Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers! When I started this adventure more than two years ago, I never thought about the way it would enrich my life and all the great friends I would make through it. So today when I'm counting my blessings I am thankful for all of you!

On this day, let's all take time to pause and thank God for the many blessings He has given us.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Christmas Playlist Take 2

A couple of years ago, I did a post on favorite Christmas songs to compile a Christmas playlist. I've edited my list a little bit and am sharing it again. All of these aren't your traditional Christmas songs, but ones that I enjoy from various artists. Some of these have been released on a album while others are just ones that I have seen them sing live.

Here's my list -

1. "O Holy Night" - TaRanda Greene (hands down, my favorite version of this song)
2. "Glory to God in the Highest" - Ernie Haase and Signature Sound
3. "Mary Did You Know" - Mark Lowry (With so many versions, I still love hearing the writer sing his own song.)
4. "The Greatest Gift of All" - Jeff and Sheri Easter
5. "Christmas Shoes" - Brian Free and Assurance
6.  "Don't Save It All for Christmas Day" - Jason Crabb
7. "Mary Had a Baby" - Karen Peck and New River
8. "Mary's Little Boy Child/ Jesus, What a Wonderful Child" - Collingsworth Family
9. "Carol of the Bells" - Sisters
10. "Beautiful Star of Bethlehem" - Mark Trammell Quartet
11. "What Child Is This?" - The Isaacs
12. "Grace Has a Face (Hope Has Hands)" - Greater Vision
13. "We Believe" - Spoken 4 Quartet
14. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" -  Ball Brothers (not your typical version)
15. "Joy, Joy" - David Phelps
16. "Light a Candle" - The Nelons
17. "Carol of Bells" - Gold City
18. "Strange Way to Save a World" - Ethan Whisnant
19. "Come and Worship Medley" - Talley Trio
20. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" - Madison and Shannon

Bonus - "12 Days of Christmas (Southern Gospel style)" - Jubilee

What would you add? What are your must listen to Southern Gospel Christmas songs?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits - November 22

Here are some news and tidbit items from this week in Southern Gospel-

  • Congratulations to Brooklyn and William Blair (Collingsworth Family) on the birth of their first child Emma Olivia. She was born on Monday.
  • Les Butler has announced changes that he will begin focusing more on his personal ministry and preaching. He is also reviving Butler Music Group and Family Music Group. Read more.
  • The Music City Show started its third season this week with a Crabby Family Reunion show.
  • Beginning December 31, McCray Dove will be stepping out as a solo artist. He will be traveling as McCray Dove and the Dove Brothers Band.

Anything I'm missing?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Fun Clip Friday - Joseph Habedank

Today's Fun Clip Friday isn't the normal lighthearted kind of clip, but it's one that I definitely think is worth highlighting. Joseph Habedank was interviewed by Fox News earlier this week on how he overcame his addiction to prescription drugs. Joseph has been interviewed by several nationwide news outlets about his struggle, but I think that's the biggest platform yet. It's incredible how he's turned his life around and openly sharing about his addiction and using it to help others and glorify God. So that's why I think it's worthy of today's Fun Clip Friday! Enjoy!

Watch it here!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Adopted - Butler, Hughes & Hayes - CD Review

Butler, Hughes & Hayes is a quartet based on North Carolina. The group consists of Michael Hayes, Lamar Butler, Darren Hughes and Matt Parker. BHH has been primarily a regional artist, but looking to  branch out and increase their reach in Southern Gospel. I have to say with this album, their latest album Adopted definitely will help them take their place in industry.

The project was produced by Wesley Pritchard. One of the most impressive things about Adopted is that most of the songs were written by members of the group. Darren wrote four songs, and Michael wrote three of the songs.

The project starts with "The Beatitudes (You Are Blessed)" which is one of the standout songs. The group really shows off their harmonies with this one.

"He Came as a Child" is another highlight. This song is great for the Christmas season, but definitely is not labeled as "Christmas." The first verse focuses on the birth and the second verse on Christ's death. The song really seems to be more in their wheelhouse style wise.

The title track of the project is a sweet, heartfelt song. It was written by Darren about the adoption of his daughter. He and his wife adopted Sophia from Nanjing, China in 2011. The first verse talks about an orphan on the other side of the world and the second verse talks about how we are adopted children of God.

"Marriage Supper" is one of the uptempo songs. It's definitely one I found myself putting on repeat! Great fun song that I can see being great in a live concert setting! The country style "Jesus Is Better" is another mid tempo song that is a highlight and would be great live. It's repetitive chorus is one that I can see people singing along with live.

There are a couple of familiar songs like "He Washed My Eyes With Tears" and "Jesus Is Lord" that was an Andre Crouch song. The group definitely puts their own spin on the latter. They get some help from a background choir to really give it a stylistic contrast from most of the other songs.

One thing I also really liked was that in the CD jacket, all the songs have scripture references beside them. I think it shows that the group was very conscious about song choice when they do this!

If BHH was new to you like the group was to me, they are definitely worth giving a listen! I think this project shows that only good things are ahead!

Song List -
1. "The Beatitudes (You Are Blessed)
2. "Jesus Is Lord"
3. "He Came as a Child"
4. "The Dearest Friend I Ever Had"
5. "Adopted"
6. "Marriage Supper"
7. "Jesus Will Outshine Them All"
8. "Carry the Glorious Gospel"
9. "Jesus Is Better"
10. "I Love You"
11. "He Washed My Eyes With Tears"
12. "Around the Cross"

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

It's the Most Wonderful Time - Christmas Album Releases 2014

The ads have already started, the halls are being decked and soon the bell ringers will be out in full force. Yes, Christmas is just around the corner, and I love it! Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I've already started listening to Christmas music, so I thought today we could look at Christmas music you could add to your collection this year!

Here are some new Christmas releases this year for Southern Gospel (Please let me know if I'm forgetting anyone) -

  • Mark Trammell Quartet and the Whisnants - Home for Christmas (already released)
  • The Isaacs - An Isaacs Family Christmas Special DVD (released)
  • Tribute Quartet - The Thought of Christmas
  • Steve Ladd - A Christmas Hymn
  • Wayne Haun - Sentimental Season