Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Top #1 Moment of 2014 - Chosen Few Reunion

On the last day of the year, it's time to crown the top moment of 2014. This moment was almost 10 years in the making for me. Chosen Few was the house gospel group at Silver Dollar City when I was growing up. They were probably the first exposure I had ever had to Southern Gospel music. It had been almost a decade since I had seen the original quartet back together. This year at Silver Dollar City, they had a reunion during Southern Gospel Picnic. And that reunion is what I'm crowning the top moment of the year!

Even those the four guys - Brian Arnold, Casey Ellison, Ashley Ellison and Scott Fraker - don't sing together anymore, it was just like old times when they took the stage. They sang plenty of familiar favorites that the crowd loved. The response from the audience when they first took the stage was incredible!

Here are a few clips from the afternoon and my favorite moment of the year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Top Albums of 2014

Today we break from the top moments of the year to crown what I consider to be the top albums of the year.

It was a strong year for quartet albums with five of the top 10 being quartet projects. It was also an incredible year for soloists with two of those in the top three. My list is just according to the albums I reviewed, there were some great releases I didn't get to this year.

10. Measure of Grace - Taylors

9. Awesome God - Triumphant Quartet 

8. A Cappella - The Martins 

7. Great Day - Legacy Five

6. Unashamed - Brian Free and Assurance

5. Picture This - 11th Hour

4. Battle Cry - Kingsmen

3. Stronger - TaRanda Greene

2. Welcome Home - Joseph Habedank

1. Your Walk Talks - Mark Trammell Quartet

I went back and forth on #1 and #2 for a while, switching them and even thought about calling it a tie. Because, honestly, they are a little bit like comparing apples to oranges. However, in the end, I had to go with Mark Trammell Quartet's Your Walk Talks. It's definitely the best release of the group to date. You've got incredible songs like "Your Walk Talks," "God's Been Faithful" and "When the King Comes to Claim His Throne."

This is what I said when I reviewed the project back in February, and it definitely holds true -
"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."

What do you think? What makes your top 10 list?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Top Moment #2 of 2014 - The Perrys at NQC

Only one moment left after today. Several memorable moments came from NQC, but perhaps none as touching as Tracy Stuffle's return to the main stage. The moment was so special and the song spoke to their journey of the last year and a half. I'm sure there was not a dry eye in the building as Libbi started singing "I Can Trust Him." They all sing through the tears overwhelmed with emotions and support from the people there, fans and fellow singers alike.

Here's the clip below -

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Top Moment #3 - Joseph Habedank Wins Favorite New Soloist

The countdown continues today with the #3 moment of the year. This one also occurred at NQC, but during the fan awards.

When Joseph Habedank launched his career as a soloist this year, he also came forward with a powerful testimony of God's grace and redemption. After struggling with addiction to prescription drugs, he returned to gospel music releasing a solo album with Daywind Records this summer. At the Singing News Fan Awards he was named Favorite New Soloist. His acceptance speech showed his appreciation to the industry for welcoming him back, the Perrys who he got his start with and his wife and family who stuck by his side. It was such a touching moment that it definitely made this year's list!

Here's the clip below from this year's fan awards!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits - December 27

Here are some news and tidbits from this week in gospel music -

  • Prayers requested for Tracy Stuffle who is back in the hospital. He had a small seizure and has a UTI. Please pray for him and the family.
  • Congratulations to Kasey Kemp of Allegiance Trio who got engaged over the holidays!
Any other news items that I've missed?

Friday, December 26, 2014

Prayers Requested for Tracy Stuffle

Please pray for Tracy Stuffle. This was posted on the group's Facebook page this morning -

Tracy was brought to ER by ambulance about 4:30am this morning. Think he had small seizure. He has a strong UTI and aspiration on right side of lungs. His vitals are all stable and good. CT scan was good. 

Put him on strong IV antibiotic. Admitting him now for a couple of days. Please pray for him!!

Please pray for Tracy, Libbi, their family and the Perrys!

Top Moment #4 - Karen Peck and New River in Batesville

The top #4 moment of the year came earlier this year when I saw Karen Peck and New River in Batesville. The concert is an annual event for them and fundraiser for WARP 180. This ministry and recovery program is for women who battle addictions. his program is designed to teach women how to live a life that is Christ-honoring, productive, and free from the chains of addiction.

Karen Peck and New River had an amazing concert, but it was the end that really made this evening special. Karen led an invitation, and talked about how as long as we are living on this earth we were going to be going through something. However, we might have problems, but with Jesus we can have a peace that passes all understanding.

After the invitation, she asked for people in the audience to give a line of testimony. Several offered touching tributes of what God has done in their lives including some of the women who had been in WARP 180. It was an incredible reminder of the faithfulness of God! They ended the night with "Finish Well," which was just amazing!

These women had been through such hard times. When it would have been easy to question and stray from God, they praised Him for all He had done in their lives. Their testimonies were incredibly inspiring. And the group took time to talk to some of them and pray with them after the concert. It's so refreshing to see a group who truly ministers and goes above and beyond off stage as well as on.

The sweet spirit of the night definitely made this a top moment of the year!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas everyone!! Hope you all enjoy a day with family and friends! But may we all remember the true reason for this holiday season.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
Luke 2:8-19

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Top Songs of 2014

It's that time of year when we have several countdowns of the year going. Today's post is all about the top songs of the year. My song countdown is a little different from others. I take all the #1 songs on the chart from this year and make my list of top 5. As I started making my list this year, I realized that there were a few songs I wanted to include that surprisingly did not make it to #1 ("Say Amen" and "Your Walk Talks"). So maybe next year, I'll do it a bit differently.

Several groups had two #1 songs this year including Karen Peck and New River, Greater Vision, Kingdom Heirs and the Browders. In addition to being #1, many of these songs were also award winners at the Singing News Fan Awards, Absolutely Gospel Awards and even the Dove Awards.

So for 2014, here's my top 5 -

5. "I Know Enough" (Bowling Family) written by Marcia Henry and Belinda Smith - This song by the Bowling Family features Kelly Bowling. I love this song all about trust. We may not understand why God works the way He does, but we know enough to know that He has taken care of us before and will again.

4. "Long Live the King" (Old Paths) written by Chris Binion and Dianne Wilkinson - This is a great power ballad by the quartet. He lives forever; He conquered death, and together with Him we will live forever praising His name. This song has some of the most powerful lyrics and with the powerful delivery, song arrangement and orchestration, it's a winning combination!

3. "For All He's Done" (Greater Vision) written by Chris Allman - I realize that I didn't pick the more awarded or maybe more popular Greater Vision song. "For All He's Done" makes my list though. It's an incredible reminder that no matter what, we can praise Him for all He's done in our lives. It's a great reminder to not take for granted all that He has done. Because of that, we should continually praise Him and strive to live for Him.

2. "Up Above" (Talleys) written by Rebecca Peck - Sometimes you just don't understand how God is working. You can't see what He sees. We often don't know why things work out they way they do, but up above it will all make sense. This song is so applicable to all of us at times in our lives. We have to trust that up above we'll understand and know that He's leading us every step of the way. The message is simple, but so powerful and one that needs to be reinforced so many times.

1. "Finish Well" (Karen Peck and New River) written by Karen Peck Gooch, Kenna Turner West and Michael Farris - Again, I'm going against the grain and not picking the more awarded song by this group for the year. So many times I tend to be reminiscent and dwell on the past, but a verse that Karen often uses to set up the song is Ecc. 7:10, which says it's not wise to say we have seen our better days. What a more fitting song than this to encourage the church to keep running the race? Don't think that the best lies behind. Our best days are ahead if we keep working and living for God, doing our part to advance His Kingdom for the glory of His name.  No matter where we are in life, may we all finish well.

What do you think were the tops songs this year?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Top Moment #5 of 2015 - Booth Brothers, Paul Lancaster, Collingsworth Family - National Quartet Convention

The countdown continues today with the #5 moment of 2014. This moment came courtesy of National Quartet Convention. On Thursday night, the Booth Brothers took the stage for one of their last times with Jim Brady.

The Booth Brothers and the Jim Brady Trio have had one of the smoothest transitions of group member changes. Michael, Ronnie and Jim have shown that they are true class acts in announcing that Jim is leaving and the formation of Jim's new group with his wife Melissa. On Thursday night of NQC, they called up the new Booth Brother Paul Lancaster to join them on stage. Then, Michael also invited the Collingsworth Family up to join them. The song was "Jesus Saves" which both groups recorded. It was an incredible moment to welcome Paul into the group, to NQC and show the camaraderie they all have for each other.

Paul was featured on the song with the Collingsworth Family backing up the Booth Brothers! Such an incredible moment and worthy of making the top 10 list!!

The countdown continues later this week!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits - December 20

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

  • Gold City's bus was destroyed in a fire on Thursday night. The fire also damaged a motor home and the warehouse where product was stored. Thankfully, no one was on the bus at the time. Please pray for the group as they make alternate transportation plans and try to replace what was lost. Learn more on the group's Facebook page. Also, the group has started a GoFundMe to help raise money for some of what was lost. Go to to donate. 
  • Brianna Rackley (daughter of Tim of The Old Paths) had a successful kidney transplant on Thursday. Keep her, her mother (her donor) and the family in your prayers as they recover.
  • Crossroads Entertainment & Marketing has launched a new website,, to serve as an informational hub about its multi-award-winning Southern Gospel artists.
  • The Lesters have set a world record. They have recently been verified as the oldest continually running music group of any genre. They are working with Guinness Book of World Records.
  • The Old Path's Jeremy Peace recently experienced some health complications due medication changes. He had seizures on his way to meet the bus last weekend. Thankfully his wife was driving at the time. He spent several days in the hospital, but is released and feeling well now!
Anything I've missed?

Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Is the Season for Believing - Concert with Karen Peck and NewRiver - Concert Recap

Last weekend was full of gospel music. After Friday's Jubilee concert, I went to Stuttgart on Saturday night to see Karen Peck and New River.

I always love seeing Karen Peck and New River, but Saturday night was such a special service. One thing you can always count on with this group is that they are not afraid to change things up to follow God’s leading and let the service go where it needs to. Saturday night was no exception.

Here’s a list of what they sang –
Karen Peck and New River
  • “Joy Has Come to the World” – Great to hear them start with a Christmas song from their Georgia Mountain Christmas CD. 
  • “I Wanna Know How It Feels” – It’s great to hear them staging this song again. Karen sings the first verse, and Jeff is featured on the second. 
  • “On the Banks of the Promised Land” 
  • “I’ll Fly Away” 
  • “Sustaining Grace” 
  • “Revival” 
  • “We Shall Wear a Robe and Crown” 
  • “You Did It Anyway” – Jeff talked about his pastor before he sang this song. He passed away last March. He always read the book Cosmic Christmas around this time of year. Jeff said that they had been at his home church recently, and his pastor’s wife gave him the copy of that book that he always read from. He talked about how special it was for him to have that. 
  • “Finish Well” – Karen told a story of a track team that had been working all year long for the biggest race of the year. One of the runners blew out his knee just before the race. The coach recruited the water boy to run in his place. He protested to the coach, but the coach told him to just finish the race. The water boy was the last one to come in, far behind the other runners. As he got to the finish line, he fell over into the coach’s arms saying he knew he couldn’t do it. The coach said that he didn’t ask the boy to win, he just asked him to finish. She said sometimes the race of life is hard, but if we do the best we can do in life and keep moving forward may we all finish well.
That song closed the first half. During the concert, there was a small girl who would walk into the aisle and just watch the group as they sang. She never said anything or made a disruption, but watched them. It was precious. Karen pointed her out to the audience midway through the concert saying how she was just a little angel there watching them sing.

The group had two guests with them on stage during the first half. One is becoming more of a regular member than a guest – Kari Gooch, Karen’s daughter. The other was a member of the group and that was piano player Craig Nobles. He’s from Arkansas and played for the group for six years. He joined them playing for them that night.

The started the second half with Christmas music and did a medley right in front of the stage of “Silent Night,” “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and “Away in a Manger.” The front row of the church was full of little kids, so Karen went over while singing and held the microphone up to the kids and let them join in. Well, a few more kids came from the back of the church to the front row because they wanted to sing too! It was so cute! Karen stayed with the microphone up there with them and sang “Jingle Bells” and then started “Amazing Grace.” She then sang with them “Praise God” to the same tune. She tried to start the last verse of “Amazing Grace” but quickly discovered the kids didn’t know that one, so she went back to the first! Haha! It was such a sweet moment, and I know those kids loved every minute of it!!

New River kicked things off again with Jeff singing “Mary Had a Baby.” Love that I got to hear this one live!

They ended the service with “Everybody’s Going Through Something” and then “Four Days Late” before the invitation. It was a true altar call invitation to close the service. Incredible service!!

And it was a service that no one wanted to end! The pastor asked the group to come back up for another song. Well, one song turned into three more!!! They sang “Christmas is the Season for Believing,” “Light in the Window” and “Joy in my Heart.”

We all left encouraged and uplifted. Christmas is the season for believing, and sometimes it takes the innocence of a child to brighten your heart and remind what this season is all about.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Top Moment #6 of 2014 - Something Beautiful Women's Conference

This summer, I had the chance to attend the Something Beautiful women’s conference in Nashville
hosted by Melissa Brady. It was an incredible weekend that definitely makes the list of top moments of 2014!

It’s so hard to pick just one moment from the entire weekend to single out! There were four sessions of music, laughter, powerful testimonies and Godly teaching and inspiration. Special guests and speakers included Alison Durham Speer, the Talleys, Tim Parton, Vicki Booth (and Michael), Anne Beiler and a few more!

It was such an encouraging weekend, hearing what struggles people had overcome and how God had helped them through it all. If you get the chance to go next year, don’t miss it! We met ladies from all over the U.S. there and even a few men too!

You can read the full recaps of the weekend here and here.

I have to say one of the takeaways from the weekend was how precious Jim and Melissa Brady were when they do ministry together. It was so sweet to see this couple lead the conference together, sing together and love on people while they were there. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for the Jim Brady Trio!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Jubilee Christmas Concert Recap - Booth Brothers - Legacy Five - Greater Vision

I love all things Christmas, so when the three top gospel groups come close to my area on a Christmas tour, it's a winning combination. Of course, I'm talking about the Jubilee Christmas tour with the Booth Brothers, Greater Vision and Legacy Five. I had wanted to see these three together for a few years now, but never could make it when they were close. That changed on Friday night when the tour came to Monroe, Louisiana.

Jubilee Gang - Legacy Five, Booth Brothers and Greater Vision
I was really impressed by the set and lighting that they had on stage. Christmas trees and poinsettias decorated were all along the stage. Throughout the concert, there was a main screen behind the guys with photos and videos that matched the songs or stories that helped add to atmosphere and some comedic moments.

To start the concert, all three concerts took the stage for "Christmas Jubilee." Then, they sang "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing" and "O Come All Ye Faithful." On the latter, the groups stepped out and each took a bit to sing so you got to hear the groups individually for the first time. 

Then, they started highlighting more individuals and groups. Chris Allman was the first solo with "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year."

Legacy Five sang "I Still Like to Go to Grandma's House for Christmas." Then, Gerald talked about listening to Christmas music at his grandparents' house, and they had all the old crooner albums. He said that the Jubilee tour had its own resident crooner with Ronnie Booth. He pulled Michael and Jim up to back him up. Then, Rodney Griffin partially through the song came out "playing" a sax. He went around the stage with it and then to the back where it showed his silhouette on the screen behind Ronnie. It was hilarious seeing all he did behind them!

Matt Fouch, the only bass singer on the tour, also sang the beloved Christmas song "White Christmas." I had an idea of what was coming on this song, but it was still one of the funniest parts of the night. Scott Howard interrupted Gerald talking about how they needed snow for this song. Being from Monroe himself, he knew that snow was a rarity down there. He wanted to help them out with some snow during the song. Scott invented a redneck snowblower machine which blew toilet paper. At about midway into the song, Scott came out and made it "snow" on Matt and then he also turned it on piano player Trey Ivey. Check out this video from a previous concert to see what I mean!

Another funny highlight of the first half was the guys' Southern Gospel spin on the "12 Days of Christmas" complete with boots, CD specials, Red Back hymnals and five bad toupees!!

Trey Ivey played a medley of Christmas favorites that included “Frosty,” “Rudolph” and “Let It Snow.” To end the first half he started playing “Oh Holy Night.” Legacy Five joined him midway through and then the group all joined in. It was an incredible moment and way to end the first half!! Legacy Five kicked off the second half with “Christmas With a Capital C.” Gerald sang “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays” followed by Chris featured on “I’ll be Home for Christmas.”

The second half included a couple more comedic surprises. The Booth Brothers sang a Western style song – “Don’t Snow Me In,” which was only a few words different from “Don’t Fence Me In.” Of course Michael to get in the cowboy spirit got the guys cowboy hats. His was red, and the screen showed a picture of Michael in his red hat next to Jesse the cowgirl from Toy Story with the same hat! Haha!

Gerald set up the next funny moment by saying that there were three cousins who wanted to sing for Jim Brady because they wanted to be in his trio even though the group has been named. They were in Monroe hunting and stopped by. Let’s just say they looked a lot like three singers who had been on the stage earlier, and it might not be who you would think! They sang “I’m Going Hunting for Christmas,” and it was hilarious!!

The groups sang two songs, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and “Carol of the Bells,” from their a cappella Christmas CD they released last year. Musically those were the highlights for me. Absolutely amazing to just the 11 voices!!

Trey Ivey was featured on “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem” and of course to the guys’ dismay he merged it with a classical piece. ☺

Jim Brady was featured on the Gerald Wolfe- penned “And It Came to Pass.” Great song that I hadn’t heard before! The Booth Brothers also sang “At the Right Time” and then Ronnie read the Christmas story from Luke 2. Scott Fowler then came out and sang “Welcome Holy Child,” another great moment!!

It had been a full night of Christmas music, and that was the plan. However, as Gerald was getting ready to wind things down and close a lady toward the front of the audience made a request. She was 90+ and wanted to hear Michael Booth sing “Look for Me at Jesus’ Feet.” So they obliged.

The groups closed the night with another song from their a cappella CD simply entitled “The Benediction.”

It was simply an incredible night with a lot of laughs, tons of Christmas spirit and great music!! If this tour is close to your area next tear, don’t miss it. Even if you have to drive a few hours like I did, it’s well worth it!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Top Moment #7 of 2014 - Music and Madness - Mark Lowry and the Martins

One of my favorite concerts from this year was when Mark Lowry and the Martins joined forces for the Music and Madness Tour. The whole concert deserves top moment honors. It was an incredible night of laughter, tears and great music. You can read the full recap of the night here.

I’ll be honest some of my favorite moments of the night was hearing them tell stories – stories of traveling and singing with other artists like Bill Gaither and the Happy Goodman Family.

One of the most memorable moments of the night is when they told the story of how the Martins were discovered. The Martins were at a Gaither taping and Bill asked them to come up and sing before the artists broke for lunch. They sang “He Leadeth Me” a cappella. They played that very first performance on the screens and then the Martins finished the song live. Incredible moment!! Here’s a clip of that (excuse the bad camera work by yours truly, but it will give you a glimpse of the concert).

Saturday, December 13, 2014

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits - December 13

Here are some news and tidbit items from this week in gospel music -
  • The Harper Agency has added the Collingsworth Family to its roster.
  • Declaration Trio announced that its new name will be Allegiance.
  • Prayers requested for Ed Hill who is suffering from complications after surgery. 
Anything I've missed?

Friday, December 12, 2014

#8 Top Moment of 2014 - Mylon Hayes Family - NQC

The countdown continues with #8 which also was comes via webcast. This year at National Quartet Convention, some groups had one song to sing on Main Stage, one chance to make an impression. One group that stood out above the rest with just one song was the Mylon Hayes Family. The family took the stage and sang "Little Is Much" and made it a highlight of the evening. The group later in the week took home the award for Favorite New Group. With one song that has been sung by numerous groups before, this family's performance stood out above the rest!

Here's a clip of the group singing the song they sang that night. There was not a clip online from NQC, but you can see how well this group sings the song and how it made the list of top moments of the year!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Kyle Boreing - Brand New Day EP - CD Review

Kyle Boreing is not really a new name in gospel music. He's one of the contributors to Musicscribe. He's also a church music director, which I didn't realize how talented he was until listening to Brand New Day. He released this EP last month that is definitely worth checking out!

"I Need You All the Time" is an upbeat start to the project. Great message to the song. We all need to be reminded of how much we need God all the time.

"When We Pray" is one that you might recognize and probably the most "Southern Gospel" song of the project. Love that Kyle chose to tackle this song. This is probably my favorite of the EP.

Kyle shows off a little country flair with "Sanctified." "All of Me" takes a turn to praise and worship. It definitely sounds like something you hear in a lot of church worship services. "Show Your Power" reminds me a early Contemporary Christian.

"The Maker of the Road" is another highlight of the EP. This song is stylistically very different than anything else, but shows how Kyle can make his voice work for different styles. It almost has an 80s sound to it. The message of this song really makes it a stand out for me. The Maker of the Road knows exactly where we are going, and we can hang on to that truth. The song also includes part of Michael W. Smith's "Step By Step."

This EP is definitely different than your typical Southern Gospel release, but it's great that Kyle was able to include a variety of styles on an EP. It's definitely worth checking out! Look forward to hearing more from him in the future!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Top Moment #9 - Amber Nelon Thompson Received Female Vocalist of the Year

The #9 top moment of 2014 came via webcast. Amber Nelon Thompson is no doubt one of the bright young stars of gospel music. She has been singing full time with her family since she was 13. She has held the soprano spot very comfortably since that time.

This year at the Absolutely Gospel Music Awards, Amber received her first singing award. She was awarded Female Vocalist of the Year. It was a touching acceptance speech paying tribute to her family, the other nominees and her late grandfather Rex Nelon. The award was definitely deserved and Amber was, in my opinion, overdue to be recognized for her talents. So for the #9 moment of the year, here's Amber's speech from the Nelons' Facebook page!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Declaration Trio Announces New Name - Allegiance

The trio formerly known as Declaration announced a new name today.

Here's the full release - 

Allegiance - Jake Sammons, T.J. Evans and
Kasey Kemp
NASHVILLE, TN - Today, the group known as Declaration - Kasey Kemp, Jake Sammons, and TJ Evans - announce their new name. Effective immediately, the talented trio will officially be known as Allegiance.

Kasey Kemp and Jake Sammons began this group over three years ago. At the time, searches by their attorney found that no businesses in the state of Tennessee or nationally were using the name. Recently, they were alerted that a secular group had trademarked the name, and they would have to cease using it. Thus, a search for a new name began.

Announcing their situation via video and asking for friends help via social media, over 500 name suggestions were sent in from all over the United States and even the United Kingdom. After much prayer and legal counsel, the group has changed the name.

“We’ve been overwhelmed with support from our friends during this time,” Kasey Kemp stated. “We’re so thankful for the support from all of our friends across the country and know that God has great things in store for Allegiance. He has blessed us, and we know he will continue.”

With a brand new album in the works, the name change, and an ever-growing calendar on the books, the group is looking forward to an exciting 2015!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Top Moment of 2014 - #10 with Booth Brothers and Triumphant Quartet

It's time to start the annual countdown of top moments from 2014. These are moments that I have seen live either via webcast or in person from concerts and events. Some are fun, and some are serious. Some have special meaning for me more than anyone else, but all are worth highlighting as we wrap up 2014.

The #10 spot is a two-in-one and definitely a fun moment, not a serious one! When I was at Silver Dollar City for Southern Gospel Picnic, Duane Garren teased to something one night that was going to happen that had never been done at a gospel concert before!

That night Triumphant Quartet was there. They had been challenged to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and decided to take the challenge in front of a packed house at Silver Dollar City that night. This is just a a very short clip of it!

After the challenge, they issued it to the Booth Brothers to be taken also at Silver Dollar City the night they sang in Echo Hollow! And of course, the Booth Brothers accepted the challenge!

Thanks guys for a fun moment for the festival and for the year! And this year's #10 moment for 2014!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits - December 5

Here are some news and recent tidbits from this week in gospel music -

  • Will Lane has returned to the Anchormen as the group's bass singer. Read more.
  • Steve French announced his retirement from gospel music. Read more.
  • Jason Crabb is doing some select Christmas tour dates with country singer Trace Adkins. 
  • Congratulations to Trey Ivey and his bride to be! He got engaged around Thanksgiving Day.
  • Tim Rackley's (Old Paths) daughter will be having a kidney transplant on December 18. Please pray for the family.
  • Congratulations to the Gaither Vocal Band and the Martin's on receiving Grammy nominations yesterday.
  • Abraham Productions announced a new event in Ohio for 2015. Find out more at
Anything I've missed?

Friday, December 5, 2014

Fun Clip Friday - O Holy Night with Legacy Five

With the holidays approaching, I thought a Christmas clip would be appropriate for today! Here's a clip recently of Legacy Five singing "O Holy Night," one of my favorite Christmas songs! Enjoy for today's Fun Clip Friday!!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Will Lane Returns to the Anchormen

Bass singer Will Lane has returned to the Anchormen. He was with the group from 2003 to 2006. His first date with the group will be on December. 27 in Lithia Springs, Georgia.

Terry Carter, baritone, said, "We couldn't be happier about what's happening with this quartet right now. As with so many of the events that take place on this journey of life, we see the hand of God in every aspect of the recent additions to this group. He is an on-time God and this is a special time for the Anchormen. Even when we experience change, we still hold to the unchanging hand of Him who knows the plans He has for us; plans to prosper us in Him and to see lives touched through music and ministry. I'm not sure when we've ever had a better group of guys with strong talent and tremendous hearts for ministry. We are all just plain delighted about this season for the Anchormen."

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Prayers for Tim Rackley's Daughter

This summer, Tim Rackley's (Old Paths) daughter Brianna went into kidney failure. She was diagnosed  with a rare kidney condition Nephronophthisis. It's a genetic condition that causes rapid onset renal failure. She started dialysis immediately with the hope of having a kidney transplant soon.

The Old Paths announced this week that Brianna would be having the transplant on Dec. 18. Her mom was a match to donate a kidney. Please keep Brianna and the family in your prayers.

The kidney transplant and medical treatment after is extremely costly. If you would like to help with expenses, you can go to to donate online.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Steve French Retires From Gospel Music

Steve French, founding member of the Kingdom Heirs, issued this statement today -

"After being in full time Southern Gospel music for 30 years, I feel it's time for me to close this chapter of my life, and begin the next chapter to see what God has in store. Gospel music has taken me places I would have otherwise not been able to go, and meet the wonderful people I've met over the years. It's been an incredible journey and the Lord has really blessed me. I'd always dreamed of retiring at 55, and guess what.. I turned 55 in September!

If it's one thing I've learned through all of this, it's that God will give you the desires of your heart - maybe not in the way you pictured it, but He will give them to you in the way that He sees fit.

Thank you all for your support, and please continue to support the guys now more than ever. The Father is doing a great work in them, and I have a feeling it's about to get even better!

As for me, I plan to travel, and maybe look into building a new home somewhere out west. You never know what the next 55 will hold! Ah, the joys of retirement!"

Here's more on the future of the Kingdom Heirs from the group's Facebook page -

For the six active members of The Kingdom Heirs, it’s business as usual. Piano player Andy Stringfield has been pulling double-duty for the quartet, filling in the baritone vocals from his piano. Regarding the new vocal lineup, bassist and now sole-manager Kreis French has confidence in the group’s current voices. “Andy will continue to sing baritone for the foreseeable future and we all know he’s capable of continuing to do it at a high level.”

The Kingdom Heirs are in the early stages of their Christmas season at Dollywood – a schedule they intended to complete. “We are in conversations with the team at Dollywood and everyone wants to continue this relationship – for this season and the next,” said Kreis.

By now, those conversations must sound more like old friends than negotiations – the quartet and theme park are scheduled to celebrate their 30th year together in 2015.

Following year’s end at Dollywood, the group will gear up for their annual Winter Tour beginning late January. “As a group, we’ll do what The Kingdom Heirs have always done – and that’s hit the road when Dollywood is closed,” commented Kreis. “The only difference now – is I’m booking all the dates and doing most of the driving.”

With change comes an inevitable season of uncertainty, but The Kingdom Heirs are doing their best to see the road lying just ahead of them.

To see when you can visit with The Kingdom Heirs, be sure to get latest schedule from the quartet or from Dollywood. 2015 Winter Tour dates will be announced and posted to the website as they become available. For booking information, contact Kreis French.

On the Couch with Fouch and Santa Claus

No it's not Friday, but an interview with Santa Claus is just too good to wait until Fun Clip Friday! Matt Fouch of Legacy Five does a great interview series each month, and this month is with none other than the big guy himself. It's definitely a must watch to get you in the Christmas spirit! :)