VOTE: Best Of 2017: Mixed Group/Quartet/Album Cover Design

Today, starts the voting for best mixed group, quartet and album cover design.

You get one vote per day.  Poll closes 12/05/17.  Click the link on each nominee to see an audio/video of the nominees.

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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: 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.

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.

AND THE NOMINEES ARE:

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

Songwriter

  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).

Best Of The Last Decade (2007-2016)

Somebody’s Coming (2011) – Gold City (New Haven): “Peter, James And John“; “I Get Down“; “Footprints On The Water“; “It Won’t Be Long“; “Showers Of Blessings“; “Lord Of Life“; “Somebody’s Coming“; “Leave That Burden“; “I Have An Anchor“; “Never Too Broken To Belong“.

Love Came Calling (2010) – Triumphant Quartet (Mansion Entertainment): “Saved By Grace“; “Love Came Calling“; “I Can Take You To The Place“; “Mercy, Forgiveness And Grace“; “Movin’ Up To Gloryland“; “The Undertaker“; “Jesus Is Your Ticket To Heaven“; “We Shall Overcome“; “Holy Hands“; “The Cross Of Christ“; “You’ll Find Me There“.

Whatever The Road (2015) – Jason Crabb (Sony): “Never Gonna Let Me Go“; “Chance For A Miracle“; “He Knows What He’s Doing“; “If I Shout“; “He Won’t Leave You There“; “Home“; “This Life For You“; “It’s A Good Life“; “Opened Up My Eyes“; “Mysterious Way“.

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?

Thankful: Triumphant

GRADE:  B

  • Album – Thankful
  • Artist – Triumphant
  • Label – Stow Town Records
  • Style – Progressive, Traditional
  • Release Date – 04/21/17
  • Available For Digital Download? – Yes (Apple Music)
  • Running Time:  39 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

This week we take a look at the new album from Triumphant, Thankful.  2017 marks 15 years since the formation of the quartet.  The vocal line-up has not changed in that 15 years.

That vocal line-up is a huge part of Triumphant’s success with the listening audience.  Triumphant are also at a point in their career where they have created a sound that defines them.  You can distinguish Triumphant anytime you hear them.

Thankful keeps that progressive/traditional Southern Gospel mix.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Lee Black and Scott Inman penned two great up-tempo numbers on Thankful.  The title track, “Thankful, So Thankful” is the best song on the recording.  This is a fun, energetic, up-tempo song in a sea of slow to mid-tempo music.
  • The latest single from Thankful is the Zach Williams cover; “Chain Breaker”.  This song translates well to the Southern Gospel marketplace.  Scott is featured and the song is a great choice for radio single.
  • Scott is also featured on the stand out ballad from Thankful, “God Will Always Be God”.  While reminiscent of previous Triumphant songs, its message is enough to make it a must listen.
  • Clayton and the group take us to church on the mid-tempo, “Grace And Mercy”.  The subtle organ accompaniment along with Clayton’s vocals add to the vibe.
  • Clayton also is featured on the other Lee Black/Scott Inman collab, “Never Assume”.  Another great up-tempo song to break up the monotony of all the slower to mid-tempo songs.
  • Eric has some fun trading off with the ensemble on “Bottom Of The Barrel”.  Scott knows whats up when it comes to pacing a recording.  He co-wrote the only three up-tempo songs on the entire recording.
  • David’s one feature on Thankful is the Kirk Talley penned, “I Know Him”.  Good to see Kirk’s name back in the songwriting credits.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Thankful, So Thankful”, “Chain Breaker”, “God Will Always Be God”, “Grace And Mercy”, “Never Assume”, “Bottom Of The Barrel” and “I Know Him”.
CRITIQUE:
  • Triumphant tries their hand at a traditional black spiritual.  They sounded as vanilla as anyone could sound.  They need some lessons from the Statesmen on how to treat a traditional black spiritual.
  • The pacing of the album.  Thank you Scott for contributing the three up-tempo songs on the recording.  The listener didn’t get that first up-tempo number until track #6.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “My God Called Me This Morning” and “One Happy Man”.

WRAP UP:

Triumphant continues to do enough to remain the top quartet in Southern Gospel music.  There is plenty here that Triumphant fans will enjoy to keep them happy until the next album.  Triumphant can be thankful.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “We Welcome Your Holy Spirit”/Ensemble – Mark Condon  2. “Chain Breaker“/Scott – Mia Fieldes, Jonathan Smith, Zach Williams  3. “God Will Always Be God“/Scott – Wayne Haun, Scott Inman, Joel Lindsey  4. “The Cross Is All The Proof I Need”/Clayton – Wayne Haun, Scott Inman, Joel Lindsey  5. “One Happy Man”/Eric – Lee Black, Marcia Henry  6. “Thankful, So Thankful”/Scott – Lee Black, Scott Inman  7. “I Know Him”/David – Kirk Talley  8. “Never Assume“/Ensemble; Clayton – Lee Black, Scott Inman  9. “Grace And Mercy”/Clayton – Franklin D Williams  10. “Bottom Of The Barrel”/Ensemble; Eric – Scott Inman, Joel Lindsey  11. “My God Called Me This Morning”/Ensemble – Traditional