Monday, September 30, 2013

Singing News Fan Awards Predictability

The Singing News Fan Awards are this week on Wednesday. It will be streamed online on the Singing News website. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be able to catch it. The awards are always interesting though. Over the years, some of the categories have become somewhat predictable. I'll be honest I have mixed feelings about this. I think it speaks to the consistency of the genre that the same artists are winners year after year. Fan favorites stay near the top for several years. But on the other hand, I also don't like the predictability. In fact, I'll admit it, one year I deliberately would not vote for anyone who won the year before. I realized I couldn't complain about the lack of change if I were also voting for those some of those same people. But then I realized, they are favorites for a reason, even some were my favorites, and it was dumb to take that approach. It was nothing personal against those who won, but I just wanted a change.

This year the Singing News has changed some of the categories adding more "new" categories that will help with this issue. But I'm curious as to how you feel about the predictability of the awards. What do you think about the awards?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Fun Clip Friday - Tracy Stuffle's Homecoming

This week for the Stuffles has been eight months in the making. Tracy Stuffle got to return home, a place he hadn't seen since January. And his return was quite the event. Family, friends and fellow artists were all on hand to welcome Tracy and Libbi. I can't think of a better Fun Clip Friday post than to share SocialCam videos from his homecoming.

Libbi shared this as she arrives at home with Tracy.

Here are links to some of the other videos -
Happy Friday to you all!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Names You Might Not Know - Eagle's Wings

NQC is a great opportunity for up and coming groups a chance to sing for a large audience. Groups and artists who won their showcases got to sing on the main stage at night. When those groups took the main stage, it gave thousands of people the chance to see them both live and via the webcast.

One of those groups was Eagle's Wings. The group consists of Kevin Chambers, Matt Wilson, Debbi Wilson, Tyler Cagle and Darryle Wilson. Even though you may have heard from them during NQC, chances are you don't know much about them. Thankfully, the group agree to answer some questions for the blog. Enjoy getting to know Eagle's Wings a little bit better!

Question - When did you become interested in singing Southern Gospel music? What are some of your earliest memories of Southern Gospel?

Kevin of Eagle's Wings - When I was a kid, I thought there were only two kinds of music, Southern Gospel and “the rest." My mom, sister and brother-in-law sang as the Calvary Trio when I was just a preschooler. My mom was the pianist in our church. As for me, I didn't play music at all until seventh grade when I joined the school band (on the clarinet) and discovered a passion for music that has never left.

In high school I really liked a certain cute blonde girl in my church, and her dad happened to be a recently saved country singer whom God had given a NEW SONG! He started his own family gospel band and (since I was always hanging around his daughter) they let me play drums. We traveled as the Family Circle for a few years. God blessed. I’ve promised the Lord since the earliest days that any musical ability that He ever gives me, I will use it for Him. My real desire (and I think everyone in Eagle’s Wings would agree) is to lift up hearts and lift up Christ using live acoustic Southern Gospel music. And by the way I’m still crazy about that same cute blonde (my wife Rhonda, going on 30 years together).

Q - How did you get started as Eagle's Wings? How long have you been singing?

Kevin - After serving in the U.S. Air Force, I moved back home and soon became the music director at Central Baptist Church in Jasper, Ala. (some 20 years ago).

Darryle Wilson is our Pastor. He and his wife Debbi were also in the Family Circle (and became my brother and sister-in-law). Their son, Matthew, grew up around gospel music and perfectly fit the mix.

During the next several years at Central, we sung everything from classical hymns to CCM, and slowly arrived at an acoustic Southern Gospel sound that seemed to catch on with people. We loved it. It was pure and portable. So about three or four years ago we started taking dates and traveling as a group.

So how long? Some of us have been singing together for 30 or 40 years, but the band is about four years old. Tyler Cagle (who sings and plays everything well) just joined us a little over a year ago, but he is now a major part of who we are as a group.

Q - How did you come up with the name the Eagle's Wings?

Kevin - We toyed with a few other names (Jasper Walls was one I remember) but Eagle’s Wings had several things going for it… Debbi’s favorite verse is Isaiah 40:31. I worked on the F-15 Eagle while I was in the Air Force. We have occasionally tried harmonies similar to a much more famous group which also used the name “Eagles.” The more we travel, the more we discover other things using the name “Eagle’s Wings,” so we are not sure we will be able to keep using it, but we hope so.

Q - Do you have a favorite song that you sing? And what song from another group has ministered to you?

Kevin - I love to sing “He Came to Me” by Squire Parsons. I don’t do it justice, but I love the message of the song. From another group… there are so many, but I’d have to say the old song “Something Happened on that Mountain” by the Inspirations (or by my father-in-law). It takes my mind and spirit to a wonderful place every time I hear it.

Q - What artists have been your biggest influence (musically and/or personally)?

Kevin - Long list… Bill Busby (my father-in-law). He never gave me a music lesson, but I’ve learned so much from watching him over the years. Then of course… The Inspirations, The Hinsons, New Traditions, The Isaacs, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, The Primitives… on and on.

Q - What has been your favorite memory so far in your ministry? Do you have a particular concert that stands out?

Kevin - Singing on the main stage at NQC this year will have to go down as a biggie.

We played once with the Isaacs, and Ben gave us some encouragement and kind words that I’m still grateful for. A life changing concert for me was the first time I ever heard Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. They sang around one mic at the Cullman AL Civic Center. Their attention to vocal detail and masterful instrumentation supporting the vocals became the goal of my musical life.

Q - What new things are coming up for the Eagle's Wings?

Kevin - As a group, we are at something of a turning point. We all have regular jobs and family commitments. We are all very active in our churches and want to serve God the way HE wants. We’ve started talking about a second CD (to possibly have ready by NQC next year) but we are seeking God’s wisdom on where to go with the group.

We have so many wonderful responsive crowds in our local area, but with all our other commitments we are not able to travel to any long distances. If this is Gods will for us, then we will rejoice in it. If God shows us another plan… We’ll find out as we go.

Thanks to Eagle's Wings for taking time to answer my questions! For more information on the group, go to

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Living Years - The Isaacs - CD Review

The Isaacs released The Living Years last month. The album is full of 14 incredible songs. I always have a preference for albums that include more than the normal 10 songs, even if that means a few filler songs as long as they are good.

One thing that really stands out first about this album is the lack of original songs. Becky Bowman and Sonya and Jimmy Yeary are fantastic songwriters, but this album only includes two songs by them.

A number of songs are "secular" songs turned gospel. Normally I am not the biggest fan of trying to make secular songs work as gospel. However, "The Living Years" is a strong exception. I remember hearing this song from the 1980s, but it never sounded even close to this. The Isaacs took this song and made it their own; in fact, if you hadn't heard the original version, some might assume it was a new song for the Isaacs. I really liked Sonya on "Grandpa Tell Me 'Bout the Good Old Days" as well, but this version wasn't far from the Judds. I think it's interesting that they chose to go back and pull "Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive" from the Andrews Sisters. It's cool to hear Ben take the lead on this one. It's definitely not what you would expect, but I like it. It's funny that three of the "secular" songs are all very different from the artists that sang them to the genre. It shows that the Isaacs have the ability to take a song no matter what it originally sounded like and make it their own.

The Isaacs also include a couple of hymns on the project including "I Must Tell Jesus" and "I Know Who Holds Tomorrow." Their Naturally project a couple of years ago had mostly hymns and familiar songs, so it almost makes a listener wonder if these would have been better suited on that project. However, The Living Years is such an eclectic album that has a little bit of everything, I think it's fitting that there are a couple of hymns. "The Lord's Prayer" is another one where the Isaacs prove all they need are their voices. It's an absolutely beautiful arrangement. And the Isaacs are always amazing a cappella.

Another a cappella highlight is "Walk Together Children." Bill Gaither lends his voice and adds to the bass line. I really liked the Isaacs' arrangement on this song!

I've always enjoyed the bluegrass version of "Daniel Prayed," so of course I love that the Isaacs included this one. This has a classic Isaacs sound!

Becky is featured on "I Wanna Be There," which is a highlight of the project. It's one of the original songs on the album penned by Becky, Sonya and Jimmy. Beautiful song and Becky does an amazing job on it! Definitely my favorite!!

Album rating - 4. 25 stars - The album is solid Isaacs. It really has something for everyone, from an Andrews Sisters song to the bluegrass you would expect. The lack of original songs brought it down a little for me, but the vocals on the projects are simply amazing! You won't be sorry, you gave it a listen!

Song List - 
1. "The Living Years"
2. "Walk Together Children"
3. "If That Isn't Love"
4. "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive"
5. "For Those Tears I Died"
6. "I Must Tell Jesus"
7. "Grandpa (Tell Me 'Bout The Good Old Days)"
8. "Daniel Prayed"
9. "I Wanna Be There"
10. "I Am a Child of God"
11. "Leave It All on the Altar"
12. "I Know Who Holds Tomorrow"
13. "Shalom My Home"
14. "The Lord's Prayer"

Friday, September 20, 2013

Fun Clip Friday - Jeff Easter as a Tenor

Happy Friday to all! Hope you have all had a good week! Is anyone still recovering from NQC last week?

Quartet night last week had a lot of great moments! Many of those moments came from the scrap iron quartets that were put together. To hear Jeff Easter as tenor in the Confused Quartet was hilarious. Well, for this week's Fun Clip Friday, I've found another clip of Jeff singing tenor with a quartet. Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Revival - Karen Peck & New River - CD Review

When I was in Branson, Karen Peck & New River was at Silver Dollar City the day their new album, Revival,
released. They had presigned hundreds of copies that night for people, and I was one of the lucky ones to get the album the day it released! That day was August 27, and the CD hasn't left my car's CD player many times since then!

I don't think it's any secret that I'm a huge fan of Karen Peck and New River, but I genuinely think this is one of my favorite albums they've ever done. The album has 10 great songs, four of which Karen helped write.

The first song and the title cut, "Revival," paints the picture of an old tent revival meeting. It tells the story of what it was like at these camp meetings. The song has an interesting sound that will surely get you in the spirit of revival.

One of my favorite songs is "You Did It Anyway" that features Jeff. He does an incredible job on this song. He does an incredible job of communicating the lyrics of the song, which are so powerful. Jesus knew all He would suffer and He knew how we would continually fail Him, but He did it anyway! Love it!

Another standout song for me is "Everybody's Going Through Something." I love how each of them take turns singing lines of the verses. The song reminds me of the quote that the Booth Brothers use a lot from Zig Zigler - "If you treat everyone as though they are hurting, you will be treating the majority of people in the proper manner." We are all going through something; we all have our issues. But wouldn't we rather go through something with Him? Great song!!

The second song "Oh Hallelujah" is lyrically something you would expect to sing as a praise and worship song, but sound-wise is what you would expect from Karen Peck & New River

Susan take the lead on "I've Been Broken," and does an amazing job! I love the message of this song, we might all be broken, but we are still blessed.

My favorite uptempo song on the project is "Dancing Like Lazarus," which features Jeff. He does an incredible job on this song that talks about the celebration and joy we experience after we have an experience with Jesus.

"Finish Well" is one of those power ballads Karen does so well. I can see this song becoming a main-stay in their live concerts. Her voice soars beautifully as she encourages believers to keep running the race and "finish well."

The album ends with "I'm Saved," which is a new tune co-written by Karen. I can also see this one being a fun one to include in a live setting! It's a great uptempo song that has believers rejoicing over their salvation whether they are a brand new Christian or been saved for 50 years.

Album Rating - 4.75 stars - Revival truly is a revival experience. After listening to this CD, believers can't help but be encouraged from the great messages through song that this album has! The album has 10 strong songs, there's not one that I find myself skipping, and most of them are brand new! Be encouraged and don't miss out on getting this project!

Song List -

  1. "Revival"
  2. "Oh, Hallelujah"
  3. "Finish Well"
  4. "Everybody's Going Through Something"
  5. "Dancing Like Lazarus"
  6. "Jesus, Remember Me"
  7. "I've Been Broken"
  8. "Joy in my Heart"
  9. "You Did It Anyway"
  10. "I'm Saved"

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I Am Whatever You Need - When Lyrics Speak

Each week during college, a group of friends gathered in the campus chapel to have a time of worship. Different activities of worship each week, some weeks we sang, others it was a time of prayer and sometimes just encouraging each other in the faith. Looking back those are some of my favorite memories in college, ones where I not only connected and formed lasting friendships with people but I also grew closer to the Lord.

One week's activity has always stuck out in my mind. We came into the chapel and different names and words to describe God were taped to the pews. We found the one that we most related with at the time and each sat on our different pews offering up praise for what God had been to us. It was so interesting to see how God had been all these different things to us just recently. One girl had dealt with a loss and chose the pew labeled "Comforter." While someone else had just seen God restore a loved one and was in the "Healer" pew. I had just seen God provide for me in something so insignificant but to me was a big deal at the time, so I went straight to the "Provider" pew. We all were serving and worshiping the same God, but He had been very different things to each of us.

I love the song by the Hoppers that is "I Am Whatever You Need." The song goes through the different names of God, and tells us that He is exactly what we need. If we simply need a reminder that He is always with us, He is Emmanuel, "God With Us."

The song says that it doesn't matter what you are facing, God has the answer. He has promised that He will always be there, and He will meet all our needs. The chorus goes through Biblical examples of how God provided for different people. He is whatever we need. 

The song reminds us that He is steadfast and faithful in our lives. He will be there no matter what problems or situations come up. Sometimes we just need those reminders that He is whatever we need.

God has many different names, sometimes we need Him as Redeemer and other times we simply need Him as Father. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, but the attribute of God that we most relate to can change day to day. That day I needed a provider, and He was what I needed. Some days I do need God the Healer to show his power, and each day He is exactly what I need. I'm so thankful to serve a God whose steadfast power, love and faithfulness is what I need every day.  

"And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:19

Monday, September 16, 2013

Megan Owens, wife of Ian Owens, Undergoing Brain Surgery

Soul'd Out Quartet and its bass singer Ian Owens requested prayer early this morning for Ian's wife Megan. She was taken to University of Kentucky hospital with a brain aneurysm.

The official diagnosis as of this afternoon is hemorrhagic stroke, which is a stroke caused by a vessel hemorrhaging into the brain rather than a stroke caused by a blood clot. She will have an MRI tonight or tomorrow morning, and if that provides no additional answers then she will have a second angiogram next Monday.

Update on Oct. 1 -
My neurologist just came in and gave me the green light to go home today!!!! After 16 days, I will be in my own bed tonight. 16 days seems like such a long time, but compared to normal circumstances in this health situation, 16 days is nothing!!! I am so blessed! God healed me and I am WALKING away today. With full cognitive and motor function!!! I survived a brain hemorrhage and came out feeling more loved by my family, friends, and Creator than I ever have. I still have a long road to recovery, but I am so up for the challenge. The love, support, and prayer I have received is amazing, and I appreciate it more than you could ever know! I will say though, I had some amazing nurses, techs, and doctors, and I feel like I am losing some friends.

Update from Ian on Sept. 26 -
Megan is out of her angiogram. She was perfect! They're going to clamp her EVD (extra ventricular drain) and start weening her off!!!!!!!! Praise God!!!! We could go home as soon as 4 days from now!!!!! Keep on praying!! In Jesus' name she's been healed!!!! We serve a big and AWESOME God, people!!!

Update from Megan on Sept. 25 -
My neurosurgeon just came in. They decided to hold off one more day for the Angiogram. He says I'm definitely still in Vasospasms and he needs to time everything just right. Still draining a lot of spinal fluid from my brain, so that also gives us another day without clamping the EVD. Another day to recover.

Update from Megan asking for specific prayers -

I am so grateful for all of the prayer warriors on my side. I do have some specific requests today if you don't mind:
1. No more vasospasms!! Horrible nasty things Id like to punch in the face!!2. My TCD numbers are high and need to go down.
3. No more nausea.
4. I have pain pretty much all over, but the pressure in my head and behind my eyes is pretty intense. I would love for that to at least stay manageable.
5. I have a fever today that needs to go away.
6. I am missing my babies something awful. Pray that ache lessens.
7. Strength for Ian. He has not left my side. Feeding me when I can eat, getting me things I can't reach, giving me medicine, witnessing the horrible lows I have gone through. I know he is physically, mentally, and emotionally drained.

Thank you! And love to you all!

Update from Ian on Sept. 23 -
I hope no one is getting tired of hearing from me yet , but I wanted to give an update post-angiogram. Megan was definitely in vasospasms and to a pretty severe degree. There was still no sign of aneurysm, so they still don't know the cause of the subarachnoid hemorrhage and hemorrhagic stroke, but I'm believing there's no answer to be had because God healed the cause! Her headaches and cranial pressure have subsided some today. She and I both were able to get some rest last night (praise God!!!!), but I was wakened twice during the night by Megan throwing a wet rag at my head so I'd get her something. Ha!! So the plan going forward is to keep her under even closer scrutiny so the vasospasms don't get out of control. If she is still experiencing the spasms Wednesday, the doctors will perform another angiogram and inject more verapamil. If her spasms have subsided, the doctors will start the weening process for removing her TVD (trans-ventricular drain). I think that's all we know right now. Thank you all so much for the continued prayers! We are trusting and believing God through this and I know it will be a situation where He is glorified tremendously through His great work and Megan's miraculous healing!!!!

Update from Megan on Sept. 19 -
Not gonna lie, today has been rough. I have had pretty intense headaches all day that are not ceasing. I have had no appetite because of the pain. However, I am so blessed because Ian has not left my side. He is taking great care of me! I have an amazing team of nurses and doctors keeping close tabs. I also had a very sweet person re dedicate his life to The Lord because of my story. That makes all the pain worth it! I am so honored God would choose me to glorify His name!! Please pray specifically that the pressure in my head and behind eyes would ease. Thanks!

Update from Megan at 7:00 a.m. on Sept. 18 -
God is good!!!! My MRI results came back completely normal. Whew! Everyone here in the NICU and on the neurological team thinks I'm a miracle! They say that the fact I'm even able to talk coherently after a brain hemorrhage is amazing, let alone everything else. And now to have such great test results?!?! God has truly touched me!! I go for another angiogram sometime in the next week, and will be in the hospital for at least another 10 days, but that is nothing! God's got me in the palm of His hand!!

Here's an update at 6 a.m. -
Night number 1 in ICU has been pretty rough so far. Megan is only getting very brief periods of time where the pain is manageable enough to fall asleep. These "naps" are few and far between and have only lasted about 15 minutes each. The rest of the time she's been almost inconsolable. I stand at her head and I very lightly massage her temples and forehead until she finally stops groaning and falls asleep. When I wet a washcloth with very cold water, it seems to provide a modicum of relief, as well. It breaks my heart to see her hurt this way and, as any husband will understand, it makes me feel so useless to her. We want to be our wife's hero. We want to be the fixer, but here is the humbling truth...... God is the hero and He is the fixer!!!!! God has been so good, so faithful, and so true during this process and the praise report through all of this is that Megan, even though miserable, is the "best case scenario" where this ailment is concerned. She has 100% control of all motor functions and her cognitive functions are spot on, so there is no sign of any long term damage!!! PRAISE GOD!!!!!! I'm now believing in Him to allow that prognosis to persist. As far as the pain goes, she still has a huge amount of excess spinal fluid and blood on the brain, but the longer the fluid drains away from her brain, the more relief she'll have, so it's a waiting game for relief at this point. Hopefully today will bring some answers as to the cause of the hemorrhagic stroke and some direction as far as treatment and prevention of future hemorrhages or strokes. If you are reading this you need to know that God is good!!! He is awesome!!! He loves YOU!!!! He is in control!!! And He has a plan for your life!!! Praise Him!!!

Here's an update from Ian Owens at 12:55 p.m. -
Angiogram results are back. It was negative for a large aneurysm. Again this is not conclusive evidence that there is no aneurysm. The neurologist said that sometimes aneurysms are missed due to excessive clotting. There will be a follow up angiogram one week from today to completely rule out an aneurysm. Now, what that means going forward is this: there is still unexplained bleeding in her brain and there is still an unexplained blockage causing the spinal fluid to not drain naturally or normally from around her brain (the drain they installed facilitates the drainage for now). So, this evening or tomorrow morning she will have an MRI to rule out other possible causes and to decide how to move forward. Thank you all for your continued prayers. We aren't out of the woods yet, but God is AWESOME and he's gonna continue to work it all out.

Ian has mentioned a specific prayer request - "I have a very specific prayer request. During the installation of the drain in her head, they gave Megan some pretty strong pain meds. She felt great for a while, but now those are wearing off. The nature of her situation, unfortunately, now prevents them from giving her anything stronger than Tylenol going forward. The reason for this is that with any type of bleeding on/in the brain they need to monitor her lucidity and cognitive functions. These would obviously be compromised by strong pain meds. She's had several invasive procedures at this point and is in severe pain. Please pray specifically for a supernatural relief for her pain. Thank you all."

Soul'd Out posted an update at 11:41 a.m. on its Facebook page -

Drainage Cath has been installed successfully and has relieved much of the pressure. Megan is currently undergoing an angiogram that should tell us more about what's going on. It's amazing the things that are going on this morning. Matt Rankin led a man to The Lord this morning that he met in the waiting room.  
Please continue to pray! We're all anticipating celebrating a miracle with Ian and Megan soon!
Please keep them in your prayers. Ian and Megan have three chidren, Liam, Taylor and Piper.

Wrapping Up NQC with SocialCam

It was a fun but buys week last week with NQC, and I wasn't even there! I'm not sure if I'll know what to do with myself after work this week not coming home and going to the computer to watch the webcast, but I'm sure I'll think of something! :) To wrap things up, I thought I would include some SocialCams by attendees this week of some behind the scenes things you might not have seen! Enjoy!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

NQC 2013 Final Night

The final night of NQC 2013 is over, and the end of its era in Louisville is too. I've never had the privilege of attending NQC but I couldn't help but feel nostalgic as different people related stories and acknowledged all the memories that room held. But hopefully we will feel the same way about the new venue in Pigeon Forge in 20 years!

I really liked hearing Clarke Beasley share the different standout moments in Louisville to him tonight. While they see the move as a positive change, you can tell Louisville will always hold a dear place in convention history.

Last night was so incredible, I wasn't sure how tonight could hold up, but there were plenty of special moments tonight that will forever be remembered -

  • I think if you have to crown a moment of the night it was the long standing ovation for Libbi. People were standing and clapping long after she left the stage. Dean even asked at one point, "Are you through?" and the clapping just increased! Libbi was FaceTiming with Tracy during all of this, and the camera man got to her and put his face from the phone on the screen, and it just kept going. It just showed how much the Perrys mean and how many prayers had been going up for them! I loved that they included a video message from Tracy during their set. And I thought it was really neat of them to include Leah on their last two songs!
  • An impromptu performance by Michael English also tops the list tonight. He came up on stage after the Talleys' set and sang "Going Home" with some help from Kim and Dean Hoppers. In the middle, he stopped to talk about his dad who died recently and how it had been him who taught him to sing. He said how much that song meant to him, and then preceded to nail the rest of the song!
  • Early in the evening during the Whisnants' set, Susan asked Melissa Brady, the writer of "All Is Well" to come up and tell how she had written the song. She did this earlier in the week during the Songs of Lifetime showcase. She talked about how she had written the song not realizing how just when she needed it, it would come full circle and minister to her when both of her parents were diagnosed with cancer. Susan sang the song and Melissa joined her! Beautiful moment!!
  • I'm not sure what other groups could have followed the extended standing ovation for the Perrys, but the Collingsworth Family did and did well. Magic happens when you have family harmonies behind just piano accompaniment, especially with this family. They sang "Burdens Are Lifted at Calvary," and it was incredible!! They had an amazing overall set that featured hymns!
  •  The Talleys also had a strong overall set. Most of it was done with just Roger playing piano and their voices. Lauren told a story of how someone had shown her a video this week of a girl singing "The Broken Ones." The girl wanted to sing it at her church after this lady had played it for her. The girl was in an abusive situation at home and wanted to learn the song and sing it. Lauren sang the song mixed with "Orphans of God."
  • Mark Trammell Quartet had a strong last night in Louisville as well. I loved how Mark dedicated the final song to his fellow gospel singers. He wanted to sing it for them, "Too Much to Gain to Lose." 
  • It was a strong night for newer groups as well. Both 11th Hour and Taylors had great sets to start the night. I also enjoyed hearing from the showcase winner High Road III. The Taylors started with an a cappella song that was really impressive of itself, and I loved Suzanne singing "I'm Gonna Make It" at the end!
  • Legacy Five sang appropriately during their set "Til We Meet Again" as a tribute to leaving Louisville and the people there. They then kicked off the finale portion with "Boundless Love." 
  • The entire finale included "Testify" by Talleys, "I Want to Know" by Mark Trammell Quartet, "I Wish I Could Have Been There" by Perrys, "How Great Thou Art" by Kingdom Heirs, "Show a Little Bit of Love and Kindness" by Collingsworth Family and then "Statement of Faith" by various groups. 
It was a great end to not only NQC 2013 but also the end of the Louisville era! Here's to many more great years ahead in Pigeon Forge!

Friday, September 13, 2013

NQC 2013 Night 5

Where do I even begin with recapping tonight's NQC? I remember when I first saw the schedule for this year, I knew if I could only make one night this would be the night. I love gospel music, all kinds even within southern gospel, but let's be honest we all have our favorites and groups that we prefer over others. Every group that sang tonight I follow and listen to a lot and am just a big fan of -- all of them!

And even if you're not a big fan of every group, it's safe to say that tonight you found a lot more hits than misses and highlights than low points! The whole night was a standout night for me, but I'll try to summarize best I can. I'm just going to go in order of the night when I started watching -

  • The Bowling Family kicked off the great evening, for me at least. I got home in time to catch their set. I love this group! It was great hearing their new songs. I love that they took time to showcase the girls and their young talent. It's funny to me that we have heard "Accentuate the Positive" twice on main stage this week, very different styles, but not a song you would expect. The song they closed with, "Somebody's Believing," is such an incredibly powerful song!
  • The Nelons did their a cappella version of the "Hallelujah Chorus." I heard them sing it in Branson, it was a "wow" moment then, and it was a "wow" moment tonight! Their entire set was so strong! And they closed with the favorite, hand-clapping and foot-tapping "I'm Going Home With Jesus."
  • The Hoppers came on next with the addition of Karlye Hopper who took a few solo lines in "I'll Take You Home." She has a really good voice, and would like to hear from her more. Connie pulled TaRanda on stage to join them for "The Love of God." I am such a huge fan of her and Kim singing together, and the end of "Something's Happening" is exactly why! It was simply amazing to hear them go up together at the end!
  • The Isaacs started with "Walk On" and then sang their title cut "The Living Years" from their latest project. However, the a cappella reprise of the verse of that song was what stood for me!!
  • I feel like I got a little bit gipped on Karen Peck and New River's set. They were doing some behind the scenes interview at first, which were really cool, as long as they didn't interfere with the music. Thankfully NQC listened and adjusted. I think it was a great idea, but needed some kinks worked out with timing.
  • Anyway, we only caught the last little bit of "Revival" by KPNR. They did a tribute to Louisville and sang "I Want to Thank You." Then sang "On the Banks of the Promised Land." I love when they sing the chorus again a cappella! Beautiful!! Then closed with "We Shall Wear a Robe and Crown" with some help from the Nelons! I loved seeing Karen and Kelly on stage together!
  • Canton Junction was the surprise of the night! The audience loves them some Tim Duncan, and so do I! He was featured on both songs they sang. 
  • This lineup of the Gaither Vocal Band is just incredible. I was "greatly blessed" to be able to see them live this year! :) But they blew me away tonight! All of the guys are just incredible singers. "I'll Tell It Whereever I Go" and "That Sounds Like Home" were both great, but "He's Alive" was the definite highlight for me!! I love seeing them stage the song and how they do it with others joining them on stage at the end!
  • Jeff and Sheri Easter were next. Morgan tweeted earlier about having some guests join them tonight on stage. She sang "Broken" again and Wes Hampton joined her! Morgan impresses me more and more in how she's grown as a vocalist each time I see them, and I loved hearing her get to sing this with Wes! Then Jeff and Sheri sang one from Jeff's upcoming project with his dad that Wilburn & Wiburn joined them called "Down in the Valley." It seemed to end a little abruptly. I think Jeff was really watching the time because the night was running late, but Gerald wanted a little more of that, and so did I. So they came back and sang a little more!
  • The Booth Brothers closed their set with "I Played in a Band" and called Bill Gaither on stage. It was a great song by them as always, but I love what Bill did at the end. He had every person who had sang in a choir and served in various other church capacities stand and talked about how every position was important. Most people from the looks of the webcast were standing.
  • The Mark Trammell Quartet was solid as always! Pat Barker was featured on "Wonderful Time Up There," such a fun song! But the closer "The King Is Coming" was the highlight! Absolutely incredible.
  • Gold City had a really strong set as well. They closed with "Get Up Get Ready," and Jonathan Wilburn joined them at the very end!!
  • The Browders came up and sang "He's Alive," great up and coming group! So glad they got to sing on main stage tonight!
  • Greater Vision sang several from their latest project. I'm loving the "preacher song." They ended with "I Know a Man Who Can," which is always amazing by Chris! And this started the finale!
  • The finale included favorites by Karen Peck and New River, the Booth Brothers, Mark Trammell Quartet and finally the Gaither Vocal Band. They closed with "It Is Finished," appropriate right? :) It was an INCREDIBLE run of music and had the perfect end to a night full of great moments!!

Tonight will definitely be hard to top! What did you think?

2013 NQC Music Awards

Jeff Easter and Kevin Williams hosted the second annual NQC Music Awards this afternoon. I only caught the first part, but thought they did a great job! Very entertaining!

Here's a list of the winners -

Soloist - Guy Penrod
Mixed Group - Collingsworth Family
Alto - Sheri Easter
Baritone - Jim Brady
Musician - Kim Collingsworth
Soprano - Kim Hopper
Lead - Ronnie Booth
Bass - Eric Bennett
Video - "I Want to Be That Man" - Brian Free and Assurance
Songwriter of the Year - Dianne Wilkinson
Producer of the Year - Ben Isaacs
Promoter of the Year - Landon Beene
Radio Stations of the Year - KWFC and WGUS
Album of the Year - Through the Night by the Perrys
Song of the Year - "I Played in a Band" by the Booth Brothers
Les Beasley Impact Award - Herschend Properties
Male Group of the Year - Booth Brothers

Congratulations to all! A couple of surprises, but really not many! One award that was and I was very excited about was Herschend Properties (Silver Dollar City and Dollywood's parent company). Love Silver Dollar City and what they do for southern gospel!

Looking at last year's winners, there are really no big changes, soloist, producer and promoter. I didn't expect Brian Free and Assurance to win for video, but I do love that song and think it's deserving!

What do you think?

Fun Clip Friday - Brian and Angela Monehan

Happy Friday to all! As much as I would love to actually be there, it's been fun keeping up with NQC online this week. If I can't be there, watching online is the next best thing! There have been some incredible moments so far this week, and I hope tonight and tomorrow night hold many more as they wrap up their time in Louisville. Don't forget if you haven't subscribed you can watch online tomorrow night for free!

Last year, I went to a gospel concert at the Little Rock Church of God, and through that concert and a couple more later in the year I got to know the pastor and his wife, Brian and Angela Monehan. They both spent time in Southern Gospel before they came to Little Rock. They have since moved to Natchez where Brian is a pastor. They have kept up their music, writing and singing, though. And they have recently released a couple of music videos from their Lyrics of our Lives! Check this one out below for today's Fun Clip Friday!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

NQC 2013 - Day 4 Standout Moments

I was able to catch most of the webcast tonight thankfully! And tonight was definitely the best night in terms of webcast quality. Kudos to the folks at NQC for getting the kinks worked out and for acknowledging it and extending the webcast On Demand. I'm just hoping that with tomorrow night being the free broadcast it will go well!

Last night was great, and tonight was equally as good in my opinion. Let's discuss the high points -

  • The Perrys - By far, the best set of the night. From the start of "Blue Skies" to the final notes of "I Rest My Case at the Cross," there was not a low point. Libbi gave an incredible emotional performance of "Through the Night, " and then broke away from the plan and testified about trusting God and how she had really learned what that meant through the past eight months. She talked about how what really mattered in life was your relationship with God and your family, not material things. She made the comment that she wasn't called to preach, but the audience definitely heard a sermon and the Word from her tonight! She said that Tracy was FaceTiming during the concert and requested "I Rest My Case at the Cross." Absolutely amazing!!!!!!
  • The Isaacs - They followed the Perrys and had a standout set! They started with an a cappella version of "The Lord's Prayer," and then turned around and sang "Waiting in the Water," which was incredible!!
  • Triumphant Quartet - It wouldn't be NQC without "The Old White Flag." It really is fun to see Clayton get into this song every time. Chris Allman came up to the stage and gave Jeff Stice a hankie. He proceeded to use it to blow his nose! Haha! Scotty talked about where they were a year ago with his daughter, Embry, being in the ICU as a newborn and then sang "The Great I Am Still Is," which was the highlight of their set! They ended with "Saved by Grace" with several turn arounds and the Booth Brothers joined them at the end.
  • Booth Brothers - I have never heard them stage "We Believe" before, but oh wow! Another highlight! I loved the way Michael used the Bible and as each member stepped up to sing solo, they took it as they sang.
  • Collingsworth Family - "Come Thou Fount" a cappella was the definite highlight of their set!! The blend of all four females had together at one part was just beautiful! Olivia has really come into her own. She really impressed me tonight.
  • Along the lines of young singers impressing, the Dixie Echoes' Utech twins did an outstanding job tonight. I saw them in Branson very recently, but thought they were much better tonight even than then!
  • I only caught bits and pieces of the Hoppers' set, but did love that they had Melissa Brady come up at the end to join them on "Shoutin' Time."
  • It was also good to see Jessica Trammell join her family the Browns for one of their songs tonight!
  • Greater Vision had a solid set tonight. However, Gerald Wolfe walking up to the stage during the  Booth Brothers set to get his picture with them was hilarious!
What did you think of tonight? Favorite moments?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

NQC Night 3 Standout Moments

I missed a large portion of the night's performances, but I could tell it was a night where it's hard to only pick out a few moments that standout. From reading other blogs and Twitter, there are so many moments I have to go back and watch on the On Demand webcast! Thank goodness for that!

I caught only the last song and a half of the Booth Brothers Quartet and then Soul'd Out Quartet before I went to church. Really enjoyed seeing the Booth Brothers with Gene McDonald. Soul'd Out really wowed me on "He Is Worthy/ I Will Praise Him."

I was also able to see the quartet choir sing "Give the World a Smile." At that moment, I could tell it was going to be a good night. Most of them didn't really know the words. However, someone in the tenor section had the smart idea of pulling up the lyrics on their phone. Gerald Wolfe poked fun at them for not knowing the song especially Josh Singletary.

After church I got back in time to see Old Paths take the stage. The All-Star Quartet was just leaving, which is something I definitely want to go back and see! So from that point on, here are standout moments -

  •  Mark Trammell Quartet singing "Statue of Liberty" with the Couriers - I feel like that was a moment that will live on in NQC history. Mark Trammell paid a classy tribute to them as they prepare for retirement and presented them with plaques from NQC. The groups joined together for that song with the Couriers singing most of it. From the looks of the webcast, the entire audience was on its feet! What an incredible moment!
  • "We Shall See Jesus" by Legacy Five - Love hearing Matt Fouch sing this song and tonight it was another highlight. It was great that Scott recognized Dianne Wilkinson after the song!
  • "Looking for a City" by Brian Free and Assurance and Karen Peck - It wouldn't be NQC without Brian doing this song, but I love that he chose to include Karen and have them duel over the high notes! 
  • I really enjoyed the Kingdom Heirs' set tonight. They are loving "Just Beyond the Sunset" and rightly so!
  • Gold City was also spot on tonight. I really thought "It's Still the Cross" was the highlight of their set though.
  • Triumphant Quartet closed the night with not their usual set, but one that the audience loved regardless judging by all the people standing clapping along. Love that the chose to end on "I Know I'm Going Home!"
  • I was a little disappointed that there was no grand finale, but it's understandable considering they had gone over on time. I do have to say last year's "Have a Little Talk With Jesus" after quartet night was a favorite moment for me though!
  • From the time I got home, there was no moment I didn't want to leave my computer screen. Tonight was definitely the best night of convention so far! Not a low point in what I saw, and I know I missed a lot of good stuff in between!

So what were your favorite moments? What moments are must-see for me on the webcast that I missed?

NQC Night 2 Highlights and Recap

Whatever problems that plagued the webcast on night one, thankfully were not as present for night two.   There was only one moment that will be addressed later where it seemed everyone was having problems.

Tonight overall to me was stronger than last night. Most of the groups seemed to have solid sets. But here are the standout points for me - 

  • It was incredible to see the support behind Libbi Perry Stuffle for being there. I loved the Perrys' set tonight. "When He Spoke" was one of the songs of the night in my book! I also thought it was neat how they showed the video of Tracy singing "Plan of Salvation" from NQC 2011 (I believe) with them singing with him live. Although, I do have to say it was funny on the webcast to see the group as it was then with Joseph and hear David on lead.
  • The only point where the webcast really gave me issues was probably the must-see moment of the night - The Cathedrals Reunion song. I caught only bits and pieces, but enough to know that it was a highlight even with a few missing words! :)
  • Jason Crabb continues to show how incredible he is as a solo artist. He did get some help though tonight from his daughter Ashleigh. She really has a great voice for her age, and despite some nerves had a great performance! Jason closed his set with "That's What the Blood Is For," love that song and another highlight of the night!
  • I liked seeing Jason reprise his role on "Searchin'" with the Talleys. I'm not sure if it was planned or not, but I was definitely in favor of it!
  • I always find it interesting to see what musicians are playing for what groups during NQC. You never know what artist might be there to pitch in! It seemed that Jeff and Sheri Easter and the Whisnants made an even trade tonight. Ethan Whisnant played for Jeff and Sheri, and Jeff and Sheri's drummer, Landan, played for the Whisnants.
  • Speaking of Jeff and Sheri, I really liked them hosting tonight. Jeff Easter trying to fill time at the end got pretty comical! They also had a strong set as performers. 
  • They definitely saved some of the strongest sets for the end with the run of the Perrys, Talleys, Whisnants and Brian Free and Assurance. It was good to hear a new song by the Whisnants, "Move That Stone," from their new album which I'm looking forward to getting. Brian Free and Assurance seemed to get the audience into "Long as I Got King Jesus" even given the late hour.
  • Karen Peck and New River also debuted songs from their new album. I thought they had a strong set closing with the forever favorite "Four Days Late, " but being so early in the night it's sometimes easy to forget a group that was five hours ago. 
  • This was my first chance to see Gold City with Robert Fulton on tenor. And I didn't get a chance to catch their full set, but enough to know that I really like what he brings to the group. Loved hearing him on "Calvary Conquers It All!"

What did you think? What moments stood out to you?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

NQC 2013 - Night 1 Highlights

The first night of the 2013 National Quartet Convention is in the books! I was able to catch most of the webcast tonight. I rushed home from work to pull up the webcast only to find that I couldn't. And apparently no one else could either. Twitter was completely buzzing with people having issues. Thankfully they did get it resolved, but mine was pretty intermittent throughout the night. I didn't lose it for very long each time, but every couple of minutes there would be a hiccup. Hopefully, it was just a night one issue and the rest of the week will be better. The webcast finally came up for me right before the Browns took the stage.

Ok, so standout things for me during night one -

  • I liked the Sneed Family's set, especially "Hallelujah Square." That was the definite highlight for me!
  • Triumphant Quartet had the first solid set of the night for me. I thought it was interesting that they chose to open with Jeff Stice playing the piano. I loved hearing them sing "He Is," but also thought it was an interesting choice given the length of the song. But from beginning to end, their set was strong!!
  • The webcast seemed to give me more issues during the Collingsworth Family's set, which I did not like. It did stay on though through all of their last song, "The Blood of Jesus," which was amazing!
  • The Hoppers started their set without Claude. Dean announced that he didn't know where his dad was. During the second song, "Yahweh" he came up on stage. The funny part to me was that he seemed to appear (at least on the webcast) as soon as they started singing "He arose" in the song! Claude blamed his tardiness on Les Beasley, saying that he wouldn't quit talking to him. They also had a strong set, but it was kinda overshadowed by the fact that Claude was missing for part of it!
  • Greater Vision also had a strong set, but the highlight was Chris Allman singing "I Know a Man Who Can." He absolutely nails this every time! Love to hear him sing this song!
  • The Booth Brothers had the last set before the finale. The highlight of their set for me was "In Christ Alone." Love the arrangement they do of this song! Chris Allman joined them at the end for "Still Feelin' Fine," and Rodney Griffin did as well, providing comic relief as he did last year! :)
  • I like the Penny Loafers with the a cappella moments. They do a great job, but personally I miss Sisters and preferred them.

Night one had some great moments and strong sets, but nothing that really stood head and shoulders above the rest. What did you think?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Getting Ready for NQC

The National Quartet Convention starts today! Well, I guess technically it started last night, but the first official day is today. It's the largest event of its kind, and a must to keep up with for gospel music fans.

I had so many people ask me about it when I was in Branson. I would love to go, but unfortunately won't be there. And I have never been. One day though, I definitely plan to make it! For now, I'm content to watch it online. I hope to watch most of it. I know Wednesday I will only be able to catch bits and pieces. You can still purchase the webcast from Don't forget if you don't want the entire webcast, you can watch Friday night for free! Or you can check back here and the other southern gospel blogs for highlights and recaps. I'm sure some of my fellow bloggers will be there, so don't miss what they have to say!

So what are your plans for NQC, I'm curious to know!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Fun Clip Friday - Silver Dollar City

I promised you one more post wrapping up the Southern Gospel Picnic, so here it is -

In 11 days, I caught 53 different shows by 40 different artists. That's a lot of gospel music, folks! No wonder I was so tired, but really wasn't ready to come back to the real world and work on Tuesday!

In case you missed any day's recap, here they are -

Day 1 - Pfeifers, Reggie Saddler Family, Booth Brothers
Day 2 - 2nd Generation, Freemans, Inspirations, McKameys
Day 3 - Three Bridges, Nelons, Singing Cookes, Jeff & Sheri Easter
Day 4 - Taylors, Perrys, Tribute Quartet, Hoppers
Day 5 - Bledsoes, Tribute Qt., Browns, Kingsmen Qt., Karen Peck & New River
Day 6 - Bowling Family, Mark Trammell Qt.
Day 7 - Wilburn & Wilburn, Soul'd Out Quartet, Martins
Day 8 - Marksmen Qt., Lesters, Dixie Echoes, Brian Free & Assurance, Legacy Five
Day 9 - Guy Penrod, Triumphant Qt.
Day 10 - Whisnants, Beelers, Dennis Swanberg, Greater Vision
Day 11 - Old Paths, Diplomats, Brian Arnold, Isaacs

This year something that really stood out to me was the young up and coming talent in the industry. The Old Paths had a 15 year old piano player that was flat out amazing. The Dixie Echoes showcased their new bass singer and his twin brother who can sing tenor. The Bowling Family's girls sang in their shows and can harmonize together with the best of them!

I have to say the group that impressed me most that I had not seen live before was Wilburn & Wilburn. Jonathan Wilburn still brings that same energy to stage he did in his Gold City days. He and Jordan sound so great as a duo!

There were also so many great a cappella moments this year from the Isaacs to the Taylors to the Martins, but I think the Nelons had the best a cappella moment with their rendition of the "Hallelujah Chorus!"

However, one of the most standout moments of the festival for me this year wasn't hearing a group singing, but a choir of around 5,000 singing hymns as Gerald Wolfe played. I felt like it was just a small taste of Heaven!

It was great not only enjoying all the music but seeing friends from previous years and making new friends! A huge thank you to Mrs. Cathy and Mr. Russell who let me stay with them this year! Thanks for letting me be part of your family! :)

Normally the festival is something I share with my grandparents. However, due to my grandmother's surgery, they were not able to go this year. So I took a lot of photos and a lot of videos this year for them mainly, but I thought I would share a couple of those with you for today's Fun Clip Friday post. I have more I'm going to post, but here are two for now!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Playing Catch Up

Even though I was blogging last week, it was hard to keep up with everything that was going on news wise. So here is my attempt to catch up on all I missed!

  • Jack Laws passed away on Aug. 27. He was with the Inspirations and Smoky Mountain Reunion. 
  • Harold Reed joined the Diplomats. I got the chance to actually see him singing with them on Monday and was very impressed with what he brought to the group! Harold was with the Kingsmen and more recently LeFevre Quartet and many others. Check out the video below!
  • Jodi Hosterman and Brian Alvey joined the Skyline Boys. It's good to see Brian back singing, but I can't say that I didn't wish it was back with the Talleys. Love Won with his addition vocally and writing was a standout project! Jodi is returning to the group after being with them before he joined the Inspirations.
  • David Cable is the new bass singer for the Dove Brothers. 
  • Congratulations to Amber Nelon Thompson of the Nelons who got engaged to her boyfriend of four years on Monday!
  • Candice Jordan of 11th Hour also recently got engaged and announced yesterday that she will be leaving the group. Candice has been with the group since it formed.
  • Congratulations to both Riley Harrison and Megan Clark and Aaron and Leslie Perkins! Both couples are expecting their first children!
  • Freedom will become a quartet. John Rulapaugh will be joined by Preston Garner (baritone), Dale Shipley (lead) and Burman Porter (bass).
  • As of Oct. 1, Palmetto State Quartet will officially be known as Glass Temple. Their debut record under the new name will be out later this year!

Any news items I'm missing?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Nothing But Good - Day 11 Recap of Silver Dollar City's Southern Gospel Picnic

Monday night was the last night of the festival. Unfortunately I had to go back to the real world on Tuesday, so I'm a little late getting up the recap of Monday. No more vacation or days filled with Southern Gospel concerts. :(

I was able to catch Old Paths a couple of times on Monday afternoon. I saw this group for the first time last year at the festival and was extremely impressed. They sang both of their #1 songs, "Battle Stand" and "God's Great." Daniel Ashmore, their bass singer, really stood out to me! He was featured on a song called, "I Wanna Get Closer," I think.

They also let lead sing Tim Rackley and tenor singer Jeremy Peace really step into the spotlight and shine as well. Tim sang the classic, "I Bowed on my Knees and Cried Holy," and really made it his own! While he was bowing, the audience was on its feet applauding. Then, Jeremy did the tenor classic, "O What a Savior," and had the audience on its feet as well!

I also really enjoyed the addition they had of live music on a couple of songs. They had a piano player throughout, but added drums and bass guitar and even Daniel played sax a little. The piano player is very talented and only 15 years old! I was very impressed! They ended the show with "Glory Road."

Next, I got the chance to catch the Diplomats. I had not seen them in several years, and it was good to see Harold Reed singing with them. To be honest, it had been so long since I had seen them, I really didn't remember that many specifics about seeing them before. They featured Joseph, the bass singer, on a couple of songs including "Lonesome Road."

I really enjoyed hearing Harold sing "Scars in the Hands of Jesus." I also had forgotten what a talented singer and musician Corey is! Lately, I've just remembered how funny he can be by watching his SocialCam videos!

Rita was featured on "This is Just What Heaven Means to Me," which was a highlight. They ended with "I Wouldn't Take Nothing for my Journey Now," which the crowd always enjoys!

The Isaacs had the task as they have for the last several years of closing the festival! It was good to hear them do several familiar favorites as well as songs off their latest project The Living Years that was just released like the title song and "Grandpa Tell Me About the Good Ole Days."

One of the highlights had to be Becky singing "Waiting in the Water!" She gave her testimony before she sang about having struggled with Crohn's disease and how God healed her. Her son Levi came out during the second half and sang and played with them! It was my first time seeing and hearing him on stage, and I have a feeling it will be far from his last with his talent!

It's always a treat to hear the Isaacs sing a cappella, and they closed the first half with "I Will Praise Him," and wow! It was absolutely beautiful!

I also loved them singing "I'm Gonna Love You Through It." Love that song! Martina does it great, but their original version is definitely my favorite. They also sang "Why Can't We," with an amazing a cappella reprise of the chorus!

They ended the night with "He Ain't Never Done Me Nothing But Good" with the entire audience of more than 4,000 on their feet clapping and singing along! Perfect way to end an incredible 11-day run!

The entire festival was nothing but good! I'll have one more post to summarize the festival and include some videos from it, so check back later this week!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Holy Night in the Hollow - Day 10 of Silver Dollar City's Southern Gospel Picnic

Well, it wouldn't be Southern Gospel Picnic without a little rain. And day 10 made sure that we fulfilled our rain quota for the year. However the rain didn't slow the festival any, and didn't deter the night from being one of the most worshipful nights we've had!!

The day started with worship with Dennis Swanberg preaching. From there I caught part of a show by the Beelers. The group consists of two sisters and a brother. I had never hear them before. A song that really stood out to me was called "Because of You," and was written by the brother.

Then, I caught the Whisnants a couple of times this afternoon. It's always good seeing them at the City since it's really the only time I get to see them!

Susan sang a couple of my favorites, including "All Is Well" and "I'll Trust the Potter's Hand!" It was also good to hear a couple from their hymns project!

Austin and Ethan both seemed to have a bigger part than what I had seen before. I love the song "Sheltered" on their project. During the last show, they sang "Road to Emmaus" with Jeff, and it was definitely a highlight! 

They sang several other favorites including "King Jesus Is Coming," "He's Living Today" and "New Day Dawning" which closed the show! However another highlight was "I'm Trusting the Blood" with an a cappella repeat of the chorus that was absolutely amazing!!!

Tonight was the only with two headliners. Dennis Swanberg did 30 minutes of comedy before Greater Vision took the stage. It was good to see Greater Vision back down in Echo Hollow! It was good to  hear several from their latest project like "Come Unto Me," "Preacher Tell Me Like It Is" and "I'm Looking for the Grace," a personal favorite! 

They also sang plenty of Greater Vision standards like "He'd Still Been God," "My Name is Lazarus" and "He's Still Waiting by the Well." Chris was also featured on "I Know a Man Who Can." I love hearing him this song, and it was definitely a highlight of the night! 

Gerald said that the entire second half would be requests. He even sang "Oh Holy Night," at a lady's request! 

Apparently a lot of people wanted to hear hymns and Gerald play the piano, so he combined the two at Rodney's suggestion! :) Gerald asked for different sections of the amphitheater to call out hymns and he would combine them together and play them. In one section, a girl called out "He Touched Me," and Gerald without missing a beat said, "Well, get up and move then!" Haha!

He ended up played that song along with "Amazing Grace," "The Old Rugged Cross," "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" and "How Great Thou Art." As he started, people started singing along, and while he played through the medley, we sat there and worshipped! It was such an incredible moment, one I won't soon forget! A choir of well over 3,000 people singing hymns down in the amphitheater with just a piano. 

Gerald talked about what a great night it had been, but what they would be talking about when they got back on the bus was hearing the audience sing. They closed the concert with "God Wants to Hear You Sing!" Perfect way to end a holy night in the hollow!!!

Winding Down and Wearing Out - Day 9 of Southern Gospel Picnic Recap

The festival is winding down with only two full days left. And we are wearing out! If you read my post from yesterday, you can tell I'm getting worn out when I say that I've seen a ghost! Haha! (Thanks to those who caught my mistake, I think it's been fixed now.)

I made it out to see Guy Penrod this afternoon and then Triumphant Quartet tonight.

I've never heard Guy Penrod sing live but I had seen him in person before. Last December, I was at Silver Dollar City with my family and noticed several television cameras and crew walk by. Several of us were wondering what was going on. Honestly, we had heard the Duggar Family was on park so I expected to count 19 kids around the Christmas tree. But then someone who came from the area they were filming said they thought the man was on the Gaithers. Well, I for sure had to check it out then! And yes, it was Guy Penrod. He was there filming a Christmas special with his family, so there were still plenty of kids to count! :)

We got at the park in time to see him at 2 p.m. but the show was full! So we waited for the 3 p.m. show. He sang mostly hymns from his latest recording which was good! He sang classics like "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms," "He Hideth My Soul," "The Old Rugged Cross" and "Nothing But the Blood."

He sang a precious love song that I think is called "That Will Never Grow Old, Even If We Do." Then closed the show with "Don't Worry About Nothing, Pray About Everything."

And the surprise of the afternoon had to be Kevin Williams accompanying him on guitar!

Then, we saw Triumphant Quartet tonight. It's always good to see those guys, one of the most consistent groups in the industry. 

They sang a really good mix of their most well-known songs along with new ones. They sang "Take It From Me Meshach" and "Because He Loved Me," which are both favorites from their latest project.

Jeff Stice seemed to be featured more tonight. He played several songs solo on the piano, but the highlight had to be the "Hallelujah Chorus." A guy behind me made the comment that that was as good as it gets and I couldn't agree more!

They did a song that featured of medley of several classic songs, one of them being "Daddy Sang Bass." They went into the audience to get people to sing the Daddy and Momma parts. Well, when Eric held the microphone up to one guy for "Daddy Sang Bass," he started singing "Amazing Grace!" LOL!!

They also sang several of the requested songs like "Somebody Died for Me," "Love Came Calling" and "He Is," which they closed the first half with and was definitely a standout moment of the night! 

And it wouldn't be a Triumphant Quartet concert without "The Old White Flag." I love seeing a crowd of around 5,000 people all getting into and waving handkerchiefs, napkins and even a trash bag!! 

Even though things are winding down, I'm still ready to see the great groups scheduled for Sunday and Monday!