Friday, August 24, 2012

Southern Gospel Picnic at Silver Dollar City - Day 1

Today was the first day of the Southern Gospel Picnic at Silver Dollar City. It was a great start to the festival. We saw four different groups, and here are some of the highlights:

Brian Free and Assurance
Brian Free and Assurance at Silver Dollar City
They performed this morning at the Red Gold Heritage Hall. During their first set of the day, they were singing "Go Tell the World," and the lights on stage went out. The guys kept right on singing, but it did provide some comic relief!

I was glad to hear a few songs from their new project including, "I Want to Be That Man" and "Revival." Brian Free told the story of how when he first listened to "I Want to Be That Man" he was driving the bus late at night and it reminded him of his dad. He was extremely humbled to find out that his son, Ricky, had written the song. It's good to see Derrick Selph featured on "Revival."

Another highlight was hearing Brian sing "O What a Savior" during their last show of the day. He did absolutely amazing!

Ball Brothers
I haven't seen the Ball Brothers in a couple of years, so I was anxious to see them with their recent group changes. The highlight of their set for me featured newbie Chad McCloskey singing "Beulah Land." They also closed their set with "It's About the Cross," which is one of my favorite songs. They have the same great sound they've always had! They will also be on park tomorrow so maybe I'll get to see another set of theirs.

The Whisnants
Whisnants at Silver Dollar City
We were able to catch the last two shows of the Whisnants. During their second show both Austin and Ethan were featured on songs. Both of their son have really grown as singers since I saw them last year. They released their own project earlier this year. Susan and Jeff bragged about the decisions their sons were making to serve and honor the Lord by singing gospel music.

Susan sang "I'll Pray for You" in both sets we saw. This is one of my favorites that they sing. She also sang "I'll Trust the Potter's Hand," which is #1 this month in the Singing News.

A great moment in their second show was when they had the audience join them in singing "Amazing Grace." It was such a sweet moment!

They closed their last set with "New Day Dawning," which the audience always loves!

The McKameys
McKameys at Silver Dollar City
They sang at Echo Hollow tonight to a crowd of 4,100. They commented that this was one of the largest crowds they sing to. Of course as soon as they started singing "God on the Mountain," the audience immediately began responding. It was a highlight of the night.

Other highlights for me were "Do You Know How it Feels?" and "I Wanna Finish Well," which featured the male trio of Roger, Reuben and Eli.

Their product table must have been a popular place during intermission because they were all late coming back from the table! Reuben was still at the top of the amphitheater when they started the second half. He made it to join in during their first song and caused some of the audience to start clapping!

It's been a couple of years since I've seen the McKameys. It did make me laugh that Peg kicked her shows off not once but twice tonight. :) The second half was pretty short compared to the first, and they ended up singing one more after chanting from the audience.

Look for more updates throughout the festival!

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