Saturday, May 31, 2014

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits - May 31

News items that happened this week in Southern Gospel -

  • The Talleys and Tribute Quartet announced the debut of the "Good News! He's Alive" tour in 2015. The tour will combine the best of both artists and feature unique, crowd-pleasing collaborations, including partnerships with church choirs. Contact the Harper Agency (615-851-4500) to book the tour.
  • Voting is open for the 2014 Diamond Awards. You can vote here
  • The Kingsmen Quartet have announced a Christmas tour starting on November 30. They currently have dates booked for Kentucky, Florida and South Carolina. For those interested in booking them for this tour, contact the Harper Agency
  • Hannah Webb of the Rick Webb Family and Victoria Huggins competed on the American Bible Challenge as part of "Team Crown Jewels" representing the Miss North Carolina Scholarship Pageant Organization. The show aired on Thursday night on the Game Show Network. Their team placed second and won $5,000 for their charity Vs. Cancer Foundation.
  • The Old Paths discovered Friday morning that their trailer was stolen containing sound equipment, product and clothing. The group will be able to fill their dates for the weekend. Pray for them during this time!
  • Pat Barker is releasing a solo album. Corey Pearson posted photos and a video on Facebook yesterday.

Projects Released This Week -
  • The Martins - A cappella
  • Guy Penrod - Worship
  • Devin McGlamery - Captured

Anything that I've missed?

Friday, May 30, 2014

Fun Clip Friday - Ernie Haase joins Legacy Five

The Great Western Southern Gospel Fan Festival was held in Visalia, Calif. the first week of May. Many of the industries top groups performed. Two of the groups were Ernie Haase and Signature Sound and Legacy Five.

During Legacy Five's set, Ernie Haase came up and joined them for "He Made a Change." Check it out for today's Fun Clip Friday post!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Old Paths - Decade - CD Review

The Old Paths released its first project in 2004. To commemorate the group's 10 years, Old Paths released Decade, a collection of songs previously released songs. While the songs may not be new, the project is definitely worth a listen!

It's only been in recent years that I have really become acquainted with Old Paths music and am most familiar with their latest two main releases, Right Now and These Truths. While those two CDs and their songs have brought much success to the group, Decade goes back a little farther and pulls songs from the group's first projects that fans like myself might not know as much.

One thing about the project is that you are in no way shorted on the amount of music it contains. The project has 19 songs!!

Old Paths started as a trio originally. Several of the songs that were previously recorded as a trio were included like "The Fire Still Burns," "The Bottom of the Hill," "For the First Time" and "He Didn't Have the Heart." Some of the songs had already been recorded twice but were included on the group's Simplicity project that was also recorded as a trio. So even though this is the third project for some of these songs, the group has tried to bring new life to them by recording them with the current quartet lineup.

The project starts with "The Fire Still Burns" which is probably one of my favorites. A great toe-tapper to start the CD off with! Also love the uptempo "We'll Sing a Song!"

I was glad to hear "I of the Storm" included on this project. This is one of my favorite songs of Old Paths. Jeremy Peace absolutely owns this song.

"He'll See You Through" was not one that I was really familiar with even though Old Paths was not the first group to cut this song. I'm glad that it was on this project to give people like me a chance to hear it for the first time!

Don't miss this project just because it's not full of new songs. While Old Paths has been around for a decade, the songs are ones you might be hearing for the first time by the group, like I did!

Song List - 
1. "The Fire Still Burns"
2. "Going To Where He Lives"
3. "Too Far Gone"
4. "Portrait of Grace"
5. "Life Again"
6. "He's the Foundation"
7. "I of the Storm"
8. "We'll Sing a Song"
9. "The Bottom of the Hill"
10. "I've Missed Out"
11. "He Chose the Tree"
12. "I've Made it Home"
13. "He'll See You Through"
14. "For the First Time"
15. "He Didn't Have the Heart"
16. "Amen, That's Right"
17. "Do You Have His Robe"
18. "Wonderful Life"
19. "Oh What a Savior"

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Expecting the Unexpected with the Rochester Family - Concert Review

Looking at my calendar of upcoming concerts, I found a lull in the number of concerts in my area. However, I discovered late last week that a family group would be in Benton Sunday night - The Rochesters. I was not really familiar with the family, but I found a few clips on YouTube of the family singing. I enjoyed their bluegrass style, so I decided to see them for myself.

I don't live far from Benton, Ark. where the concert was scheduled, but since I had never been to this church before, we left a little earlier than usual. I put the address in my phone, and we were on our way. Unfortunately Siri must have gotten her wires crossed because she led us to the Penecostal Church in Benton. While I'm sure that would have been a good service as well, it's not what we were expecting. We were supposed to be at Victory Baptist. Thankfully, I put in the address again, and Siri figured it out correctly this time. I'm sure there was no operator error involved. ;)

We arrived at the church just a few minutes before concert time. However, the parking lot was less than full to say the least. Once inside the church we discovered that instead of just a few minutes early, we were unexpectedly more than 30 minutes early. Apparently, it was not advertised at the correct time. We did have pretty much our pick of seats though. And the concert started soon enough.

Rochester Family
The Rochester Family took the stage after the pastor made a few remarks. The family looked slightly different than what I had seen on YouTube. Scott and Becky Matthews' daughter Madison was on stage with her parents, uncle Ben and grandfather Harold. Joyce was there that night but not feeling well, so Madison was in her place for the night.

Here's a lineup of what they sang -

  • "My Name Is Written There"
  • "Right Side of Calvary"
  • "I'll Have a New Body"
  • "I Just Want to Thank You Lord"
  • "I've Made Up My Mind" - This featured all the grandchildren of Harold and Joyce. 
  • "He Knows My Name" - This is the Annie McRae-penned song. A favorite of hers, and I really enjoyed their version of it. It featured all the granddaughters, each having a few solo lines.
  • "Soldier Going Home" - This was the first and maybe only song of the night that they used a track on! Very impressive!
  • "Hallelujah I'm Ready" - I've always been a fan of this song, and I really loved their version of it! Ben's son had a guitar solo of "I'll Fly Away" that was really good!
  • "God's Been Good"
  • "Three Men on a Mountain" - Not the same song as the Perrys just recorded.
  • "The Price of a Book"
  • "Thank You Lord for Your Blessings On Me" 
  • "He'll Do What He Said He Will Do"
  • "I'd Still Walk With Jesus"
  • "My Father's Eyes"
After watching a few clips on YouTube, I thought I knew what to expect with the Rochester Family. The
family is incredibly talented, not only vocally but also as musicians. They are impressive on YouTube, but even more impressive live. I am almost positive there was a track used on only one song. I would have loved to hear the usual lineup with Joyce in the mix. However, Madison did a great job rounding out the family's sound. Her sister Macalah also came up and sang one with the family. 

Ben and Becky both have great voices that are really unique and fit well the style of their music. They seemed to feature the siblings more than Harold or Madison. I'm not sure if that's typical or not. I also meant to count the number of instruments Ben played, but I think it was at least three. And I love that they are bringing up their children to share the stage. They seem to all have musical inclination and enjoy being up there with their family.

If you are a fan of bluegrass gospel music, check out the Rochester Family's schedule to see when they will be near you! 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Happy Memorial Day!!

Happy Memorial Day to everyone. I know many of us including myself are enjoying a day off work. So many times that's all I have thought of Memorial Day to be is another day off work, but it means so much more than that.

I can't think of a better, more fitting song for Memorial Day than this -

Saturday, May 24, 2014

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits - May 24

In case you missed it, here are a few news items that happened this week in gospel music -

  • Janet Paschal was honored by the University of North Carolina Greensboro's Beta Gamma Sigma Chapter. The Chapter invited her to become a member of the organization which is the international honor society for collegiate schools of business. This invitation is the highest international scholastic recognition offered by The Joseph M Bryan School of Business and Economics at UNC-Greensboro.  Read more.
  • Gold City is going to South America! The group will be going to Brazil May 29-31, 2015. They will be performing at the 13th Reunion Quartets Brasilia-Brazil. The host quartet is The Gilead Quartet. 
  • Bobby Clark, original tenor for the Cathedral Quartet, passed away on May 22. He was the last surviving member of the original Cathedrals lineup.
  • The Kingsmen Quartet is letting the fans pick the title of the group's next CD. They have three choices for fans to vote on. Go to the group's Facebook page for more details!
Is there anything else this week that I've missed?

Friday, May 23, 2014

Fun Clip Friday - The Steeles

Concept videos are becoming more and more popular. This week I thought I would feature one of these by a group that has recently returned to the gospel music scene.

The Steeles (Jeff Steele, Sherry Steele and Andrew Ishee) have produced a concept video for their song "We're All Human." They also did a video for their song "But God." But enjoy their most recent one below -

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Mixing the New and Old - 11th Hour Concert Recap

11th Hour - Jaquita Lindsey, Amber Eppinette,
Grant Gibson and Ethan Allen
Last January when I saw 11th Hour for the first time, it was an incredible worship service. I was so impressed by this young group in Southern Gospel immediately. Each time this group continues to impress me. It had been a while since I saw them live. Jaquita Lindsey, fellow Arkansan, joined the group several months ago, so this was my first time to see her with members Amber Eppinette, Grant Gibson and Ethan Allen.

While the group is still relatively new and making a name for themselves in gospel music, they are doing an incredible job of carrying on good Southern Gospel music.

The group sang several songs from their newest project that will be officially released in June. In fact, they started the night with "Everlasting Arms." The song features Amber and has a little bit of the hymn "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms" included at the end of the song. Then Grant sang "Step In," another new song.

Amber then sang "He Sees What We Don't." This has to be my favorite song that 11th Hour sings. It was written by Amber and Joseph. The lyrics of this song are incredible, and Amber sings it with such conviction.

Amber introduced the group and mentioned that Jaquita joined the group five months ago. After they sang another new song "No Death," Jaquita shared a little bit of how she came to be with the group. She had been raised in church and singing. She and her brother even had a group together. As she got older, she said that she started to resent that calling that God had on her life. Recently she had been praying for a chance to sing in ministry. She talked about the calling that we all have from God and how important it is to follow whatever He has called us to do. She met the group last year and filled in with them after Candice left. When 11th Hour got ready to go into the studio, they were still looking for a singer. God placed Jaquita on Amber's heart, and Amber asked her to join the group. And the rest is history.

Jaquita then sang "The Potter Knows the Clay" with just Amber on keys and Ethan on bass. She has a beautiful voice, and this song really suited her. I really love how they have incorporated live music into their services. Grant sang "Going Home" next with again just the keys and bass. He does an incredible job on this song!

They ended the first part of the concert with "Glory Land" a cappella with no microphones! This was probably the moment of the night!! Beautiful!! Ethan also sang with them on this one.

11th Hour returned to the stage to start the second half, but they were having some technical difficulties with their track. So Amber went to the keyboard and led the congregation in "Amazing Grace" while they worked it out. Thankfully, they figured it out, and Amber sang another new song called "How Will You Plead." It's a great new song!

They picked up the tempo then a bit with "It's a Wonderful Life." They asked Ethan to step forward and sing a Crabb Family favorite "Please Come Down to Me." He did a great job on this song! Amber stayed at the keyboard and sang "I Still Trust You." This song was another highlight of the night for me.

Then, they sang "Waving on the Other Side" which featured Grant. The song ended with a standing ovation from the audience. The group then led the congregation in "How Beautiful Heaven Must Be." I'm noticing more and more the trend for groups to led the audience in hymn singing during a concert. It's a trend I definitely like!

The last song before the invitation was "Room With a View" which Amber sang. Candice had previously had the solo on this song, so it was good to hear the song still staged and Amber making it her own.

It was a great night of worship and lifting up the name of Jesus. It was good hearing so many of the group's new songs mixed with the older, more familiar songs and hymns. If 11th Hour comes to your area, don't miss them!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Miles Pike - Timeless Truth - CD Review

I'll confess, I had not heard of Miles Pike until recently. However, after listening to his latest project, I hope that I hear much more from him in the future.

Timeless Truth is exactly the type of album you would expect it to be from its title. It's a project full of hymns and songs that you have heard many times before and are sure to hear again. I like that Miles, in fitting with the title's project, stays true to the known versions of the songs. When you have timeless, classic hymns, it's best not to stray far from what people know and love.

The project is full of 13 songs. And most of the songs are well over three minutes. It's a lot of music -- good music -- in one CD. It contains a lot of songs you might guess, "I Sing the Mighty Power of God," "Revive Us Again," "Crown Him With Many Crowns" and "How Firm a Foundation." However, there are some you might not expect as well like "Creed" and "How Deep the Father's Love for Us." I like that it's a good mix, but all with timeless lyrics.

This is not your simple hymns project. The orchestration and background vocals on some of the songs is extremely impressive. Some of the tracks did sound like ones other artists have used though.

One thing that really impressed me about hearing Miles for really the first time on this album was his range. On some songs, he comes across as a strong tenor while others it seems that he is more of a bass. Incredible range!

I love the way the project starts with "Revive Us Again." The beginning of this song will take you back in time with almost a medieval monk sound, but then changes to that familiar camp meeting feel of the song. I really liked his version of this song.

Other songs I found myself hitting repeat on were "The Power of the Cross," "High and Lifted Up" and "How Firm a Foundation."

If you are like me and had not heard of Miles before, be sure to give this a listen. For fans of hymns and traditional music, you will definitely want to add Timeless Truth to your collection!

Song List - 

1. "Revive Us Again"
2. "Creed"
3. "How Deep the Father's Love for Us"
4. "The Church's One Foundation"
5. "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty"
6. "Let Us Love and Sing and Wonder"
7. "I Sing the Mighty Power of God"
8. "Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee"
9. "How Firm a Foundation"
10. "O Holy Night"
11. "The Power of the Cross"
12. "Crown Him with Many Crowns"
13. "High and Lifted Up Hallelujah Chorus"

Friday, May 16, 2014

Fun Clip Friday with the "Hoppers"

I think this clip has made the rounds, but just in case you've missed it. The Hoppers were at an event out west in February. Kim and Connie had flown separately, and they were delayed due to weather. So Dean enlisted the help of a few friends, Chris Allman, Doug Anderson and Tim Lovelace, to help them sing "What a Lovely Name."


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Hoskins Family - A Gathering

Sometimes I'm reminded that I'm somewhat of a new fan of gospel music. When I stumbled upon the Hoskins Family's A Gathering I thought I was hearing a relatively new group only to discover that they have actually been around for a few decades.

A Gathering is a collection of the family's hits. This is the group's first album since the early 2000s, which hopefully gives me a slight excuse for just now discovering them. 

While some of the songs did sound familiar to me, they were all mostly new to me. In reality, there are three new songs on the project and the rest are previously recorded songs. "Whenever I Hear His Name" is a new song and one of the standout songs on the project. The song features Angie Hoskins Aldridge.

Angie's 16-year-old daughter Abigail is featured on another new one, "God Is Big." The song is a great uptempo song that was written by Annie McRae. It definitely sounds like something Annie wrote and would have recorded as the McRaes.

"Safe Thus Far" was another standout on the project for me only to discover the song had gone to #1 for them! I also really loved "Heaven Awaits" which is the first track on the project.

Whether you are a fan of this group or newly discovering them like I did, this is definitely an album to add to your collection. It definitely made me start listening to some of their older releases as well. Glad to see this mixed group releasing projects again! And I'm thankful for this new discovery!

Mark Trammell Quartet with Wade Lentz

I got the chance to see Mark Trammell Quartet on Friday night in El Dorado, Ark. It was the group's first weekend without bass singer Pat Barker. With that being said, instead of doing a full concert recap, I'll share a few highlights and also more on their fill-in.

Mark talked about how the auditorium brought back several memories of when he performed there with the Cathedrals. He shared how his dad would greet him at the door and would always sit over in the same section. It's always good to see Mark "come home" to Arkansas and share these memories.

It was great to hear so many of the new songs live again. Two of my favorites were "God's Been Faithful" and "When the King Comes to Claim His Throne." The group closed the first half with "Too Much to Gain to Lose!" Incredible song and probably the moment of the night! I love hearing Mark on this song!

Wade Lentz filled in at bass for the group. He is the pastor of Beryl Baptist Church in Vilonia. The church has hosted several gospel concerts. I had been there a few times myself and even heard him sing with Joseph Habedank when he was there in concert. Wade had already committed to help the group during this transition for the weekend before the April 27 tornado destroyed his home. He and his family thankfully had been convinced to take shelter in the basement of his parents' home. All that is left of their home is the foundation. Mark said during the concert he offered him the chance to back out, but Wade wanted to make good on his commitment and thought the weekend with the group would do him good! I hope it did him as much good as the audiences he sang to over the weekend! Mark publicly thanked him from stage and pointed out what an incredible job he did. I definitely agree. I expected them to sing a lot of older, more familiar songs, but they sang just as many new ones, and Wade stayed right with the group!

Here's a clip of a story that a local news station ran on Wade following the tornado.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Old Paths Come to Arkansas for the First Time - Concert Recap

The Old Paths made the group's first trip to Arkansas on May 2. It was my first chance to see the quartet in a full concert setting. I am thankful it will not be the last! And I'm also glad that this will not be their last trip to Arkansas!

The group has had a consistent vocal line up for the past several years. The quartet consists of Jeremy Peace (tenor), Tim Rackley (lead), Doug Roark (baritone) and Daniel Ashmore (bass). Josh Townsend is the group's 16-year-old piano player.

Here's a lineup of how the night went -

  • "Ever Since That Wonderful Day"
  • "I'm Saved"
  • "God's Gonna Do the Same" - Daniel was featured on this one. He has to be one of the most talented young bass singers in the industry.
  • "O What a Savior" - This song always gives tenors a chance to showcase their vocals, and Jeremy definitely did that! Amazing voice!!
  • "I Saw the Light" - Josh played this on the keyboard. He is only 16, but talented and skilled beyond his years.
  • "I Wanna Get Closer"
  • "Love Them to Jesus"
  • Doug gave his testimony next. I had never heard him share his story before. He truly has an incredible testimony of how he overcame a drug addiction with God's help and has completely turned his life around. He tried drugs for the first time at 9. He emphasized that he had a drug problem, yes, but he more than that he had sin problem. He wasn't any more lost than some people sitting in church. At 23, he met a preacher who made a profound impact on his life and invited him to church. God saved him and helped him completely turn his life around. Amazing testimony of how God delivered him!!
  • "We Hold These Truths" - Powerful song and moment! Most of the audience was on its feet at the end!
  • "We Are Those Children" - One of my favorites from their latest project, so I was glad to hear them sing it in person!
  • "Long Live the King" - Highlight of the night!!! Tim did an incredible job on this song!
  • "Battle Stand"
  • "I Know a Man Who Can"
  • "Echoes From the Burning Bush" - Jeremy and Daniel switched parts on this song. Jeremy really did incredibly well singing the bass part!!
  • "Isn't That Why?" - Love this song, and surprisingly the writer Rachel McCutcheon is also from Arkansas and was in the audience that night! 
  • "He's All I Need"
  • "I've Passed Over" - Great barn burner to end the night on!
Old Paths is definitely a group to watch for in the coming years. They won New Quartet of the Year last year, and I have a feeling that soon they will be considered one of the top overall in the industry. It was a great night of music and powerful testimony! Don't miss them if they are in your area. I'm thankful this was their first time in Arkansas but it won't be their last!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Jeff Stice Leaves Triumphant Quartet

Jeff Stice has decided to exit Triumphant Quartet. Jeff has been with Triumphant from the start of the group. He has been named Favorite Musician in the Singing News Fan awards six times. This marks the first group change for Triumphant Quartet.

Here's the full release -

Waynesville, NC (May 9, 2014) - After taking a personal leave of absence to reflect on God’s best for his life and the life of his family, Jeff Stice has made a decision to end his tenure with the Triumphant Quartet. He will be focusing his energies on joining his sisters in helping to care for their parents. While he may pursue other interests in the future, he feels his family and their needs must be the priority in this season of life.
Eric Bennett shares, “I speak for all the guys in the group when I say that we wish Jeff well in his future endeavors. He and his family will definitely remain in our prayers.” 
The decision to hire a piano player for the group remains uncertain at this time. Triumphant, their extended support staff, and their families want to be careful to take time to pray and trust God’s leading in that area of their ministry. 
The quartet's booking agency, the Dominion Agency (a division of Michael Davis & Associates), remains confident that the strong musical presentation, as well as the powerful ministry of the Triumphant Quartet, will remain as excellent as ever. Michael Davis expresses, “We, at the Dominion Agency, love and appreciate Eric, David, Clayton and Scotty. We are so honored to exclusively represent Triumphant Quartet as they continue serving God and blessing audiences with their great music.”
Jeff will definitely be missed! I think I can safely say that the "Old White Flag" will not be the same!

Fun Clip Friday - Mothers and Daughters

We're continuing with the theme of mothers and daughters for today's Fun Clip Friday post. Dottie Rambo is one of the most well-known songwriters in gospel music. Her daughter Reba and granddaughter Destiny carry on her legacy in gospel music. Here's a special clip of the three generations together singing one of Dottie's songs -

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Wendy and Kennedy Hayes - Spotlight on Mothers and Daughters

Continuing the Spotlight on mothers and daughters today with

Wendy and Kennedy Hayes

From Kennedy - 

Question: When have you been most proud of your mother?
Kennedy: I am always proud of her when I hear her pretty voice!

Q: What TV mom does your mother most resemble?
Kennedy: Caroline Ingalls, from Little House On the Prairie. Caroline always has the right things to say at the right time. She is always there for her children and is loving and compassionate.

Q: What's one phrase that your mother always said to you as a child?
Kennedy: Obedience always brings blessings.

Q: What five words best describe your mother?
Kennedy: Funny, loving, kind, humble, compassionate.

Q: What’s the most important lesson your mother has taught you on stage or off?
Kennedy: She and I talk a lot about just staying humble, and not thinking too highly of ourselves.

From Wendy - 

Q: When have you been most proud of Kennedy?
Wendy: There are many moments, but one that sticks out is the time she witnessed to some neighbor girls. She was very young but was so worried about them not knowing Christ. It blesses me to know she has a heart for reaching the lost.

Q: If she doesn't choose singing, what career would you encourage her to choose?
Wendy: I would have to say that being a Godly wife and mother is one of the most important jobs that I would hope she would desire. She is really good at fixing hair so a hair stylist would be a good choice...on the side!

Q: Does she help you pick out stage clothes or do you help her?
Wendy: Well, she is quite the fashion girl! I usually ask HER what she thinks about my outfits. She seems to have a good eye for what looks good together.

Q: What’s one quality that Kennedy has that you wish you exhibited more?
Wendy: Always full of JOY.

Q: What’s one thing you learned from your mother that you wanted to be sure and pass on to your daughter?
Wendy: To work hard and be faithful.

Thanks Wendy and Kennedy for your time to participate!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Lily Isaacs Autobiography - You Don't Cry Out Loud

In keeping with the Mother's Day theme this week, Lily Isaacs, the matriarch of the Isaacs family, will be releasing her autobiography later this month. The book is entitled "You Don't Cry Out Loud."

I think it's safe to say that Lily Isaacs has one of the most stirring testimonies and backgrounds of any gospel singer today. She is of Jewish descent born in Germany to Holocaust survivors. As a child, her family relocated to New York. Lily had experience as a folk singer and even Broadway aspirations before her life took another turn. She is a breast cancer survivor which was the basis for the well-known song, "I'm Gonna Love You Through It." Now she is the matriarch of a bluegrass gospel family in Tennessee.

I think this will be an incredible read. I appreciate Lily's willingness to open up and share her life story of hardships and how her faith has helped her along the way.

The book is available for pre-order now but should be available later this month.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Andrew Goldman Joins the Perrys

The Perrys have announced today that they are adding Andrew Goldman to the group. Goldman was previously with Union Street Quartet. Here's the full release from StowTown Records - 

Southern Gospel artists The Perrys are pleased to announce the addition of Andrew Goldman as a new member of the legendary group.
Libbi Perry Stuffle considers it a blessing that God sent Goldman their way. “The Perrys are very excited about Andrew coming on board as a part of our team and family. He's such an incredible singer!”
Known for his smooth style and notable range, the powerhouse lead singer is thankful to be joining The Perrys and the StowTown Records roster. "It's such an honor to be a part of the great ministry The Perrys have. I have always been a fan, and I love their passion to see people's lives changed.”

With their new CD release, “Into His Presence," making itself known at retail, and their first radio single, “I Can Trust Him,” gaining momentum on the airwaves, The Perrys are counting their blessings. Of course, the fans are both delighted and grateful to see Tracy Stuffle singing at every concert in direct answer to their prayers. The beloved bass singer is enjoying The Perrys’ busy tour schedule, and is continuing his miraculous recovery from an initial stroke in January, 2013. New and long-time fans are invited to follow The Perrys on social media for exciting updates, concerts, events, and specific prayer requests as Tracy's healing progresses.

Although it is not stated, it seems that he will be taking the lead singer position, and David Ragan has left the group. Andrew has experience both at baritone and lead, so it will be interesting to see if he and Bryan share more of the lead vocals with this new lineup. Look forward to seeing him with the group!

Update - A YouTube video of him with the group has been posted. Take a look at it here.

Kelly and Hope Bowling - Spotlight on Mothers and Daughters

Today the spotlight on mothers and daughters continues with ...

Kelly and Hope Bowling

From Hope -

Question: When have you been most proud of your mother?
Hope: When I saw how brave she was through our bus wreck.

Q: What TV mom does your mother most resemble?
Hope: The Partridge Family mom, because she was in to music

Q: What's one phrase that your mother always said to you as a child?
Hope: Treat others the way you want to be treated

Q: What five words best describe your mother?
Hope: Unselfish, caring, reserved, beautiful, honest

Q: What’s the most important lesson your mother has taught you on stage or off?
Hope: To be considerate of others, and make other people a priority over yourself.

From Kelly - 

Question: When have you been most proud of Hope?
Kelly: I'm proud of Hope so often. I can't help but be proud when she sings, but as I watch her grow up, it's so rewarding when I see her love people, make a right decision. When I see her character, that's makes me so proud, she really is a good girl.

Q: If she hadn't chosen singing, what career would you have encouraged Hope to choose?
Kelly: Well, she's only 14, so she still may choose another path, but she's doing pretty great at this singing thing. I just want her to do something that she's passionate about and loves to do.

Q: Does she help you pick out stage clothes or do you help her?
Kelly: We mostly pick out our own clothes, but we do give each other very honest opinions, one thing about mother and daughter, we don't care to say, "That's not your best look."

Q: What’s one quality that Hope has that you wish you exhibited more?
Kelly: Hope is so creative, she really is a unique thinker. She's an avid reader, and in some ways is wise well beyond her years. She has a lot of what I call "people" sense. I didn't think I was that way at her age. That was more than one, sorry proud mom moment.

Q: What’s one thing you learned from your mother that you wanted to be sure and pass on to your daughter?
Kelly: My mother is the hardest working person I know. She is a mover and a shaker. I pray some of that is handed down to my girls.

Thanks Kelly and Hope for participating! Keep checking back to see more interviews later this week!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Sheri and Morgan Easter - Spotlight on Mothers and Daughters

With Mother's Day coming up, I wanted to do something special this week to highlight a few mothers in the industry. Being the daughter of an incredible mother myself, I know how special the relationship can be between a mother and a daughter. With the many family groups in the industry, there are a number of mothers and daughters who sing together. This week, I'll be sharing interviews with a few of those. We're starting the week with...

Sheri and Morgan Easter

From Morgan - 

Question: When have you been most proud of your mother?
Morgan: The most proud I've ever been was seeing her go through cancer. She was so strong and I was extremely proud to be able to call her my mom.

Q: What TV mom does your mother most resemble?
Morgan: I'd have to say Amy on Boy Meets World. She always knows what to say and reprimands when she needs to, but overall she supports us and it balances nicely.

Q: What's one phrase that your mother always said to you as a child?
Morgan: "What time I am afraid I will trust in thee." Psalms 56:3

Q: What five words best describe your mother?
Morgan: 1. Strong 2. Determined 3. Perfectionist 4. Intelligent 5. Loving

Q: What’s the most important lesson your mother has taught you on stage or off?
Morgan: Smile! Regardless of the circumstances, just always smile!

From Sheri - 

Q: When have you been most proud of Morgan?
Sheri: Morgan is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. That makes me proud all day, every day.

Q: If she hadn't chosen singing, what career would you have encouraged Morgan to choose?
Sheri: I've promised myself not to make or lead my children's choices, because God's will for their lives might be very different from mine. I do, however, remind them to seek God for direction and to trust that He has a perfect plan for them that is uniquely their own. Morgan is a very kind hearted person and her heart will help her accomplish anything she wants.

Q: Does she help you pick out stage clothes or do you help her?
Sheri: I tried at first because she really didn't know what to wear. I've always wanted my kids to dress their age, but with modesty. After a couple years, she started finding her own style and I think she does a great job.

Q: What’s one quality that Morgan has that you wish you exhibited more?
Sheri: She's very funny! All my kids got their Daddy's sense of humor and are very quick witted! Sometimes Morgan will say one sentence on stage and everyone laughs. I love someone who loves to make others laugh!

Q: What’s one thing you learned from your mother that you wanted to be sure and pass on to your daughter?
Sheri: Mama's smile, her class and her nurturing spirit...Morgan has all three!

Thank you so much Sheri and Morgan! Check back for more Q&As with mothers and daughters this week!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Fun Clip Friday - Pat Barker

I don't know if I ever recall seeing the outpouring on social media over someone leaving a group the way I have with the news of Pat Barker's departure from the Mark Trammell Quartet. This is his last weekend on the road. I'm trying really hard not to be bitter and take it personally that the group will be in Arkansas next weekend, so I'll miss seeing him with the group one last time. :) But he's going where God is leading, and that's the most important thing.

So this week's Fun Clip Friday post is dedicated to Pat. Because there are a lot of fun clips with Pat and I couldn't pick just one, you get two this week! The first one is his recent interview with Matt Fouch for "On the Couch with Fouch" and the second is from last year's NQC, the all bass singer quartet. Enjoy! Pat, you will be missed!

On the Couch with Fouch - Pat Barker

NQC All Bass Singer Quartet

Thursday, May 1, 2014

When Lyrics Speak - Jesus Saves

When most gospel fans hear about the song "Jesus Saves," they probably think of the familiar hymn -
"We have heard the joyful sound:
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Spread the tidings all around:
Jesus saves! Jesus saves!"
The LeFevre Quartet recorded a different "Jesus Saves" a couple of years ago that is also a popular worship song. I was at a memorial service recently when these lyrics really spoke. Although, they didn't use the LeFevre Quartet version, the lyrics are still the same.

The memorial service was for a dear family friend who spent most of her life serving Jesus overseas. She knew the sacrifice she was making, but felt called and went anyway. The service was one of the most worshipful I have ever attended. The church's choir sang this song, and as they hit the heart of the song, the family began to stand with arms raised high in worship. It was a powerful moment.

Because of the fact that Jesus saves, they know that they will one day be reunited with her. Because Jesus saves, they felt led to spend their lives telling others that message. Because Jesus saves, there is hope.

No matter the style, the lyrics of this song ring true. We can all worship and rejoice in the fact that Jesus saves.