Friday, October 31, 2014

Fun Clip Friday - The Whisnants and Mark Trammell Quartet

In this week's Fun Clip Friday post, you get a two-for-one! Monday will be the Home for Christmas Launch Party with the Whisnants and Mark Trammell Quartet! I know today is Halloween, but today's post is about Christmas! :) To join the launch party on Monday, be sure to check out the Facebook event! The groups will be posting in it throughout the day! I think this a great idea and kuddos to both groups for the use of social media and how they are doing this event!

Enjoy these clips from Mark Trammell Quartet and the Whisnants for today's Fun Clip Friday! And be sure to join in Monday to get in the Christmas spirit a little early!!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Battle Cry - Kingsmen - CD Review

Battle Cry is the latest release from the Kingsmen. This project is the second one with its current line up of Chris Jenkins (tenor), Bob Sellers (lead), Randy Crawford (baritone) and Ray Dean Reese (bass).

This is one of the best projects that the Kingsmen have released in recent years in my opinion. I got to hear a lot of these songs live before I had a chance to listen to the project. They staged several of them when I saw them in Branson. You know it's going to be a great album when groups are staging not just one or two before the album's official release. The song choice is just incredible on this project!!

"Oh Yes I Am" is one that immediately jumped out at me. This is right in the Kingsmen's wheelhouse. This is the group's first single from the album.  Chris really shines on this song!! Love the bass lines that Ray Dean has! Definitely the highlight of Battle Cry.

"Battle Cry" which is the first and title track is also one of the standout songs of the album. It's a great uptempo song that sets the tone for just how strong this project is! "Beautiful City" and "Come and Dine" are two more uptempo songs that have the classic Kingsmen sound.

Chris also is showcased on "I've Never Seen the Righteous Forsaken." It's interesting to me that this is the second song this year to use this same idea and verse (Joseph Habedank's "Never No Never"). Chris shows what a power tenor he is!

Bob sings "Faith," which is probably my favorite slower song on the project. It sounds a little more progressive than some of the other songs, maybe a bit like something Brian Free and Assurance could have recorded. Bob does a great job on this one!

"It Should Have Rained" is a great, tender ballad. Randy sings the verses, and for me, it's my favorite of his features.  Randy also gets the feature on "Here I Stand Amazed" which he wrote. That ballad closes the project.

This project is one that you should definitely purchase!

Song List -
1. "Battle Cry"
2. "I've Never Seen the Righteous Forsaken"
3. "He Took Away My Burden"
4. "Oh Yes I Am"
5. "Cross of Grace"
6. "Beautiful City"
7. "I Know"
8. "It Should Have Rained"
9. "Faith"
10. "Come and Dine"
11. "Here I Stand Amazed"

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Declaration Needs Your Help

Declaration posted a special announcement on its Facebook page yesterday afternoon. They are asking for help renaming the group! Apparently the name Declaration is trademarked by a rock band, and they are having rename the group. The name will change, but all three guys will remain the same! So start thinking of names and help them out!!

Here's the full video announcement -

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Troy Peach Returns to Perrys

Troy Peach is returning to the Perrys. With the vacant baritone position, Troy will return to the group and the position he held from 2009-2010.

Here's the full statement from the Perrys' Facebook page -

"Like a son coming home," is how Libbi Perry Stuffle makes the announcement describing the return of Troy Peach to the Perrys, a position he last held four years ago. Troy replaces the departing Bryan Walker, whose resignation was announced two weeks ago. Troy comes to the group having most recently toured with the Bowling Family.

Troy says, "I'm thrilled to be back with the Perrys! Libbi and Tracy are literally like family. We live five minutes from each other. Jared is like a little brother. Andrew is among the best talents in our industry. And who sings better songs than the Perrys? After four years, it feels good to be back with Tracy and Libbi. It is my goal to, of course, be that vocal part they need, but also to assist Libbi in all aspects of the group's ministry. I do believe in timing and seasons for everything, and I believe that this is the right time to step back on the Perrys bus and do what I can to support Libbi and Tracy and help the group continue to grow and prosper."

The transition to the Perrys will take place in the next two weeks. The Perrys thank everyone for their continued prayers and support during this time.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits - October 25

Here are some news items from this week in Southern Gospel -

  • The Bowling Family will have the #1 song for the month of December in the Singing News with "I Know Enough."
  • The Isaacs will perform on the sixth annual "Opry Goes Pink" on Tuesday, October 28. Lily Isaacs is a breast cancer survivor.
  • Prayers requested for Jake Sammons' (Declaration) father who was rushed to the hospital earlier this week. For the latest, check out Declaration's Facebook page.
  • Pat Barker's father passed away this weekend. Please keep this family in your prayers.

Anything I've missed?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Fun Clip Friday - Old Paths

Sorry for the lack of posting this week. It's been a crazy week with a lot of unexpected change, the good kind of change.

So in keeping with the change theme, todays' Fun Clip Friday features the Old Paths with a little bit of unexpected changes of their own! Watch and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sisters - Atmosphere CD Review

When Sisters announced earlier this year that they were taking a new direction with their ministry, no one was quite sure what that would look like or sound like. Sisters have been wowing audiences with their incredible harmonies and a cappella arrangements for years. Their latest project definitely shows that new direction with their music, but it's still the same three vocalists that we have all known and loved for years.

I remember a while back seeing a suggestion on Twitter for Sisters to go back and do some old Point of Grace songs. (If you are not familiar with Point of Grace, stop now and go look them up!) I thought what an incredible idea that was! This project doesn't go that route with any of their song choices, but it shows that it wasn't a far stretch to think of them going a more contemporary Christian route.

Atmosphere is very contemporary and outside the "Southern Gospel box," but that doesn't mean that traditional fans won't love it. The project to me is a little reminiscent of what Triumphant Quartet did this year with Awesome God. However, while they project had a mix of old and new hymns and worship songs, this album is full of recent praise and worship and contemporary songs.

Most of these songs I was familiar with, hearing from other artists or sang in church. I think Sisters did a good job of making the songs work for them, not deviating too much from original versions but really highlighting their strengths.

This is one project where it's really hard for me to pick out individual songs, they really are all on the same level. "You Alone" is probably my favorite of this recording. It's a very simple arrangement to start and then has a chance to really build, but the simplicity really allows Kim's voice to be showcased. "Whom Shall I Fear" is probably a close second.

This is not the typical Southern Gospel recording, but it's still the same three sisters with incredible harmonies giving praise and adoration to God! And that's something not to be missed!

Song List -

1. "Only You"
2. "This Is Amazing Grace"
3. "Nothing Is Impossible"
4. "You Alone"
5. "Hello My Name Is"
6. "Whom Shall I Fear"
7. "Made Me Glad"
8. "Strong to Save (At the Cross)"
9. "When I Speak Your Name"
10. "Worthy Is the Lamb"
11. "Crown Him/ Majesty"
12. "O Lamb of God"

Saturday, October 18, 2014

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits- October 18

Here are news items from this week in gospel music -

  • The Southmen Quartet was involved in a tragic bus accident. Baritone Roy Bray was killed in the accident.
  • Bryan Walker has resigned from the Perrys. His late date with the group is unknown at this point. He has surrendered to preach and hopes to start a family. Read more.
  • Norman Wilson of the Primitive Quartet had a heart attack earlier this week and suddenly passed away. Arrangements for his service have now been announced.
  • Bob Johnson passed away on Monday after health complications after a recent stroke. He and his wife were featured on several Gaither Homecoming videos. Read his obituary.
  • Prayers requested for Sonya and Jimmy Yeary (the Isaacs) who lost their baby girl Ayva this week. The baby was due early next year.
  • The Collingsworth Family's live concert DVD We Will Serve The Lord has taken the top spot on the current Christian Music Video chart and has now reached #6 on the Billboard chart.

Anything I've missed? Preferably, someone find some more good news to pass along this week! :)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fun Clip Friday - TaRanda Greene - Stronger

Happy Friday! TaRanda Greene was added to the StowTown record label roster earlier this year. Her debut release of Stronger is set for November 10. Here's a behind the scenes preview of the album and the making of it! I cannot wait to here this project! Hope you enjoy today's Fun Clip Friday -

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Norman Wilson Passes Away

Norman Wilson, tenor singer for the Primitive Quartet passed away today. Here's the statement the Primitive Quartet issued on Facebook -

It is with our deepest sorrow that we have to inform you of the death of our beloved tenor singer, Norman Wilson. He went to be with Jesus today, October 15, at apporximately 2:30 pm. Norman was doing one of the things that he loved the most when God called him home - bear hunting with his buddies. It appears that he had a heart attack. Those with him say that he died peacefully and with a smile on his face. 

The funeral service for Mr. Wilson will be Monday at 2:00 p.m. in the sanctuary of Trinity Baptist Church with Pastor Chad Edwards, the Revs. Coy Adams and Steve Fox, and the Rev. Dr. Ralph Sexton officiating. Interment will follow at Bethesda Baptist Church Cemetery.

His family will receive friends from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Sunday in the sanctuary of Trinity Baptist Church, and also from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. prior to the service on Monday.

Please keep the family and the group in your prayers.

Bryan Walker Stepping Down From the Perrys

According to the Perrys' Facebook page, Bryan Walker has resigned from the group. Bryan has been with the group at baritone since 2010. Here's the full release from the Perrys - 

StowTown Recording artists The Perrys have announced Bryan Walker will be leaving the group. Libbi Stuffle says, “Bryan has given his resignation, and we will be introducing a new vocalist to the Perrys line-up in the near future. We will announce the process to fill the vacancy as soon as plans are finalized.” There is no official final performance date for Bryan at this time. 
Bryan, who joined the Perrys in 2010, says it has been a hard decision, but feels God has a new season in store for him. “I have the utmost respect for Tracy and Libbi Stuffle, and I’ve had a great time traveling with the Perrys. Especially this past year and a half, God has allowed me to learn things about myself, Him, and the ministry in general. It has been my hope that God has used me for a span of time to uphold the Perrys and help move them forward in their ministry. I love the Perrys and will do everything I can to support them as they continue their ministry.” 
When Bryan shared his decision to come off the road with the Perrys, it was focused on he and wife Bethany’s desire to spend more time together and eventually start a family. However, Bryan says the day after he gave his notice, he was at a revival at his home church and re-surrendered the call to preach, a call he first surrendered to at age 18. “There is no doubt the timing is confirmation that God has a new season in store, and I’m excited for that. I would ask that you pray for my wife and me as we wait to see what this is actually going to look like in the future, and of course also please pray for the Perrys as they seek the person God would have for their group.” 
Libbi says, “If I’ve learned anything in my life, especially in the past 21 months, it’s that God is faithful. We know He has a great plan for both Bryan and for the Perrys, too. We wish him and Bethany all the best and will be watching with everyone else to see what great things God does for and through them. As for The Perrys, we will continue to do our best to share the life-changing gospel of Christ through our music.”

Please be in prayer for the group and Bryan as they make this transition.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Dove Awards 2014 Telecast

I got a chance to watch the telecast of the Dove Awards on TBN last night. It was great to see Southern Gospel have good representation on the television broadcast. Here are a few notes from last night's telecast -

First, I'm most familiar with the Southern Gospel artists of course, but do listen to a lot of other Christian music. It's great hearing all these different styles of music come together for one night just to celebrate music that lifts up the name of Jesus.

Gordon Mote kicked off a complete Southern Gospel performance segment with several snippets of songs and different artists. He sang a bit of "Ain't It Just Like the Lord." Brian Free and Assurance took the stage to sing "Say Amen." Karen Peck and New River then sang "Revival." Ernie Haase and Signature Sound ended it with "Oh What a Savior."

Following the performance, the award for Southern Gospel Song of the Year was presented to Karen Peck and New River for "Revival." Karen talked about praying for revival through this song. Kenna Tuner West, one of the writers, also accepted the award with the group.

Jason Crabb presented an award for inspirational film with two Robertsons of Duck Dynasty fame. The person who introduced them asked people to welcome two ducks and a crab. :) Russ Taff also presented the award for pop/ contemporary album with Jaci Velasquez. Bill Gaither and Pat Boone presented the praise and worship album award together but not before they sang a little bit of "Everybody's Gonna Have a Wonderful Time Up There." It was a pretty fun moment where they got the audience involved clapping along. The award went to Kari Jobe and she gave a nice acknowledgement to growing up on Southern Gospel!

I'm a Natalie Grant fan, and this isn't exactly Southern Gospel related, but she did an incredible job of starting her performance with an a cappella version of "I Need Thee Every Hour." Wow! I'm not sure if that's typical or not, but I was blown away.

Anyone else watch the awards show? Thoughts?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Prayers Requested for Southmen Quartet

The Southmen Quartet was in a tragic bus accident this weekend. Please pray for the family of Roy Bray, who was tragically killed, the other group members and all their families during this difficult time. Here's the statement from Facebook -

As The Southmen Quartet was traveling to Nashville for our last concert for the weekend, tragedy hit us. Traveling down I65 south in Lebanon, IN, our bus left the road and traveled approximately 200 feet before hitting a tree head on totaling our bus. Our piano player/baritone singer Roy Bray was driving the bus and took the brunt of the impact and was tragically killed. Owner Jim Hefner has been admitted to the hospital for further evaluation. Johny Washburn and myself walked away with few or no scratches. 
We ask each one of you to pray for the Southmen and families thru this difficult time and especially for Roy, our brother, partner, friend, father, and husband and his sweet family! Thank you to each one who have already called, emailed, or sent a text we really appreciate you and love you!! 
Donnie MarrSouthmen Quartet
I will update as soon as more information becomes available.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits - Oct. 11

Here are some news items from this week in gospel music -

  • The 45th Annual Dove Awards were held on Tuesday night. The full awards show will air on TBN Sunday night. Here's a list of Southern Gospel winners.
  • Former Mark Trammell Quartet bass singer Pat Barker will be the new morning radio DJ of 105.7 WJGM radio station in Jacksonville starting Nov. 10. Pat said that being a gospel music DJ has always been a dream of his. You can listen online at
  • Jim and Melissa Brady are also adding radio hosts to their resumes. The Bradys will begin hosting the afternoon drive time on the Solid Gospel network later this month or early next month. They will host the 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. time slot. It is streamed online as well at
  • Charles Johnson of Charles Johnson and the Revivers passed away on Monday of a massive heart attack.
  • Gaither Music Group has announced a partnership with the Goodman Revival. Goodman Revival consists of Tanya Goodman Sykes, Michael Sykes and Johnny Minick. The group's debut recording will release January 2015 and will also have a live companion performance video hosted by Bill Gaither.
  • Mark Trammell Quartet and the Whisnants announced yesterday the release of a Christmas recording together. Home for Christmas will release Nov. 3 and will be available for purchase from both groups and their websites. Presales have already started. The CD features 12 songs recorded by both groups. The groups will host an online launch party on Nov. 3 that anyone is invited to attend. Go to and also check out the Facebook event
  • The Cathedrals Family Reunion has announced its plans for a 2016 cruise and want your help deciding where to go. Vote in the online poll.
Anything I've missed?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Fun Clip Friday - Joel Hemphill

I decided to go back several years or 18 for today's Fun Clip Friday post. Several years ago the Singing News released the "It Happened on the Way to the Concert" DVDs. They did two volumes of those. It seems that fans can't get enough of road stories. I'm not sure what this clip is exactly from but it seems like a similar video set from 1996.

Here's Joel Hemphill telling a story of a runaway bus! Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

2014 Dove Award Winners

The Dove Awards were held last night in Nashville. The event will not be televised until Sunday night on TBN (check your local listings), but the winners have been announced. Here's a look at all the Southern Gospel winners -

  • Southern Gospel Performance of the Year - "Say Amen" by Brian Free and Assurance
  • Southern Gospel Song of the Year - "Revival" by Karen Peck and New River
  • Bluegrass Song of the Year - "Won't It Be Wonderful There" by Dailey and Vincent
  • Country Song of the Year - "Love With Open Arms" by Doug Anderson
  • Southern Gospel Album of the Year - Oh What a Savior by Ernie Haase and Signature Sound
  • Bluegrass Album of the Year - Every Mile by Nathan Stanley
  • Country Album of the Year - Drive by Doug Anderson
  • Special Event Album of the Year - Cathedrals Family Reunion by Gerald Wolfe, Ernie Haase, Danny Funderburk, Scott Fowler and Mark Trammell
  • Choral Collection of the Year - Everlasting Praise created by Mike Speck and Stan Whitmire 
Here's a full list of the winners. 

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees for this year!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Charles Johnson Passes Away

Charles Johnson, of Charles Johnson and the Revivers, passed away on Monday of a massive heart attack.

He traveled with the Sensational Nightingales from the 1960s to the early 1980s. He formed Charles Johnson & The Revivers in the 1980s along with brothers Darrell Luster and Ricky Luster. One of the most well-known songs they recorded was "I Can't Even Walk Without You Holding My Hand." Other songs include "The Winds of this World" and "Waiting for Messiah." Charles retired from the road about five years ago.

Funeral arrangements are not known at this time. Please keep his wife Annie and entire family in your prayers.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits - Oct. 4

Here are some news and tidbit items from this week in Southern Gospel -
  • Congratulations to Nick and Jessica (Brown) Trammell on the birth of Charles Mark on Tuesday, Sept. 30. He was 7 lbs. 11.6 oz. Charlie joins big sister Tessa. Mother and baby are doing well!
  • Stan Hill, tenor for the Chuck Wagon Gang, underwent heart surgery on Oct. 2. The surgery went well. Continue to pray for him as he recovers.
  • The Sneed Family is hosting a benefit concert featuring Angela Primm. The event will benefit the Ralph Bunche Community Center, which houses the Community Kitchen and has been home to Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Club and many other community organizations. It will take place on Friday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. at the Plaza Theatre in Glasgow, Kentucky.
  • Several Southern Gospel artists had the chance to participate in the Kentucky Governor's Mansion 100 year celebration. Groups included the Isaacs, Beyond the Ashes, Sneed Family, Larnelle Harris, Kenny Bishop and His Heart Quartet.
  • Be sure and check out the latest episode of "On the Couch with Fouch" where Matt interviews his wife Candice, and also the new episode of "On the Bus with Gus" from NQC.
  • Gold City announced this week that the first single from their hymns project will be "Part the Waters/ I Need Thee Every Hour." With Tim's recent stroke and recovery, the group decided to make this selection. "Part of the Waters" features Tim.
Anything I've missed?

Friday, October 3, 2014

Fun Clip Friday - Dove Awards - Karen Peck Gooch

The Dove Awards will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 7 in Nashville. Karen Peck and New River will be one of the performers along with the Cathedral Family Reunion and Wayne Haun in the Southern Gospel genre. Brian Free and Assurance also mentioned on Facebook that they will be performing. Bill Gaither and Jason Crabb will both be presenting awards. The awards will not be televised until Sunday night on TBN.

Check out this interview below with Karen Peck Gooch that was done at the Dove Awards Press Conference for today's Fun Clip Friday!


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Booth Brothers - Isaiah 12:2 - CD Review

“Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For the Lord God is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation.” - Isaiah 12:2

The Booth Brothers released this project, Isaiah 12:2, earlier this year. I was able to get a copy when I saw them in Branson last month. This project now has a little more significance since it is the last project with Jim Brady at baritone.

This project is exactly what you have come to expect from the Booth Brothers, the smooth, easy-listening, tight harmonies that you have come to love from this group. Isaiah 12:2 shows just why they have been a fan favorite for so many years! Most of the songs are not new, but the Booth Brothers do a good job of making them their own.

"If God Didn't Care" really starts the project well and sets the tone for the feel of most of the rest of the songs. Michael really shines through on the tenor part on this song.

The highlight of the project for me is "On My Way Home." This song, penned by Jim Brady, is an incredible picture of how we as Christians should view this world and Heaven. While I'm so thankful for the time here on the earth, the experiences and the relationships, I'm even more thankful that this world is not my home. We have a far better home ahead of us. Both times I've seen it live, the trio has performed it around one mic. Love this song!

"Silent Prayer" is another standout of the project which features Ronnie. The message of the song says that God hears all our prayers, even the silent ones for the times we can't manage to get out words.

"A Wonderful Life" is the same song that Legacy Five previously cut, but the song was actually written by Jim and Melissa Brady. In fact, Jim wrote five of the nine songs on the project.

Most of the songs on the project are easy-listening not exactly ballad but nothing really upbeat either. "He Made a Way" is an exception to that. Michael gets the feature on this more uptempo song. "What Will You Do With Him on the Cross" is also an exception.

Overall, this is exactly the type of great vocals you have come to expect from the Booth Brothers. The songs while not all new have incredible messages. And it's a project you will want to add to your collection!

Song List -

  1. "If God Didn't Care"
  2. "He Made a Way"
  3. "Oh It Is Jesus"
  4. "A Wonderful Life"
  5. "I Wouldn't Change a Thing"
  6. "On My Way Home"
  7. "Silent Prayer"
  8. What Will You Do With Him on the Cross"
  9. "Behold God"

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Going Downtown With the Nelons - Concert Recap

Friday night was the only night I missed watching any of NQC, because I got to see the Nelons live. The group was at Searcy's Get Down Downtown local festival. The outdoor concert was the main event Friday night. It was interesting to see the group in this setting as opposed to the usual church concert.

The Nelons
Also, Kelly was not able to be there due to family obligations. Her aunt passed away just days ago, and she needed to be there with her in her last days.

It had been more than a year since I had seen the Nelons. Autumn was just making a few appearances on stage. I know she's had more of a role recently, but since Kelly was not there, she sang her part through the concert. Autumn is an incredible vocalist. I was so impressed with her!

Here's a list of what they sang -

  • "Life Is Like a Mountain Railway"
  • "I Don't Want to Get Adjusted" - It was great to hear Jason on this classic song!
  • "Down to the River" - Always love hearing them sing this a cappella!
  • "Yes I Know"
  • "Come to the River"
  • "Difference Is In Me"
  • "Grandpa Tell Me About the Good Ole Days" - This was Autumn's first solo feature of the night. Loved hearing her sing this!
  • "Hallelujah Chorus" - I wasn't sure if they would have the a cappella songs that Amber, Jason and Kelly normally sing just the three of them, but Autumn did a great job filling in for her mom! Their a cappella songs always amaze me!
  • "Excuse Me Are You Jesus?" - Another favorite to hear Jason sing!
  • "More Than Wonderful" - Amber is such an incredible vocalist, and this song shows just what a great talent she has!
  • "Going Home With Jesus" - A fun song to end the first half on!
  • "Falling" - This is from Amber's solo project. I love this song, and I was so glad they staged it! It was great hearing her sing it live.
  • "I'm Going to Die on the Battlefield"
  • "Blessed Assurance" - I got to hear Autumn sing this on the NQC webcast, and it was one of the highlights of the night. And it was great hearing it again!
  • "Heaven's Jubilee"
  • "Let Freedom Ring" - I had never heard them sing this before! Great patriotic number that featured Amber and Jason!
  • "Going Home With Jesus" - They did a short reprise of the song to end the concert!
It was an incredible night with the Nelons! Kelly was definitely missed, but Autumn, Jason and Amber did a great job of carrying on!