Saturday, May 30, 2015

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits - May 30

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

  • The Old Paths have decided after 12 years that they will come off the road. Group owners Tim Rackley and Doug Roark have decided that it is in the best interest of their families for their focus to be on home. They will continue touring through Dec. 6. Read the full statement here
  • Ernie Haase and Signature Sound announced that Dustin Doyle will now be singing baritone for the group to replace Doug Anderson who announced his leaving a few weeks ago. Watch the video release here
  • Jeremy Peace announced Monday on Facebook that he will start a new evangelistic and music ministry, Peace Family Ministries. 
  • The Music City Show starts its fourth season this week. Find out more about the show and how you can watch here.
Anything I've missed?

Friday, May 29, 2015

Dustin Doyle Joins Ernie Haase and Signature Sound

Ernie Haase and Signature Sound announced this morning that Dustin Doyle will join the group as the new baritone singer. Dustin has been with Beyond the Ashes as lead singer since August 2012.  I think this is an incredible fit for the group!

July 15 will be his first date with the group. Ernie shares his thoughts on Dustin joining the group. Dustin comes highly recommended even with a recommendation from Anthony Facello. Watch the full video announcement below, and you'll even get a taste of what the group sounds like together!

Fun Clip Friday - The Old Paths Quartet

With the announcement yesterday of The Old Paths coming off the road, I think it is only fitting for today's Fun Clip Friday post feature them. The Old Paths have decided to come off the road after 12 years and focus more on on their families.

The group will continue touring through December 6. I encourage you to get out there and see them if you can. Don't miss your chance!

Here's a clip of one of their #1 songs "God's Great." These guys will definitely be missed in our industry. Enjoy this song for today's Fun Clip Friday!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

New Directions for Old Paths - News

Some blog posts are just painful to write and post. This is one of those. The Old Paths have decided that it's time to transition their ministry and come off the road. The full release is below.

On a personal level, it's been a pleasure to get to know these guys and their hearts. I know this was not a decision they made lightly. While I hate to see this come to an end, I know that they have sought God and His will in this. These guys are absolutely what you see is what you get, some of the most genuine men in Southern Gospel. You have to admire them when they realize that it's time for their ministry to change from a group to personal ministries in their individual lives putting their families more at the forefront. They will definitely be missed!!

Here's the full press release -

Douglasville, GA - For more than twelve years, The Old Paths have traveled not only across the
United States, but also the world. It has been their privilege to share the good news of Jesus through Southern Gospel music.

While the blessings that the quartet has received have been numerous, this group has faced many challenges in the last year—primarily family obligations and health issues. Many are aware of the sudden, life-threatening condition that was discovered with Tim Rackley's daughter which required an immediate kidney transplant.

Group owners Tim Rackley and Douglas Roark have decided that it is in the best interest of their families for their focus to be on home. With this decision, The Old Paths' final service will be December 6, 2015. They will be honoring all dates currently on their calendar as well as any additional dates added before December 6. Both Tim and Douglas feel it is important to honor obligations to those who have invested in The Old Paths. They also want the other members of the group to have more-than-ample time to make future plans.

Tim stated, "Those that truly know us know our hearts. When we started The Old Paths, we never dreamed that our desire to simply sing in small churches would evolve in to what our ministry has become. We sincerely hope that we have blessed others as much as we have been blessed. We will miss traveling and singing but we feel like it is time for our families to take priority."

"Decisions like these are probably the hardest for a group owner(s), and it is not a decision to taken lightly," says Douglas, "but once we stepped back and looked at the big picture, the decision was obvious."

"It’s been an honor and certainly a privilege to have worked with The Old Paths over the past few years. They are not only men of incredible talent, but incredible integrity as well. In discussing this with them in depth, I could hear and feel the difficulty of this decision from the depths of their hearts. Though difficult, I believe they are doing what they truly believe is right for their families. I have truly enjoyed working with Doug and Tim throughout our journey. My prayers will be with them as they go to the next chapter in their lives!" — Chris White, Crossroads Music

“All of us at the Harper Agency realize the difficultly for Doug and Tim in making a decision such as this. However, we respect the fact that their families are a priority at this time. We have been honored to play a role in the growth of their music ministry the last two years and are fully committed to fulfilling our commitment to their scheduling thru December 6, 2015." — Ed Harper, The Harper Agency

The Old Paths will always cherish the friendships and memories made throughout their travels and hope that in some way they played a part in furthering the kingdom of Christ. The Old Paths, through all they have experienced, both good or bad, could always refer to this scripture: In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. [1 Thessalonians 5:18]

Unashamed - When Lyrics Speak

This year my church as a whole is reading through the New Testament. We're in Acts now, and while I know I've read the passages before, new things pop out to me each time. This time the boldness of early Christians has really stuck out to me. They were faced with impossible circumstances knowing the opposition they dealt with, but they were unashamed of the gospel. They didn't back down.

A few weeks ago when I saw Brian Free & Assurance in concert, this was one song that really spoke to me that night. I started a new job late last year. While I love where I am and what I am doing now, I'm in a position where not a lot of people share my beliefs. It's been interesting and challenging all at the same time. The song has taken on a whole new meaning.

It's easy to go along living the Christian life when everyone shares the same opinions and standards. It's a lot harder when you're in the minority to really speak up and say what you think. I'm by nature a people pleaser too, so I don't like the thought of someone being mad at me or directly going against someone. However, God's been teaching me that the most important thing is to please Him and to worry less about pleasing other people. I realize that I face no serious persecution where I am yet I'm not always as bold as I should be.

I pray that the lyrics of this song will really take root in me with where I am now in life and in my job and where ever life leads in the future. May I be willing to take a stand for Christ. I love the line that talks about all I say and do will glorify His name. When you really stop to think about that line, it's an incredible challenge, but one that should be at the heart of every believer.

This song is a challenge to believers. While some believers have more challenges than others and face more opposition, we still have the same mission: to live a life bold and full of faith proclaiming the name of Jesus. No matter what it may cost me, I pray that I'll live a life unashamed of the gospel.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Happy People - Ernie Haase and Signature Sound - CD Review

Ernie Haase and Signature Sound released Happy People on May 5. The release came on the heels of Doug Anderson's announcement that he is leaving the group. He has been a mainstay in the group, so it's a little bittersweet reviewing this as Doug's last project with the group.

Ernie Haase and Signature Sound has been a fan favorite quartet for many years. With this project it's easy to see why. Happy People is sure to make a lot of people happy, especially Signature Sound fans.

The album starts with "One of These Mornings," which stylistically is very different from the other songs on the project. It has a very classic sound with a lot of horns, more retro than anything else on the project. It's a great song to grab you and pull you into the album.

Ernie Haase along with Doug share the feature on "Jesus Changed Everything." This five-minute ballad is a must-listen. The message of the song is the core behind the Happy People title. Because He has changed everything, there is "joy overflowing." Doug and Ernie shine on this song, and I love the orchestration and arrangement.

"Angels Everywhere" was written by Ernie and Dianne Wilkinson. In contrast with the previously mentioned song, I love how stripped down the arrangement is and how it features each Ernie, Devin McGlamery and Paul Harkey.

Ernie takes the verses on "Let Your Love Light Shine." This Rachel McCutcheon penned song seems to fit the group perfectly with their style. The message is simple but profound, may we show the love of Christ and be a light in a lost world.

Devin McGlamery also has an incredible performance on "Thank You For Saving Me." I think this could be a big song for them. It has a more worship feel to the song. This song is exactly in Devin's wheelhouse, and I think this is not only going to be a big song for the group but also for Devin. Do not skip over this song!

Paul Harkey shows off his higher range on "Soldier Going Home." I enjoy hearing this side of him more.

"I Do Believe" is one of Doug's features on the project. This Gaither song is one of my favorites. They stray from the original Gaither arrangement especially with the end. It almost seems the song is over, and then there is a big drum fanfare and orchestration with a big finish. Doug is also featured on "Love Walked In." This is a another personal favorite. It stretches the bounds of gospel with its uptempo country flair.

"Joshua Led God's Children" is a fun uptempo song. This is a song quartet fans will love. Doug takes the verses and later Ernie take the chorus up a notch, but I love Paul's bass lines on the song! This is one I would love to see them sing live. Definitely a highlight of the project!

The title track is one I really wanted to like more. It's one that you find yourself getting caught in your head because it's so catchy. But I'll confess I felt a bit like a liar singing along in my head. I get the point of it that we should always have the joy of the Lord and we should always be happy because we are God's. But I'm not sure that's always the case.

Happy People is definitely a must purchase album of the year. I love how the project really shows off each vocalist in the group and thus shows how strong the group is as a whole. While Doug will certainly be missed, this project was a great one to end on.

Song List -

1. "One of These Mornings"
2. "Happy People"
3. "Thank You for Saving Me"
4. "Love Walked In"
5. "Jesus Changed Everything"
6. "Let Your Love Shine"
7. "Angels Everywhere"
8. "It's Good to See the Sun"
9. "Joshua Led God's Children"
10. "Soldier Going Home"
11. "I Do Believe"

Monday, May 25, 2015

Southern Gospel and Patriotism

Today is a day set aside to honor those who lost their lives serving in the military. The freedom that we enjoy today would not be possible if not for men and women who were willing to put their lives on the line. I've seen firsthand sacrifices that have been made by military members and their families. It's a humbling thought of how many men and women have dedicated their lives to serving our country so we can live in the land of the free and home of the brave. I'm so grateful for the sacrifices that have been made for the freedom we all enjoy.

However, I'm even more grateful for the sacrifice made so I could have eternal freedom. I think sometimes we can place more emphasis on the freedom we have in America and our patriotism than the freedom we have through Christ. To me, it's even more noticeable at Southern Gospel concerts. How often does standing during a patriotic song occur? Almost always. But all night the artist has been singing about the love, death and resurrection of Christ and the promise of Heaven. How often does standing occur for those songs? Logically, which type of song deserves more of our reverence? It just seems a little backwards to me.

We say so many times that this world is not our home. And as much I love America, I'm so thankful that's the case. But is that reflected in the way we show reverence to our country? I've heard artists countless times speak about the importance of choosing songs that align with scripture and how everything they sing is Bible based. But what about "God Bless America" or the "Star Spangled Banner?"

I'm not saying that anything is wrong with the honor we show America or singing songs praising God for our country and freedom. I actually enjoy patriotic songs, and they have a time and place. And there's definitely nothing wrong with setting aside time to honor our veterans, their families and especially the men and women who died in service. However, I'm just curious does our patriotism sometimes go too far that we show that more respect than things of Christ?

We have a Savior who willingly died so that we might have freedom from sin and live with Him in paradise for all eternity. That deserves our upmost gratitude and extreme reverence. Nothing should take away from that. I'm not saying that I'm going to stop standing for the national anthem or stand during the full gospel concert while they sing about Jesus, but just think about it next time. Think about the difference in the two songs and the reverence we give them.

Today is about remembering those who died while in military service. Let's honor them and their families as we are extremely grateful. But today and every day let us never forget the One who willingly laid down His life for us.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbit - May 23

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

  • Ricky Free (Daywind songwriter, drummer and son of Brian Free) broke his hip last week due to a tumor that had weakened his bone. Doctors successfully removed the tumor and reconstructed Ricky’s hip. The surgery went well, and the tumor is benign. Keep him in your prayers as he faces several weeks of immobility and physical therapy. Friends have started a GoFundMe account to help with expenses.
  • Ben and Faye Speer were honored by Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville with honorary doctorate degrees. They were recognized for their years of Christian service and support of the university. Faye graduatued in 1974, and Ben graduated in 1954.
  • Masters Voice has become a quartet. The lineup now consists of Ricky Capps, Justin Morphis, Stan Watson and Jerry Pilgrim at bass. Jerry has previously been with Old Time Gospel Hour Quartet and Forgiven.
  • Connie Hopper was released from the radiologist this week. She gives her full testimony in the video below from Global Promotions Facebook page.

Connie Hopper released from radiologist. Cancer free! Listen to her testimony. It will bless you. #hoppertour15
Posted by Global Promotions on Friday, May 22, 2015

Anything I've missed?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Periscope - Southern Gospel

Periscope is the newest app for video sharing. And it’s starting to pick up in the Southern Gospel industry.

Anyone remember how popular SocialCam became in the gospel community a few years ago. Unlike its predecessor, Periscope is live streaming and temporary, and it’s owned by Twitter. SocialCam had the ability for people to video and then choose not to share or edit with different filters. Periscope is live and unedited. The videos also last no more than a day. Some videos immediately are not accessible after they are streamed, depending on the user’s settings.

Also, Periscope seems to have taken off more quickly and widespread than SocialCam. I think SocialCam lasted longer in the gospel community than it did in other industries.

Mark Lowry so far seems to be leading the Periscope initiative in Southern Gospel. I’ve also seen a lot posted from the Ball Brothers and Allegiance. So what exactly are the implications for Southern Gospel?

It can help artists connect with fans in a different way. They have the ability to do live Q&As with fans as they submit questions and comments. They can give fans a behind-the-scenes view of life on the road. There’s also the potential for fans to stream sections of concerts live. As a blogger, I'm thinking it would be great to do live interviews with artists! With it being live and unedited, there’s no take two in what is posted, but the good news is that it won’t last long.

I know a major concern is increasing gospel’s fan base. Social media is definitely the way to reach out to a younger audience. Social media can help more people find artists and discover this music! Periscope videos whether that’s a concert clip or an artist Q&A just might create a new fan!

So what do you think? Have you used Periscope? Do you see how it can be profitable for Southern Gospel?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Scripture in Songs - Brian Free & Assurance Concert Recap

Brian Free & Assurance came to Clinton, Ark. earlier in May. They had a full weekend in Arkansas being at the Freemans' homecoming the day before. It's always good to see this group when they are nearby.

Brian Free & Assurance
Brian Free & Assurance - Brian Free, Bill Shivers, Mike Rogers
and Jeremy Lile
The concert was a great mix of new and old, familiar songs. They had a really good balance throughout the program with all songs pointing people to the gospel.

The concert started with "What a Beautiful Day" and then led into "If the Lord Says Do It," featuring bass singer Jeremy Lile. They sang another newer one next "If It Takes a Valley" before the classic "Have a Little Talk With Jesus." This is always a fun one to see and hear them sing live! Jeremy does a great job on the bass part!

The introductions were next. Brian talked about each member of the groups and told a little bit about their family. They let baritone Mike Roger lose next on "Tell It Like It Was." Great song from their latest project Unashamed, and it's good to hear Mike get the lead on this one. Ricky Free (Brian's son) and Ronny Hinson wrote the song. The next song was the title cut from that project featuring Brian Free. The song has an incredible message. Brian talked about how it's so disappointing to see the way the world is going now. We have forgotten how God has blessed this nation. It's important for us to remind the world every day that we are Christians no matter the cost. We should truly take a stand and be unashamed of the gospel.

Jeremy then sang another new one, "A Little Bit of Me and You." After that new one, they went back and sang a classic, "Peace in the Valley." The group got the chance to be part of a tribute to Elvis on BBC last summer. They were the only Christian group invited to participate. Brian said that they got the chance to really be a witness as the only Christian group in the building. Bill Shivers was featured on the a cappella version of "Peace in the Valley." Love to hear him sing this song in the style of Elvis. He does an incredible job on it! Bill also was featured on "Say Amen" to end the first half. It's really neat to hear this live to hear people say "amen" with the song.

They started back after intermission with "First Day in Heaven." That's a fun song that you don't hear groups sing live much anymore! Then, Bill sang "God of Possibilities," another great song from their latest project.

Brian then went back and sang the classic "Oh What a Savior." I love to hear him sing this. He makes it look so effortless and really shows why he is one of the best tenors in gospel music!

Brian led in a time of invitation. He said that they are very careful as they choose songs making sure they are scripturally sound and that people can hear mini sermons in what they sing. He gave a bit of his testimony saying that he had been singing gospel music with his family but only had a head knowledge of Christ. In January 1986, he fully gave his heart and life to Jesus. He prayed that people would come to know Christ through the music because that's what their ministry was all about.

After a time of prayer, they ended the night with "Long As I Got King Jesus." It was a great night of classic favorite songs and incredible new songs! No matter what the style of the song or the longevity of it, one thing was certain the truth was proclaimed!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits - May 16

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

  • On Mother's Day the Hyssongs released Makayla’s Heart: Moment By Moment, a book which chronicles their journey through heartaches and triumphs. The book is available on the group's website
  • Josh Townsend (The Old Paths) will be enrolling in college this fall and has decided to take some time off to prepare for this new phase of life. Best of luck to him in this new chapter!
  • Gold City piano player Bryan Elliot has started a Kickstarter campaign for a piano solo project. Check it out here.
  • Singing News announced the top five nominations for the Fan Awards this week. Check out the full nomination list here.
  • Jeremy Lile (Brian Free & Assurance had surgery on Wednesday to repair a bleed that had developed in his stomach from the surgery he had a couple of years ago. The surgery went well, but please keep him in your prayers as he recovers. He is not on the road this weekend.
Am I missing anything?

Friday, May 15, 2015

Misfit Quartet - Fun Clip Friday

Happy Friday to all! Here's a clip from the Great Western Fan Festival that took place in Visalia, California earlier this month. The festival has posted several videos from the event on its YouTube Channel. The one I chose to include is the "Misfit Quartet!" Watch it and see if you know what parts all these guys normally sing! :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Singing News Announces Top 5 - Gospel Music Awards

The Singing News announced its Top 5 for the 2015 Singing News Fan Awards on Tuesday afternoon. Congratulations to all nominees! The third and final round of voting will take place with the July issue of the Singing News. The awards ceremony will take place at the National Quartet Convention in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

The full list of nominees is below, but I always like to look at how nominees compare year over year. Several categories are unchanged from last year's top five including Favorite Artist, Traditional Quartet, Mixed Group and Trio. Soloist only had one change with Joseph Habedank being the addition (he won Favorite New Soloist last year).

Favorite Male had two changes with Mark Trammell and Jim Brady both in the top five this year. Lauren Talley Alvey is also an addition for the Favorite Female Singer category.

Young Artist only had two carry-overs from last year (Riley Harrison Clark and Trey Ivey) with Morgan Easter, Austin Whisnant and Autumn Clark each receiving top five noms.

With Jim Brady switching from baritone to lead, he changed categories this year. Doug Anderson got his spot in the baritone nominations. For Favorite Bass Paul Harkey and Jeremy Lile each were in the Top 5, while tenor remained unchanged. One of the top 5 bass nominations last year, Pat Barker, is now in nominations for top 5 new soloist. There were no differences with Favorite Soprano and Favorite Alto.

So many things are predictable with the Singing News Fan Awards from nominations to winners. I used to be one of those who hated this, but now I do see how it speaks for the consistency of the industry.

What do you think of this year's nominations? Who has your vote?

Full nomination list -

Favorite Artist

  • Booth Brothers 
  • Collingsworth Family 
  • Greater Vision 
  • Kingdom Heirs 
  • Triumphant Qt

Favorite Traditional Quartet 

  • Brian Free & Assurance 
  • Kingdom Heirs 
  • Legacy Five 
  • Mark Trammell Qt 
  • Triumphant Qt

Favorite Mixed Group 

  • Collingsworth Family 
  • Hoppers 
  • Isaacs 
  • McKameys 
  • Perrys

Favorite Trio

  • Booth Brothers 
  • Greater Vision 
  • Jeff & Sheri Easter 
  • Karen Peck & New River 
  • Whisnants

Favorite Soloist

  • Mark Bishop
  • TaRanda Greene
  • Joseph Habedank
  • Ivan Parker
  • Guy Penrod 

Favorite Male Singer

  • Ronnie Booth  - Booth Brothers 
  • Jim Brady - Jim Brady Trio 
  • Arthur Rice - Kingdom Heirs 
  • Mark Trammell - Mark Trammell Qt 
  • Gerald Wolfe - Greater Vision

Favorite Female Singer

  • Lauren Talley Alvey - Talleys 
  • Karen Peck Gooch - Karen Peck & New River 
  • Kim Hopper - Hoppers 
  • Libbi Stuffle - Perrys 
  • Susan Whisnant - Whisnants

Favorite Young Artist 

  • Autumn Clark - Nelons 
  • Riley Harrison Clark - Tribute Qt 
  • Morgan Easter - Jeff & Sheri Easter 
  • Trey Ivey - Legacy Five 
  • Austin Whisnant - Whisnants

Favorite Tenor

  • Chris Allman - Greater Vision 
  • Michael Booth - Booth Brothers 
  • Brian Free - Brian Free & Assurance 
  • David Phelps - Gaither Vocal Band 
  • David Sutton - Triumphant Qt

Favorite Lead

  • Ronnie Booth - Booth Brothers 
  • Jim Brady - Jim Brady Trio 
  • Clayton Inman - Triumphant Qt 
  • Arthur Rice - Kingdom Heirs 
  • Gerald Wolfe - Greater Vision

Favorite Baritone 

  • Doug Anderson - Ernie Haase & Signature Sound 
  • Rodney Griffin - Greater Vision 
  • Scott Inman - Triumphant Qt 
  • Josh Singletary - Tribute Qt 
  • Mark Trammell - Mark Trammell Qt

Favorite Bass

  • Eric Bennett - Triumphant Qt 
  • Jeff Chapman - Kingdom Heirs 
  • Paul Harkey - Ernie Haase & Signature Sound 
  • Jeremy Lile - Brian Free & Assurance 
  • Tim Riley - Gold City

Favorite Soprano

  • Lauren Talley Alvey - Talleys 
  • Brooklyn Collingsworth Blair - Collingsworth Family 
  • Karen Peck Gooch - Karen Peck & New River 
  • Kim Hopper - Hoppers 
  • Sonya Isaacs Yeary - Isaacs

Favorite Alto

  • Courtney Collingsworth Metz - Collingsworth Family 
  • Sheri Easter - Jeff & Sheri Easter 
  • Connie Hopper - Hoppers 
  • Libbi Stuffle - Perrys 
  • Susan Whisnant - Whisnants

Favorite Musician

  • Kim Collingsworth - Collingsworth Family 
  • Trey Ivey - Legacy Five 
  • Gordon Mote
  • Jeff Stice 
  • Kevin Williams - Gaither Vocal Band

Favorite Band

  • Gaither Vocal Band Band 
  • Isaacs Band 
  • Kingdom Heirs Band 
  • Primitive Qt Band 
  • Southern Raised Band

Favorite Songwriter

  • Mark Bishop
  • Jim Brady
  • Rodney Griffin
  • Joseph Habedank
  • Scott Inman

Favorite Album

  • Awesome God - Triumphant Qt 
  • Battle Cry - Kingsmen 
  • Sometimes It Takes A Mountain - Gaither Vocal Band 
  • Still - Booth Brothers 
  • Unashamed - Brian Free & Assurance

Favorite DJ - Small Market 

  • Don Anderson - KTTK - Lebanon, MO 
  • Scott Garner - WGMI - Bremen, GA 
  • ReJean Leeth - WZCT - Scottsboro, AL 
  • John Whisnant - WCIS - Morganton, NC 
  • John Wishon - WWWC - Wilkesboro, NC

Favorite DJ - Medium Market 

  • Don Elrod - WGTJ - Gainesville, GA 
  • Gary Richardson - WJCR - Upton, KY 
  • Bill Roberts - WLWI - Montgomery, AL 
  • Lottie Squires - WCKB - Dunn, NC 
  • Dave Taylor - KWFC - Springfield, MO

Favorite DJ - Large Market

  • Daniel Britt - WXRI - Winston Salem, NC 
  • Ron Foster - WZZK - Birmingham, AL 
  • Tim Guinn - WJBZ - Knoxville, TN 
  • Ken Hicks - WUSY - Chattanooga, TN 
  • Wanda Taylor - WXRI - Winston Salem, NC

Favorite Non-Performing Songwriter

  • Ricky Free
  • Mosie Lister 
  • Rebecca Peck
  • Kyla Rowland
  • Dianne Wilkinson

Favorite New Traditional Quartet

  • Carolina Boys 
  • Freedom Qt 
  • Keepers of the Faith 
  • Paul’s Journey 
  • Penny Loafers

Favorite New Mixed Group

  • Allen Family 
  • Erwins 
  • Heaven’s Mountain Band 
  • Hoskins Family 
  • Southern Raised

Favorite New Trio 

  • 11th Hour 
  • Barry Rowland & Deliverance 
  • Goodman Revival 
  • Guardians 
  • Jim Brady Trio

Favorite New Soloist

  • Pat Barker
  • Lindsey Graham
  • Billy Hodges
  • Abby Paskvan
  • Tammy Jones Robinette

Favorite Song

  • "Christ Is Still The King" - Legacy Five 
  • "Everything I Need" - Tribute Qt 
  • "For All He’s Done" - Greater Vision 
  • "Hidden Heroes" - Talleys 
  • "Never No Never" - Joseph Habedank 
  • "Oh Yes I Am" - Kingsmen 
  • "Say Amen" - Brian Free & Assurance 
  • "The Joys of Heaven" - Kingdom Heirs 
  • "There Is Jesus" - McKameys 
  • "This Blood" - Triumphant Qt 
  • "Your Walk Talks" - Mark Trammell Qt

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Gospel Music Hymn Sing Fall Tour Announced

Exciting news was released yesterday about a fall tour. Following the success of the Gospel Music Hymn Sing last summer, a fall tour has been scheduled. Not only are fans going to be able to be an active participant singing along, but they will get to see several of their favorite artists and well-known groups! The tour will be nine dates and a total of six different states. I, for one, am looking forward to Oct. 26!

Check out this video taken from the Gospel Music Hymn Sing Facebook page!

Enjoy this great song from the Gospel Music Hymn Sing DVD, and feel free to sing along! Share it on your Facebook page, and with your friends! Check back Monday for some BIG news!
Posted by Gospel Music Hymn Sing on Sunday, May 10, 2015

Here's information from the press release yesterday including dates and cities -

Just as on the popular DVD, the concert events will focus on congregational singing of familiar hymns and classic gospel songs, led by host, Gerald Wolfe, and accompanied by a live band, directed by pianist, Stan Whitmire. The events will also include a mass choir at each concert, and featured solos by well-known gospel artists, including Greater Vision, the Mark Trammell Quartet, the Jim Brady Trio, TaRanda Greene, and the Mylon Hayes Family.

Gerald Wolfe, host for the Gospel Music Hymn Sing Tour, summed up the idea for the Tour by saying, "Our goal is to rekindle the unique worship experience of Congregational Hymn Singing that millions of people have loved for generations. We also want to introduce a new generation to great Hymns and Gospel Songs that strengthen our faith, and give us a deeper understanding of the love of God."

The dates and cities for the Gospel Music Hymn Sing Tour are:
  • October 22 – Marion, IL 
  • October 23 – Peoria, IL 
  • October 25 – Conroe, TX 
  • October 26 – Hope, AR 
  • October 27 – Wentzville, MO (St. Louis area) 
  • November 19 – Morristown, TN 
  • November 20 – Nashville, TN 
  • November 21 – Bartlett, TN (Memphis area) 
  • November 22 – Atlanta, GA
Tickets for the Gospel Music Hymn Sing Tour will go on sale Tuesday July 7, 2015, and are expected to sell out quickly, due to high participation from church groups in each area. For more information, visit or, or call (877) 392-9710.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits - May 9

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

  • Scott Fowler's (Legacy Five) mother passed away this week. She had complications from a severe lung infection. Please be in prayer for Scott and his family.
  • The Browders have signed an agreement with the Beckie Simmons Agency for booking.
Either it's been a slow news week or I've missed something. Let me know if you see anything I've missed!

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Women I Come From - Fun Clip Friday

In keeping with the Mother's Day theme this week, here's a clip taken from the "Women of Homecoming" Gaither Homecoming. This is probably one of my favorite homecoming shows. I love the variety of genres within Christian music that is presented. It showcases some of the greatest female voices not just in Christian music but in all of music today.

The song "The Women I Come From" salutes the women who paved the way before us, whether that's a mother, grandmother, aunt or woman who has simply treated you like a child and invested in your life. Thank you to these women who have made a difference in my life. Enjoy the clip before of the song featuring Bonnie Keen, Babbie Mason and TaRanda Greene.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

When Lyrics Speak - Praying Women

I told you this week would be all about moms. Here's another song as a tribute to the moms, grandmothers and mother figures in our lives. If you haven't taken the time to listen to the song "Praying Women" by Lindsay Huggins, definitely do! Lindsay and I both share today what this song means to us and how we are thankful for the praying women in our lives.

From Lindsay Huggins - 

"Praying Women", written by Lee Black, Marcia Henry, and Kenna Turner West, is one of those songs that I just knew I had to record. The demo sent to me was just a piano / vocal demo, probably recorded on somebody's iPhone, but the heart of the song rang through loud and clear.

I was immediately gripped because it speaks about the foundation of faith built by a woman's prayers. Specifically, the song speaks of a mother's prayers. For me, that hit home in a big way.

My mother ("Mama") prayed the prayer of salvation with me on the living room couch when I was 13 years old. I still remember sitting there and her listening to what was on my heart and how God was speaking to me. She guided me through some scriptures and then we prayed and I asked Jesus into my heart.

Her prayers for me had started long before that day, and I know they continue even now. I remember her praying as we drove to school in the mornings She'd call out the names of folks we knew that needed a touch from Heaven, and she always prayed for the things my sister and I would be facing at school that day - a math test, an audition, our interaction with our peers. I'm sure I didn't always appreciate just how much that would mean in my life back then...specially during the middle school years! :) But looking back, that sticks out to me.

Now I'm a mother. My husband and I have a 3-year-old son, and now I have the responsibility of being a praying mother. I kneel by Tanner's little bed at night and help guide him through thanking God for family, friends, and the blessings of the day. I look forward to the day that he will make the decision to invite Jesus into his heart. What a joy it would be for me to pray that prayer with him like Mama prayed with me.

I realize not every Christian woman had the same upbringing. But we all have an influence on those around us - our neighbors, friends, sisters, maybe the young people in your church. I was ministering at a women's event recently where two ladies shared about their experience of leading their own mothers to Christ later in life. How wonderful! It's never too late to start laying the foundation of faith for those around us. What better way to be remembered than for somewhere to know that you prayed for them? "God hears the prayers of praying women."

From Lauren - 

I remember driving in my car when I first heard the song “Praying Women.” I thought I might have to pull over because it was a struggle to see through the tears. I immediately thought of my grandmothers. My grandmothers have both had significant influence in my spiritual life. Both are incredible prayer warriors.

Both grandmothers served in their churches playing the piano and always being willing to step in and teach a class. I had the privilege to grow up in the same church as one of them. She taught me many Wednesday nights and VBS classes instilling the Word of God in me. She took me with her to ladies’ Bible studies when I was just barely old enough to understand.

However, when I heard this song a conversation I immediately thought of a conversation I had with my other grandmother. I was with her after getting some disappointing news and was upset. She looked at me and told me that she had been praying. She said she was praying not that things would work out like I wanted but how God wanted for my life. She’ll never know how much that moment meant to me. She loved me enough to know that God’s best was ultimately always for my best even if I didn’t see it at the time. I knew that through her prayers God would see me through.

I know first-hand the power of praying women. I’m thankful for the ones God has placed in my life - my grandmothers, my mom and many other women who have prayed for me. There’s no doubt I am who I am today because of praying women.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

She Loved - When Lyrics Speak - Mother's Day

My mother and I have always, I think, had a good relationship. We didn’t go through a lot of the typical teenage angst between mother and daughter. There might have been a few several tense moments in the junior high years that usually ended up with one or both of us in tears, but we survived.

My mom and I are different in a lot of ways. I’m a lot more reserved than my mom. Just ask me about an NSYNC concert experience when I was 13. :) I wish I had more of her tenacity and gumption. And nobody knows how to love like my mom does. Yes, of course, she loves our family. But, the way she shows love for others is the way I really wish I was more like her.

My mom has spent most of her career working with special needs children. I got the chance to work alongside her one summer before my senior year of college. I soaked up the time knowing it would probably really be my last time living with my parents. That summer I got a front row seat to see her in her element. I witnessed the way she helped those kids and loved on them. Not only were they facing an uphill battle in terms of their mental abilities but who knows what they faced at home. It didn't matter, my mom treated them all the same. She wanted to help them to the best of her ability knowing that they left her classroom that summer better than they were in the beginning.

She has always been the one when she hears of people in need pitching in to buy clothes for kids at school or encouraging my brother and me to donate old toys. I confess I was not a willing participant a lot of times on the last point. I can remember many church camp trips when girls came home wearing more of Mom's clothes then their own because they ran out or forgot to pack something. She was always there pitching in helping whoever needed it.

For Mother’s Day, there’s definitely one song that comes to mind for my mom.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Stronger by Kathy Crabb Hannah - Book Review

With Mother's Day this weekend, it only seems fitting that posts this week be about mothers. Kathy Crabb Hannah, matriarch of the Crabb Family, released a book earlier this year entitled Stronger. The book is her life story in her words.

I lucked out to get this book during one of Arkansas' snow weekends. Let me say, it was a good thing I was home not able to get out and go to work because I was immediately caught up in her story. I didn't put the book down and finished it in less than 24 hours.

I love the conversational style that Kathy has in the book. It's just like she were sitting across the table from talking about her life over a piece of birthday cake and Diet Coke. You can hear her voice in it just as she would tell it to you. She's real. The book is completely authentic and completely her. I love that.

Kathy goes through her life from her father's death to when she was attacked in a parking lot to how she met her husband Steve Hannah. She shares details of circumstances she's overcome. You can read the faith story of how the Crabb Family got started, the blood, sweat and tears that went into the ministry. You might only know Kathy from the Crabb Family, but don't miss the incredible story of her life she shares. Stronger couldn't be more appropriately named after reading her story.

She's a proud mom, and she has every right to be. She shares about each of her kids and each of her grandkids throughout the book. You can tell that they are her heart. The mother's love she has for all of them just exudes from the pages. With grown kids now, she mentions that she likes being the one they still count one, the one who will get the call when they need someone. When the Bowling Family had their bus wreck, she talks about putting life on hold to take care of them.

You'll be inspired by her story. You will be able to see how God has worked in her life from an early age. Readers will leave the book seeing what can happen when you place your life and your faith in God. God is woven throughout her story, how He orchestrates every detail, how He protects and gives strength when we have none. Her story is one of faith. I've tried not to share too many specifics from the book because I want you to read it for yourselves, but here's some of her words from the last chapter:

"We are all the same. Yes, I am, in many ways, just like you. I may get angry today; I may feel blessed tomorrow; I may possibly be a tiny bit bitter the next day. However, the thread that weaves through every thought that this hyperactive brain churns out is this: God is faithful."

I told you, she's completely real. The book is a great reminder that we all have a story to tell. It's whether or not we use our story for God's glory.

I'm sure a lot of gospel fans will want to read the book because of the Crabb Family aspect and want to hear behind the scenes stories of the family. And yes, there are those, but don't miss the heart of the book. This book is the story of a woman who has overcome incredible circumstances and stands today "stronger."

The book is available now at Order it today!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits - May 2

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

  • Doug Anderson announced this week that he will be leaving Ernie Haase and Signature Sound effective June 20. He was the group's original baritone singer. Read more here.
  • Karen Peck and New River released their concept video "Pray Now." View it here. The group is hosting an online prayer meeting on May 7. Fans can submit their requests via the group's social media channels. On Thursday at 6:30 p.m., Karen will host an online prayer meeting. Keep an eye on Karen Peck and New River's social media for more details.
  • Jerrel Owens, father of Shaye Smith (Chuck Wagon Gang), passed away this week. He passed away of liver failure. Please be in prayer for the family.
  • Current and former members of Gold City announced the Heritage of Gold Reunion Tour this week. The tour will pay tribute to Tim Riley and will kick off in July in Gadsden, Alabama. In addition to Gold City, it will feature LeFevre Quartet and Wilburn & Wilburn as well as Jay Parrack and Steve Ladd for special appearances. Read more here.
  • Dustin Simmons and Josh Simpson have both left Mercy's Well. Brad Strider issued an open letter this week. Both members will be serving in local churches. Pray for the group during the time of transition.
Any other news that I've missed?

Friday, May 1, 2015

Fun Clip Friday - Jeff Chapman - On the Couch With Fouch

Happy Friday to all! Matthew Fouch (Legacy Five) released his latest "On the Couch With Fouch" interview today. If you haven't checked out his channel with all of his interviews, click here.

The video for May is an interview with Jeff Chapman of the Kingdom Heirs. Check it out below!