Saturday, May 23, 2015

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbit - May 23

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

  • Ricky Free (Daywind songwriter, drummer and son of Brian Free) broke his hip last week due to a tumor that had weakened his bone. Doctors successfully removed the tumor and reconstructed Ricky’s hip. The surgery went well, and the tumor is benign. Keep him in your prayers as he faces several weeks of immobility and physical therapy. Friends have started a GoFundMe account to help with expenses.
  • Ben and Faye Speer were honored by Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville with honorary doctorate degrees. They were recognized for their years of Christian service and support of the university. Faye graduatued in 1974, and Ben graduated in 1954.
  • Masters Voice has become a quartet. The lineup now consists of Ricky Capps, Justin Morphis, Stan Watson and Jerry Pilgrim at bass. Jerry has previously been with Old Time Gospel Hour Quartet and Forgiven.
  • Connie Hopper was released from the radiologist this week. She gives her full testimony in the video below from Global Promotions Facebook page.

Connie Hopper released from radiologist. Cancer free! Listen to her testimony. It will bless you. #hoppertour15
Posted by Global Promotions on Friday, May 22, 2015

Anything I've missed?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Fun Clip Friday - Jim Brady Trio

Happy Friday to everyone! If you're like me, you are looking forward to a 3-day weekend since Monday is Memorial Day.

For today's Fun Clip Friday, we're looking at one of the newest groups in Southern Gospel - the Jim Brady Trio. Jim and Melissa Brady and Tim Parton sing an unplugged version of "Had It Not Been." They sang the same song in tribute to Rusty Goodman at the Harmony Honors. This version of the song with just the three voices and piano is incredible! I cannot wait to see this group live! Enjoy the clip for today's Fun Clip Friday.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Periscope - Southern Gospel

Periscope is the newest app for video sharing. And it’s starting to pick up in the Southern Gospel industry.

Anyone remember how popular SocialCam became in the gospel community a few years ago. Unlike its predecessor, Periscope is live streaming and temporary, and it’s owned by Twitter. SocialCam had the ability for people to video and then choose not to share or edit with different filters. Periscope is live and unedited. The videos also last no more than a day. Some videos immediately are not accessible after they are streamed, depending on the user’s settings.

Also, Periscope seems to have taken off more quickly and widespread than SocialCam. I think SocialCam lasted longer in the gospel community than it did in other industries.

Mark Lowry so far seems to be leading the Periscope initiative in Southern Gospel. I’ve also seen a lot posted from the Ball Brothers and Allegiance. So what exactly are the implications for Southern Gospel?

It can help artists connect with fans in a different way. They have the ability to do live Q&As with fans as they submit questions and comments. They can give fans a behind-the-scenes view of life on the road. There’s also the potential for fans to stream sections of concerts live. As a blogger, I'm thinking it would be great to do live interviews with artists! With it being live and unedited, there’s no take two in what is posted, but the good news is that it won’t last long.

I know a major concern is increasing gospel’s fan base. Social media is definitely the way to reach out to a younger audience. Social media can help more people find artists and discover this music! Periscope videos whether that’s a concert clip or an artist Q&A just might create a new fan!

So what do you think? Have you used Periscope? Do you see how it can be profitable for Southern Gospel?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Scripture in Songs - Brian Free & Assurance Concert Recap

Brian Free & Assurance came to Clinton, Ark. earlier in May. They had a full weekend in Arkansas being at the Freemans' homecoming the day before. It's always good to see this group when they are nearby.

Brian Free & Assurance
Brian Free & Assurance - Brian Free, Bill Shivers, Mike Rogers
and Jeremy Lile
The concert was a great mix of new and old, familiar songs. They had a really good balance throughout the program with all songs pointing people to the gospel.

The concert started with "What a Beautiful Day" and then led into "If the Lord Says Do It," featuring bass singer Jeremy Lile. They sang another newer one next "If It Takes a Valley" before the classic "Have a Little Talk With Jesus." This is always a fun one to see and hear them sing live! Jeremy does a great job on the bass part!

The introductions were next. Brian talked about each member of the groups and told a little bit about their family. They let baritone Mike Roger lose next on "Tell It Like It Was." Great song from their latest project Unashamed, and it's good to hear Mike get the lead on this one. Ricky Free (Brian's son) and Ronny Hinson wrote the song. The next song was the title cut from that project featuring Brian Free. The song has an incredible message. Brian talked about how it's so disappointing to see the way the world is going now. We have forgotten how God has blessed this nation. It's important for us to remind the world every day that we are Christians no matter the cost. We should truly take a stand and be unashamed of the gospel.

Jeremy then sang another new one, "A Little Bit of Me and You." After that new one, they went back and sang a classic, "Peace in the Valley." The group got the chance to be part of a tribute to Elvis on BBC last summer. They were the only Christian group invited to participate. Brian said that they got the chance to really be a witness as the only Christian group in the building. Bill Shivers was featured on the a cappella version of "Peace in the Valley." Love to hear him sing this song in the style of Elvis. He does an incredible job on it! Bill also was featured on "Say Amen" to end the first half. It's really neat to hear this live to hear people say "amen" with the song.

They started back after intermission with "First Day in Heaven." That's a fun song that you don't hear groups sing live much anymore! Then, Bill sang "God of Possibilities," another great song from their latest project.

Brian then went back and sang the classic "Oh What a Savior." I love to hear him sing this. He makes it look so effortless and really shows why he is one of the best tenors in gospel music!

Brian led in a time of invitation. He said that they are very careful as they choose songs making sure they are scripturally sound and that people can hear mini sermons in what they sing. He gave a bit of his testimony saying that he had been singing gospel music with his family but only had a head knowledge of Christ. In January 1986, he fully gave his heart and life to Jesus. He prayed that people would come to know Christ through the music because that's what their ministry was all about.

After a time of prayer, they ended the night with "Long As I Got King Jesus." It was a great night of classic favorite songs and incredible new songs! No matter what the style of the song or the longevity of it, one thing was certain the truth was proclaimed!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits - May 16

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

  • On Mother's Day the Hyssongs released Makayla’s Heart: Moment By Moment, a book which chronicles their journey through heartaches and triumphs. The book is available on the group's website
  • Josh Townsend (The Old Paths) will be enrolling in college this fall and has decided to take some time off to prepare for this new phase of life. Best of luck to him in this new chapter!
  • Gold City piano player Bryan Elliot has started a Kickstarter campaign for a piano solo project. Check it out here.
  • Singing News announced the top five nominations for the Fan Awards this week. Check out the full nomination list here.
  • Jeremy Lile (Brian Free & Assurance had surgery on Wednesday to repair a bleed that had developed in his stomach from the surgery he had a couple of years ago. The surgery went well, but please keep him in your prayers as he recovers. He is not on the road this weekend.
Am I missing anything?