviews
  • Annual Countdown of Southern Gospel’s Best Albums/Recorded Songs
  • Commentary Series: The Evangelical church and Southern Gospel’s future
  • Most Overrated Southern Gospel Artist Series
  • Musical Playlists:  Track of the Week
  • Southern Gospel Tidbits Feature
  • And Much, Much More….

**I want to thank everyone who stopped by the blog in 2016.  This year had to most views/site visitors of any year I have been doing the blog.  I will continue as long as you continue to stop by.

VOTE: Best Of 2016: Baritone/Lead

3rdannualWho were the top baritone and lead vocalists in Southern Gospel music for 2016?  You get one vote per day.  Poll closes 11/25/16.  Click the link on each nominee to see an audio/video of the nominees.

NQC 2016: Thursday Night Recap

11278Thursday night of the NQC is over.  The music was very good tonight, but the night nearly ruined by the biggest miss of the entire week.

  • It was like a hit parade tonight.  Many artists decided to do entire sets of some of their biggest hits.
  • Gold City had an entire set of classic Gold City songs.  The Perrys decided to use all hit singles in their set. Add Jeff & Sheri Easter to that list.  A ton of great music.
  • Josh Townsend, pianist for LeFevre Quartet, was styling tonight in that jacket and he also pulled off an awesome piano solo.
  • Congrats to Ronny Hinson for finally being inducted in to the Southern Gospel hall of fame.  Long overdue.
  • The back to back sets of Ernie Haase & Signature Sound and the Nelons provided some awesome music.  Karen Peck joining Kelly Nelon on “You Can’t Make Old Friends” was a special moment.
  • I’ve always loved Squire Parsons composition, “King Of Eternity”.  The Kingdom Heirs (trio) did a fantastic job on that particular number tonight.
  • The Taylors capped off a great night of music with a solid three song set.

  • There is only one miss tonight, but it is the biggest of the week.  Why do individuals feel the need to spew their political views?  A certain preacher had to hock a new book to tell us how horrible America is and tell us that we have to vote for a certain candidate who for the last year has also been telling crowds how horrible America is.  Putting your trust in an individual that will ultimately go down as the worst presidential candidate in the history of this nation is not something you should be proclaiming to large crowds of people.  When are individuals like this going to realize not everyone thinks the way they do.  Everyone (yes even evangelicals) will not vote the same way.  That is what it means to be American.  We are free to differ on issues but in no way is it ok for anyone (especially in his position) to tell another how to vote and by not voting the way they say is wrong/bad and somehow the nation is doomed.  If you want to live in that kind of country, go to Russia.

 

**Now to crown the best of the night:

Best single song performances (in order of appearance):  (1) “I’m Getting Ready To Leave This World” – LeFevre Quartet  (2) “Praise His Name” – Jeff & Sheri Easter  (3) “There Rose A Lamb” – Gold City  (4) “Keep On” – Perrys  (5) “Redeemed” – Ernie Haase & Signature Sound  (6) “I Think I’ll Read It Again” – Nelons  (7) “A Moment Of Grace” – Booth Brothers  (8) “King Of Eternity” – Kingdom Heirs (**Favorite song performance of the evening)  (9) “He Won’t Fail You” – Taylors

Best Set of the Night:  There were several contenders tonight but I had to give it to the group that was high energy from start to finish; Ernie Haase and Signature Sound.

NQC 2016: Monday Night Recap

2nd-half-qt-800x471Night two of the 2016 National Quartet Convention has wrapped.  I thought tonight’s program was filled with a ton of great moments.  Here were the hits and misses.

  • I remember Claude Hopper telling the story of his first Gospel concert where he saw Dad Speer walk the stage and sing “Never Grown Old”.  I believe that was 1957.  Tonight to hear Claude walk the stage and sing “Never Grow Old” and then the second verse to Connie was such a moving moment and performance.
  • Mylon Hayes Family cut the tracks and performed an awesome a cappella version of “He Loves Me”.
  • Speaking of cutting tracks, I absolutely loved the Second Half Quartet’s performance tonight.  Just goes to show that great musical moments can be created with just piano, bass guitar and vocals.
  • I was happy to hear Squire Parsons sing one of my favorite Squire compositions, “Master Of The Sea”.  A true living legend
  • As far as living legends, another sweet moment in the evening came when Peg McKamey Bean accepted her Southern Gospel music hall of fame honor.
  • Another living legend proved he can still forevermore sing; Arthur Rice and “Forever Changed”.
  • I know I’ve already mentioned the Hoppers, but I can’t get enough of their new song, “If We Ever Gotta Look”.

  • Did the program start late or did the Diplomats run over?  I came into tonight’s program around 6:10 and the Diplomats were already on stage.  Whatever the cause, it made the rest of the night run late.
  • After thoroughly enjoying their new album, the Tribute Quartet missed an opportunity to showcase their best new material.

 

**Now to crown the best of the night:

Best single song performances (in order of appearance):  (1) “If We Ever Gotta Look” – Hoppers  (2) “Never Grow Old” – Hoppers  (3) “We Shall Wear A Robe And Crown” – Karen Peck & New River with Ernie Haase & Signature Sound  (4) “Jesus Changed Everything” – Ernie Haase & Signature Sound (*Best Individual Performance of the Night)  (5) “Master Of The Sea” – Squire Parsons  (6) “Forever Changed” – Kingdom Heirs  (7) “He Loves Me” – Mylon Hayes Family  (8) “The Prodigal Son” – Second Half Quartet

Best Set of the Night:  It came down to three artists this evening that provided the best moments.  Of the three I will give the best set honors to the Second Half Quartet.

Southern Gospel Tidbits

DID YOU KNOW?:  We are less than a week away from starting September 2016.  September has been an interesting month when it comes to single month #1 songs.  This modern era of chart history has a new #1 song every month.  That wasn’t the case decades ago when some songs would spend many consecutive months at #1.  Here are all the single month #1 songs that happened during the month of September.

  • September 1973 – “He Pilots My Ship” (Happy Goodmans)
  • September 1980 – “Better Hurry Up” (Happy Goodmans)
  • September 1982 – “Antioch Church Choir” (Dixie Melody Boys)
  • September 1984 – “Who Put The Tears” (McKameys)
  • September 1992 – “I’m Glad I Know Who Jesus Is” (Nelons)
  • September 2001 – “That’s Why I Love To Call His Name” (Kingdom Heirs)