Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Fathers and Sons - Silver Dollar City's Southern Gospel Picnic - 2016

It's hard to believe the 2016 Southern Gospel Picnic is halfway over. I was later getting out to the park today, but still was able to see three different groups.

Tribute Quartet

I was able to walk in late to catch the very end of their second show, but got to see the entire third one. During the second show, Riley said that his family was there since his hometown in Oklahoma is not that far from Branson. He said it was actually his dad's birthday, so we all sang "Happy Birthday" to his dad.

During the third show, they started with "It Always Gets Darkest" and then went into "It Makes Me Wanna Go."

They sang a couple I hadn't heard them sing in a while, "More Than Able" and "Homesick Angel," which the crowd always seems to really get into.

Anthony and Riley sang "In the Valley I Can Hear His Voice." Love hearing this song live!

Tribute has a new project coming out in September. They previewed one song during the third show, "Nothing Stops the Savior's Love." The song was outstanding, can't wait to hear the full project! They ended with "Good News From Jerusalem," always a fan favorite!!

Wilburn and Wilburn

This duo opened the night with "Nobody Like Jesus" and then sang "Let's All Go Down to the River."

I've only seen the duo a handful of times and each time I'm more impressed. I love that they sang "Love Without End Amen," a country song that easily fits into the gospel world.

They sang a few from their recent project, "Living Proof" and "You Asked Him to Leave," which was a #1 for them. And by the audience's response you can see why!

Jonathan and Jordan also sang a few older ones like "Had It Not Been" and "The Old Rugged Cross Made the Difference," which they closed with. The last song was the highlight of their set for me!

Triumphant Quartet

These guys knocked it out of the park last night!! They opened the night with "We Will Remember" and then sang "Love Came Calling," love this song!

Eric slowed it down a bit to sing the George Younce classic, "Who Can Do Anything," he sounds awesome on this song!

Last year when Triumphant was in Echo Hollow, the bottom fell out of the sky. I mean, it poured. So this year the guys decided it would be fun to sing "I Wish It Would Rain," thankfully this year, the sky was clear. However, some people started getting out their umbrellas, because after Monday night, we all came prepared!

Aaron is only a few weeks into traveling with Triumphant, but doing a great job. They featured him on "Hello Mama," that he sang with the Dixie Melody Boys. He and David also did an instrumental version of "Beulah Land" that was amazing!

Clayton and Scotty were featured on "He Is" right before intermission. This was one of my favorite moments of the night!

They sang several favorite Triumphant songs like "Somebody Tell Somebody," "Saved By Grace," "Amazing God" and "When the Trumpet Sounds." David then sang "This Blood." This song is so powerful!! The best song of the night!

Then, we went to something even more spiritual. :) It's not Triumphant at Silver Dollar City without Clayton singing "The Old White Flag." The amphitheater is full of hankies, napkins and even a few white towels being waved. I love how even the Silver Dollar City staff gets involved! Thankfully this year they weren't being rained on while singing!

Ready for another day of gospel music as we get into the last half of the festival!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Rainy Days and Mondays - Silver Dollar City - Southern Gospel Picnic

Every year during the Southern Gospel Picnic, it's going to rain. I feel like that's as sure as the sun rising and setting. It's going to happen. Of course, this year it happens the day that I failed to bring an umbrella or rain jacket. In case you were wondering, you can fit four people under one poncho.

But before the rain started, I got the chance to see two groups on park today. Here's how my day went -

Mark Trammell Quartet

I spent most of my morning at Red Gold Hall watching the Mark Trammell Quartet. During the first show, they sang a good mix of newer songs and classics. They started with "Leave Your Sorrows." I love hearing all the different parts working together on this song.

Next they sang two new songs. One featuring Nick, "To Know He Knows Me" and then the other was "I'll Take It to the Grave." The audience was loving this one so they repeated the chorus with the audience standing and clapping along!

Of course, they had a request for "Wedding Music," a Cathedral classic, so Mark obliged.

They ended the first set with "Statue of Liberty," which I hadn't heard them sing live in a while! Glad they included that one!

2nd Generation

In the afternoon, I made my way over the Opera House my fellow Arkansans and friends 2nd Generation.

I'm glad I got to hear several songs from their newly released project The Church! To me it always shows the strength of a project when the artists stage many of the songs so soon after a release. A lot of times it will just be the single or a few as a teaser.

They did sing their latest single featuring Randy Barnes, "Mama's Rocking Chair," glad I finally got to hear this one live.

Elaine was featured on the title track, "The Church," great song!

Brenda said that "I Came on Business for the King" is the group's testimony song. She sang this one written by Joel Hemphill. We had a great time of worship with this group.

Liberty Quartet and Karen Peck & New River

As I made my way from the Opera House to Echo Hollow for the night show, I started feeling drop of water coming from the sky and hearing thunder. I quickly ducked under the porch of a building to wait it out. Rain quickly came and went and I thought it was all clear. Within a few minutes of finding my seat in Echo Hollow, the rain hit. And of course, it was the day I left my rain jacket and umbrella. How many people can you fit under one poncho you ask? Four, the answer is four. It's not successful, but you can fit four.

We listened to the Liberty Quartet under a poncho in the rain. I'll confess, I wasn't able to take photos or notes on my phone with the rain. However, I think the whole crowd of us drowned rats laughed at the first line of the first song - Walking down a dry and dusty road... LOL, we wish!

They sounded great! This was my first time hearing them, so I was sad I didn't get to hear and pay attention more with all the rain. They ended with "Cornerstone" mixed with a little "Rock of Ages," great arrangement!

Then, Karen Peck and New River took the stage and it began to lighten, well at least for a bit. They started with "I Stand Amazed." Karen took the first verse, Susan and Kari the second and then Ricky the last one. It was good to hear more from Kari!

They sang "Calling" next, and the group quickly realized they couldn't get the crowd to clap along not because we weren't into the song, but because we were holding umbrellas or ponchos trying to stay dry.

Karen then said Danny Jones (editor of Singing News) might kill her for this, but she started the congregation in "Showers of Blessing." We, of course, sang along.

Karen shared a bit of her husband Rickey's battle with cancer and how "Pray Now" had become their testimony song. She sang that one before ending the first half with "Four Days Late." This might be my favorite Southern Gospel song, but I'm going to share this - I've never heard it better live than last night. NEVER. The Spirit was moving, and there was just something about it. Karen even said that she didn't know what to do after that. They talked about the incredible worship of the moment and repeated the chorus.

They took a break for intermission and we looked at the radar and saw that more rain was coming, so we had to leave out early. I hate we only heard the first half, but it was an incredible first half!

Praying for no more rain for the rest of the time!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Sunday at Silver Dollar City - Southern Gospel Picnic 2016

While I was out of my normal Sunday routine of being at church, we definitely experienced church today at Silver Dollar City. We had worship mixed in with a little bit of honking and Elvis impersonating. Here's a run down on my day - 

Sunday Drive

The first show of the day was Sunday Drive. I got the chance to see them last year and then just reviewed their latest project, Special Edition, so I was anxious to see them again in person. They sang a few songs from that project including "A Good Song," "Don't Forget My Senior Discount" and "If There's a Rocking Chair in Heaven." I didn't realize when I was reviewing the project that the song actually features Jeff's mom singing the second verse. This song went to #21 in the country in 1986 for Jeff's family's groups, so they brought it back and still featured his mom's voice on it.

They sang probably their most well-known song, "Happy, Happy, Happy." Great song!

In addition to the Senior Citizen discount song, which had the audience erupt in laughter, Jeff also sang his comedy song "Honk if You Love Jesus," which was another one that had the audience in stitches. 

The Talleys

From Sunday Drive, I made my way to see the Talleys this afternoon who were singing in the Red Gold Heritage Hall. They opened their first set with "After All This Time" from their most recent project by the same name. Love this song, and it's a great opener! The other new but old song they sang from that project was "Namaan." 

Debra talked about the recent death of her father and how they saw the faithfulness of God. She asked Lauren to come forward to sing "Great Is Thy Faithfulness." I love their arrangement of this song!

Lauren also sang "Hidden Heroes" and then they ended the first set with "He's Alive." This is always such a powerful moment that has the audience on its feet!

Jeff Stice

Pianst Jeff Stice started the night in Echo Hollow. One of my favorites that he played was "Through It All." He paid tribute to all the military branches with a medley of all their songs. He had veterans of each branch stand as their song was played. 

He talked a little bit about how he got started and some of those who influenced him which included some impressions of Elvis, Ray Charles and Floyd Kramer. He ended his part with the "Hallelujah Chorus.

Brian Free & Assurance

Brian Free & Assurance closed the day down in Echo Hollow. They opened with "I Keep Looking Up." They kept the crowd going with a lot of their uptempo songs like "You Can Be the Difference," "Anything Is Possible" and "Tell It Like It Was."

The group featured also several songs from Live Like We're Redeemed. They sang "You Could Be the Difference" and "He Will Carry You," love this song! They also sang "Forever Home." This is a beautiful song about the promise of Heaven. Brian talked about losing his parents, and Bill his brother and Mike his grandfather. After intermission, they sang "That's Just What Grace Does," which is one of my favorites from that CD!

Bill requested that Brian show off his tenor skills, so Brian sang "Glory Road." I don't know how he gets as high as he does, but I'm so impressed every time!

Another highlight of the night was "Say Amen." It's always so moving to hear them sing this live with the audience echoing "Amen" during the song. 

Of course, it wouldn't be the same without "Long As I Got King Jesus." They sang this before the break and to end the night!

Day four is complete, ready for day five!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Everything Is Beautiful on Day 3 - Silver Dollar City's Southern Gospel Picnic 2016

Brothers, Blood, Browns and Beauty can sum up today at Silver Dollar City's Southern Gospel Picnic. It was another day with six different artists, one soloist, two brother groups and three family groups. Here's a recap of who I saw -

Hopper Brothers 2.0

My day started at Red Gold Hall seeing the Hopper Brothers 2.0 for the first time. And I was impressed! The group consists of Mike and Dean Hopper, Matt Griffith and Reggie Smith.

They sang several familiar songs like "I Know," "Something Within" and "You Can't Give Up on God."

They started singing "The Baptism of Jesse Taylor" and were just getting into the chorus when the track messed up. They said "Thanks," and just started walking off the stage. Then somebody shouted to put another quarter in the machine. They were getting ready to just sing it again without the track when they got it start again. Loved hearing them sing this one!

Reggie went to the piano and started the hymn, "Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus." It was the moment of the concert. This is my favorite hymn, and I loved hearing these guys sing it. They ended with "I Believe in a Hill Called Mt. Calvary."

Joseph Habedank

Joseph opened the concert last night in Echo Hollow, and it was good to see him again today. He sang a couple that he did with the Perrys, "He Is Good to Me," "If You  Knew Him" and "I Wish I Could've Been There," which had the audience on its feet at the end.

He told a little about his testimony and sang "The Beauty of the Blood." Love this song! He also sang another more personal song that he said challenged him to really live out what he was singing on stage, "When the Lights Go Down."

He also sang "Almost Morning" (Thanks, Joseph!), which is my favorite song he's written! I love the message of this song!

Ball Brothers

This was my first time seeing this group with new bass singer Matt Davis. He's only 21, but the guy can sing bass! He was featured on "Happy Rhythm."

They sang a few classics like "Victory in Jesus" with a Ball Brothers twist and "Gentle Shepherd." Their harmonies on the later were great!

Daniel started telling about their CDs and product and was showing the audience an a cappella project. He asked if anyone liked a cappella music. Of course, the audience clapped for it. He changed the plan and decided to sing "I Shall Know Him" a cappella. It was incredible! Daniel joked that it was probably the only time they had gotten a standing ovation in the middle of a product pitch.

They ended with "Mercy Tree," which is a more modern hymn. Love the message of the song and their rendition.

The Browns

The last show of the afternoon was the Browns. They started their set with "Soul on Fire" from their latest project. I really like their take on that song.

They had several songs where they played their fiddles including a medley of "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" and "Majesty" and then also "Let There Be Peace on Earth." It was beautiful!

They let Andrew loose on "What a Beautiful Day," which was a song he actually wrote. Then, they ended the set with "Everywhere I Go."

Hosea Bilyeu Family

This family opened the night. Hosea normally preaches one of the Sundays of the festival and sings with his family to start the service. They have a large family group, so they had many different combinations of people on stage singing.

Their group sang several gospel songs you would recognize including, "I Go to the Rock," "When Jesus Passes By" and "I Believe He's Coming Back."

The Hoppers

The Hoppers, Dean, Kim, Karlye and Mike, started the night with their most recent single and #1 song, "Jesus the One." I was glad I got to hear this one live!

They sang the Ray Stevens' song, "Everything is Beautiful." And Karlye and Mike pulled out the flashlights on their cell phones and started waving them. The audience then followed suite.

Kim was featured on "Grace Will Always Be Greater Than Sin." I love getting to hear her sing that one live!

Then Dean brought out Claude and Connie, and the audience was on its feet welcoming them with applause to the stage. Connie sang her signature "I've Come Too Far to Look Back." She is the classiest lady in gospel music. Later on Claude sang his "If I Can Help Somebody."

The Hopper Brothers 2.0 made another appearance and sang three songs for the crowd that night.

Of course it's not a Hoppers concert without "Jerusalem," "Yes I Am" or "Shoutin' Time," which is what they ended the night on. They did several turnarounds at the end and had everyone on stage including a few members of the Hosea Bilyeu family. The audience was on its feet clapping and singing along during the entire song!

Three days down, nine more to go!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Six Artists on Day Two of Silver Dollar City's Southern Gospel Picnic

Today I was reminded of why I love this festival so much. The worship experienced during this time is just a sweet preview of Heaven. It was a day full of hymns and sing alongs where the groups led in worship.

We saw six different artists today, so here are the highlights - 

Melody Boys Quartet

I was able to attend the Melody Boys farewell concert in 2012 when they came off the road. The quartet does select dates each year, and Silver Dollar City was one of their stops this year!

Gerald Williams has still got it! His voice is as great and strong as ever. They sang several songs that showcased him like "Pray" and "This Ole House." 

They sang some great older classics like "Peace in the Valley," "Let the Lower Lights Be Burning" and ended the set with "Just a Little Talk with Jesus."

Spoken 4 Quartet

It was great to see these guys again! They had Tommy Fairchild playing the keys for them while at the City.

If you haven't hear bass Cecil Stringer, you're missing out. He's one of the lowest on the road today. He was featured on "Life's Evening Sun." The thing I love about seeing this group is not only hearing them sing, but it doesn't matter where the concert is, they aren't ashamed of speaking truth into the lives of the people in the audience. 

Their set also featured a couple of hymn including "Because He Lives" and "Blessed Assurance." They are in the middle of recording a new project (a volume 2) of hymns and favorites. They ended the set with "Jesus Is Coming Soon."


This was my first chance to see the Hyssongs live. Hymns really were the theme of the day because they did a medley at the end of the set that was incredible. It included "There's Something About that Name," "My Tribute" and "How Great Thou Art."

I loved hearing them play the trumpet and trombone live. They did a fantastic arrangement of "Majesty" and a fun arrangement of "When the Saints Go Marching In."

They also got the crowd singing along with "It Is Well" and "I'll Fly Away." Glad I finally got the chance to see this group live!

LeFevre Quartet 

The LeFevre Quartet was actually a trio, but to put your mind at ease, they don't plan to stay that way. They started the set with their popular "Something," which has become favorite of mine that they sing. 

Josh Townsend is playing piano for the group. He's such a great young talent! 

During the middle of the set, Mike asked for requests from the audiences. People kept calling out titles. He joked that they wouldn't sing any of the songs, but it was good to hear the audience's favorite songs. One of those requests was "Come and See." Jordan was feeling sick  but did a great job on it! They sang a hymn medley with "Amazing Grace" and "How Great Thou Art." Of course, people wanted to hear Mike sing "When I Get Carried" and Jeremy sing "Oh What a Savior."

Joseph Habedank

Joseph opened the night in Echo Hollow. He started the night with "Welcome Home." He sang a few hymns from his Take Time to Be Holy project, "What a Day That Will Be" and "It Is Well." Loved getting to hear him sing "Beauty of the Blood," which he calls his testimony song.

He sang the Goodman classic "I Wouldn't Take Nothing for my Journey Now." He sang a few that he did with the Perrys, "He's So Good to Me" and ended his time with "If You Knew Him," which had the audience on its feet!

The Whisnants

The Whisnants ended the night down in the Hollow. Always love seeing this group! They got the crowd going with "I'm Gonna Go Out Singing" from their most recent project. They also sang "A Grave Mistake" from that same CD.

Austin and Ethan were both featured during the night. They sang "I Lean on You Lord" with Jeff and "1+2+3" with Susan. Both boys sound great! Austin then sang Susan's part on "Not Afraid to Trust Him."

They sang several Whisnants classics, "Be Not Afraid," featuring Aaron and "New Day Dawning," which they ended the first half with and Joseph joined them on!

Susan sang "All Is Well" and "Worry Ends Where Faith Begins," one of my favorites! Thanks, Susan! She also sang "I Love You This Much." I think this was my first time to hear this song live, and it was probably the moment of the night!

They ended the night with "I Believe He's Coming Back," the Goodman classic. Joseph again came out and joined them. It was another great night in Echo Hollow!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Family Ties - Silver Dollar City's Southern Gospel Picnic 2016 - Night One

Today was the first day of Silver Dollar City's Southern Gospel Picnic. If I ranked my favorite times of year, it would be Christmas and then the Gospel Picnic. I look forward to this all year long.

This afternoon, I drove up Hwy. 65 from Arkansas to Branson, Missouri. I got there just in time for the first evening concert of the festival in Echo Hollow. The groups kicking off the nightly concerts were Aaron and Amanda Crabb and the Bowling Family!

Aaron and Amanda Crabb took the stage tonight with "I'm on the Battlefield" to get the crowd going and singing along. They sang several old familiar favorites like "Going Home" and "He Looked Beyond My Faults." The duo has a new project releasing tomorrow (can't wait to hear it), so they sang a couple from it, "Lord Have Mercy" and "Restore Me," which is the title track that Amanda wrote.

The couple also let their daughter, Eva, sing "God Girl" with cousins Katelanne and Gracie. This was a song that Eva wrote! 

I love watching Aaron and Amanda sing together on stage. It was the perfect way to kick off night one!

The Bowling Family opened with "Praise God He's Alive" from their most recent project. They sang several from this CD including "Mourning Into Dancing," "I Was There" and "One Glorious Moment."

They also featured their girls. Of course, Hope now sings full-time with them. If you haven't heard her recently, you should change that. She was featured on both "One Glorious Moment of Faith" and "How Can It Be." Katelanne and Gracie joined Hope for "If That Isn't Love." I love their sister harmonies. These girls have such a bright future ahead of them!

Mike sang a lot of old Hinson songs at the request of the audience. During "The Lighthouse" he heard someone in front of him singing with a deep bass voice. He pulled him on stage to sing the bass line of the song, and he did an awesome job! Mike asked him if he had a job, and he replied unfortunately yes.

After Aaron and Amanda finished, it was sweet to see them find a place on the front encouraging their family. It was good to see them bring back some of the Crabb songs and have Aaron join them. They sang "Don't You Wanna Go" and then ended with "Through the Fire," featuring Aaron. I think most of the audience was singing along. t was a great way to end the night. 

Looking forward to being there the full day tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Silver Dollar City's Southern Gospel Picnic 2016

Today I am traveling north up Hwy. 65 to the Ozarks where for the next 12 days I'll enjoy the best of Southern Gospel! This is one event I look forward to each year. This year I'll get to be there each day of the festival.

You can check out more at Silver Dollar City's website. They have more than 25 shows each day on park, as much Southern Gospel as you want! I plan on doing a recap each day of what groups I was able to see.

Check out the full detailed schedule below -

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Mark Trammell Quartet - Concert Highlights - North Little Rock

A couple of weeks ago, I had the chance to see the Mark Trammell Quartet in North Little Rock. It was the first time I'd seen the group this year, believe it or not. That night, Blake Buffin celebrated one year with the quartet. I was so impressed by him that night and how much he had grown as an artist and his comfort level on stage since I last saw them.

It's always good to see them in Arkansas since the group has Arkansas ties. Both Mark Trammell and Randy Byrd are Arkansas natives and both had family members in the audience who live in the area.

Here are some highlights of the night -

The Mark Trammell Quartet - Blake Buffin, Nick Trammell,
Mark Trammell and Randy Byrd
  • "God's Been Faithful" - This song never gets old. The message of this song always seems to be what I need to hear. It's become one of my all-time favorite songs. Mark does an incredible job on this song every time. 
  • "When the King Comes to Claim His Throne" - Love this song! It's always a fun one that the crowd enjoys.
  • "To Know He Knows Me" -  Nick wrote this song and is also featured on it. It's such a smooth song that has a different style from a lot of their other songs. 
  • "He Hideth My Soul" - Blake is featured on this classic hymn. Love hearing this great, old song! Mark said that it's a Tommy Fairchild arrangement. 
  • "Your Walk Talks" - Never gets old! Love Randy's step out bass lines and how he's made it his own!
  • "The King Is Coming" - Of all the groups to sing this song, the Mark Trammell Quartet is my favorite. Love  everything about their rendition of this Gaither classic. 

Of course, the quartet sang some old Cathedrals songs, "Wedding Music" and "Echoes From the Burning Bush." I'm still impressed by how many songs they stage from Your Walk Talks. It really continues to speak to the strength of the project that they continue to sing so many songs from it night after night.

It's always good to see this group come back to Arkansas. Next time they are in your area, don't miss them!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Special Edition - Sunday Drive - CD Review

Sunday Drive (formerly known as the Jeff Treece Band) released Special Edition in July. This is the
group's fourth release as Sunday Drive. The group consists of Jeff, Misty and Dusty Treece. I first saw this group last year at Silver Dollar City, but I wasn't that familiar with their music. Special Edition reminded me of what I first heard from them last year.

Sunday Drive - Special Edition
The project kicks off with "A Good Song," which is a good way to start any project. :) The song features Misty, who is featured on most of the songs on the album. It's a nice mid-tempo song that has catchy lyrics.

"I Thank You" has a country feel to it. The song has part of the chorus of the Nelons' classic "Thanks" in it.

Misty also has the feature on "If There's a Rocking Chair in Heaven." The song starts with some simple acoustic guitar and then adds more instruments, but still keeps a fairly simple instrumentation. The song is a sweet song about loss and grief.

Jeff Treece includes the novelty song, "Don't Forget My Senior Discount." He wrote this song and actually most of the songs on the project!

"I Was on Your Mind" is one of my favorite Misty features. This tender ballad reminds us that a powerful God created each of us and made us in His image. He holds the universe, yet still knows us individually.

A banjo kicks off "Just Believe." It's another country-flavored uptempo song featuring Misty. The message of this song is always relevant - just believe. No matter what, keep trusting and believe in Him.

The project ends with "11:59," which features Jeff. It's a timely song about the return of Christ. It's a song that really makes you stop and think. Dr. Charles Stanley is actually featured on the recitation during the song.

Sunday Drive might not be a group you're familiar with, but if you're looking for a new group in Southern Gospel, check them out!

Song List -
1. "A Good Song"
2. "I Thank You"
3. "If There's a Rocking Chair in Heaven"
4. "Don't Forget My Senior Discount"
5. "I'll Stand for You"
6. "I Was on Your Mind"
7. "Just Believe"
8. "I Got Saved"
9. "11:59"

Saturday, August 20, 2016

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

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

  • Earlier this week, Triumphant Quartet announced the addition of Aaron Dishman at piano.
  • Anna Brooks has joined the Joyaires full time. Ernie and Debbie Peters will be joined by Anna effective Sept. 11. Anna said she is grateful that her lifelong dream of singing full-time is coming true.
  • Adam’s Call has announced the addition of Mack Rogers to their ministry. "We are excited to see what God has planned for Adams Call as he joins us in ministry," says Bobby.
  • The Kingdom Heirs announced the resignation of Brian Alvey this week. 

Anything I've missed?

Friday, August 19, 2016

Fun Clip Friday - Gatlinburg Gathering

This week has been Abraham Productions' Gatlinburg Gathering. Your favorite Southern Gospel artist has probably been there or will be there this week. For those of us who can't make it, there are plenty of clips floating around online. Enjoy just a few of them from Facebook courtesy of Global Promotions for today's Fun Clip Friday!

The Hoppers

High Road

The Whisnants

Monday, August 15, 2016

Aaron Dishman Joins Triumphant Quartet

Aaron DishmanAaron Dishman is joining Triumphant Quartet as the group's new pianst. G.W. Southard left the
group to join a church staff.

Aaron announced his leaving the Dixie Melody Boys last week. "We've know Aaron for many years and always loved his kind heart and sweet spirit. But, he is also a very talented musician and singer, " Eric Bennett said.

We are very thankful for the two years GW was here and we wish him the best. We are extremely excited for the addition of Aaron on our team,” he said.

Aaron will start with Triumphant this weekend. 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

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

It doesn't seem like a lot is going on this week, but here are some recent news items in gospel music -

  • Congratulations to all the Dove Award nominees that were announced this week!
  • Congratulations to Trey (Legacy Five) and Lauren Ivey on their new baby girl. They welcomed daughter Emerson Shea on August 10. She was 8 lbs., 5 oz. and 20.5 inches long. 
  • The Dixie Melody Boys announced this week the departure of Aaron Dishman. Aaron served as baritone and pianist for the legendary quartet for the last four years. Auditions for the baritone position will begin August 15. Further applicants may contact the Dixie Melody Boys at 850-529-0790,, or by messaging the Dixie Melody Boys Facebook page. 
  • The Griffith Family announced the addition of Jenny McAllister this week. Jenny has been singing on stage since the age of twelve, traveling with her family group The Mullinax Family. 
Anything I've missed?

Thursday, August 11, 2016

2016 Southern Gospel Dove Award Nominees

The Dove Award nominees were announced yesterday. As always, it's good to see Southern Gospel artists and professionals recognized. The full list of Southern Gospel nominees are below, but first a few thoughts and observations -

  • I would have liked to have seen Southern Gospel represented in a few of the overall categories this year. I hate that there's no representation in these categories, and not sure that there has been in the past couple of years.
  • I really think that Cana's Voice should have been included in the "new artist" category. They have made quite a splash this year!
  • For the second year in a row, Karen Peck Gooch has not only been honored as a vocalist but also for her songwriting.
  • Also, good to see Joseph Habedank honored for his writing with a nomination for musical of the year.
  • Good to see some teenage nominees in Southern Gospel with both Hope Bowling and Olivia Collingsworth as some of the youngest nominees this year.

Congratulations to all the Southern Gospel nominees!

Southern Gospel Artist of the Year
  • Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, ​StowTown Records
  • Gaither Vocal Band​, ​Gaither Music Group
  • Greater Vision​, ​Daywind Records
  • Karen Peck & New River​, ​Daywind Records
  • The Perrys​, ​StowTown Records
Producer of the Year
  • Wayne Haun
Inspirational Recorded Song of the Year
  • “​Heaven's Shore​”​ – David Phelps, (writer) David Phelps
Southern Gospel Recorded Song of the Year
  • “Jesus Changed Everything”​ – Ernie Haase & Signature Sound (writers) Ernie Haase, Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey
  • “Jesus Gave Me Water”​ – Gaither Vocal Band, (writer) Lucie E. Campbell
  • “I am Blessed”​ – Karen Peck & New River, (writers) Karen Peck Gooch, Kenna West, Michael Farren
  • “Keep On”​ – Perrys, (writers) Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey
  • “Jesus, The One”​ – The Hoppers, (writer) Paula Stefanovich
Bluegrass Recorded Song of the Year
  • “He’s In Control”​ – Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, (writer) Steve Watts
  • “In The Heat of the Fire”​ – Flatt Lonesome (writer) Kelsi Harrigill
  • “Life’s Railway to Heaven (with the Oak Ridge Boys)”  - Jimmy Fortune, (writers) Eliza R. Snow, M.E. Abbey 
  • “I’ll Fly Away”​ – Joey + Rory, (writers) Albert E. Brumley 
  • “Leave It All on the Altar - The Isaacs, (writers) Gloria Gaither, William J. Gaither, Buddy Greene
Country Recorded Song of the Year
  • “​Love Covered My Sin​”​ – Doug Anderson (writers) Wayne Haun, Randall Garland, Val Dacus
  • “​Small Town Someone (Lunch)​”​ – Jeff & Sheri Easter (writers) Sheri Easter, Kenna Turner West, Jason Cox
  • “​I Believe (with The Whites)​”​ – Jimmy Fortune (writer) Jimmy Fortune
  • “He Touched Me”​ – Joey+Rory (writer) William J. Gaither'
  • “​Seconds Count​”​ – Shenandoah ft. Karen Peck (writers) Mike McGuire, Marty Raybon
Southern Gospel Album of the Year
  • Still – Booth Brothers, (producers) Jason Webb, Lari Goss, Ronnie Booth, Michael Booth, Jim Brady 
  • That Day Is Coming – Collingsworth Family, (producer) Wayne Haun 
  • Happy People ​– Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, (producers) Ernie Haase, Wayne Haun, Todd Collins 
  • How We Love ​– Mark Lowry, (producers) Mark Lowry, Kevin Williams 
  • Moments Like These ​– The Bowling Family, (producer) Mike Bowling
Bluegrass/ Country Album of the Year
  • Small Town, Celebrating 30 Years of Music & Marriage –​ Jeff & Sheri Easter, (producers) Madison Easter, Greg Cole, Jeff & Sheri Easter 
  • Hits & Hymns ​– Jimmy Fortune, (producer) Ben Isaacs 
  • Hymns That Are Important To Us -​ Joey+Rory, (producers) Rory Lee Feek, Joe West 
  • Good News Travels Fast​ – Shenandoah (producers) Bud McGuire, Mike McGuire 
  • Shoulders ​– Wilburn & Wilburn (producers) Ben Issacs, Jonathan Wilburn, Jordan Wilburn

Children's Music Album of the Year
  • Sweet Dreams​ – Sandi Patty, (producer) Steve Wingfield
Special Event Album of the Year
  • Blessed Assurance: The New Hymns of Fanny Crosby – ​ Various, (producers) Bobby Blazier, John Hartley 
  • Let the Glory Come Down ​– Bill & Gloria Gaither and Friends, (producers) Geron Davis, Bradley Knight
Musical of the Year
  • Bethlehem Morning​, ​(creators) Russel Mauldin, Sue C. Smith 
  • Jesus, Only Jesus​, (creator) Craig Adams ​ 
  • That’s Where The Story Begins​, ​(creators) Dave Clark, Gerald Crabb, Mike Harland 
  • This Changes Everything​, (creators) Marty Funderbunrk, Joseph Habedank 
  • Under a Starry Sky (A Dramatic Musical for Christmas)​, (creators) Joel Lindsey, Jeff Bumgardner
Choral Collection of the Year
  • Burning Lights – Choral Collection​, (arranger) Cliff Duren  
  • My Hope (Songs & Message of Billy Graham)​, (arranger) Travis Cottrell 
  • Southern Gospel Songs (10 New, Emerging​ and Classic Hits for Southern Gospel Choir)​, ​(arranger & orchestrator) Marty Hamby 

See the full list of nominees here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Review - Southern Gospel Journal An Anthology - Daniel J. Mount

When I first discovered Southern Gospel, I was like a sponge soaking up all I could about this music. Many times, the websites that I turned to to learn about the music were blogs. As I fell in the love with the music, I loved learning as much as I could about what was going on in the industry.  It was reading their blogs that really first got me to consider blogging.

Daniel Mount's blog, Southern Gospel Blog later Southern Gospel Journal, was one that I visited every day. He retired the blog in 2014, but remains active in the industry.

He released a book Southern Gospel Journal: An Anthology earlier this year. The book includes some of his most popular blog posts from CD reviews to commentary to recaps to news stories. There are 50 chapters full of highlights of his blog. He blogged from 2006 - 2014 writing 3,175 posts and 1,048,944 words. 

It was fun reading and discovering some of those early blog posts before I had really become a faithful reader. I loved reading the historic LP reviews of the Cathedrals Trio and even the album reviews of projects that I had come to love like Look No Further by the Perrys and Always Have a Song by Mark Trammell Trio. 

If you were a faithful reader, you'll enjoy rereading posts like I did. One of my personal favorites was Daniel's tribute to Louisville after the last NQC there in 2013. I never got to attend an NQC there but through his post, I felt like I had. I could feel the significance of the move that was taking place. He had time to dig into the industry and bring out interesting points on stability of groups and the most recorded songs. In the years of the blog, read the two posts with the same title that both bring out different points. You can find out which post Daniel regrets writing. Read his advice to groups on reaching the younger fans. He also digs into the theology behind so many songs and examines the true thing that sets Southern Gospel apart - the message.

Daniel did an incredible job of posting daily, fresh content that not only promoted the music but got fans to think about the industry. That's something I don't think any of us have measured up with doing in the blogosphere. Enjoy reliving his 50 most popular posts with this book. Be sure to get your copy of Southern Gospel Journal: An Anthology!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits - August 6

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

  • Prayers go out to the families of Bryan Elliot (Gold City) and Chris Jenkins (Anchormen) who both lost their grandfathers this week.
  • Freedom Quartet announced the addition of Scott Mullins as baritone vocalist. He is from Charleston, West Virginia. Scott has previously sung with The Gospel Harmony Boys and most recently Tim Greene’s trio, The Greenes.
  • David Ponder of Ponder, Sykes and Wright underwent a heart transplant this week. Keep him in your prayers as he recovers.
  • Harmony Road TV will begin its fifth season this fall with significant changes to the program. These include a series of revolving hosts, new production and promotions team and a completely new look and theme music. The program will continue to air current and classic gospel music videos and timely interviews. 
  • NQC online streaming is now available to purchase at

Anything I've missed?

Friday, August 5, 2016

Fun Clip Friday - Mark Trammell - On the Couch with Fouch

Happy Friday to all! The latest On the Couch with Fouch is an interview with Mark Trammell. He tells some great stories of his days with Cathedrals and Gold City. Check it out below -

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Keeping On - Perrys Concert Recap

Since I've started blogging, there are a handful of concerts I can count on every year. Some churches you know will have a particular group at the same time every year. One of those is the Perrys being at Oak Bowery around Conway toward the end of each summer. And this is a concert I look forward to every year. I love going to this church. Every concert I've ever been to at this church has had the sweetest spirit, you could feel God working in this church. This year was no exception.

Katy Peach filled in for Libbi that weekend. Tracy had some health issues at the last minute so both he and Libbi were back in Nashville. I had only seen Katy sing live once before almost 10 years ago. I knew she was a great vocalist, but I had forgotten just how good she was!

Here are some highlights of the night -
  • "Prior to a Prayer" - Troy took the first verse and Katy the second. Absolutely beautiful song and such a powerful moment! 
  • "He Will Hide Me" - This is probably my favorite Perrys song, so every time I get to hear it live, it will be a highlight!
  • "Privilege of Prayer" - Troy said that they really don't sing this one often. However, a writer of the song, Rachel McCutcheon, was in the audience, and Katy knew this one so they sang it. Troy talked about how much he loved this song and how it was one of his favorites that the Perrys recorded. 
  • "Keep On" - They sang this new one right before intermission. Love how they have the audience join in and sing the chorus with them.
  • "Holy Shore" - This is one of those songs I kinda forgot about to be honest. I don't hear them sing this one often, so I'm glad it was staged that night. Andrew was featured on the first verse and Katy on the second. 
They ended the service with the congregation standing and singing "What a Day That Will Be." It was an incredible night of worship.

With all they have been through in the past several years and even in the uncertainty they faced that night, they were able to testify about God's goodness and faithfulness. They are able to stand night after night and proclaim that God is with them through every step, past and whatever they walk through in the future. It was a good reminder that nothing in life takes God by surprise. God knew who exactly would be singing that night and who needed to be in the audience to hear.

Thanks, Perrys, for the ministry and the reminders of God's faithfulness. In the tough times, He never leaves, and we can keep on trusting Him. "Keep On, Be Brave, Hold Fast, Have Faith..."