Saturday, October 22, 2016

Jordan's River Signs With Lighthouse Media

On September 22, 2016, Jordan's River made a big announcement that they would be signing with Lighthouse Media Group on an extensive management deal. If you are unfamiliar with the name Jordan's River, they are a progressive Southern Gospel trio with a country bluegrass flavor, who love the Lord and have a heart for serving others.

The group currently consists of J. Randy Graham, his wife Belinda and longtime friend Angie Wilson. They released this statement, “We are very happy to announce that we have signed with Andrew Brunet and Lighthouse Media Group for radio promotions, publicity, and CD distribution. We are so grateful to join up with such a hard-working, fine young man.”

Their publicist, Andrew Brunet, said, “Jordan's River is definitely a one-of-a-kind group, you will not find a more-loving, caring trio then what you see right here.”

You will find more information about them via their website at For booking purposes, give them a call at (478)-484-0548.

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

Here are some news and tidbits from this week in Southern Gospel music -

  • The Erwins sang the National Anthem at a Tennessee Titans home football game. You can see a clip of it here.
  • The Singing News announced the first round of finalists in the 2016 Songwriter Search. You can see the full list here. The Top 50 songs in the contest will be announced on Wednesday, October 26.
  • WCKB, a Southern Gospel station based in North Carolina that began on March 11, 1946 with a meeting of three Dunn businessmen, is celebrating 70 years of broadcasting. The station will host an open house from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Friday, October 28.
Anything I've missed?

Friday, October 21, 2016

Fun Clip Friday - Jason Crabb and Point of Grace

Happy Friday to everyone! A few weeks ago I got the chance to see Jason Crabb and Point of Grace in concert in Arkansas. To be honest, I was a Point of Grace fan far longer than I have been a Southern Gospel fan. They got their start here in Arkansas. And, I went to college the same place as they did (or at least two of the three).

It was a great night of music and worship. I loved seeing those artists together! Point of Grace has definitely made an impression in the Southern Gospel world. Check out this clip of them on TBN and then a Facebook Live video I did from the concert for today's Fun Clip Friday!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Names You Might Not Know Yet - The Chordsmen Quartet

In the late 70's three brothers The Chordsmen Quartet was formed by three brothers, Thomas, Gary and Keith Jennings. The group traveled for 15 years all over South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ in churches and concerts. As life goes, changes came and the group had to leave the road. In 2013, Thomas's sons renewed the group. The group now consists of Jerry Jennings, Harold Jennings, Randy Leslie and Stephen Williams. Get to know a little bit about this group!

Question - When did you become interested in singing Southern Gospel music? What are some of your earliest memories of Southern Gospel?

Jerry Jennings - Of course, I don't remember, but my parents always said when I was born in October 1962, I was at in Greenville S.C. at the old Textile Hall for a Thanksgiving singing. So I guess you could say I was marked from birth to be involved in Southern Gospel music. As I grew older in the 70s we began going to the Charlotte Coliseum Easter singings with groups like The Happy Goodman, The Hinsons, The Oak Ridge Boys, Speer Family, The Lefevres, Jerry Goff, The Cathedrals and many, many more. That's when I really feel in love with the style and harmonies of a quartet. Men like Jerry Goff, Ronnie and Kenny Hinson, George Younce, Glenn Payne and Danny Funderburk were and still are a very big inspiration to me. They always had time to talk to the young fans that wanted to speak them and give encouragement to us.

Q - How did you get started?

Jerry - My dad, Tom Jennings, and his two brothers Keith and Gary began putting a quartet together in the mid 70s so I started on the tambourine at 13 years old. After a short while our drummer left and I began picking up the drums and by the grace of God I learned how to play. I did that for a few years along with practicing the bass guitar, then the bass player position was open so I moved to bass and my brother Harold moved into the drums spot. We traveled like that for a while then the tenor singer left, and I began singing tenor and playing bass for the next 10 years or so.

Q - How long have you been singing?

Jerry - I have been singing and/or  playing for 40 years and I have loved each and every minute and every mile of it!!

Q - What's one thing that you want people who walk away from your concert to know about you?

Jerry - I would like for people to walk away from one of our concerts or church services knowing that I love them.l I care for their souls and that God is right here wanting to give them the gift of eternal life.

Q - Do you have a favorite song that you sing? And what song from another group has ministered to you?

Jerry - My all time favorite song is "The Lighthouse" by Kenny Hinson. That was my first song I sang in public as a teenager, and I still sing it today. It's one of those songs that has an everlasting message.

Over the past three years that my brother Harold and I have had the group back on the road, I have been singing a song, "I Still Cling To The Old Rugged Cross." I first heard Brian Free's group sing this song, and it really ministered to me. We can try to cling to a lot of things down here on earth, but the only thing that will always be around is the love of my Savior and that's worth clinging to in life.

Q - What artists have been your biggest influence (musically and/or personally)? 

Jerry - I guess hanging around the all night singings there were a lot of artists that I looked up to, but the biggest influence musically was The Hinsons but not just one of them. The whole gang was so awesome. Ronnie and Kenny told me one night backstage that "when you're on stage you are the best in the business, but when you come down form the stage you are nobody special just a servant of God." That has stuck with me all of these years. Personally I would have to say my dad Thomas Jennings. He taught me to laugh, live, love and sing for The Lord. To keep God first in your life and you can't go wrong.

Q - What has been your favorite memory so far in your ministry?

Jerry - There are so many memories in The Chordsmen Ministry, but I have to go back to when my dad, two uncles, my brother and myself were traveling every weekend all over South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia together. But I'm looking forward to many memories of the "RENEWED" Chordsmen.

Q - What new things are coming up for you?

Jerry - We have a few new things coming up this year. We have started planning our first single release ever for TCQ, and we are very excited about it. We are also looking and listening for new songs to record on a new project. We were featured in the SGMA Promoters Association Showcase during NQC week with a wonderful lady Edna Wright. With all that God is doing for TCQ, we are keeping busy, and we love it. Keep us in your prayers that we will always be behind the cross so that He can be seen!!

For more on the Chordsmen, go to

Monday, October 17, 2016

Here For You - Tribute Quartet - CD Review

I'm not going to be surprised to find Here For You in many lists of the top album of 2016. I feel like this is the best album the group has ever produced. It was no wonder that the group featured so many of these songs at NQC a few weeks ago. They have a right to be proud of every song on this project.

Tribute Quartet has had the same lineup since 2011 with tenor Riley Harrison Clark, lead Gary Casto, baritone and piano player Josh Singletary and bass Anthony Davis. Not only has their lineup been steady for the past several years, they still have two of the founding members with Gary and Josh.

The album opens with the title song "Here For You." The song has a long intro and build up. It's a bit more progressive. It has a unique, fun sound to start off the album. We continue with the uptempo songs with "Never Forsaken."

Josh and Anthony share the verses on "Somebody Sing Me That Song." This song has more of a crooner feel to offer a little something different style wise.

Riley has a couple of really great ballads on the project, "When the Prodigal Comes Home" and "Nothing Stops the Savior's Love." The latter is my favorite. What a great reminder that His love can always reach us wherever we are and how undeserving we are of that love! I got to hear this song for the first time in Branson at Silver Dollar City, and I was so impressed and couldn't wait to hear the rest of the album after that tease! Riley also is featured on "God of the Storms." This song is more mid-tempo with a little background banjo for a different sound.

Gary is featured on "Meeting in the Middle of the Air." It's a fun song with a lot of words in the chorus. I can see this going over really well live. However, my favorite of Gary's features is "Grace at Its Best." He and Riley split the verses. Gary also wrote this song with Barbara Huffman. It's a beautiful reminder of the cross, "grace at its best is still the cross."

"Everybody Come See Jesus" shows off a little more banjo along with harmonica. Josh does a great job on this Dianne Wilkinson song.

One song I was really glad to see them sing at NQC was "That's How I Know." It's a story song that will have you snapping along. It's a great feature for Anthony!

The only song that has been previously released is "Jesus Saves." The song was recorded by the Hoppers but they put their own Tribute spin on it.

It's rare in a CD review when I mention every song on the project. This review is an exception, because all the songs are so strong. When you look at the writing credits on this project, it's a "who's who" of writers from Dianne Wilkinson to Wayne Haun to Sonya and Becky Isaacs to Sue Smith.

This is the strongest release to date by this quartet. This is one album you do not want to miss this year!

Song List -
1. "Here For You"
2. "Never Forsaken"
3. "Somebody Sing Me That Song"
4. "When the Prodigal Comes Home"
5. "Meeting in the Middle of the Air"
6. "God of the Storms"
7. "Everybody Come See Jesus"
8. "That's How I Know"
9. "Grace at Its Best"
10. "Jesus Saves"
11. "Nothing Stops the Savior's Love"