Monday, October 26, 2015

Roger Bennett Memorial Concert - Talleys & Mark Trammell Quartet - Concert Recap

Arkansas has several claims to fame in the Southern Gospel community. One of the most notable figures in gospel music from our state is Roger Bennett. He was from Strawberry, Arkansas. He passed away in 2007 after a long battle with leukemia. For several years they have had a memorial concert to honor Roger's memory and legacy. This year it was held at First Baptist Church in Cave City, Arkansas with the Talleys and the Mark Trammell Quartet on Oct. 17. It was a great night honoring Roger with two great groups!

The Talleys took the stage first that night. They started their set with "I Love the Tell the Story." Great to hear them sing this classic hymn! Then, Lauren was featured on "The Promise," one of my favorite Talley songs! They sang a few more from the The Test of Time project including "Isn't the Love of Jesus Something Wonderful," "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" and "When He Calls I'll Fly Away." Their version of "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" is definitely one of my favorites!

The Talleys - Debra, Lauren and Roger
Lauren set up the next song by telling a story about her grandparents. When her grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, her grandfather dropped everything to take care of her. For 10 years, he cared for her faithfully. Lauren was featured on "Hidden Heroes." This is such a great song, and it won the Dove Award for Southern Gospel Song of the Year earlier that week!

Roger was featured on "God Leads Us Along" on the keyboard before they closed their set with "He's Alive" and "The Broken Ones." "He's Alive" is always such a powerful song! I also love the tenderness of the broken ones. I love how Lauren comes into the audience ends it a cappella with no mic just her voice and lets the lyrics of the song speak for itself. What a comforting thought of how God cares for His broken children and a challenge that we need to love and minister to the broken ones around us more.

The Mark Trammell Quartet took the stage next. For many people, there were two new faces on stage. Tenor Blake Buffin has been with the group just a few months now, but that night Keith Inman was filling in on bass. Randy Byrd's daughter was getting married that Saturday, so he was not with the group that concert. Keith is no stranger to gospel music and has sung with several groups and is brother to Clayton Inman of Triumphant.

The Mark Trammell Quartet - Blake Buffin, Nick Trammell,
Mark Trammell and Keith Inman
They started the night with "Leave Your Sorrows" before singing "To Know He Knows Me" from Your Walk Talks. They sang several from that project including the title track, "Don't Stop Running" and "God's Been Faithful." The last one is a personal favorite. I love hearing them sing this one live.

The quartet pulled out some older songs as well like the Cathedrals' classic "Wedding Music." Blake was featured on "Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus." He does a great job on this hymn! Keith was featured on "Wonderful Time Up There." This is always a fun one to see live!

They ended the set with "The King is Coming." This song is always a highlight. I love the group's version of this song. Mark does such an incredible job on this song!

To start the second half, Debbie Bennett along with her children Chelsea and Jordan came up and said a few words. The family was extremely grateful to the groups for being there and for this concert to take place to honor Roger's life. Several other Bennett family members were in attendance.

The Talleys came back on stage and sang a few more including "Searchin" and "Mountain Mover." Debra was featured on "Thinkin' About Home." I love hearing her sing this one! They ended their set with Lauren on "His Life for Mine," again this is always a powerful song and a highlight!

The Mark Trammell Quartet sang "Meet Me Over on the Other Side" and "Guide Me O Jehovah." They closed with "Almost Over." Mark said if he had to pick one song to sing this would be it. Such an  incredible song!

The two groups took the stage together and sang "I'll Fly Away." The pastor came up to close the concert. Once he got on stage he made the comment that he needed someone to take his picture with all these famous people. The last time he had his picture made with a famous person he was 14 and it was a former president from Arkansas, and he didn't know better! Mark told him that there were some things better left unsaid. The pastor encouraged the groups to sing just one more, so they just asked him to join them, and he did! They ended the night with "Standing on the Solid Rock."

It was a great night with two incredible groups. It's not often that you get a full concert with two of the top groups in the industry. It was also a sweet night honoring the life and legacy of Roger Bennett. It was easy to see how he impacted the lives of the singers who took the stage that night, Southern Gospel music and the lives of all the family and friends who were there to honor him.

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