Thursday, August 29, 2013

Back to Where It All Started - Day 7 Recap of Silver Dollar City's Southern Gospel Picnic

A little more than 10 years ago, a teenage girl's life was changed in Echo Hollow at Silver Dollar City when she attended a gospel concert. This concert was part of Gary McSpadden's Southern Gospel Nights with the Martins headlining the concert. And last night for the first time since then that girl got to see the group that started it all for her!

The concert that night with the Martins is what really got me hooked on gospel music. I can still remember what it felt like that night not wanting it to end and wanting to find out all I could more about this group and Southern Gospel in general. I knew all about Silver Dollar City's in-house groups that sang Southern Gospel and loved them, but this was different. And tonight I was reminded why! But first things first....

The day started with Wilburn and Wilburn. I was looking forward to seeing this group for the first time, and they did not disappoint! They sang some familiar favorites along with some of their songs. 

I loved hearing "A Man Like Me" and "Jesus Will" live. However, one of the highlights was "John Saw a Mighty Number," Jonathan really got to cut loose and have fun with this one!

I would love to see this group again in a full concert setting! 

Then, we saw Soul'd Out Quartet. As I mentioned I grew up listening to Silver Dollar City's in-house gospel groups, like Cumberland Quartet. Ian Owens was a part of the group at one time and today was my first time seeing him since then, and it was back at the City. It was great seeing him on stage again. He sang a version of "The Old Rugged Cross" that was amazing!

They did a number of classic songs and hymns. Loved hearing these guys sing so many beloved songs. However, one of the standout songs was "He Is All I Need," that featured Dusty Barrett. Another highlight was "Since I've Been Saved," featuring Bryan Hutson and had a crooner type feel. 

Then, the Martins were down in Echo Hollow tonight! I had a poll a while back on who does a cappella best, and after this week I'm still not sure but I do know that Martins do it amazingly!!! They sang several a cappella numbers including the doxology, medley of hymns and "Softly and Tenderly." 

They also sang "The Promise," which is a personal favorite. And they ended the first half with "Love's Gonna Drive This Train" with the entire audience on its feet clapping!

Each group member took a moment to tell of God's faithfulness in their lives. They all had touching testimonies of how God had worked during trials in their lives. Joyce said they had all sang since childhood and knew what it was like to be in ministry and sing about being saved. However, now they were grown up and had experienced life and various trials, and they knew what it was like to be lost and for God to redeem them. Judy sang "Unredeeemed" which was another highlight!

They closed the show with "So High," which I can remember them singing that very first night. 

It was a fantastic day and night that reminded me of how my love for southern gospel got started! Thanks to the Martins for a great night now and then, and for really introducing that teenage girl to Southern Gospel music!

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