Thursday, May 25, 2017

Thankful - Triumphant Quartet - CD Review

Triumphant Quartet released Thankful last month. This is the group's third release with StowTown Records. The quartet proves why they continue to be the fan favorite in the industry with this release. Triumphant Quartet is one of the most consistent groups in the business not only with the lineup but also with their own sound we have all come to love.

The project starts with the worship song "We Welcome Your Holy Spirit." It's a nice song that features a snippet from "Sweet, Sweet Spirit." I thought it was a nice touch.

"Chain Breaker" is the next song and the first single. I've already heard this song quite a bit on the radio and wouldn't be surprised to see it at the top of the charts soon. The song was originally done by Zach Williams, but I really prefer Triumphant's version. The quartet sound works really well with this song. Scotty does a great job on the verses.

Thankful has 11 songs, five of which were written by baritone Scotty Inman. It's no surprise that he's been listed as a top five songwriter for the last couple of years. The first one on the project is "God Will Always Be God" also featuring Scotty. The message is simple but always a needed reminder. "The Cross Is All the Proof I Need" is the next one. The song features Clayton and David. I love the arrangement and how the song builds for a powerful ending.

Eric is featured on "One Happy Man," a song that tells the story of a man's funeral from a rather interesting perspective. It's his funeral but knowing the life he lived and where he is now, he's one "happy man." However, my favorite feature of his is "Bottom of the Barrel." It's a fun uptempo song with some nice brass in the background.

"Thankful, So Thankful" is definitely a favorite for me and one of the more upbeat songs. It picks up the pace with a little bit of a banjo and bluegrass. "Never Assume" is another uptempo song that will make you tap your foot along but also might step on a few toes as well. The song reminds us to always be a witness to others around us, because we never know when we need to be ready to share Jesus with those around us.

David has the solo on the Kirk Talley-penned "I Know Him." This is a great ballad; I love the hook of the song, I know Him, but best of all He knows me. I love David's smooth vocals on this song.

Clayton has a great feature on "Grace and Mercy." It's a great traditional church song with the organ backing them up. The last song "My God Called Me This Morning" has a soulful, black gospel sound that's a cappella. It really showcases the great blend these guys have.

Triumphant continues to show why they have been the top quartet in the industry with Thankful. The project has a number of songs that I could see as chart-toppers for the group. The project does have a number of slower songs, but with the strength of each song on the album I don't really mind it. It's a CD you must add to your collection!

Song that will take you to church - "Grace and Mercy"
Songs to turn up - "Bottom of the Barrel" and "Thankful, So Thankful"
Song to put on repeat - "Chain Breaker"
Song to give a second listen - "I Know Him"

Song List -
1. "We Welcome Your Holy Spirit"
2. "Chain Breaker"
3. "God Will Always Be God"
4. "The Cross Is All the Proof I Need"
5. "One Happy Man"
6. "Thankful, So Thankful"
7. "I Know Him"
8. "Never Assume"
9. "Grace and Mercy"
10. "Bottom of the Barrel"
11. "My God Called Me This Morning"

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Gold City - Concert Recap

Gold City was in Arkansas earlier this month in Jacksonville at Landmark Baptist. It's become almost an annual stop for these guys. Last year when they were here it was the first night of a fill-in/try out lead singer by the name of Scott Brand. Of course, Scott went on to get the job permanently. And this lineup of Gold City is sounding better than ever together.

Gold City Quartet - Bryan Elliot, Thomas Nalley, Daniel Riley,
Scott Brand and Chris West
It's good to hear them bring back several of the older songs. A few I wasn't all that familiar with, so I like that they are introducing newer fans to these songs. Gold City has such a large repertoire of songs that I'm sure it's impossible to get in what everyone wants to hear along with new songs from recent projects. I really enjoyed the variety of the set list that night.

Here are a few highlights -
  • "If God Be For Us"
  • "Windows of Home" - Really love hearing Scott on this song. You can definitely hear the Ivan Parker influence in his voice. 
  • "Shouting Ground" 
  • "A Strong Hand" - This was a song I was not familiar with. In fact, I had to do a little research when I got home on the exact title. It's actually from their Standing in the Gap project. Chris has the feature on this one. It was probably the moment of the night for me. 
  • "God of All Gods" - Thomas sang this one right after he gave his testimony of how God miraculously restored his hearing. It makes for such an incredible moment. 
  • "Victory in Jesus" - This is always a fun one to hear the guys sing. I love their rendition of this song. Danny does a great job on this song. 
  • "When I Get Carried Away" - Danny passed off his mic to Bryan on this song. I think this is becoming a more regular part of their concerts to let Bryan sing a little bit. It's good to hear him step out a sing. 
  • "That Little Baby"
  • "Midnight Cry" - Of course, it's always a highlight to get to hear this song live. 
It was a great night filled with a lot of great music. I enjoyed hearing a few songs that I didn't know as well. After hearing them, it's easy to see why they have brought them back recently and why Gold City is known for having incredible songs and has been such a strong group through the years. In fact, the group was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame just a few days after this concert. 

Don't miss Gold City if they are in your area. Check their schedule to see when they might be in concert near you!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits - May 20

Here are news items from this week in gospel music -
  • Prayers go out to the family of Rosa Nell Speer Powell. She passed away at age 94 on Tuesday. Services were held today.
  • Top 5 nominees for the Singing News Fan Awards were announced this week. Check out the full list here
  • Kody Erwin is still in the hospital because of viral meningitis/encephalitis. Please continue to keep him and his family in your prayers.
  • Eddie Couch has joined 4 One Quartet as bass singer. He replaces Will Funk who was a member of the group since its inception.
Anything I've missed?

Friday, May 19, 2017

Fun Clip Friday - Amber Nelon Thompson He's Making Me

Happy Friday! This week the music video for "He's Making Me" from Amber Nelon Thompson "He's Making Me" debuted on Facebook. The song will actually be included in the the motion picture soundtrack for Champion The Movie. The movie opens this Friday night in select theaters. The video features Amber and scenes from the movie. Check it out below!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Ball Brothers - Concert Recap

The last day of April I made the trip south to Pine Bluff, Arkansas to see the Ball Brothers. They are one of those groups I really don't get to see very often. The group consists of brothers Andrew and Daniel Ball, brother-in-law Chad McCloskey and newest member Matt Davis.

The thing I love about this group is that they really bring something different to the industry. They are their own style.

Here's a look at what they sang -

  • "Let Your Light Shine"
  • "I Wouldn't Miss Heaven for the World"
  • "Gentle Shepherd" - Andrew does a great job on this arrangement of the familiar hymn. He really shows off his higher register. 
  • "Happy Rhythm"  - This one featured the newest member of the Ball Brothers, Matt Davis. 
  • "Count Your Blessings" - Chad shows off that "big band" sound with this song. 
  • "Mary Did You Know" - Daniel said that since he got to pick the set list he was going to have them sing one of his favorite songs, which was more associated with Christmas, but  
  • "Victory in Jesus" - Love their take on this hymn!
  • "Mercy Tree" - Great take on a more contemporary song. I'm glad they are introducing this song to Southern Gospel audiences. 
  • "Good Day"
  • "Glory to God in the Highest"
  • "I Smile" - The guys have a lot of fun with this one!
  • "It's About the Cross" - Love this song!! One of my favorites. 

The music was, of course, great, but it was also great hearing the hearts of the guys on the stage. Daniel shared a story of how they grew up with seven kids in a relatively small house. They didn't really think about it growing up but knew they didn't have a lot of things that other kids their age had like new basketball shoes. However, they realized how blessed they were when they had the chance to go on a mission trip and visited an orphanage. Daniel said he was amazed at the living conditions of those boys, the holes in the walls, the food they had to eat and the lack of heat in the building. He realized what it was really like to be poor and not being able to have basic needs of life. It gave him a better understanding of how blessed he was and how he committed to use his platform to help kids like he saw that day.

If you get a chance to see the Ball Brothers, don't miss them!