Saturday, August 1, 2015

ICYMI - News and Tidbits - August 1

Here are some news and tidbit items from this week in gospel music -

  • Please pray for the Freemans. Their bus caught fire in Canada they had just started home to Hendersonville from Canada. No one was injured. The fire was contained to one area, and the group was able to travel the rest of the way home.
  • Prayers also requested for Gerald Crabb. He had triple bypass surgery this week after experiencing chest pains. Everything went well. He will spend a few days in the hospital recovering.
  • The National Quartet Convention will be in Pigeon Forge through 2016. The event recorded its largest attendance in 13 years after its move to Pigeon Forge in 2014.
  • Claude Hopper's oldest sister, Virginia Hopper Steele, passed away on Thursday. Please keep the family in your prayers. 
  • The Memphis Quartet Show has announced its lineup for 2016. Some different groups for next year include the Hopper Brothers 2.0, Ball Brothers and Gerald Williams and the Melody Boys. Check out the website for the full schedule (dates are not all correct, but it is the schedule for next year). 
  • Joseph Habedank announced that he is funding a scholarship for Ben Speer's Stamps Baxter School of Music for 2016. 

Anything I've missed?

Friday, July 31, 2015

Fun Clip Friday - Hopper Brothers 2.0

The Hoppers started in the 1950s as the Hopper Brothers and Connie. Recently, the Hoppers have launched the Hopper Brothers 2.0 in their concerts. The quartet consists of Dean and Mike Hopper, Nathan Kistler (who has been traveling with them and filing in) and the Hoppers' driver Matt Griffith. The group is being featured more and more and may even be included in the lineup of some events next year!

Check them out below for today's Fun Clip Friday!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

What If - The McKameys - CD Review

The McKameys are one of those groups that I'm not as familiar with in this industry. I just don't see them that often. They released their latest project What If in June. The McKameys are one of those groups who have a unique sound and are very true to who they are and to what has worked for them for decades.

The opening song, “I’m Gonna Give It Away,” is a fun uptempo number that really sets the tone for the project. Sheryl wrote it and is featured on the song. This is one of four songs that Sheryl wrote on the project. The title track, “What If,” is another one that she wrote. Lyrically, this song is one of the strongest. It’s one of those songs that really makes you step back and examine your life and your faith. Definitely a highlight of the project! What if we really believed and lived our life like that?

Connie is featured on “Your Prayers Have Been Heard.” The song has a great encouraging message about how God always hears our prayers even when we are in the waiting season.

I really like the intro of “There Is a Peace.” Peg takes the lead on this one and does what she does best. “I Have a Home” is the other Peg feature on the project and the first single. I’ve already heard this song quite a bit on the radio.

“I’ll Give You Grace” was another standout for me on this project. It features Sheryl. I really love the message of this song. So many times we wait for God to gift us by taking the thorn or situation away from us, but His grace in those situations is just as great of a gift.

Let’s not leave the men of the group out. It’s great to hear Ei on “Where He Is.” Ruben takes the lead on “Lift My Voice,” and Roger has the feature on “Work in the Field.” This is a fun, uptempo song to end on with a bit of a bluegrass sound.

Fans know exactly what to expect from the McKameys, and What If shows their consistent sound they have always had in the industry.

Song List -

  1. “I’m Gonna Give It Away”
  2. “Your Prayers Have Been Heard”
  3. “There Is a Peace”
  4. “Where He Is”
  5. “While I Wait”
  6. “I’ll Give You Grace”
  7. “Lift My Voice”
  8. “I Have a Home”
  9. “What If”
  10. “Work in the Field”

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Celebrating God's Goodness with the Perrys - Concert Recap

Friday night I got the chance to go to Oak Bowery Baptist Church to see the Perrys. I love going to this church for concerts. It's always such a sweet spirit. I hadn't seen the Perrys in more than a year, so I had been looking forward to this concert for a while. It was my first time to see Andrew Goldman and Jared Stuffle sing with them and Troy Peach back with the group. Also I hadn't seen Tracy Stuffle back on stage, so needless to say, this was a concert I was really excited about.

One of the reasons I love going to this church is the pre-concert congregational hymn sing. Before the service, church members of all ages fill the choir loft and the music director calls page numbers as we sing the classic hymns of the church. I love it!

The Perrys took the stage and started the night with "Gentle Shepherd." It was good to hear them stage this one again. Then, they sang "I Got a Hold of God This Morning" featuring Andrew. This was my first time hearing Andrew sing live, and I was really impressed! Then Troy was featured on "How Long." He did a great job on this song! It was interesting hearing so many of the newer songs that the guys hadn't originally cut. The guys did a great job, and I really love the sound of this lineup!

The Perrys - Andrew Goldman, Troy Peach, Libbi Stuffle, Tracy Stuffle
and Jared Stuffle
Troy handled the majority of the emcee work on stage, but definitely got help from Tracy. Troy talked about how this had been one of the churches he had missed coming to during the four years he wasn't with the Perrys. He and Tracy talked about how many good cooks there were in the church and how well the church treated them. Troy talked about what a privilege it was just to have one more chance to stand up and sing and brag on the Lord.

They then sang probably my favorite Perrys' song, "He Will Hide Me." I love this song!! Andrew and Troy really sound good together. It was definitely a highlight of the night for me, and got the first standing ovation of the night. Then Libbi was featured on "Did I Mention." She always does such an incredible job on this song. The group restarted the chorus of the song a cappella. Such a great moment and another highlight of the evening!

Tracy then started singing "God Is So Good." It was just amazing. They told a little bit more of Tracy's story, the stroke two and a half years ago plus more than 150 days in the hospital. He spent six weeks in a non-responsive coma. God wasn't through with Tracy, and He is still working in his life. Troy thanked all the people who prayed for Tracy during that time.

Tracy actually introduced the group. I loved the combo emcee work of Troy and Tracy. Sometimes it was like a comedy routine with Tracy interjecting funny remarks. They are great together!! It's also so inspiring to see Tracy's drive and "want to." Troy said that he goes through so much to be on stage night after night, but it's because he is dedicated to the call and wants to serve the Lord and sing.

The Perrys sang "I Know It Was the Blood" next. Libbi talked about what an honor and a privilege it was to be there. She shared more of the journey they had been on the past two years. She talked about how much Proverbs 3:5,6 had come to mean to her, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not on your own understanding." She knew that God didn't want us to understand everything, but to trust Him. She talked about while he was in the coma, she just fervently prayed that God would allow Tracy to open his eyes. Tracy beside her bugged his eyes out really big and the audience started laughing. She just said that some things never change. Haha!

For seven months, Tracy wasn't able to speak because of the trach. She talked about how many things we take for granted. When they left the hospital, doctors told her that he might never speak again or if he did that it would only be mumbling. They told her that because of brain damage, they weren't sure that he would be able to think clearly. Tracy chimed in, "That's baloney!" She quoted Eph. 3:20 that says God can do exceedingly beyond all we can think or imagine. And He did! She said that the song that could best sum up the past two years was the next one. Andrew started singing "Lord, I'm Thankful." Great song and a really beautiful moment! I loved hearing more of their story and journey. They ended the first half with "I Rest My Case at the Cross."

During the break, a trio from the church sang a couple of songs. They were great! Then, one of the girls from the trio, a teenager named Allie, sang a solo. I think the Perrys ask that she sing each year, she's got a great talent, so I can see why!

After the intermission, Libbi kicked off the second half with "Still Blessed." Loved hearing her sing this song! They then did the Goodman song "Living in Canaan Now."

Troy made the statement that they hadn't really featured Tracy or Jared yet that night, so they sang "Three Men on the Mountain" from their newest project Into His Presence. You can tell Jared is getting more comfortable in his role on stage. It's great seeing him stand next to his parents singing.

They sang a few more favorites "This Old Sinner Testifies," "Celebrate Me Home" and ended with "If You Knew Him." They closed the service with an invitation.

This is definitely one of my favorite concerts I've been to this year. It was great seeing the Perrys again especially with Tracy back on stage. It was truly a testament to answered prayers and God's goodness and faithfulness. Thankfully, it won't be another year before I get to see this group again!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits - July 25

Here are some news items from this week in gospel music -

  • Congratulations to Jason Crabb who got a street named after him in his hometown of Beaver Dam, Kentucky!
  • This week Lawrenceburg, Tennessee held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening of the newly-remodeled James D. Vaughan Museum in conjunction with the James D. Vaughn Quartet Festival that has been going on this week. It is the location of the Vaughan Publishing Company of the early 1900s. The museum opened 15 years ago. 
  • Gold City made an official announcement about Chris West as its bass singer this week on Facebook. Chris has been with the group almost a year since Tim Riley suffered a stroke last July. Tim will still be at the occasional concert and event, but Chris is the group's primary bass singer.
  • Congratulations to Matthew Holt and his wife Lindsey who welcomed a baby boy, Huely "Carver" Holt on July 21!
Anything I've missed?