Thursday, September 29, 2016

2016 National Quartet Convention - Thursday Night Recap

It's hard to believe that Thursday night is already over. I tuned in tonight in time to catch the end of the McKameys set. I was in and out some but was able to watch most of the webcast after that.

Commentary/ Highlights -
  • The set of the night has to go to the Mark Trammell Quartet. Each song they sang, I kept thinking this was the highlight of the set, but they kept getting better and better. They sang several songs from their latest project, Full Sail. Apparently Sunday night they sang one and had a little mishap on the words. They made some jokes about it tonight, and tonight every word was sung! Blake Buffin is really doing a great job on tenor with them. Love their arrangement of "He Hideth My Soul," but the last song of the set was probably my favorite, "My Faith Still Holds."
  • Last night it was Trey Ivey, tonight it was Bryan Elliot. It's good to see some of these vocally talented piano players getting a chance to step up to the mic. Gold City featured Bryan on "When I Get Carried Away." It was good to hear him sing!
  • Greater Vision pulled up young Eli Shaw, who some might remember from Singing in the Sun at Myrtle Beach. The clip of him singing "I Know a Man Who Can" with them quickly went viral. He was there tonight, so Mark Trammell actually suggested him coming up to join Greater Vision on the stage again.
  • The Nelons teased on Facebook that they would have a special guest on stage with them tonight. Karen Peck Gooch joined the Nelons for a highlight of the night, "Old Friends." It was sweet to see Kelly and Karen both get teary-eyed as they sang. Kelly joked at the end that they made it through it. 
  • Remember Jeff Chapman in your prayers as the Kingdom Heirs were a trio tonight. He just went to the hospital with elevated blood pressure for precaution since he's just had a stent put in recently. The Kingdom Heirs pulled up Quartet Gilead to finish up the night with them on "He Locked the Gates."
  • Matt Rankin of Soul'd Out Quartet paid tribute to Ian Owens who will be coming off the road in November. Ian was featured on a song that he's become known for, "I Believe."

Favorite Performances/ Songs -
  • "Praise His Name" - Jeff & Sheri Easter
  • "There Rose a Lamb" - Gold City
  • "Keep On" - Perrys
  • "Faces" - Greater Vision
  • "My Faith Still Holds" - Mark Trammell Quartet
  • "Old Friends" - The Nelons with Karen Peck Gooch
  • "Moment of Grace" - Booth Brothers
  • "I'd Rather Have Jesus" - Kingdom Heirs
  • "Worship You Again" - The Taylors
  • "Arise My Love" - Soul'd Out Quartet

I won't be able to watch any Friday night but will tune in again on Saturday for the last night!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

2016 National Quartet Convention - Wednesday Night

Overall this has been the strongest night so far of the convention. I started watching during the end of the Mylon Hayes Family's set tonight. I was in and out a bit, but got to see most of it from then on.

Commentary/ Highlights -

  • I am struggling to crown a set of the night. It's a toss up between the Hoppers and the Second-Half Quartet. It was good to hear from the Hoppers' new project as well favorites like "Jerusalem." I also was glad that the Hoppers included the Hopper Brothers 2.0 coming up and singing "I Know." I think after this week people are going to be interested in seeing more and more from the Second-Half Quartet. I think people love their sound and the voices with just piano and bass. 
  • Kudos to the Ball Brothers for doing an a cappella number tonight. A cappella is challenging anyway, but especially at NQC. However these guys pulled it off with "I Shall Know Him."
  • It's good to see Trey Ivey step out from behind the piano. I really enjoyed hearing him sing "In the Hands of a Carpenter."
  • Susan Whisnant singing "I Love You This Much" was definitely one of the top moments of the night. It was sweet how she asked where her parents where in the audience before singing and how she paid tribute to her mom. 
  • I don't know who came up with #DaywindBusKaraoke, but thank you. Hilarious, especially Legacy Five's impersonation of Tribute. 
  • Ernie Haase joined Legacy Five on stage for "He Made a Change" for a nice Cathedral tribute. 
  • The webcast cut out for me during the Talleys set. I saw the first song and then it came back in during them singing with the audience "What a Day That Will Be." 
  • I would have rearranged the schedule a bit tonight. Nothing against the Browns, but the part where all the Daywind artists came back to the stage and sang some of their most popular songs felt like the finale. It was one of my favorite parts of the night. 

Favorite Songs/ Performances -

  • "I Shall Know Him" - Ball Brothers
  • "It's Almost Over" - Mark Trammell Quartet
  • "Pray Now" - Karen Peck & New River
  • "Sometimes I Cry" - Jason Crabb
  • "I've Come Too Far" - Hoppers
  • "Standing on Holy Ground" - Second-Half Quartet
  • "After All This Time" - Talleys
  • "I Love You This Much" - The Whisnants
  • "God of the Storms" - Tribute Quartet
  • "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross" - Legacy Five
  • "Jesus The One" - Hoppers
  • "Christ Is Still the King" - Legacy Five joined by Tribute Quartet

2016 Singing News Fan Awards Winners

The Singing News Fan Awards were held this afternoon during the National Quartet Convention. The big honors of the afternoon were given to Triumphant Quartet taking home awards for both song and album. Booth Brothers were once again named the fan favorite artist.

Connie Hopper received the award for Favorite Alto for the second year in a row. That's one category that seems to be less predictable than others though. Mark Trammell was also Favorite Baritone for the second consecutive year. Two very deserving people!!

It was good to see Riley Harrison Clark honored as Favorite Young Artist. He's one of the best tenors on the road.

Here's the full list of winners -

Favorite Soloist: Ivan Parker
Favorite New Artist: Goodman Revival
Favorite Band: Kingdom Heirs Band
Favorite Mixed Group: Collingsworth Family
Favorite Soprano: Kim Hopper
Favorite Tenor: Michael Booth
Favorite Southern Gospel Radio Station: WJBZ (Knoxville, TN)
Favorite Musician: Kim Collingsworth
Favorite Songwriter: Rodney Griffin
Favorite Alto: Connie Hopper
Favorite Lead: Ronnie Booth
Favorite Trio: Booth Brothers
Favorite Young Artist: Riley Harrison Clark (Tribute Quartet)
Favorite Bass: Eric Bennett
Favorite Baritone: Mark Trammell
Favorite Traditional Quartet: Triumphant Quartet
Favorite Song: “Amazing God” (Triumphant Quartet)
Favorite Album: Living In Harmony (Triumphant Quartet)
Favorite Artist: Booth Brothers

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

2016 National Quartet Convention - Tuesday Night

Night two of National Quartet Convention is now in the books. I got home in time to turn on the webcast as the Inspirations were on stage. Here are my thoughts and highlights of the night -

  • If the Booth Brothers and Collingsworth Family went on tour together, that would be a concert I wouldn't miss. That was one incredible hour of gospel music. From the opening song together to the last note of "Jesus Saves," it was amazing. I loved Michael's sweet tribute to Jim and his time with the group. He even joined them on the last song. The two instrumentals from the Collingsworth Family, "Let There Be Peace on Earth" and "My Tribute," were also highlights. I also enjoyed Michael putting together the live band on "Life's Railway to Heaven."
  • Jim Brady told the story of his sister's battle with cancer to set up "Every Cry Is Heard." Last year at NQC is when he found out his sister didn't have much longer to live, and this song written by Jim was a song that she heard on the radio after her diagnosis. It was one of the more emotional moments of the night.
  • It was good to hear the Perrys sing "Calvary Answers for Me," probably my favorite performance by an individual group tonight. 
  • Triumphant Quartet had one of the strongest sets of the night with "Love Came Calling" and "This Blood," both being highlights.
  • "Jesus Loves You" is such a powerful song from Jeff and Sheri Easter. I'm glad they sang it tonight, definitely the highlight of their set. 
  • Both Loren Harris and Trent Adams have just started with their respective groups, Kingdom Heirs and LeFevre Quartet. They are getting thrown in the deep end with this being the biggest event in gospel music, but both have been very impressive!

Favorite Songs/ Performances -

  • "Every Cry Is Heard" - Jim Brady Trio
  • "I Can Pray" - Kingdom Heirs
  • "Calvary Answers for Me" - The Perrys
  • "This Blood" - Triumphant Quartet
  • "Then I Met the Master" - Booth Brothers
  • "Blood of Jesus" - Collingsworth Family
  • "Jesus Saves" - Collingsworth Family/ Booth Brothers
  • "Jesus Loves You" - Jeff and Sheri Easter
  • "He Left No Stone Unturned" - LeFevre Quartet

Monday, September 26, 2016

2016 National Quartet Convention - Monday Night

The 2016 National Quartet Convention is officially underway. I should be able to watch most of each night except for Friday night. NQC started today with the announcement that NQC will be held in Pigeon Forge through 2021.

I tuned in tonight to the webcast just in time to catch the end of the McKameys set. Here are some of my thoughts and then some of my favorite songs and performances of the night -

Commentary/ Thoughts -
  • Karen Peck & New River had the best set of the night in my opinion. From start to finish, it was solid. You can't go wrong with "Four Days Late." 
  • Tribute Quartet and the Second-Half Quartet also had some of the best sets of the night. Tribute Quartet had a really nice paced set singing several of their newer songs from Here For You. The Second-Half Quartet is just pure quartet singing at its finest. 
  • I did like having two "featured" groups of the night that had a bit longer sets. Tonight it was Ernie Haase and Signature Sound and the Kingdom Heirs. Loren Harris is sounding great with the Kingdom Heirs!
  • Claude Hopper had one of the more touching moments of the night when he turned to Connie and said he was singing this part to her. It was the last verse of "Where We'll Never Grow Old." It was such a sweet moment!
  • Peg McKamey Bean might throw her shoes off every night, but she is a class act. Her induction to the Southern Gospel Hall of Fame was short, sweet and very heartfelt.
  • Every time I see the Mylon Hayes Family, I am more and more impressed!
  • Viewing on Roku tonight, I had minimal hiccups with the broadcast, and they were short-lived. No complaints here!

Favorite Songs/ Performances
  • "Grace at Its Best" - Tribute Quartet
  • "Where We'll Never Grow Old" - The Hoppers
  • "Blessed" - Karen Peck & New River
  • "Soldier Fighting to Go Home" - Ernie Haase & Signature Sound
  • "Chain Gang" - Kingdom Heirs
  • "Love Medley" - Mylon Hayes Family
  • "Cheer the Weary Traveler" - Second-Half Quartet
  • "It's Still the Cross" - Gold City