Apparently it's becoming a tradition of mine to spend Good Friday with the Talleys. Last year, the Talleys
were in Little Rock, and this year they were in Arkansas again only this time in Monticello at Oak Grove Assembly of God. I think I could definitely get used to this tradition!
They started the night with "God is Great, Good and Merciful." And then went into "The Promise," which is one of my personal favorites. Lauren welcomed everyone there and said that they were glad to be in Monticello, Arkansas. She said that she was sure people had plenty of other options in Monticello on a Friday night, but wasn't sure what those would be... haha! You could hear a lot of snickering in the audience. As someone who grew up not too far from Monticello, I can verify that there aren't a lot of options! :) And with the Talleys in town, there's no contest of what I would rather be doing! Lauren introduced herself and her parents.
Roger was featured next on "Every Scar," which I really enjoy hearing him sing live. He'll pull his stool to the front and "show" all the scars as he sings.
Debra spoke next and told how she was raised in church. She told a story of meeting a young woman who had fallen on hard times in a Walmart parking lot one day. The woman was holding a sign in need of money to take care of herself and her children. She talked to her about Jesus, and the woman was a Christian. She said that she could feel God telling her to give her money and to pray with her. As she started prayed she realized, she didn't know the young woman's name, so she asked her and it was Angel. She said that really she's no different than Angel, and the only reason that she's not asking for money in a Walmart parking lot is because of... and then she started singing "Amazing Grace" with just Roger on the keyboard accompanying her. Debra's clear alto voice on this song made for a great moment. And I loved how she set up the song.
They sang "The Healer" next. I was glad they pulled this one out and sang it! I absolutely love this song too, and it got an instant reaction from the audience. It was one a lot of people were happy to hear!
They picked up the pace with "Searchin'" next. I had never seen them sing this without having a male vocalist, Brian or Jason Crabb sing along. Lauren sang that part though, and if you hadn't heard it before you would have never guessed that's not how the recorded version of the song is.
Lauren sang "The Broken Ones" next, which is another personal favorite (yes, I've said that about several now, but it's all true!). There was no track, just Roger on the keyboard. I never realized how much Roger plays along before. Tracks don't bother me, but the live music concert moments really stand out to me. I like it when groups have the option of either.
Before intermission, they sang "My Hope Is in the Lord" and "He's Alive." There's no better song to hear on Easter weekend than "He's Alive!" I'm sure Lauren sings this song just about every night, but no one conveys emotion in a "story song" like Lauren Talley Alvey. She really tells the story of the song with her motions, facial expression and voice inflections. This was also evident with "The Promise" and "The Broken Ones." This song definitely made for one of the best moments of the concert!!
Lauren started the second half with "In Christ Alone." I was glad to see them stage this song, and another great choice since it was Good Friday.
Lauren gave a little bit of her testimony and the health problems she had dealt with and not wanting to show how much she was struggling. She then said she realized that when you show your cracks, the Lord can shine through a whole lot more. Loved this statement!!! So many times I'm guilty of the same not, not wanting others to know or for me to appear that I'm going through a difficult time, but He can use that so much more than the times where we appear that we have everything under control. Lauren then sang "Broken World." Side note: If you don't have Lauren's book Songs in the Night, I strongly recommend it!!
Debra sang "Thinking About Home." This is a song of theirs that I really don't hear much, so it was good to
hear this one live.
Lauren was then featured on "His Life for Mine," another beautiful song for the Easter holiday. And they closed the night with "Testify," which had the audience on its feet!
It was such a great end to Good Friday! I hadn't realized before how many of the Talleys' songs fit the message of what Easter is all about. I realize that most groups sing songs about the cross and resurrection, but so many of the Talleys' most well-known and most requested ones are just that. Hopefully next year I'll get to keep the tradition of Good Friday with the Talleys and they'll come back to Arkansas!