Friday, November 28, 2014

Fun Clip Friday - Who Can Do Anything? - Cathedrals Family Reunion

Happy Friday to you all! I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving and are still enjoying time with family and friends today.

Today's Fun Clip Friday highlights a moment from the Cathedrals Family Reunion from Ft. Worth, Texas just a few weeks ago. Pat Barker joins the Cathedral alumni for "Who Can Do Anything?" Enjoy!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers! When I started this adventure more than two years ago, I never thought about the way it would enrich my life and all the great friends I would make through it. So today when I'm counting my blessings I am thankful for all of you!

On this day, let's all take time to pause and thank God for the many blessings He has given us.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Christmas Playlist Take 2

A couple of years ago, I did a post on favorite Christmas songs to compile a Christmas playlist. I've edited my list a little bit and am sharing it again. All of these aren't your traditional Christmas songs, but ones that I enjoy from various artists. Some of these have been released on a album while others are just ones that I have seen them sing live.

Here's my list -

1. "O Holy Night" - TaRanda Greene (hands down, my favorite version of this song)
2. "Glory to God in the Highest" - Ernie Haase and Signature Sound
3. "Mary Did You Know" - Mark Lowry (With so many versions, I still love hearing the writer sing his own song.)
4. "The Greatest Gift of All" - Jeff and Sheri Easter
5. "Christmas Shoes" - Brian Free and Assurance
6.  "Don't Save It All for Christmas Day" - Jason Crabb
7. "Mary Had a Baby" - Karen Peck and New River
8. "Mary's Little Boy Child/ Jesus, What a Wonderful Child" - Collingsworth Family
9. "Carol of the Bells" - Sisters
10. "Beautiful Star of Bethlehem" - Mark Trammell Quartet
11. "What Child Is This?" - The Isaacs
12. "Grace Has a Face (Hope Has Hands)" - Greater Vision
13. "We Believe" - Spoken 4 Quartet
14. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" -  Ball Brothers (not your typical version)
15. "Joy, Joy" - David Phelps
16. "Light a Candle" - The Nelons
17. "Carol of Bells" - Gold City
18. "Strange Way to Save a World" - Ethan Whisnant
19. "Come and Worship Medley" - Talley Trio
20. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" - Madison and Shannon

Bonus - "12 Days of Christmas (Southern Gospel style)" - Jubilee

What would you add? What are your must listen to Southern Gospel Christmas songs?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits - November 22

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

  • Congratulations to Brooklyn and William Blair (Collingsworth Family) on the birth of their first child Emma Olivia. She was born on Monday.
  • Les Butler has announced changes that he will begin focusing more on his personal ministry and preaching. He is also reviving Butler Music Group and Family Music Group. Read more.
  • The Music City Show started its third season this week with a Crabby Family Reunion show.
  • Beginning December 31, McCray Dove will be stepping out as a solo artist. He will be traveling as McCray Dove and the Dove Brothers Band.

Anything I'm missing?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Fun Clip Friday - Joseph Habedank

Today's Fun Clip Friday isn't the normal lighthearted kind of clip, but it's one that I definitely think is worth highlighting. Joseph Habedank was interviewed by Fox News earlier this week on how he overcame his addiction to prescription drugs. Joseph has been interviewed by several nationwide news outlets about his struggle, but I think that's the biggest platform yet. It's incredible how he's turned his life around and openly sharing about his addiction and using it to help others and glorify God. So that's why I think it's worthy of today's Fun Clip Friday! Enjoy!

Watch it here!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Adopted - Butler, Hughes & Hayes - CD Review

Butler, Hughes & Hayes is a quartet based on North Carolina. The group consists of Michael Hayes, Lamar Butler, Darren Hughes and Matt Parker. BHH has been primarily a regional artist, but looking to  branch out and increase their reach in Southern Gospel. I have to say with this album, their latest album Adopted definitely will help them take their place in industry.

The project was produced by Wesley Pritchard. One of the most impressive things about Adopted is that most of the songs were written by members of the group. Darren wrote four songs, and Michael wrote three of the songs.

The project starts with "The Beatitudes (You Are Blessed)" which is one of the standout songs. The group really shows off their harmonies with this one.

"He Came as a Child" is another highlight. This song is great for the Christmas season, but definitely is not labeled as "Christmas." The first verse focuses on the birth and the second verse on Christ's death. The song really seems to be more in their wheelhouse style wise.

The title track of the project is a sweet, heartfelt song. It was written by Darren about the adoption of his daughter. He and his wife adopted Sophia from Nanjing, China in 2011. The first verse talks about an orphan on the other side of the world and the second verse talks about how we are adopted children of God.

"Marriage Supper" is one of the uptempo songs. It's definitely one I found myself putting on repeat! Great fun song that I can see being great in a live concert setting! The country style "Jesus Is Better" is another mid tempo song that is a highlight and would be great live. It's repetitive chorus is one that I can see people singing along with live.

There are a couple of familiar songs like "He Washed My Eyes With Tears" and "Jesus Is Lord" that was an Andre Crouch song. The group definitely puts their own spin on the latter. They get some help from a background choir to really give it a stylistic contrast from most of the other songs.

One thing I also really liked was that in the CD jacket, all the songs have scripture references beside them. I think it shows that the group was very conscious about song choice when they do this!

If BHH was new to you like the group was to me, they are definitely worth giving a listen! I think this project shows that only good things are ahead!

Song List -
1. "The Beatitudes (You Are Blessed)
2. "Jesus Is Lord"
3. "He Came as a Child"
4. "The Dearest Friend I Ever Had"
5. "Adopted"
6. "Marriage Supper"
7. "Jesus Will Outshine Them All"
8. "Carry the Glorious Gospel"
9. "Jesus Is Better"
10. "I Love You"
11. "He Washed My Eyes With Tears"
12. "Around the Cross"

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

It's the Most Wonderful Time - Christmas Album Releases 2014

The ads have already started, the halls are being decked and soon the bell ringers will be out in full force. Yes, Christmas is just around the corner, and I love it! Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I've already started listening to Christmas music, so I thought today we could look at Christmas music you could add to your collection this year!

Here are some new Christmas releases this year for Southern Gospel (Please let me know if I'm forgetting anyone) -

  • Mark Trammell Quartet and the Whisnants - Home for Christmas (already released)
  • The Isaacs - An Isaacs Family Christmas Special DVD (released)
  • Tribute Quartet - The Thought of Christmas
  • Steve Ladd - A Christmas Hymn
  • Wayne Haun - Sentimental Season

Monday, November 17, 2014

Prayers Requested for Tracy Stuffle

Libbi Perry Stuffle posted the following early this morning on Facebook -

It's been a while since I have asked for prayer for Tracy. Today (Monday), he goes for a CT scan and then to Dr. Ulm his neurosurgeon for a check up. Tracy's been having some spells of repeated question asking for a few weeks. We first thought it was caused by the antidepressant meds he was taking because it all started about two weeks of being on the meds. But, we have taken him off the meds and no change. He's also had a UTI for a bit and he's been on antibiotics for that. So, with all this, Dr. Ulm is gonna check the shunt in Tracy's head to see if it may need adjusting to a lower level. Or to see if it may be stopped up or something else. Tracy is very nervous and has been crying because he doesn't won't to have to go through any more problems as in the past. I am asking that you please pray for God to give him peace and calmness! Also, I am expecting a simple fix to this in the name of Jesus!!! Tracy's CT scan appointment is at 11:45am ct and his appointment with Dr. Ulm is at 12:45pm. I will update you all as soon as we have some answers. Thanks for taking time out to pray for my sweet man!!!

Tracy suffered from a massive stroke in January 2013. He spent months in ICU. He had five cerebral brain hemorrhages and most people don't survive one, but God had His hand on Tracy. He has been back on the road singing with the Perrys since earlier this year. Please keep him in your prayers today.

Update -


CT of shunt and brain looked great!! No blockage, no malfunction, no infection!!! Dr. Ulm said, places that were damaged from bleeds and stroke were healed! The repeating question asking he said could be a good sign that the brain is reconnecting and still healing. He said, Tracy looked great!!! He is sending Tracy to a psychiatrist to have him put Tracy on a anti-depressant that will help him, but yet calm his mind down without knocking him out! He said, people who were inside thinkers before stroke, sometimes come back being outside thinkers and this could be what's happening. Everything is waking up.

He also said the UTI issue is probably coming from the catheter not being changed but once a month (Home Health's policies!) He said a catheter should be changed every 24 to 72 hours! He thinks that's why Tracy hasn't been able to get rid of the on going UTI. So, he's sending Tracy to see a Urologist next Monday to see what they think is our next step in clearing this up and getting Tracy back on track.

Tracy was sooooo relieved!!!! He was also so excited to get to see Dr. Ulm again and show him how he has progressed since last year!

Thank you to everyone who prayed for Tracy and for me also!!! I will never ever be able to ever thank y'all enough for the love, prayers and support you all have given to us!!!!! We are abundantly blessed with THE greatest friends and family ever!!!!!! We love you all!!!!

Dear God,
Once again, You proved Yourself to us!!!!! You don't have to, but You do!!! ALL praise, honor and glory is placed on You!!!! None of this would be possible without YOU!!!! I love YOU!!!!!!! Thanks is NEVER enough!!!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits - November 15

Here are news and tidbits from this week in Southern Gospel music -

  • Canton Junction announced the departure of Aaron Crabb yesterday. He was a founding member of the group. Aaron and his wife Amanda relocated to Nashville earlier this year to pastor and found Restoring Hope Church. 
  • Brian Free and Assurance's "Say Amen" was voted the #1 song by the Singing News magazine for 2014. 
  • The Old Paths will have the #1 song to start the new year. "Love Them to Jesus" will be #1 in the January issue of the Singing News.
  • Michael Combs was admitted to the hospital on Thursday afternoon. He was suffering from severe abdominal pains. Doctors discovered that part of his intestinal tract was twisted and not receiving blood supply. They were able to correct it and continue to monitor him but are pleased with his recovery so far.
  • Kelly Nelon Clark is taping the TV show "Resurrection" next week. The drama airs on ABC on Sunday nights. Kelly has appeared as an extra in other shows and has filmed small parts in movies. I will try to let you know when this will air!
  • Karlye and Lexy Hopper (Dean and Kim Hopper's daughters) were involved in a car accident earlier this week. It was a minor accident but neither girl had broken bones, only bruises and a bit shaken up from the accident. 
Anything I've missed?

Friday, November 14, 2014

Fun Clip Friday - Chris Allman and friends

Chris Allman of Greater Vision has been posting short video clips with various artists on YouTube recently! I'm not sure what app he's using on his phone, but it definitely makes for an entertaining interview. He's talked to Mark Trammell, Matt Fouch, Trey Ivey and many more. He's posted several of them but I'm just selecting a couple for today's Fun Clip Friday post. Enjoy!

If you want to see all of them, go to Chris' YouTube channel!

Singing "Hound Dog" with Ronnie Booth

Singing Bass with Paul Harkey

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Seeking the Old Paths - Concert Review

Last weekend ended my streak of no concerts thankfully! The entire month of October I wasn't able to
attend a single concert which is extremely unusual. But Old Paths were only about 20 minutes from me last Saturday night so I got the chance to see them for the second time in full concert this year!

They started the night off with "Ever Since That Wonderful Day" and then sang "I'm Saved," which featured Doug. That's probably one of my favorites that they sing! Then, bass singer Daniel sang "God's Gonna Do the Same" from their latest release These Truths. He has such an incredible talent to only be in his early 20s.

The Old Paths - Josh Townsend, Jeremy Peace, Tim Rackley,
Doug Roark and Daniel Ashmore
They sang one of their number 1 songs next, "God's Great." Tim sings this song. I know they sing the same songs night after night, but I couldn't help but think of all Tim and his family has been through in the past few months. It takes incredible faith to step out on stage night after night and sing about the greatness of God when you and your family are facing difficult circumstances. It's a great song, but when you think about the message and the emotions that go behind it, it makes it stand out even more!!

Jeremy then sang the classic "Oh What a Savior." I know a lot of tenors sing this song, but he's probably one of my favorites to hear! He had the crowd on its feet! Piano player Josh Townsend who just turned 17 was then featured on "I Saw the Light." His ability to play reflects anything but that of a 17 year old! What a great addition to the quartet!

Doug talked about where the name "Old Paths" came from. He joked that not but one of the group was old, pointing out that he was in fact the oldest member of the group. The name actually came from Jeremiah 6:16 that says to stand in the ways and ask for the "old paths."

He introduced the group and then sang "Closer to my God" and "Love Them to Jesus." The latter is another favorite of mine! Great message and reminder to all Christians! Doug then gave his testimony of how he turned his life around from being a drug dealer to a gospel singer and preacher. He was thankful for the man who "loved him to Jesus" and who cared enough about him to invite him to church where his life was forever changed. If you haven't heard his full testimony before, attend an Old Paths concert as soon as you can! It's a powerful testimony of how God can turn your life around!

They ended the first half with "Long Live the King." Love this song!! Great choice to end the half on!

They sang just a few more in the second half including "Battle Stand" (another number 1 for the group), "I Know a Man Who Can" and "He's All I Need" for the invitation. Just before the invitation, Doug said there's a big difference in knowing Him and knowing about Him. He knew about Him for a long time before he actually knew Him. Along with that, there's a big difference in knowing and believing. Believing takes action. If you really believe in Jesus, you'll do something about it!

They ended the night with "I've Passed Over" which had the audience on its feet clapping along! It was a great night with the Old Paths!!

At the end of the concert, they gave an update on Tim's daughter Brianna. She is 16 and went into kidney failure at the end of July due to a kidney disease Nephronophthisis. Doug asked people to pray for her and her healing. Tim is actually hoping to be a donor for his daughter. Keep Brianna and the family in your prayers. If you are interested in helping with their medical expenses, go to Their medical expenses over Brianna's lifetime are going to be overwhelming, so even if you can't help, pray that God will provide for this family!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

TaRanda Greene - Stronger - CD Review

TaRanda Greene is one of the most powerful vocalists in Christian music today. She is also incredibly versatile. While fans may have fallen in love with her singing Southern Gospel, her latest solo project proves, she can sing any style and sing it well! Her project
Stronger really showcases all TaRanda can do from a typical country ballad to an upbeat Christian R&B soulful song.

Stronger speaks to where TaRanda is in her life and ministry now. Her life and ministry has completely changed in the past little over four years with the death of her husband Tony and her stepping out as a soloist. Most of the songs on this project are not new, but really fit her and the theme of the project. She has proven that she is stronger and her voice is better than ever!

The title track is one of my favorites on the project. It has a great message that no matter what we face, we are stronger than we think we are. God never promises an easy life, but in Him we can overcome impossible situations.

"This Is Where Amazing Happens" has to be a highlight for me. This style for me is where TaRanda is most comfortable and really in her wheelhouse. She's backed up by a choir. Again, the song keeps up the message from the previous song "Stronger" that when you think you're at the end of your rope, with God this is where "amazing" can happen.

"Deepest Praise" keeps with that same message. It starts out with the simple arrangement and just piano accompaniment. It builds a little toward the end but really doesn't build so much that her voice isn't at the forefront. It showcases her voice and the vulnerability of the lyrics. To me, this seems to be really her testimony of where she's been.

"Shackles" is a song made popular by Mary, Mary. I love TaRanda's take on this song. It's a fun song that you will want to turn up! "A Little More Jesus" is another fun one that

Switching gears, I also love that she pulled out a Willie Nelson song "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain." I believe I read or heard somewhere that this song was in tribute to Tony. It's a sweet song with an incredible heart behind it.

"If I Could" is another excellent choice. It's easy to see that this one is for her girls. It's an incredibly tender ballad with such heart behind it.

"All That I Need" is another song where she's backed up a choir. I think this is one that really shows the power of her voice. It's another highlight for me!

I definitely contend that 2014 has been a year for soloists. Add TaRanda's album to the must buy list of the year! With the versatility of the song selection, everyone can appreciate just what an incredible instrument her voice is and there will be something for everyone! The project released yesterday, so pick up a copy today!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits - November 8

Here are news and tidbit items from this week in Southern Gospel -

  • The Bowling Family has added two new band members. Blake Bowling (Mike's nephew) and Logan Rodgers (who is from Arkansas) both 21 will be joining the group. Read more here
  • The new Booth Brothers and the new Jim Brady Trio will both debut at Legacy Five's New Year's Celebration in Nashville.
  • Daywind Publishing has welcomed Gerald Crabb to its talented roster of writers. Gerald had been with Daywind previously for 10 years.
  • The Diamond Awards were this week. I couldn't find a full list of winners, but Karen Peck and New River won for album and song of the year with Revival. Also, 11th Hour picked up its first award for Sunrise Artist of the Year. Once I have a full list of winners, I will post a link!
Anything that I have missed?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Fun Clip Friday - The Allen Family

The Allen Family was recently featured on TLC on Home Sweet Bus. The special originally aired last week, but it will reair Monday night in case you missed it! 

Here's a look at the program for today's Fun Clip Friday!!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

When Lyrics Speak - The Promise by the Martins

It's been a while since I've done one of these posts. I referenced this a few weeks ago, but life has just been a bit busier lately, some big changes, but good changes!

If you've been a reader for a while, you know that the Martins had a tremendous influence on me. If it hadn't been for a concert with the Martins more than 10 years ago, this blog wouldn't exist, and I wouldn't know the genre of Southern Gospel or at least wouldn't know as much about it! One of my favorite songs of theirs is "The Promise." As I was driving the other day, this song came on. It seemed to be such a reminder of just how amazing God has been during this season.

For about a year, I've been, let's just say, less than satisfied with my job. It's not that it was a horrible experience coming to work each day. And I still enjoyed what I did, but there were circumstances that caused me to be in the market for something different. A couple of opportunities have come along during that time, but I stayed in my job for one reason or another. But that's about to change next week.

Life can often be one big waiting game. I've found that often it's not the end result where God teaches you, but it's been in that period of waiting and the uncertainty. It's trusting in His promise and that all is made perfect in His timing. During those waiting times, one thing is certain -

"The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance." - 2 Peter 3:9

He doesn't promise us an easy road. We'll face fear and loneliness, but God promises to always be with us. Whether it's a job situation, family or an internal struggle, we can rely on His promise. He'll never leave us or forsake us if we are His children. His love can be an anchor for us when we need something to grasp. When things don't make sense, remember that His "ways confound the wise." He sees every tear and hears every cry.

The promises in His Word are true, and we can rest in that fact. I also love the line from the song that talks about not making this world our home. When the "big" things of life come, we can let that consume us. I'm thankful that the "big" stuff of this life, don't compare to what awaits us. This is all temporary. This world is not our home, we are destined for something so much better.

This song is an incredible reminder that when life is uncertain and when you're facing betrayal or circumstances that don't make sense, He is there. His grace is always sufficient. Rest in His promise today no matter what you are facing.

Monday, November 3, 2014

You Don't Cry Out Loud - Lily Isaacs Autobiography

Lily Isaacs released her autobiography earlier this year. Her story has always been an interesting one. They announce on stage almost every night that Lily is a Jewish girl from the Bronx New York who became the matriarch to a bluegrass, gospel singing family that now lives in Tennessee.

Her parents were Holocaust survivors, and they story alone is fascinating. "Would anyone have believed this kind of future was possible if they had been my mother standing in a line of Jews walking toward a gas chamber just before her friend puller her aside? Would anyone have thought a future was possible if they would have been there to watch my father bleeding on the ground in the concentration camp, the guard poised to strike again?" Lily asks these questions toward the end of her book.

The book covers her parents surviving the Holocaust and Lily's childhood and coming to America. She talks about her parents' relationship and her relationship with them, how she struggled to fit in and find her place as an immigrant Jewish girl.

Lily chronicles her love of music and how she started singing with friend Maria and actually had a deal on Columbia Records as Lily and Maria. It was when she was singing with her that she met Joe Isaacs. Lily shares about their dating and relationship and how they fell in love.

It wasn't until after they were married that Lily found her faith. Joe's brother, Delmer, died suddenly and at his funeral, Lily found Jesus, and her life was forever changed.

Lily also shares about her health struggles with scoliosis and then breast cancer. She opens up about her fears and the challenges she faced.

This book was a great read. Lily really opened up her life and shared with readers the chapters of her life, the best of times and the most difficult times. I appreciated how honest she was in her writing and the details she was willing to share. I strongly encourage you to check this book out. It's available on the Isaacs website or major online retailers.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits - November 1

Happy First Day of November! I can't believe the year is almost over! Here are news and tidbits from this week in gospel music -

  • Troy Peach has returned to the Perrys as baritone. He started traveling with the group again this weekend.
  • Declaration needs your help deciding on a new name. Email name suggestions to Anyone who suggests a name will be entered to win tickets to NQC 2015. Entires must be received by Monday, Nov. 3.
  • Justin Johnson has joined the Isaacs as the group's new drummer.
  • The Allens have a new show on TLC "Home Sweet Bus." The show premiered this week on Tuesday night. The show chronicles the life of the family as they travel and sing. Be sure to tune in next Tuesday night!
  • Scott Howard's (Legacy Five) father passed away on Friday night. Please be in prayer for the family.

Anything I've missed?