Friday, February 28, 2014

Fun Clip Friday - Greater Vision and Mark Trammell Quartet

I know this clip has been making the rounds lately, but I feel it's too good not to feature as a Fun Clip Friday. I'm a firm believer that sometimes the best moments in concerts are the spontaneous ones. And this is a great example!

The clip is from a concert last Friday night with Greater Vision and the Mark Trammell Quartet in Marion, Ill. Danny Jones of the Singing News caught the moment on video. Gerald Wolfe, Chris Allman, Mark Trammell, Rodney Griffin and Pat Barker sang a few together and took some audience requests. And then one man was insistent they sing one they had never sung together before. Below is what happened -

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Somebody Sing Me a Gospel Song - Gold City Concert Recap

Gold City - Robert Fulton, Chip Pullen, Daniel Riley,
Joe Brown and Bryan Elliot
Gold City made its way to Central Arkansas last weekend. I hadn't seen the group live in more than a year, so most of the people I was seeing on stage for the first time. Tim Riley was sick last weekend, and so Joe Brown filled in for him. While it was a disappointment not to see Tim, Joe did an incredible job. I have to say I was nothing but impressed with this lineup of Gold City.

The night started with a local group of brothers, the Hayes Brothers. They sang a couple of classic songs like "Power in the Blood" and "He Touched Me" before Gold City took the stage.

Here's how the night went - 
  • "Somebody Sing Me a Gospel Song" - This was my first chance to hear Chip. He fits in so well with them, and did a great job on the song!
  • "Cast My Bread Upon the Water"
  • "I'm Saved, I'm Sure, I'm Ready"
  • "I Can Tell You the Time" - It was good to hear Joe on this one. As much as I missed seeing Tim Riley, his vocals definitely did not disappoint!
  • "Goodbye World Goodbye" - Bryan showcased his piano playing skills. The emcee for the evening called him a "talented and beautiful savant" at the end of the night. You could see most people (including Bryan) wondering what exactly that was. Regardless, we knew it was meant to be a compliment!
  • "Footprints on the Water"
  • "It Won't Be Long" - One of my favorites to see live!! Daniel talked about how he couldn't step out and strut because he was Baptist.
  • "That Little Baby"
  • "Calvary Conquers It All" - Before the song, Daniel talked about the faithfulness of God, and how even then we are unfaithful, He isn't. He always keeps His promises. I wasn't as familiar with this Gold City song, but Robert nailed it!! Wow! 
  • "I'm Not Giving Up"
There was a break, and the Hayes Brothers sang a couple more before Gold City returned to the stage.

  • "Look Who Just Checked In"
  • "Still the Cross" - This was a highlight of the night for me. Before the song, he talked about what a timely song it was. He thought that when he first sang it in 1996 and how it was even more true now. Love the song, and Daniel did an incredible job on it!
  • "When I Get Carried Away"
  • "Midnight Cry" - I feel like everyone measures a Gold City lead singer by how well they sing "Midnight Cry." If that's the case, Chip passed with flying colors. Another highlight of the concert!!

It was an incredible night of gospel music! Songs were a great blend of Gold City favorites and recent releases. I just hope it's not another year before I get to see them again!

Dallas Rogers, Melton Campbell Return to the Inspirations

The Inspirations made the announcement via Facebook yesterday that two alumni would be returning - Melton Campbell and Dallas Rogers. Campbell was with the Inspirations about 10 years starting around 2000. Dallas Rogers was with the group from 2009 to 2010. Here's the full post -

Well it's time to finally make the announcement... After much prayer and consideration, we can now announce the official 2014 lineup for The Inspirations!! We could not be happier to announce that Dallas Rogers is returning to sing tenor, and Melton Campbell is returning to sing baritone! That means the 4 singers will now be Jon Epley at bass, Melton Campbell at baritone, Matt Dibler at lead, and Dallas Rogers at tenor. The positive feedback and support from our fans has been AMAZING during this time of transition, but as Martin Cook stated, we are "excited beyond words" about this new lineup! We believe that God has worked in a mighty way to bring all of this together, and the new sound of these 4 voices is something you are definitely gonna want to hear! We can't wait to hit the road this weekend and look forward to seeing all of you in the following months and years. Thank you all for the kindness and patience you have shown us, and we will do our best to continue on with this wonderful tradition of The Inspirations-- good ole Southern Gospel Quartet singing! We love y'all!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Transformation Tuesday - Devin McGlamery

Devin McGlamery came onto the scene in 2000 with the Dixie Melody Boys at only 17. Here's a look at Devin from the 2002 National Quartet Convention with the Dixie Melody Boys.

In 2004, he graduated from Ed O'Neal University and went to Karen Peck and New River. He was there for five years. While he was with them, the group was nominated for several Dove Awards and even a Grammy. In December 2009, he moved on to be the lead singer for Ernie Haase and Signature Sound. Devin has developed a unique style as one of the top lead singers in the business. He released a solo album last year with one of the songs earning him a Dove Award on his own.

In the 14 years, Devin has made quite a transformation, and I'm sure he will only continue to get better. Here's a look at Devin from a recent concert singing his Dove Award-winning song.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Fun Clip Friday - Kelly Bowling in Virtuous

Kelly Bowling has become the latest Southern Gospel artist to star in a movie. She will be in the movie Virtuous as Nurse Kathy. describes the movie as "a modern day version of Proverbs 31. It's the story of a Hollywood starlet, a soldier on the battlefield, the successful businesswoman, and the housekeeping and cooking skills of dear old Mom."

So for today's Fun Clip Friday, check out a sneak peek of the movie Virtuous.

Sneak Peek VIRTUOUS from Bill Rahn on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Todd Suttles Announced as New Member of the Gaither Vocal Band

Gaither Music issued an announcement this afternoon that Todd Suttles will officially join the group as the baritone. He has been at Vanderbilt University where he served as a sports fitness director as well as youth program director. He will continue there when he is not traveling with the vocal band.

Todd's name had been circulating for some time with him filling in during recent weeks. From the clips I've seen, I think it will be a great fit.

Here's more from Gaither's release -

Todd has sung with the Settles Connection and can be heard in the background vocals on numerous recordings with artists whom you know and love. He comes highly recommended by fellow artists, university faculty, and many others who have had the privilege of working with him.

“First of all, I want to thank Mark Lowry and Michael English for giving us some really wonderful years and incredible recordings that will live on in gospel music history,” Bill states. “We knew when they left, we had big shoes to fill and, as I have said before, you never truly replace anyone. You have to create something new and unique. I have been putting voices together for a long, long time and never before have we considered more possibilities or auditioned so many incredible singers than we have during the past few months. This decision came down to finding a vocal range and texture that would offer just the right balance to the current mix of voices in the group. I could not be happier with this decision. Not only do we love the rich tones in Todd’s voice, he also happens to be a wonderful human being to be around. So not only have we gained a talented individual, we have gained a new friend. And very soon, I believe you will agree. Trust me. This is going to be good!”

Here's a full link to the announcement including a behind-the-scenes video of the vocal band -

Transformation Tuesday - Scotty Inman

It's another Transformation Tuesday post. I like spotlighting some of the younger singers in the genre to see how much they have changed and grown during their time singing. Today, let's look at Scotty Inman. He got his start with Poet Voices in 2001. In 2002, he was named the Singing News Horizon Individual. Here's a look at him with Poet Voices from 2002.

He is joined Triumphant Quartet later in 2002 alongside his dad where he has stayed. In 2007, he was awarded the Fan Favorite Young Artist. He's not only received acclaim for his vocal ability but also recently he's been recognized for his songwriting ability. He's written songs not only for Triumphant Quartet but also the Inspirations and most recently Mark Trammell Quartet. Here's a look at Scotty now from a recent Triumphant Quartet concert.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Women's Conference with Lauren Talley Alvey

Saturday I had the chance to attend a women's conference I had been looking forward to for some time. Last summer when I saw the Talleys, Lauren mentioned that they were trying to schedule her for a women's conference next year in Fordyce. The event was scheduled for Feb. 15, and it was marked on my calendar.

I really had not planned on blogging about it, just wanting to enjoy the day, the music and the seminars. But it was so good, I feel like it would be an injustice not to mention it. A couple of local groups (New Reason and the Peters Family) from the church and Fordyce sang as well as Lauren. All the music was great. It was good to hear Lauren sing songs you don't normally hear during a Talleys concert.

She led two different seminars, and both were equally great, encouraging and challenging. In the afternoon, she shared more of her personal testimony. She shared from her book Songs in the Night, which if you don't have I highly recommend. I have the tendency when something is not right to put on the brave front that everything is ok, so others don't see the struggles. So I really admire when someone can go on stage tell you where they've been and how God delivered them and use the testimony to help others. Lauren was just so real and opened up about her journey.

Saturday was great, and if you or your church is considering hosting a women's event, you should definitely consider having Lauren. You won't be disappointed.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Fun Clip Friday - Valentine's Day with Jeff and Sheri Easter

One of the cutest married couples in Southern Gospel music has to be Jeff and Sheri Easter. Every project they record contains a love song. Just for Valentine's Day, today's Fun Clip Friday features one of their love song duets. Enjoy -

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Love of God - When Lyrics Speak

This week or really month is all about love. With Valentine's Day tomorrow, stores are filled with candy, hearts, flowers, balloons and cards that are all designed to tell people how much they are loved. Regardless of how you feel about Valentine's Day, love is something to be celebrated.

"Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love." - 1 John 4:7,8

While it's a time to celebrate the loving relationships we have on earth, the greatest love we ever have known or ever will know is the love of God. It amazes me every time I really stop and think about how much He loves me. Nothing I have done or will do can separate me from His love. Nothing I experience on earth will measure up to the love He has for me.

The hymn says it best - "Oh, love of God, how rich and pure! How measureless and strong! It shall forevermore endure— The saints’ and angels’ song."

It's one of the greatest songs about God's love. I can't say it any better than this -

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Avoiding the Snow with the Hoppers - Concert Recap

When the snow hit Central Arkansas Friday afternoon, I was headed south to El Dorado to see the Hoppers. The family was at Immanuel Baptist Church Friday night, and for those of us looking to escape the weather and brave the cold, it was a great place to be!

The Hoppers were great as always. I saw the Hoppers in August in Branson, but there were a couple of differences. It was my first time to see Dean and Kim's daughter sing with them in person. It's neat to see her take more of a role on stage. I also think it's classy how Connie will step back and allow her granddaughter a chance to sing. Also, since Josh Simpson left, Gary Prim, Nashville producer, was traveling with them to play keyboard for them.

Here's a lineup of what they sang -

  • "Going Home" - Dean had the solo on this one. It was interesting to see them start with a slower song, and I thought it was funny that Claude was a little late to the stage. :)
  • "Yahweh" 
  • "I Am Whatever You Need"
  • "I'll Take You Home" - They brought Karlye up to sing on this one with them. She was featured on the verse. She has a great voice! You can definitely hear Kim's influence in her voice. 
  • "I'll Worship Only at the Feet of Jesus"
  • "I'd Rather Have Jesus" - Kim sang this hymn. It was a beautiful moment with no track, only the keyboard and her voice with the group joining her on the chorus. It made me love Kim's voice even more!
  • "I've Come to Far to Look Back" - Connie's signature song. She let Kim start it up again, and Karlye and Dean joined her. Always love this song and to hear the several repeats of the chorus it gets!
  • "Yes, I Am"
  • "Jerusalem" - One of my personal favorites. They showed a video of past recorded performances of the song on the screen above them. It was funny to see how they had the same movement and motions as on the screen.
  • "The Ride" - This was the first song they sang after intermission. Claude was talking and telling stories. Apparently someone thought he was going a little long, because the video started with Ronnie Hinson for this song. Ronnie sang part of the song on the video. 
  • "My Only Option" - I don't remember hearing this song staged much in their concerts! Love hearing Dean on this song!
  • "If I Could Help Somebody" - It wouldn't be a Hoppers concert without hearing Claude sing this one!
  • "Amazing Grace My Chains Are Gone" - Claude asked Lexi, Dean and Kim's youngest daughter, to come up and play her ukulele on this song while the family sang along with her. They said she's only been playing since January, but already knew how to play this song!
  • "Shoutin' Time" - Great way to end the night!!
Despite the winter weather outside, we were able to stay warm and enjoy a great night of gospel music with the Hoppers for a couple of hours. And it helped us avoid the snow at least for a little while!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Fun Clip Friday - Brian Free and Assurance Unashamed Preview

Happy Friday to everyone! Brian Free and Assurance has been working on their new album to be released soon. It's the first one with baritone Mike Rogers. They posted a preview of the album on YouTube. Take a listen for today's Fun Clip Friday and enjoy! Can't wait to hear the full project!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Transformation Tuesday - Booth Brothers

It's always interesting to go back and look at how individuals have changed over the years but also groups as a whole. The Booth Brothers revived in 1990 with Ron Sr., Michael and Ronnie Booth, father and sons. Here's a clip from 1995 -

Ron Booth, Sr. came off the road in 1998. Jim Brady joined in 2002 to complete the Booth Brothers as they are now. The group has consistently taken home numerous Singing News Fan Awards both as a group and individuals. They are definitely one of the top groups in the industry and it's easy to see why. It's not only their voices and songs but it's also how they are on stage and off and their ability to connect with the audience. Here's a more recent look at the Booth Brothers with "I Played in a Band" -

Monday, February 3, 2014

Your Walk Talks - Mark Trammell Quartet - CD Review

After listening to Mark Trammell Quartet's latest release, there's only one word that comes to mind - Wow! The Mark Trammell Quartet has not only set the bar high for other releases this year, but they could not have started their new label with a stronger project. All 10 songs are absolutely incredible.

The project starts with "Don't Stop Running," which is one of two songs Nick Trammell wrote on the album. He proves he's not only is he a more than capable lead singer, but he's also bringing to the table impressive writing skills. The other song that Nick wrote (with Rodney Griffin) is "To Know He Knows Me." It's a great smooth, easy-listening type song. Both songs feature him. Nick has come into his own on this project and lays down some outstanding lead vocals on both of these songs.

"God's Been Faithful" is one of the slower songs on the project, but has one of the greatest messages. This is one of my favorites that features Mark. Some of the best vocals on the project are on this song especially love the second verse. And the song is a great reminder of the goodness of God. He also sings "Man of Sorrows." It's one of the more orchestrated songs that incorporates a couple of familiar hymns.

Pat Barker sings the familiar "Thanks to Calvary" from the pens of Bill and Gloria Gaither. While the song will be familiar, Pat makes it his own and has a superb vocal performance. His version of the song will be one that you remember for sure, and it's a song that he considers to be a testimony song for him. Pat also is featured on "I'll Take It to the Grave" written by Dianne Wilkinson. One of several cuts for her on the project. This uptempo number is another personal favorite. I can see this being a great song live.

This is the first project to include tenor Dustin Black. While this is his first Southern gospel group to sing with and his first time going into the studio, you would never know it from his vocals on this project. The last song, "I Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way," features him, and he turns in one of the most tender moments of the project. It's the perfect song choice to highlight his tenor style. Dustin also carries the upbeat "When the King Comes to Claim His Throne."

"I'll Go Over Jordan Someday" is a not a new song, but one that a lot of people, me included, probably won't be familiar with. It's an older convention song that the group brings new life to.

Finally, the title cut "Your Walk Talks" is definitely my favorite of the project. It's an uptempo song with a simple but strong message. Pat's bass step out lines add so much energy to the song, and it's a song that definitely gets stuck in your head which in this case is a good thing!

It's safe to say that this album will be one that all other albums released this year will be measured against and probably not only this year but for years to come.

Song List -
1. "Don't Stop Running"
2. "God's Been Faithful"
3. "When the King Comes to Claim His Throne"
4. "Thanks to Calvary"
5. "I'll Go Over Jordan Someday"
6. "Man of Sorrows"
7. "Your Walk Talks"
8. "To Know He Knows Me"
9. "I'll Take It to the Grave"
10. "I Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way"