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!
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!