Southern Gospel Clones

In the case of today’s post, a clone is an artist that duplicates, imitates or closely resembles another artist in appearance, performance or style.

Today’s post is not meant to be a bad thing (as in the myriad of carbon copy artists in the industry), but one that will take a Southern Gospel artist from the past and match them to an artist of today that best resembles/carries on the sound of the great artist of the past.  I will continue this feature with several more posts.

  • Downings match is the Taylors
  • Florida Boys match is Freedom Quartet
  • Happy Goodmans match is the Perrys
  • Hinsons match is the Hinson Family
  • Mid South Boys match is Akins
  • Oak Ridge Boys match is Triumphant

So with the artists in today’s grouping, do you agree with my choices or do you feel other artists match closer to the great artists of the past?

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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.

Smack Down!! – “We Are Not Ashamed”

hissong2006watchingandwaiting150One of the most popular features on Southern Gospel Views from the Back Row in the early days of the blog was a feature, song covers Smack Down.  It has been over a year since the last Smack Down.

Today we look at the current single from the Taylors, “We Are Not Ashamed”.  The song was first recorded by HisSong in 2006.  Geron Davis wrote the song.  Which version comes out on top.  You decide.

  • Artist – HisSong
  • Album – Watching And Waiting
  • Release Year – 2006
  • Featured Vocalists – Ensemble

vs

  • TaylorsArtist – Taylors
  • Album – Hope And Healing
  • Release Year – 2016
  • Featured Vocalist – Ensemble

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.

!!Free Music Monday!!

taylors2014measureofgrace300I trust everyone has a great weekend.  Lets give away some free music to help alleviate  those Monday morning blues.

Today, you have a chance to win the Taylors 2014 recording, Measure Of Grace.  This recording featured the four siblings on traditional/progressive Southern Gospel songs.

Song Listing:

  1. “I’m Committed To You Lord”
  2. “He’s My Guide”
  3. “Measure Of Grace”
  4. “I Want The World To See (Jesus Lives In Me)”
  5. “I Tremble”
  6. “The Least I Can Do”
  7. “The Cross Is Calling”
  8. “He Goes Before Me”
  9. “The Greatest Wonder”
  10. “Heaven Is Ready And Waiting For Me”
  11. “That Will Be Heaven To Me”

The first person to email me (sogospelbackrow@gmail.com) the answer to the following trivia question will win.

**In 2008, on the Taylors first recording (Rivers Crossed), the group recorded a song that would later (2011) be recorded by the Booth Brothers and become a big hit song.  Can you name the song?  Research is allowed.

*Video Credit (The Taylors – Topic)

***CONTEST NOW OVER***

Congratulations to Bobbie for being the first to answer “She Still Remembers Jesus’ Name” as first being recorded by the Taylors and then later became a big hit for the Booth Brothers.  More free music next Monday.

Hope & Healing: Taylors

TaylorsGRADE:  B-

  • Album – Hope & Healing
  • Artist – Taylors
  • Label – Stow Town Records
  • Style – Progressive
  • Release Date – 04/08/16
  • Available For Digital Download? – Yes (Apple Music/Spotify)

SYNOPSIS:

The Taylors are working on their first decade in Southern Gospel music, which comes in 2017.  2016 brings the release of the group’s 9th recording; the second with Stow Town Records.

The Taylors go to a trio vocal configuration on their newest effort, Hope & Healing.  As a result, they drop the bass vocals that used to be sung by Chris and have him sing baritone as Jonathan sings lead with Suzanne performing the alto/soprano.

With the change in vocal configuration and drop of the bass vocal, the Taylors move to a more progressive, Talley-esque type sound replacing the traditional mixed quartet sound.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Hope & Healing kicks off with a cajun-country style tune that is out-of-place once you hear the rest of the album.  The song ends up being the best song on the recording because it is so different from the rest of the recording.  I would expect to hear “He Won’t Fail You” on Southern Gospel radio in the near future.
  • Suzanne turns in a strong performance mid way through the album on “That’s What The Cross Is For”.  This reflective ballad is one that will stay with you even after the song ends.
  • Another strong ballad is the Chris Taylor feature, “Somebody’s Praying”.  There can never be enough songs about the power in prayer.  “Somebody’s Praying” is another in a long list of must listen prayer songs; one that reminds us that even Christ himself is praying for us.
  • One song I can see being a future Southern Gospel radio single is the Jonathan feature, “The Day I Lay My Isaac Down”.  Another story we’ve heard many times in song but the presentation here is a must listen.  The idea of sacrificing the thing in life most cherished in order to follow Christ is not the easiest thing to do.
  • Jonathan also shines on the progressive mid tempo, “Between Here And Heaven”.
  • The Taylors need credit for choosing from some of the best writers in the business for the song selection on Hope & Healing.
  • Wayne Haun can take credit for the best sounding Taylors album to date.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “He Won’t Fail You”, “That’s What The Cross Is For”, “Somebody’s Praying”, “The Day I Lay My Isaac Down”, “Between Here And Heaven”, “I Hope He Smiles” and “Call Out My Name”.
CRITIQUE:
  • Just with my last review; an album can be produced to perfection, but if there is very little in song variation, the album starts bleeding together for the listener.  You can’t tell one song from the last.  Hope & Healing has one true up-tempo song, two in the mid-tempo range and ten songs would be considered slow-tempo.  This is tiring for a listener, especially on a 13 song recording.  This is what ultimately led to my rating for the album.
  • Speaking out on this; I have noticed a small trend lately in Southern Gospel music to record more slower to mid-tempo songs compared to up-tempo songs.  Are there not enough good up-tempo songs being written?  The pacing is just as important in listening to an album as the songs you are choosing to record.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “We Are Not Ashamed” and “Far Enough”.

WRAP UP:

The Taylors would have been best served to record the ten best songs from Hope & Healing and save the three other ballads for a future recording.  It is tough to give an album with such strong songs a (B-) because the pacing of the album doesn’t make for the best listening experience.  With that said, don’t overlook Hope & Healing.  There are some absolutely stellar songs on this album that will find a home in your musical playlists and don’t be surprised the album will still be competing for a spot in my annual countdown of the year’s best releases.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “He Won’t Fail You”/Ensemble; Suzanne – Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey  2. “Somebody’s Praying“/Chris – Sue C Smith, Ed Stivers, Kevin Ward  3. “I Can Feel You Healing Me”/Jonathan – Natalie Cromwell, Denny Livingston, Donna Norton  4. “We Are Not Ashamed”/Suzanne – Geron Davis  5. “For What I Don’t Know”/Suzanne – Marcia Henry, Denny Livingston, Rachel McCutcheon  6. “Far Enough”/Chris – Jeff Bumgardner, Wayne Haun  7. “Right Now”/Jonathan – Randall Garland, Glen Green, Marcia Henry  8. “That’s What The Cross Is For”/Suzanne – Paul Chapman, Kenna West, Lindsey Williams  9. “Between Here And Heaven”/Jonathan – Gina Boe, Joseph Habedank, Tony Wood  10. “Call Out My Name”/Jonathan, Suzanne – Pamela Furr, Tanya Goodman Sykes  11. “The Day I Lay My Isaac Down”/Jonathan – Lowell Alexander, Dave Clark, Bonnie Keen, Tony Wood  12. “Worship You Again”/Suzanne – Sandy Blythe  13. “I Hope He Smiles”/Chris – Lee Black, Gina Boe, Joseph Habedank

*Video Credit (The Taylors – Topic)

!!Free Music Monday!!

taylors2012almosthome250Happy Monday everyone.  I still have (4) CDs to give away from my concert experience about a month ago.

Today, you have the chance to win the Taylors 2012 recording, Almost Home.

CD Song Listing:

  1. “The Love Of God”
  2. “Gettin’ Ready Today”
  3. “In My Wildest Dreams”
  4. “If Jesus Is There”
  5. “Paid In Full”
  6. “If The Lord Wasn’t Walking By My Side”
  7. “I’ll Keep Working, Watching, Waiting”
  8. “I Stand In Awe”
  9. “Oh I Want To See Him”
  10. “One More Time”
  11. “I’m Gonna Make It”

The first person to email me (sogospelbackrow@gmail.com) the correct answer to the following trivia question will win.

**This CD contains no less than three songs that were recorded by one of Southern Gospel’s greatest mixed groups of the 1970’s.  Name that group.

***CONTEST NOW OVER***

Congratulations to Damon for being the first to correctly guess the Downings.  During their prime, the Downings recorded “Gettin’ Ready Today”, “Oh I Want To See Him” and “One More Time”.