Thursday, June 6, 2013

Arkansas Wins Big With Mark Trammell Quartet - Concert Recap

Mark Trammell Quartet - Dustin Black, Nick Trammell,
Mark Trammell and Pat Barker
Mark Trammell returned to his hometown of North Little Rock for a concert on Tuesday, June 4.

Not only is North Little Rock Mark's hometown, the quartet was also at the church that Mark's mother was a member of for many years. It was like somewhat of a homecoming for him. Tuesday night was full of great music, but also you could tell how much fun they all have together.

This group has quickly become one of my favorites, and it's clear that they are becoming one of the industry's most loved quartets as well. I saw the group in early April when Dustin Black was still in a trial period, so this was my first time seeing the quartet since he became an official member.

The group started with "Leave Your Sorrows," such a fun song to kick off the night. Then, they slowed things down with "How Long Has It Been." I love that they chose this classic hymn. Their blend on this song was amazing. It's incredible how Dustin's voice already blends so naturally in the group.

The quartet sang another one from Testimony next, "Ransomed and Redeemed." I don't think I had ever heard this one live, and I got the feeling that it's not one they sing that often. Mark jumped the gun a little bit starting to the sing the song, and Pat and Nick both just reached over and gave him a "bless your heart" pat on the shoulder.

Mark made the introductions next, which I always find entertaining. He started with Dustin, telling that he'd never traveled with a Yankee before but they had gotten used to the smell. He then introduced Nick as his "worthless sponge of a son" until he became "Father of Tessa Trammell."

He started introducing Pat but then stopped when he talked about him being from Alabama. He said that he wanted the congregation to do something for the guys so they would know what the angels sounded like. And it was something they could only experience in Arkansas. I I figured what was coming and got excited. Mark said that Pat had on a red tie but it wasn't the right color and the A on his cuff links was the wrong kind of A, because he was Tide fan. Mark wanted us to call the Hogs for the guys! He said he wanted that Wolverine to be able to call his mama and tell her that now he knew what angels sounded like!

So we called the Hogs! Pat made a jab that he wasn't sure what that sound was, but he knew what a national championship sounded like. Mark then answered back that it sounded like he's rather have a national championship than a job! He finished introducing Pat, and then they started back up singing with "Echoes From the Burning Bush."

The group then sang the classic Cathedrals' song "Wedding Music." Nick then was featured on "Testimony." Nick has really made this song his own.

They went back and slowed the pace down again this time with "God Knows How Much Mercy I Need." Mark made the comment that it was a new song but it didn't sound new. It's true, I honestly had assumed this was an older song that the group recut. Again the blend that this current lineup has is really incredible for no longer than Dustin has been in the group.

Pat then got to showcase his bass vocals with "Wonderful Time Up There," which has to be one of my favorites from Lifetime. And it's clear that it's a fun one for the group to sing as well. Mark talked about that it was on the latest project and that he had the chance to sing it with Pat Boone. He said that even though at that point in his career he had sung in some prestigious places, his mother said that after he sang with Pat Boone he had really done something she could talk about. Pat Barker then asked if he was the pioneer guy. Dustin then replied that he was Daniel Boone. Mark told Pat even the Yankee knew the answer to that, but that must be because in Alabama they didn't worry about education as much as football. Pat responded that they didn't worry about football because they always won!

Mark quickly brought it back to talking about his mom and how he got to spend special time with her before she died. She moved to Alabama to be closer to him and his family from North Little Rock. His mother loved the song "Too Much To Gain to Lose," and he got to sing the chorus with her alone not too long before she passed away. The group then sang it right before the break. I love hearing Mark sing this song!

After a brief break, the group took the stage again with "Meet Me Over on the Other Side." Then Pat was featured again on "I Thirst." I'm not sure who the request came from for that song, but it was really good to hear Pat sing that one again!

They sang "Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah" next. Then Mark said they were going to sing another one that featured their bass singer. It was "I Want to Know." Mark mentioned that it was a number one song for the group, and Pat had to chime in that it took the group 11 years to get a number one, but him only three months! They turned the chorus around a couple of times. It's another favorite of mine to see them sing live, because you can tell they all have fun with the song.

They ended the night with "The King is Coming." I love this medley, and it was a great song to end the night on!

I love seeing groups that can pick at each other and laugh together on stage. You see how real the guys are. But they also know how to bring the focus back and be sure it's about the ministry.

I have to say though in a night of Arkansas vs. Alabama, Arkansas had the win with a great night by the Mark Trammell Quartet! And maybe next year, we'll have the national championship to go with it!

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