Thursday, March 31, 2016

Kingsmen Quartet - Ward, Arkansas

With social media we live in such an instant world. We have so much information available at our fingertips. Now when groups change members, fans know pretty much instantly and get early looks through concerts and online videos of groups when they have people filling in and trying out. While it's good for fans it also puts pressure on groups and new members. That being said, this won't be your traditional concert recap.

I had the chance to see the Kingsmen a couple of weeks ago with Chuck Pettyjohn singing tenor for them. He filled in with the group at the end of last year as well. It was great seeing him with them that weekend!

The night was a great night of worship with some fantastic quartet music. Here are some highlights of the night -

  • I loved getting to hear Ray Dean Reese on "Healing Stream." This was a great moment. He shared a little bit of his testimony and battles with cancer so it was special to hear how much this song means to him. Randy Crawford talked about how with each battle of cancer that Ray Dean has faced that he has always had the attitude that it's just a victory in the waiting. Such a testament to his faith!
  • They sang several great, older Kingsmen songs like "Meet Me at the Table," "I've Got a Reservation and "The Next Cloud." Great hearing some of these songs live again!
  • They also pulled out "Glory Road," which is a great tenor feature that really showed what Chuck can do. They also featured him on "Look For Me at Jesus' Feet." It was good to hear them let Chuck step up. They had a lot of fun with him on "Glory Road." He really sounded great with the guys, and they seemed to have a lot of fun together on stage.
  • They really had a good mix of the older Kingsmen songs and some of the newer ones from Battle Cry including the title song, "Oh Yes I Am," "I Know" and "Come and Dine." 
  • "Cross of Grace" has become such a great song for the Kingsmen. I love hearing Bob sing this one! It was definitely a standout moment of the night.
Before the invitation Randy talked about how Easter was just around the corner. His prayer was that with each song people would know Who they had been singing about. He said we should be changed each time we are in His presence - that really stuck with me that night. Do I take full advantage of each concert/ service I attend? Am I really seeing them as a worship service and not just a concert? Is my heart ready to worship? This group made sure He was the focus of the night.

I feel like a lot of times with groups in the middle of a transition we can focus on that and leave out the ministry part. However, their message and the gospel was front and center.

I'll leave you with a short clip of "Meet Me at the Table." 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Ransomed - Down East Boys - CD Review

The Down East Boys' latest project Ransomed was released two weeks ago. This is the first project with the new lineup of Ricky Carden (lead), Daryl Paschal (baritone), Steve Lixey (tenor) and Rick Walls (bass). This group has always had a strong presence in gospel music, and this project is yet another solid release from the quartet.

The album kicks off with "A Reason to Sing" featuring lead singer Ricky Carden. Dianne Wilkinson wrote this song and, in fact, has three cuts on this project. The harmonies on this song really stand out. It's just a great quartet number.

Ricky is also featured on "Somebody Left the Door Wide Open." This is a great uptempo number. The song has a bit of a soulful feel with the choir backing up the quartet.

"The Song of the Ransomed" is a definite highlight of the CD. It's another feature for Ricky, and another song where they have a choir backing them up. I love the way it starts slow and then builds with the choir coming in. You really can't go wrong with a Dianne Wilkinson/ Sue Smith song.

"A Theives' Paradise" is a feature for tenor Steve Lixey; he's actually the only one singing on this song. It's a great tender ballad with a soft piano track that really showcases his voice. It's definitely a highlight of the project.

The other great ballad is "The Cross Speaks Louder" featuring baritone Daryl Paschal. The message of the cross never gets old, and this song is a great reminder that the cross overpowers our sin.

"One Way, One Name, One Door" will definitely have you tapping your foot and clapping along. It's a great uptempo number, and I think their first radio single. To me, this was the perfect choice! The song features Daryl. I can also see this song being a favorite in live concerts.

You really get to hear the group's blend on "I Still Remember," "That Wonderful Land" and "Now a Witness Am I." "I Still Remember" is a straight Southern Gospel quartet song that quartet fans will love!

I haven't seen this lineup of the Down East Boys live, but I hope I can soon. If this project is any indication, the best is yet to come for this group.

Song List -
1. "A Reason to Pray"
2. "Somebody Left the Door Wide Open"
3. "I Still Remember"
4. "The Song of the Ransomed"
5. "That's What You Get for Loving Him"
6. "A Thieves' Paradise"
7. "One Way, One Name, One Door"
8. "That Wonderful Land"
9. "The Cross Speaks Louder"
10. "Now a Witness I Am"
11. "Pray"

Saturday, March 26, 2016

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits - March 26

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

  • The Taylors have announced that Leslie and Aaron Perkins will be leaving their ministry to minister at a church in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The group will continue on as a trio.
  • Speaking of the Taylors, congratulations to Chris and Amanda Taylor who welcomed a baby girl this week. Emma Rose was born on March 18 and weighed 7 lbs, 12 oz. Mother and baby are doing well.
  • Archie Watkins is recovering after triple-bypass surgery. He has been moved out of CICU and is expected to stay in the hospital a little bit longer before being released. 
  • Tickets for this year's Absolutely Gospel Music Awards are on sale. E-mail or call 423-488-5924 9am - 8 pm CST to reserve your seat for this exciting event. There are a few more Artist Circle seats still available. It will be held in Nashville at the Nashville First Church of the Nazarene on April 12 at 7 p.m.
  • Mark209 announced Dustin Hood as the group's new baritone singer this week. He has previously sung with the Harper Family, By Grace, Mercy's Harbor and Appointed Quartet.
  • It seems that the Lesters are once again an all-family group with the addition of Bailee Lester singing alongside her husband and father-in-law. Matt Felts left the group a few months ago to become a part of Butler Music Group.
Anything I've missed?

Friday, March 25, 2016

Fun Clip Friday - Elvis Is in the Building

Happy Good Friday to everyone! I hope you all have a blessed Easter weekend.

For today's Fun Clip Friday, here's a look at some behind the scenes and practical joke that Ivan Parker recently pulled on Brian Free at a concert, courtesy of the Singing News Facebook page. Check out what happened when Elvis dropped by the concert! Enjoy!

Ivan Parker and Brian Free (Brian Free & Assurance) have been great friends for years. But if you think they won’t go to extreme lengths to play jokes on each other, just watch this.
Posted by Singing News on Saturday, March 19, 2016

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Two for One - Spoken 4 and Representatives - Concert Recap

I hate running late. And as I sat in my car in a deadlock on the highway a few weeks ago, I knew that the concert would be starting without me there and there was nothing I could do about it. Thankfully I'm guessing I only missed a song or two.

The concert I was headed to see that night featured the Representatives and Spoken 4 Quartets. The Representatives are based in Arkansas, and Spoken 4 is a group based in Branson, Missouri. The two joined forces that night for a great night of worship and quartet singing.

The Representatives were on stage when I got there. Gospel music fans might recognize the quartet's tenor singer, Johnny Parrack, who spent many years with the Kingsmen. They sang several songs you might be familiar with including "Plan of Salvation," "Walking With Jesus," "When They Rings the Bells of Heaven" and "Sail Away Home."

I've seen this group a few times, and they always do a great job. One thing that impresses me is they don't use tracks on every song. Many times it's just the guys' voices and the keyboard. Their bass singer is a recent addition to the group. He was featured on "Even So Come Lord Jesus."

Standout moments from the first half were Ryler Wilson featured on "It Made News in Heaven." and an a cappella song "The Judgment" that they ended with.

After the Representatives, Spoken 4 took the stage with "Holy Spirit Thou Art Welcome." They sang several familiar favorites like "He's My Song," "Standing on the Solid Rock," "Who Am I" and "When the King Comes to Claim His Throne."

Cecil Stringer showed off his low range on "Life's Evening Sun." He has to be one of the lowest bass singers out there.

They also sang a few from their new project Undeniable. "A King and a Pauper," which features Jon Charles Taggart, was definitely a highlight. They ended the first half with "Grace Runs Deeper," another highlight of the night!

The thing I love about this group is how unashamedly they are about their ministry. They know it's a way they make a living but it's nothing if they don't draw people to Him. Jon Charles made the statement that it's all about Him, no one should care about them. They want to stay hidden behind the cross.

Each group came out and sang a few more songs in the second half before the two groups sang a few together. The Representatives featured Johnny on "Oh What a Savior," and he's still got it! Great hearing him sing this classic! They also sang "Whiter Than Snow," another highlight of their set!

Spoken 4 sang "Hold Me" and "I Know My God Can Do It" before Brandon Britton gave his testimony. He has a moving testimony of how God worked in his life through depression, suicidal thoughts and his mom's death. Great to hear his honesty and how he allowed God to use his life and how He delivered him. This set up another new song, "Hope Was Carved in a Rolling Stone." Steven Hickingbotham closed their second set with "That's Why He Died."

The two groups joined forces for "Rock of Ages" and "Glory Road." Loved hearing all of them together! It was a great evening with both groups.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Changes for the Taylors

The Taylors announced this morning that the group will transition to a trio with the departure of Aaron and Leslie Perkins.

This is from the Taylors' press release today.

"Beginning April 16, The Taylors will transition from a quartet to a trio as Leslie and Aaron answer the call to minister at a church in Myrtle Beach, SC. Aaron and Leslie have accepted the position of Pastor of Music and Students at Socastee Baptist Church. Although we are sad to see them leave us, we are excited for Leslie and Aaron as they follow the Lord’s direction. Leslie sang with us for nine years and was a blessing not only to our friends and fans, but also to our ministry team as we traveled every week! Aaron ran sound for The Taylors for two years and also filled in many times when Chris was not able to be with us, and he will be greatly missed too! Ever since Leslie can remember, she has wanted to be a mom to a little boy and a little girl. When doctors told her that she would never be able to have children, she and Aaron trusted the Lord and prayed for a miracle! Three years later, God is blessing them with the family that they prayed for. We are so proud of what God is doing in their lives and in their ministry. Would you join us in praying for The Perkins family as they transition into this new chapter of their lives?

"To celebrate the time that Leslie spent with The Taylors, we have scheduled a farewell concert at the place where it all began - Fellowship Baptist in Lillington, NC. The concert will be held on April 15 at 7:00 PM. We hope you’ll be able to join us in wishing Leslie and Aaron the best in their new ministry! Due to the limited amount of seating in the church, reservations are required in advance. The concert will be a love-offering event, and you can reserve your seat by calling Lisa Taylor at (910) 658-8757."

This is one of many big changes for the Taylors recently. Both Suzanne and Chris have welcomed baby girls this month, and Aaron and Leslie will be adding a baby girl this summer.

The Taylors will release a new record as a trio on April 8 entitled Hope and Healing. 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits - March 19

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

  • The Jim Brady Trio announced this week the departure of Tim Parton. Gus Gaches will be filling in until a permanent replacement is found.
  • Chris White had heart surgery on Thursday. The surgery went well, and he is recovering.
  • Archie Watkins had a mild heart attack this week. He is stable and under observation in the hospital where he will remain for a few days. Doctors will be running more tests and to determine the cause and make sure a procedure is not needed. Keep him and his family in your prayers.
  • The top 10 nominations for the Singing News were announced this week. Take a look at the breakdown of the nominations here
  • Naomi Sego Reader had a fall in her bathroom on Monday evening. Her doctor is treating her with medication for an infection. She is home and resting comfortably. Please remember her in your prayers.
  • Abraham Productions, Inc. announces the release of its API app – an interactive app set to debut at Singing in the Sun this April. The first of its kind to be implemented for an event application within the Southern Gospel genre, the app will not only be an aid to event attendees, but also offer a platform to stay directly connected with all the latest Abraham Production happenings throughout the year. It's free to download on both Apple and Android stores.
Anything I've missed?

Friday, March 18, 2016

Fun Clip Friday - Mark Lowry and the Martins

Last weekend Mark Lowry and the Martins were in Northwest Arkansas. Unfortunately I couldn't make it up there. I hated to miss it, and I hated it even more when Mark Lowry shared this video on his Facebook page. He took the video during sound check of Joyce singing, and it made me wish I could be there even more!

Check out this video where the Spirit fell down during sound check while Joyce was singing "Except for Grace."

Holy Ghost showed up at soundcheck in Alma, AR, when Joyce was singing 'Except For Grace'. She didn't know I was taping her.
Posted by Mark Lowry on Saturday, March 12, 2016

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Singing News Fan Awards 2016

The top 10 Singing News Fan Award nominees were announced yesterday. Of course, there weren't too many surprises or changes from last year. I know people have mixed feelings about the awards and their predictability, but the fans are the ones who choose. I've confessed before I sometimes vote differently in each round, just because I would like to see a few new faces receive nominations.

Some categories have changed from last year. New artists is all together instead of broken out by trio, quartet, mixed and soloist. The overall favorite male and female singer categories are missing this year.

So what else is different this year, and who's nominated? Let's take a look at the categories -

Favorite Artist
Booth Brothers
Brian Free & Assurance
Collingsworth Family
Greater Vision
Jim Brady Trio
Kingdom Heirs
Legacy Five
Tribute Qt.
Triumphant Qt.

The Hoppers and the Jim Brady Trio are the differences in this group from last year.

Nomination I would have liked to see - Karen Peck & New River

Traditional Quartet
Ernie Haase & Signature Sound
Gold City
Kingdom Heirs
LeFevre Qt
Legacy Five
Mark Trammell Qt
Tribute Qt
Triumphant Qt

Inspirations and LeFevre Quartet are the differences from last year. The Old Paths and Brian Free & Assurance are the two groups who dropped and neither were eligible this year.

Nomination I would have liked to see - This one seems pretty spot on to me.

Mixed Group
Collingsworth Family
Karen Peck & New River
Mylon Hayes Family

Interestingly enough, the Nelons and Karen Peck & New River both moved into this category from the trio category with the addition of the younger daughters. The Erwins are also new to this group, great to see them getting this nomination after winning New Mixed Group last year.

Nomination I would have liked to see - Taylors

11th Hour
Booth Brothers
Brian Free & Assurance
Bowling Family
Greater Vision
Jeff & Sheri Easter
Jim Brady Trio

11th Hour and the Jim Brady Trio are newbies after both being nominated in the new category last year, and Brian Free & Assurance moved categories. Glad to see 11th Hour make the list!

Nomination I would have liked to see - Martins

Barker, Pat
Bishop, Mark
Crabb, Jason
Greene, TaRanda
Habedank, Joseph
Ladd, Steve
Mote, Gordon
Parker, Ivan
Parsons, Squire
Penrod, Guy

Pat Barker receives this top 10 nomination after winning new soloist last year. He's the only new one in this category.

Nomination I would have liked to see - Michael English

Young Artist
Bowling, Hope — Bowling Family
Clark, Autumn Nelon — Nelons
Clark, Riley Harrison — Tribute Qt
Easter, Morgan — Jeff & Sheri Easter
Erwin, Katie — Erwins
Gooch, Kari — Karen Peck & New River
Hayes, Kennedy — Mylon Hayes Family
Hopper, Karlye — Hoppers
Johnson, Chandler — Dixie Echoes
Whisnant, Austin — Whisnants

I love that Kennedy Hayes has a nomination here; she's a new face along with Kari Gooch, Katie Erwin and Chandler Johnson.

Nomination I would have liked to see - Andrew Goldman and Amber Eppinette (I think they fit in the age requirements, but could be wrong.)

Allman, Chris — Greater Vision
Booth, Michael — Booth Brothers
Clark, Riley Harrison — Tribute Qt
Feemster, Josh — Legacy Five
Free, Brian — Brian Free & Assurance
Haase, Ernie — Ernie Haase & Signature Sound
Jenkins, Chris — Anchormen
Martin, Jerry — Kingdom Heirs
Phelps, David — Gaither Vocal Band
Sutton, David — Triumphant Qt

Josh Feemster joined this group, interestingly enough Gus Gaches was the 10th last year.

Nomination I would have liked to see - Not sure I would change any here.

Booth, Ronnie — Booth Brothers
Bowling, Mike — Bowling Family
Brady, Jim — Jim Brady Trio
Casto, Gary — Tribute Qt
Fowler, Scott — Legacy Five
Hopper, Dean — Hoppers
Inman, Clayton — Triumphant Qt
Rice, Arthur — Kingdom Heirs
Shivers, Bill — Brian Free & Assurance
Wolfe, Gerald — Greater Vision

Mike Bowling and Dean Hopper are both new to this category which I don't understand how they haven't been nominated previously.

Nomination I would have liked to see - Nick Trammell and Chip Pullen

Alvey, Brian — Kingdom Heirs
Griffin, Rodney — Greater Vision
Howard, Scott — Legacy Five
Inman, Scott — Triumphant Qt
Lancaster, Paul — Booth Brothers
LeFevre, Mike — LeFevre Qt
Parton, Tim — Jim Brady Trio
Rogers, Mike — Brian Free & Assurance
Singletary, Josh — Tribute Qt
Trammell, Mark — Mark Trammell Qt

Brian Alvey, Paul Lancaster and Tim Parton are the differences from last year.

Nomination I would have liked to see - Daniel Riley

Bennett, Eric — Triumphant Qt
Byrd, Randy — Mark Trammell Qt
Chapman, Jeff — Kingdom Heirs
Duncan, Tim — Canton Junction
Davis, Anthony — Tribute Qt
Epley, Jon — LeFevre Qt
Fouch, Matt — Legacy Five
Harkey, Paul — Ernie Haase & Signature Sound
Reese, Ray Dean — Kingsmen
West, Chris — Gold City

Jon Epley, Chris West and Tim Duncan are the new faces. Glad to see Chris recognized this year, since Tim Riley was still the nomination for Gold City last year.

Nomination I would have liked to see - Ian Owens

Blair, Brooklyn Collingsworth — Collingsworth Family
Bowling, Kelly — Bowling Family
Brady, Melissa — Jim Brady Trio
Erwin, Katie — Erwins
Fortner, Connie — McKameys
Gooch, Karen Peck — Karen Peck & New River
Hopper, Kim — Hoppers
Talley, Lauren — Talleys
Thompson, Amber Nelon — Nelons
Yeary, Sonya Isaacs — Isaacs

Melissa Brady and Katie Erwin both earned nominations this year. Even though Kim Hopper has dominated this category in the past, to me the talent pool of this category is one of the strongest.

Nomination I would have liked to see - Morgan Easter

Bean, Peg McKamey — McKameys
Bowling, Hope — Bowling Family
Clark, Kelly Nelon — Nelons
Easter, Sheri — Jeff & Sheri Easter
Hopper, Connie — Hoppers
Jackson, Susan Peck — Karen Peck & New River
Metz, Courtney Collingsworth — Collingsworth Family
Stuffle, Libbi — Perrys
Talley, Debra — Talleys
Whisnant, Susan — Whisnants

No changes from last year.

Nomination I would have liked to see - Suzanne Taylor Hise

Collingsworth, Kim — Collingsworth Family
Hopper, Mike — Hoppers
Ivey, Trey — Legacy Five
Mote, Gordon — Soloist
Parton, Tim — Jim Brady Trio
Singletary, Josh — Tribute Qt
Southard, GW — Triumphant Qt
Stice, Jeff — Soloist
Williams, Kevin — Gaither Vocal Band
Wolfe, Gerald — Greater Vision

Tim Parton is the only change from last year's nominations. It's good to see this category not dominated by pianists with a guitar player and even a drummer!

Nomination I would have liked to see - Matthew Holt and Bryan Elliot

Bowling Family Band
Browders Band
Dixie Echoes Band
Gaither Vocal Band Band
Isaacs Band
Jason Crabb Band
Jeff & Sheri Easter Band
Kingdom Heirs Band
Primitive Qt Band
Southern Raised Band

Dixie Echoes Band and the Jeff & Sheri Easter Band are different from last year. I am really surprised that Jeff & Sheri Easter's band was not on the list last year, definitely worthy of this nomination.

Nomination I would have liked to see - Wouldn't change any

Allman, Chris
Bishop, Mark
Brady, Jim
Crabb, Gerald
Free, Ricky
Griffin, Rodney
Habedank, Joseph
Inman, Scott
Rowland, Kyla
Wilkinson, Dianne

Ricky Free and Kyla Rowland are the new faces here. It's good to see some of the younger generation of songwriters receive nominations.

Nomination I would have liked to see - Kenna Turner West

A New Look — Kingdom Heirs
As We Speak — Greater Vision
Live At Daywind Studios — Jim Brady Trio
Live At Daywind Studios — Tribute Qt
Living in Harmony — Triumphant Qt
Moments Like These — Bowling Family
Pray Now — Karen Peck & New River
Rewind — Mark Trammell Qt
That Day Is Coming — Collingsworth Family
Walk of Faith — Whisnants

Nomination I would have liked to see - Jeff & Sheri Easter's Small Town and the Talleys' After All This Time

"Amazing God" — Triumphant Qt
"Chain Gang" — Kingdom Heirs
"Jesus, The One" — Hoppers
"Pray Now" — Karen Peck & New River
"Put Out the Fire" — Greater Vision
"That's A Hallelujah" — Legacy Five
"That’s Just What Grace Does" — Brian Free & Assurance
"Those Who Know Me Know" — Tribute Qt
"Worry Ends Where Faith Begins" — Whisnants
"You Asked Him To Leave" — Wilburn & Wilburn

It's interesting that really radio play has little to do with this category. The Browders had the #1 song for two months in a row, but it didn't make the list with fans. "Put Out the Fire" and "Pray Now" were both #1s on the Singing News Top 80 chart. "That's Just What Grace Does" and "You Asked Him to Leave" are definitely new and just starting to make their rounds.

Nominations I would have liked to see -  There are so many I would sub in this category, "Jesus Loves You" (Jeff and Sheri Easter), "As We Speak" (Greater Vision), "Steppin' Out in Faith" (Jim Brady Trio), "Sometimes It Takes a Mountain" (Gaither Vocal Band)

New Artist
Cana’s Voice
Goodman Revival
Jay Stone Singers
Lore Family
Sherry Anne
Southern Raised

The Williamsons have received a lot of recognition this year even a #1 song. Cana's Voice has had so much buzz around its start. Some of these groups I wouldn't classify as "new" anymore.

So what about you, what your thoughts on the nominations?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Testimony of God's Faithfulness - Perrys Concert Recap

Sometimes it's good to be reminded of God's faithfulness and goodness. I have only seen the Perrys a couple of times since Tracy Stuffle has returned to the road. Each time, it's been such a testimony to the healing power of God and the perseverance and desire that Tracy has. He has such an inspiring story, and it's incredible seeing how God has worked and how he's falling right back into his role on stage.

The night started with the video testimony "This Is My Story" from NQC. It was a great way to set up the group and the service. Here's a line up of how the night went  -

The Perrys - Andrew Goldman, Troy Peach, Libbi Stuffle,
Tracy Stuffle and Jared Stuffle
  • "I Got a Hold of God This Morning" - Great way to start the night. Always been a fan of this song!
  • "Still Blessed" 
  • "I Rest My Case at the Cross" - This was the song that first drew me in to the Perrys music, so I always love when they stage this one. The thing that really stuck out to me as I was watching was the conviction they sang this song with. It was so apparent with each group member just how much they believed every word of what they were singing. Standing ovation from the congregation.
  • "I Know It Was the Blood" - And everyone just stayed on their feet clapping through this song!
  • Troy turned over the intros over to Tracy to let him introduce the group members and share wit the group members. Tracy thanked each person who had prayed for him after his stroke before he introduced the group. It was good hearing his humor and quick wit throughout the night especially picking on each member. 
  • "When He Comes Walking on the Water" 
  • "I Claim the Blood" - Libbi spoke before the song and shared a little bit more of their story. She talked about how Tracy went from being perfectly healthy to their world being turned upside down. She said how easy it is to praise God when everything is going well. When the storms of life blow in that's when you realize how much you take home with you on Sundays. Things don't always turn out how we want, but God always has a plan, we just need to trust. They were able to make it through the trials and storms of life, just like we are, through the blood. 
  • "Keep On" - I'm a fan of this song from their latest project. Troy asked the audience to stand and sing along during the chorus. 
  • "This Old Sinner Testifies"
  • "Both Sides of the River" - Great hearing Troy featured on this song!
  • "Did I Mention" - This is probably my favorite song to hear Libbi sing. 
  • "If You Knew Him" - It's not a true Perrys concert if they don't sing this song!
  • "Whosoever Will" - Loved hearing Andrew sing this song. He's really one of the great lead singers in the industry. 
  • "Almost Morning"
  • "Holding On To Me"
  • "The Unexpected Storm"
The last four songs were all during the time of invitation. The service had a long altar call, but the Perrys kept singing. One thing that impressed me was when Libbi saw that a young girl needed some extra prayer, she came down and prayed with her.

The entire night was a testimony to the faithfulness of God. It was a night full of worship and bringing all honor and glory to God for what He has done. If the Perrys are close to your area, don't miss them!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Changes for the Jim Brady Trio

The Jim Brady Trio announced today that Tim Parton has resigned from the group.

Jim Brady stated, "While it was a surprise to us, it’s no surprise to our Heavenly Father. We know God is in the details, and we’re excited to see His plan unfold for us. We wish Tim the best and ask for your prayers for him, as well as continued prayers and support for us as we seek a replacement."

Former Legacy Five member and Director of Operations at Song Garden Music, Gus Gaches will fill in until a replacement is found. "A big thank you to Song Garden for sharing Gus with us during this time of transition," Jim said.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits - March 12

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

  • Congratulations to Aaron and Suzanne (Taylor) Hise on the birth of their baby girl Adaline Gayle. She was born March 10 and weight 7 lbs. and 5 oz. Mother and baby are doing well!
  • Miles Cooper passed away after suffering injuries from a car accident. He sang lead for the Pine Ridge Boys. 
  • Martin Cook of the Inspirations had surgery for physicians to put in a pacemaker. He is at home recovering and doing well.
  • Chris White of Crossroads Music and Sonlite Records founder will be having open heart surgery on March 18. He will be having a heart valve replacement. Keep him in your prayers.
  • The Bowling Family celebrated their #1 song this week, "One Glorious Moment of Faith." The song feature Hope Bowling making her the youngest person to have a #1 in gospel music. 
  • Brian Free & Assurance announced that the “VIP Event Packages” for their upcoming fall Unashamed Fan Retreat at Lifeway’s Ridgecrest Conference Center in North Carolina are sold out. Due to demand, a very limited amount of event passes are being released for fans who want to attend this exclusive weekend October 14 – 16, 2016. The pass will allow fans to stay off campus yet still be a part of this monumental event, celebrating a first in the group’s 22 year history.
Anything I've missed?

Friday, March 11, 2016

Gaither and Kevin Williams - Fun Clip Friday

After a long week, it's good to have some comic relief. So today's Fun Clip Friday features Bill Gaither and Kevin Williams from a Gaither video several years ago in Toronto, Canada. Watch what happens as Bill tries to set up a song and Kevin keeps interrupting!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Christian Singers vs. Christian Singers

Several weeks ago I got the chance to see a singer who has been working hard to make it for many years in the music business. This singer has an incredible story of how God has worked in his life, the kind of story you can't help but cheer on. He's a known Christian and has chosen to sing secular music. There's nothing wrong with this choice, but that night and the concert was nothing like I expected it to be.

From the concert that night despite things I had heard, there was nothing to point to his faith from the songs chosen to the atmosphere. It was interesting to hear a Christian sing some of the lyrics he did. I was a little taken aback by his conduct on stage and the message of some of the songs.

The night made me realize how grateful I am for musicians and singers who choose to use their talents to glorify God, singing Christian music. I don't think there is anything wrong with Christians choosing to sing secular music. However, I think singers like any profession should choose to use their talents for God and strive to be a light. That can mean not singing songs with certain lyrics or that promote worldly lifestyles or living differently on stage where fans know you have a higher standard.

I'm sure several gospel artists could just as easily choose to have a career singing secular music, but I'm thankful that's not the path they chose. Thank you for choosing to go down the path less traveled for the glory of God. Thank you for choosing night after night to leave your families to sing music, sharing the gospel and drawing people closer to Jesus.

As I walked away from the concert disappointed in the night, it made me really think about the standard for all Christians. We're called to be in the world but not of the world. While I don't work in a Christian job or for a Christian company, I need to make sure I hold myself to a higher standard in how I conduct myself, the conversations I have at work and how I perform my job. As someone who works in advertising, there are clients that I wouldn't feel comfortable working with because of what they represent. The standard doesn't just apply to singers. As Christians, we need to make sure we're being salt and light. At the end of the day, all Christians should work for the Lord and not man.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

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

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

  • Joey Feek, half of the popular duo Joey + Rory, passed away yesterday after a long battle with cancer. Please pray for Rory and their daughter Indiana and the rest of the family.
  • Daywind Music Group announced five winners of the Daywind Quartet Talent Contest, The Kings Seven from Kentucky, Justified Quartet from Michigan, the Convention Quartet from Indiana, Redeemed Quartet from Indiana and Evidence of Grace from North Carolina. All five groups will perform on Monday, April 4 at the Daywind Quartet Festival. The winner will receive a 10-song soundtrack recording package from Daywind Studios. 
  • Gus Gaches has been named as the director of Song Garden Music Group. The Rick Webb Family have been working with Song Garden  but with the growth in their ministry were unable to continue the day-to-day operations of the company. Owners Dale, Lynn and Marilyn Keffer are thankful for the Webb Family and all they've done and excited about this new time for the label.
Anything I've missed?

Friday, March 4, 2016

Fun Clip Friday - On the Couch With Fouch

Happy Friday to everyone! The On the Couch With Fouch series is something people have started looking forward to each month. Legacy Five's bass singer Matthew Fouch releases a new interview each month with a Southern Gospel artist.

This month he talks to fellow bass singer Paul Harkey who sings with Ernie Haase and Signature Sound. Check it out here, and enjoy for today's Fun Clip Friday!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Gold City Concert Recap - Sherwood, Arkansas

Several Southern Gospel groups have been making stops in Arkansas recently, so I’ve definitely been taking advantage of that. It had been a while since I’d seen Gold City in a full concert by themselves, so I was glad to see a concert in Central Arkansas on the group's schedule.

Gold City - Bryan Elliot, Thomas Nalley, Chip Pullen, Danny Riley
and Chris West
When I first started listening to Southern Gospel, they were one of my favorite quartets. Last Saturday night, I was reminded of why. They have so many great songs, and this lineup is sounding great together!

Here's what they sang -
  • "I Cast My Bread Upon the Water" - Always a great song to get the concert going! 
  • "God's Still Good" - Loved hearing Chris on this song. He does an incredible job! 
  • "Redeemed" - Love their version of this song. Chip had been sick the night before, but showed no signs of illness that night! 
  • "I'm Saved, I'm Sure, I'm Ready"
  • "Goodbye World Goodbye" - This was Brian's piano solo. I'm not sure why he doesn't get more recognition for his piano playing skills. Such a great talent!
  • "Walkin' and Talkin' With my Lord" - It was great hearing them stage this song again.
  • "He'll Do It Every Time" - Great hearing this older Gold City song. Right before this song Thomas gave his testimony of the miraculous healing God gave him. He suddenly and unexpectedly lost his hearing one weekend. At that point, he was with the LeFevre Quartet and he tried to resign from the group knowing he couldn't sing like once could. But they kept him on, praying for him and him searching for answers with doctors. He stayed on with the group but not as tenor. One weekend he had several people come up and pray and lay hands on him while he was at the product table. Later that evening, his hearing suddenly came back. Incredible testimony of how God still works miracles and heals people!   
  • "Victory in Jesus" 
  • "Farther Along" - I love their version of this song! Danny tears this song up. He has to be the most underrated baritone in gospel music. I love how he really brings out the soulful side on this song. He commented before the song about how much he loved the hymns and how good it was to hear his daughters singing the songs after this project. Of course, he said this version of "Farther Along" was nothing like what he grew up with!
  • "I'm Not Giving Up" - Thomas nailed the high notes on this song! He is sounding great with these guys.
  • "It's Still the Cross" - Such a powerful song, always a favorite.
  • "Power of the Cross" - This is probably my favorite modern hymn. Glad they included it on their latest hymns project!
  • "Peter James John" 
  • "When I Get Carried Away" - It was good hearing this new lineup on this classic Gold City song. They are sounding great together!
  • "There Rose a Lamb" - This was the highlight of the night for me! Chip does such an incredible job on this song.
  • "Midnight Cry" - Always a favorite!
  • "I Surrender All" 
It was so good to see Gold City again. They ended the service with a time of invitation singing "I Surrender All." It was such a blessing to see how God moved and used the group to minister to people that night. It was a night of great music, but more importantly they encouraged and ministered to the people there that night. It was a great service. Be sure to see when Gold City will be in your area, and go see them!