Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Come Thirsty - Jay Stone Singers - CD Review

The Jay Stone Singers have a 41-year heritage in Southern Gospel music. The second and third generations of the family are now carrying on the name and legacy with Jay's daughter Sharona, her husband Bobby and their children, Stone and Emma.

Come Thirsty is the latest release from the group. It's actually their third album with Crossroads Music.

Emma Carter kicks off the album with "Just Receive It." It's a great country sounding song that really shows off her young talent.

Sharona is featured on "Your Will Another Way." It's a beautiful song about surrendering to God's will and purpose even when it may not be clear to us. She has a strong, power voice that lends itself to this song beautifully.

"I'm Saved," which was written by Karen Peck Gooch, Jason Cox and Sue Smith and previously recorded by Karen Peck & New River switches back to the more country-flavor. Bobby takes the lead on this song.

"Each Time" takes a more progressive turn. The song was written by Stone Carter and Matthew Lawson. Stone is featured on this song. I knew that Stone has been recognized for his drum skills in the industry, but he is also a great vocalist.

Sharona steps up again with "I Won't Turn Back," which is Karen Peck Gooch's second cut on the project. She also sings the ballad "That Great Tomorrow," a definite highlight of the project. There's something about Sharona's voice that really makes me want to hear her sing something from a Broadway musical. She's definitely got an incredible vocal talent!

Stone is not only the group member with a writing credit. "That's Where Miracle Begin" was written by Bobby Carter and John Mathis. He's also featured on the song. The song wraps up the project going back to the more country sound.

If you were like me and weren't that familiar with the Jay Stone Singers, pick up Come Thirsty today and give them a listen!

Song to Put on Repeat - "That Great Tomorrow"
Song to Turn Up - "I Won't Turn Back"
Song That Will Take You to Church - "Cornerstone/ I Go to the Rock"

Song List -
1. "Just Receive It"
2. "Your Will Another Way"
3. "I'm Saved"
4. "Each Time"
5. "I Won't Turn Back"
6. "Come Thirsty"
7. "Kept by the Promise Keeper"
8. "Cornerstone/ I Go to the Rock"
9. "That Great Tomorrow"
10. "That's Where Miracles Begin"

Saturday, November 18, 2017

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbit - November 18

Here are some news and tidbit items from this week in Southern Gospel music -
  • Gus Gaches will host the very first Song Garden Summit to be held October 26-28, 2018 at Ridgecrest Conference Center just east of Asheville, North Carolina. This three-day conference event will feature music and unique activities with seven Song Garden artists. In addition to concert times, attendees will enjoy contests, games, hiking, fellowship and laughter along with an intimate time around the campfire each night. “We are very excited about the level of enthusiasm we have received from the artists, sponsors and attendees for this unique weekend event,” said Gus Gaches. “We look forward to providing a weekend where folks can relax and renew, make memories that will linger throughout the year and leave with lasting friendships.” The conference event pass includes admission to five sessions, two nights lodging and four meals on campus. For more information or to register for the conference event please visit:
  • Paul's Journey announced a new tenor singer, Ron Higgins. Ron has been singing gospel music for 29 years previously singing professionally with the Pacesetters Quartet.
  • The Troy Burns Family have reached an exclusive booking agreement with The April Potter Agency. Troy Burns is a 2017 inductee in the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame. The Troy Burns Family consists of Troy Burns, his wife, Tammy, their baritone, Shane Mathis, and pianist, Jacob Kluttz.
  • Congratulations to Chapel Valley’s CEO Shane Roark and his fiancĂ©, Jacqueline Ratliff on their upcoming wedding on December 8, 2017. Shane and Jacqueline welcome your prayers as they begin their life together as husband and wife.
Anything I've missed?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Concert Recap - Brian Free & Assurance

A few weeks ago I got the chance to see Brian Free & Assurance in Arkansas. It had been over a year since I had gotten to see this group in person and this was coming right off the release of their new album, Beyond Amazed. Here are some highlights of the night -

  • They had a lot of requests for fan favorite songs, but they were able to get in two new songs and they probably were the two I most wanted to hear live - "He Can Take It" and "Sometimes You Need a Song." Glad that they are already staging a few new ones!
  • "For God So Loved" - This is one of the most powerful songs. I love hearing this one live!
  • "Say Amen" - This is another powerful song. I love when the audience will chime in and say "Amen" as the song progresses. This is becoming one of their staple songs.
  • "He Will Carry You" - I've heard this song on the radio so much lately. It's a beautiful reminder that when tough times come He will be there to carry us.
  • "You Can Be the Difference" - This song is a fun upbeat song, but also very challenging. It's another great one to hear live.
  • It's always good to hear those fan favorite songs. It wouldn't be a Brian Free & Assurance concert without "Long As I Got King Jesus." They also sang "I Keep Looking Up," "Praying Man" and "If It Takes a Valley," three more of my personal favorites.

Check out Brian Free & Assurance's schedule to see when they are near you!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits - November 11

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

  • The Triumphant Quartet will now be booked by the Harper Agency.
  • The Dixie Melody Boys also announced a new booking agent with the Beckie Simmons Agency. 
  • The Talleys, Tribute Quartet, Kenna West, Highroad and pianists Jeff Stice and Sandra Payton as well as other gospel artists will start the holiday season with “Bells, Boots, and BBQ,” a dinner and music event benefiting The Veranda. The event will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 5 at The Depot Square in Gallatin, Tenn. A silent auction begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and concert at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $40 per person, and tables of eight are available for $300. Seating is limited to 300, and reservations are requested before November 24. Reservations may also be made online at

Anything I've missed?

Friday, November 10, 2017

Fun Clip Friday - CMA Awards

In case you missed the CMA Awards that aired this week, you missed an incredible version of "Softly and Tenderly" that has been circulating now online. Carrie Underwood sang the hymn during the "In Memoriam" tribute. And I've also heard that gospel music's own Gordon Mote did the arrangement and played during the performance. I've yet to see anything from him post that, so if anyone knows for sure, be sure to comment!

Watch the video below for today's Fun Clip Friday!