Saturday, December 30, 2017

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

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

  • Prayers go out to the family of Miggie Lewis who passed away this week at age 91. She was a member of the first family of bluegrass gospel music, the Lewis Family.
  • Peg McKamey had open heart surgery this week. The surgery went well, but keep her and the McKameys in your prayers as she recovers.
  • Please remember Tara Younce in your prayers as well. On Christmas Eve, the oncologist, along with other staff members at the Cleveland Clinic, told the family that there’s really nothing that they can do within their power for Tara. They are putting her into palliative care to make her as comfortable as possible. 
  • Karen Peck & New River announced that Ricky Braddy is leaving the group. He has taken a position as a worship paster at a church in Nashville. 
Anything I've missed?

Friday, December 29, 2017

Songs of 2017

Today, I'm taking a look at the top songs of 2017. I've made the list of my favorite singles from this year and also recorded songs that aren't or haven't been singles yet.

These are all songs that have been on the Singing News Top 80 chart in 2017, most of them at the top of the chart.

Top Singles of 2017

10. "It Was Jesus" by Wisecarvers

9. "Tangled in the Middle" by The Old Paths

8. "Someone's Listening" by Jeff & Sheri Easter

7. "Still" by Greater Vision

6. "Here He Comes" by Joseph Habedank

5. "Rocks" by the Isaacs

4. "I Choose Christ" by Karen Peck & New River

3. "Chain Breaker" by Triumphant Quartet

2. "God of the Storms" by Tribute Quartet

1. "He Welcomes the Beggar" by 11th Hour

Top Recorded Songs of 2017

10. "Rolled Back Stone" by Greater Vision

9. "Living Water" - Steve Ladd

8. "The Bottom of the Barrel" by Triumphant Quartet

7. "He Can Take It" by Brian Free & Assurance

6. "Say the Name" by Joseph Habdank

5. "Power in Prayer" by 11th Hour

4. "Victory Is Mine" by Karen Peck & New River

3. "My Everyday Life" by The Old Paths

2. "Find Me Faithful" by the Perrys

1. "Everything" by Lauren Talley

What do you think? What would be on your list of top songs this year?

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Top CDs of 2017

It's time to look back at the CDs released this year. This list only takes into account the projects I've had a chance to review. I do still have a few reviews of releases from 2017 that will come in 2018.

Here's a look at my top 10 picks from 2017 -

10. Walk Worthy - Master's Voice

Favorite Songs - "Where My Savior Is" and "Love Goes a Mighty Long Way"

9. They Don't Know - The Kingsmen

Favorite Songs - "They Don't Know" and "God Calls It Grace"

8. Beyond Amazed - Brian Free & Assurance

Favorite Songs - "He Can Take It" and "Anything Is Possible"

7. Still - Greater Vision

Favorite Songs - "Still" and "God Doesn't Care"

6. Silence the Stones - 11th Hour
Favorite Songs - "Power in Prayer" and "Doin' What's Right"

5. Testament - The Perrys
Favorite songs - "Find Me Faithful" and "Moses and Elijah"

4. The Gospel - Lauren Talley
Favorite songs - "Everything" and "What Grace Is Mine"

3. Hope for All Nations - Karen Peck & New River
Favorite songs - "Hope for All Nations" and "Victory Is Mine"

2. Thankful - Triumphant Quartet
Favorite songs - "Chain Breaker" and "Thankful, So Thankful"

1. Resurrection - Joseph Habedank
Favorite songs - "Here He Comes," "Just When You Thought" and "Jailbreak"

Honorable mention would definitely go to the Bowling Sisters' debut album, The Beginning. These sisters are the most talented young singers in gospel music today.

There were also strong EPs released this year from The Old Paths, Steve Ladd and Misty Freeman.

What do you think? What are your tops picks for 2017?

Friday, December 22, 2017

Hope for All Nations - Karen Peck & New River - CD Review

Karen Peck & New River released Hope for All Nations this summer. This is the group's first mainstream release with Ricky Braddy. Kari Gooch, Karen's daughter, continues to have more of a vocal presence. And, of course, you have Karen's sweet soprano voice paired with her sister Susan's alto that provides the perfect blend for the group.

Hope for All Nations has 12 songs running at 44 minutes. I like that it's a longer project for the listener. Karen Peck Gooch actually helped write the majority of the songs on the project.

"Love Will Never Give Up" kicks off the project. Karen is featured for that classic New River sound. "Hope for All Nations" is the second track, which has been a big radio success for the group. I love the piano intro of this song. Karen again is featured on this song.

Ricky Braddy is featured on "Who He Is What He Does" and shows off his soulful side. I really enjoy the sound that he brings to the group. He and Kari's duet of "I'll Keep on Praying" is a track not to skip! It's definitely a highlight of the project. Their voices sound great together on this more pop sounding song. Kari has really come into her own and it's so good to hear her step out on this song. Don't miss the powerful message of the song either. We don't always know where we're headed and while we keep hoping from answers from God, we'll keep on praying and trusting.

Susan is featured on "The Reason." My favorite of her features is "All You Need." This song like so many of the others on the project really speaks to this theme of hope. If He is all you have, He's all you need because He is greater and stronger. Susan communicates this message so clearly and authentically.

"Gotta Be Saved" has a spiritual feel to it. This is just a fun song that will have your head bobbing and toe tapping.

Karen absolutely shines on "The River." I love the buildup and the addition of the choir at the end of the song. How we all need the river!

"Victory Is Mine" is another Ricky feature. This soulful song is really in Ricky's wheelhouse. The song is a powerful reminder of the victory we have through Christ we can always claim.

The last song is "I'm Gonna Love My Neighbor," which includes some of the group's friends like Jeff and Sheri Easter, the Isaacs, Triumphant Quartet, the Whisnants and more.

Karen Peck & New River released one of the top projects of the year with Hope for All Nations. Every song on the project is one not to be missed and all really add something to the theme of the album. There is hope for all nations.

Song To Put on Repeat - "I'll Keep on Praying"
Song to Turn Up - "Gotta Be Saved"
Songs That Will Take You To Church - "The River" and "Victory Is Mine"

Song List -
1. "Love Will Never Give Up"
2. "Hope for All Nations"
3. "Who He Is What He Does"
4. "The Reason"
5. "Gotta Be Saved"
6. "I'll Keep on Praying"
7. "The River"
8. "Victory Is Mine"
9. "God's Got a Blessing"
10. "All You Need"
11. "I Know I'll Be There"
12. "I'm Gonna Love My Neighbor"

Sunday, December 17, 2017

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

Here are news items from this week in Southern Gospel -
  • Phil Cross announced the return of Poet Voices as a quartet for the first time in 15 years. Beginning January 2018, Poet Voices will start touring with Phil Cross, Donny Henderson, Nic Holland and Brandon Barry. The quartet will travel with a live band on select dates.
  • Joshua Horrell announced his departure from the Kingsmen. He had been with the group since June 2016.
  • Bruce Penland passed away on Saturday, December 9, 2017. He played upright bass with The Primitive Quartet. Services were held on Tuesday, December 12. Please keep his family in your prayers.
  • Three Bridges has signed with Sonlite Records marking a reunion for the singing group and label. Their next album is due out summer 2018.
  • Main Stage Artist Bureau announced that it has entered into an exclusive booking agreement with Wes Hampton of the Gaither Vocal Band.

Anything I've missed?

Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Americana Sessions - The Nelons - CD Review

The Nelons released The Americana Sessions last month. The album might not be what you think when you first hear the title. It's not a collection of patriotic songs but a collection of American standards and ballads. Some are newer than others, but most of them you will recognize.

The project starts with the Glen Campbell song "Gentle on My Mind." This isn't the only country star the group takes on. Autumn Nelon Clark shines on "Coat of Many Colors." This songs shows off her voice so well. I got to see her sing this one live a couple of times before the release of the project. "Country Roads Take Me Home" is another country classic that is a duet with Kelly and Amber.

Kelly takes on the Anne Murray song "You Needed Me," which I'll confess I was not as familiar with. I thought this was a really great song for her. I love all the older country songs. Jason puts his stamp on the classic Merle Haggard song "Mama Tried."

Many fans probably know that Amber is a huge Disney fan, so I thought adding "Colors of the Wind" to the project was a great touch. Her version is incredible. My favorite cut of hers on this project though is "Oh, Shenandoah." The arrangement has mainly just piano background to really showcase her voice and her upper range.

The two more "gospel-y" songs are "Daddy and Son," which features Jason's vocals and songwriting abilities. This is a new song but definitely fits the theme of the project. The Nelons also recorded an a cappella version of "Battlefield."

The sisters take on the classic "Bridge Over Troubled Water," which is a definite highlight of the project. They switch back and forth on the verses and come together at the end for a powerful ending.

I really loved that they chose to include the "American Triology," which is a medley of songs "Dixie," "Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "All My Trials." Overall, I loved the theme of this project and the song choice. It really showcases the family harmonies and blends well. It has a variety of songs that really has something for everyone!

Songs to Put on Repeat - "Bridge Over Troubled Water"
Songs to Turn Up - "Take Me Home Country Roads" and "Mama Tried"
Song That Will Take You Back - "Coat of Many Colors"

Song List -
1. "Gentle on My Mind"
2. "Colors of the Wind"
3. "Coat of Many Colors"
4. "You Needed Me"
5. "Daddy and Son"
6. "Bridge Over Troubled Water"
7. "Oh, Shenandoah"
8. "Take Me Home, Country Roads"
9. "An American Trilogy"
10. "Mama Tried"
11. "Battlefield"

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Sing It Again - Jeff & Sheri Easter - CD Review

Jeff & Sheri Easter released Sing It Again in October of this year. The project is a collection of favorites and songs that you will probably be familiar with. The album is Jeff and Sheri at their finest. They put their Jeff and Sheri stamp and signature sound on this collection of songs.

The project is aptly named Sing It Again with that being the title track. They also do a reprise of the song as the final track. This might be the only track I didn't recognize, but it does a great job of setting the theme of the album.

The song selection of the project is definitely to be praised. While they select songs that audiences will be familiar with they don't chose songs that are "overdone" and they do a good job of making the songs their own.

"In the Sweet By and By" is a song I remember Jeff and Sheri singing on a previous Gaither video. I've always loved their version of this song. It's got some great fiddle and mandolin work. "Keep on the Sunny Side" is probably another song that you would have heard Jeff and Sheri sing before.

Let me just say it doesn't get better than Sheri Easter singing a Dolly Parton song. I love that they chose to include "The Seeker" on this album. This is such a fun, uptempo song that has some country soul to it. Sheri is also featured on "Wayfaring Stranger," which really shows the soulful side of her voice. The hymn "I Will Trade the Old Cross for a Crown" is another Sheri feature.

"'Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus" is my favorite hymn of all time, and I love Morgan's version. It really shows off the pure tones of her voice. This was a great song choice for her.

Jeff brings out the bluegrass with "On the Sea of Life." It's their style of bluegrass at its best. Jeff also is featured on the Hemphills' song "Sing the Glory Down" and "Where No One Stands Alone." Jeff turns in one of his best vocal performances on the latter. I love his version of this song!

Don't miss this new collection of songs from Jeff and Sheri Easter, it will have you wanting to play it again!

Songs to Turn Up - "The Seeker" and "On the Sea of Life"
Song That Will Take You Back - "In the Sweet By and By" and "Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus"
Song to Put on Repeat - "Keep on the Sunny Side of Life"

Song List -
1. "Sing It Again"
2. "In the Sweet By and By"
3. "The Seeker"
4. "Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus"
5. "On the Sea of Life"
6. "Wayfaring Stranger"
7. "Sing the Glory Down"
8. "I Will Trade the Old Cross for a Crown"
9. "Where No One Stands Alone"
10. "Keep on the Sunny Side of Life"
11. "Sing It Again" - Reprise

Saturday, December 9, 2017

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

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

  • David Phelps and Cana's Voice have announced the Big Voice Tour to take place in early 2018.
  • Prayers go out to the family of Steve Lee. He was a member of the Cathedral Quartet from 1979-1980.
  • Matt Fouch is hosting an interview giveaway with his popular "On the Couch With Fouch" series. A new interviewee will be chosen by popular vote. Check out the list of those in the running on his Facebook page and be sure to vote!
Anything I've missed?

Friday, December 8, 2017

Cana's Voice - Concert Recap

I'm combining a Fun Clip Friday and a concert recap today. Several weeks ago, I got the chance to see Cana's Voice in Searcy, Arkansas. With this group's limited touring schedule, I was excited to see that they were going to be so close to me. I had seen them at Praisefest Branson and on tour with Mark Lowry but this was my first chance to see them in full concert by themselves. This is one of the most vocally talented groups on the road in my opinion.

It was a night filled with some traditional hymns, several songs from This Changes Everything and incredible testimonies.

Here are highlights from the night -
  • Doug and Jody both gave personal testimonies. It was great to hear them share their hearts. Doug that day had run into several travel issues and had a rough day to say the least. He sang "Jesus Saved Me (When I Couldn't Save Myself)" from his solo project. Then Jody gave his testimony about how God had worked and really performed miraculous deeds in his life before singing "Me," an incredibly powerful song.
  • They did a hymn request segment. Well, apparently Arkansans are not good at requesting well-known hymns. The first one I hadn't really heard of and the second was one I knew but wouldn't be able to tell you the words. The group was in the same boat. Haha! But then people started requesting the classics like "It Is Well," "How Great Thou Art," "Victory in Jesus" and "Power in the Blood." I loved hearing them sing these, and they even let the congregation sing along on a couple. But they ended the hymn segment with "Great Is Thy Faithfulness." Their a cappella version (clip above) is a must see and hear. It's absolutely incredible!
  • "Jesus Never Fails" - It doesn't matter how many times I hear this song, it's always going to be a highlight to hear it live. It's such a powerful song but powerhouse singers.
  • "I Won't Go Back" - Apparently this is not one they stage much but had a request for it. We've sang this in church a lot, but love their version of the song.
  • I loved hearing several others from their CD like "Love Anyway," "All My Reasons Are You" and "Big Enough."
If you get the chance to see this group, don't miss them!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Quartet Tribute - Tribute Quartet - CD Review

Tribute Quartet released its Quartet Tribute (say that five times fast :)) in October. The project pays tribute to well-known quartet songs over the years. I enjoyed hearing several of these songs live at the National Quartet Convention.

I really like that it's not just the classic quartet songs that they chose but also a few by that you may not be as familiar with like "His Tomb Is Empty Now" and "Hold On (Jesus Will Come)," or at least I wasn't. The group even chose a mixed quartet song like "Every Question Will Be Answered." I think the song selection of the project is spot on.

Don't expect this to be a "table project" for the group. It's production value is top-notch with Gerald Wolfe producing.

Most of the songs recorded don't stray far from the original versions of the songs, but you don't really expect them to either with this type of project.

While I do love the unique song selection, I did find myself gravitating toward their versions of some of the more usual suspects for quartet songs. Riley on "Hide Thou Me" is a standout track on the project. "Over the Moon" is not typically one of my favorite songs, but I also really enjoyed their version of this song. "I'm Standing on the Solid Rock" and "Come on Let's Go to That Land" are both great uptempo quartet songs that I'm glad they chose to include!

Don't miss the ones that you might not be as familiar with though! "Hold On (Jesus Will Come)" starts out with a very soulful, churchy feel. As someone not familiar with the original versions, I really loved Tribute's take on this song and felt like it was a great introduction to the song to new listeners. "His Tomb Is Empty Now" is a great midtempo song and really shows off Gary's lead vocals.

I think one of the best things about this album is that it's Volume 1, so there's more to come from Tribute Quartet's Quartet Tribute.

Song List -
1. "I'm Standing on the Solid Rock"
2. "Over the Moon"
3. "Every Question Will Be Answered"
4. "His Tomb Is Empty"
5. "Come on Let's Go to That Land"
6. "Hide Thou Me"
7. "Move That Mountain"
8. "What a Meeting in the Air"
9. "I've Been With Jesus (And I'm So Happy)"
10. "Hold On (Jesus Will Come)"

Monday, December 4, 2017

2017 Christmas Releases

'Tis the season for Christmas music. If you are anything like me, Christmas music actually started about a month ago. I'm not a wait until after Thanksgiving kind of person.

If you are looking for some new music to add to your collection this year, several artists have released new Christmas projects. Here's a closer look at these albums -

The Perrys - A Very Perry Christmas

The Perrys released their first Christmas project in the history of the group. The project has many traditional songs along with a few fun expected ones like "Mele Kalilimaka." Libbi's rendition of "Silver Bells" and Andrew's version of "O Holy Night" are not to be missed!

I really enjoyed "Silver and Gold" that featured Troy. It's not a song that overdone, so I was glad to see this one make the cut. Another highlight is "We Need a Silent Night/ Silent Night." It's a nice mix of a new song with a Christmas classic. "Love Is Alive Forever" is a old Poet Voices song that I was not familiar with. It's not super Christmasy; however, I think it's a great addition to this album. I really liked that this project didn't have a lot of the standard Christmas songs, but really offers listeners something different with song selection.

Doug Anderson - Back Porch Christmas

Back Porch Christmas is a collection of eight Christmas songs. I'll be honest the opening song and title track just made me laugh because the lyrics are so true to life for what many of our family Christmases look like. It's a great song that I'm sure I'm not the only one who will relate to it.

This project also offers listeners a variation from your typical Christmas songs. "I'll Be Home for Christmas" is the probably the most recognized song. I love all the new Christmas songs. Most of the songs are Christ-centered. I love how these songs make you think about the story we are all so familiar with in different ways. "When I Think of Bethlehem" is not a song to be missed! "Christmas in Heaven" is sweet song that can make the holidays a little more bearable when thinking about the loved ones no longer with us. The highlight of the project for me is "The Manger and the Cross,"

Roger Talley - Christmas Piano Classics

If you don't already have your tree up, this is the perfect project to turn on while you are decking the halls. The first half has a lot of your secular favorites like "Silver Bells," "The Christmas Song" and "I'll Be Home for Christmas" while the second half has more of our church favorites. You'll find traditional carols like "Silent Night" and "The First Noel" as well as "Do You Hear What I Hear."

Roger Talley is known for his arrangements and this album is no exception. I love the tracks where he's meshed two songs like "O Come, O Come Emmanuel/ O Come Let Us Adore Him" and "We Need a Little Christmas/ It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas."

High Road - Wonder

This is an EP of six Christmas songs. It starts out with "I Wonder as I Wander," which has a nice classic, almost Celtic feel. "The Night Before Christmas" has a more country feel. It sounds familiar but I can't find that it's a previously recorded song. "Let Us Not Forget" is another great country-flavored song that reminds us what Christmas should really be about. It's my favorite song on the project.

They also have a great version of "O Holy Night" with a simple piano arrangement. The group included two instrumental songs on the project "For the Beauty of the Earth" and "Winter Wonderland."

Saturday, December 2, 2017

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

Here are some news items from this week in Southern Gospel -
  • Congratulations to Karen Peck & New River, Joseph Habedank and the Collingsworth Family on their Grammy nominations. Wayne Haun was a producer on all three nominated projects.
  • Watch the latest installment of On the Couch with Fouch with Jon Epley here.
  • StowTown artist TaRanda Greene recently celebrated 20 years in gospel music with a debut performance at Carnegie Hall. 
  • Continue to pray for Tracy Stuffle who is still recovering in the hospital. Doctors are amazed at his progress and they hope to be able to go home soon.
Anything I've missed?

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Homecoming - Mark Trammell Quartet - Concert Recap

In early November, the Mark Trammell Quartet came to Benton, Arkansas. It's always great to see these guys in Arkansas with two group members having Arkansas roots. However, this night was actually at the church that Randy Byrd grew up in and his dad pastored for many years. It was nice to see the response he got from the congregations and the gratitude that he showed toward people who had invested in his life. Randy shared how much the night meant to him and how thankful that he was to get to travel with the Mark Trammell Quartet. It was such a sweet moment!

It was good to hear such a great mix of songs from their latest three projects. We got to hear several classic hymns and gospel standards to the upbeat songs like "I'll Take It to the Grave" and even a few Christmas ones thrown in.

The Lancaster Family from Arkansas sang during the break. They did an a cappella version of "Hallelujah What a Savior," and it was beautiful!

Here are highlights from the night -

  • "He Hideth My Soul" - I love their arrangement of this classic hymn that's always been one of my favorites. Blake does an outstanding job on this song.
  • "I Know, I Know" - It's good to hear them on this song from their most recent project, Great Moments. Love to hear Nick on this song!
  • "Hallelujah" - Trevor has been a great addition to the quartet. He was featured playing this song.
  • "My Faith Still Holds" - This song is so powerful from their Full Sail project. They ended the first half with this song.
  • "Oh Holy Night" - Randy requested that Mark sing this song, and I am so glad he did! It was the first Christmas song I've gotten to hear live this year, and there's none better. Love Mark's version of this song. After this song they sang another Christmas one, "Glory to God in the Highest."
  • "Thanks to Calvary" - It was great hearing Randy on this song! You could tell that the night meant so much to him and he was really felt so much of the song.
  • "The King Is Coming" - No group sings this song better. Period.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Silence the Stones - 11th Hour - CD Review

11th Hour's newest release Silence the Stones released a couple of weeks ago. This is the group's third release with its current lineup of Amber Eppinette, Jaquita Lindsey and Grant Gibson. 11th Hour's previous release What a Moment set the bar high for their next project. However, this group only continues to get better and better.

"Doin' What's Right" kicks off the project and is the group's first single. It's a fun, catchy song with a simple message. It's impossible not to get this song stuck in your head.

Grant then is featured on "God Will Deliver Me" that has a country flair with guitars and banjos. My favorite of the songs that Grant has a solo on is "Hallelujah." This is a modern hymn that really showcases his voice with its simple arrangement and powerful lyrics.

"I'd Like to Meet the Preacher" is a great song that talks about the legacy of faith; it's not only about the preacher who led us to the Lord but the preacher who influenced him. Amber does an incredible job on this song. This is the first of Amber's four co-writes on the project. She wrote this one with Kenna West and Jason Cox. I'd love to see this as a single as well!

Jaquita is featured on the soulful "I Want to Praise Him" that is upbeat with nice brass and organ work. Jaquita also shows off her songwriting skills on "Let Grace In." This is such a great closer to the album. It's a song that is so relatable and will speak to so many people. Jaquita does a beautiful job on this song.

"Silence the Stones" has a more progressive sound. Grant and Jaquita share the verses on this song. It takes the idea from Luke 19:40 that if believers kept quiet that even the stones would cry out. Let our praises silence the stones. I love how this song uses the verse, and it was a great choice for the album title!

"Power in Prayer" is another one of my favorites. This is another Amber co-write and one that she is featured on. This bluesy sounding song is one that you'll find yourself hitting repeat on.

After several listens of Silence the Stones, I'm sure that it will be among my list of the best albums of 2017. It's a must buy this year!

Songs to Turn Up - "God Will Deliver Me"
Song to Take a Second Listen - "I'd Like to Meet the Preacher"
Song to Put on Repeat - "Doin' What's Right" and "Power in Prayer"
Song that Will Take You to Church - "Hallelujah"

Song List -
1. "Doin' What's Right"
2. "God Will Deliver Me"
3. "I'd Like to Meet the Preacher"
4. "I Want to Praise Him"
5. "Hallelujah"
6. "I'll Be the First One"
7. "Silence the Stones"
8. "Power in Prayer"
9. "I Want You Beside Me"
10. "Let Grace In"

Saturday, November 25, 2017

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits - November 25

Here are some news items from this week in Southern Gospel -
  • The Singing News announced the winners of the 2017 Songwriters Search. Grand prize winners include Blake Bolerjack (song - “Bring On The Storm” to be recorded by 11th Hour), William Carroll Cook and Jennifer B. McCallister (song - “Heavenly Peace” to be recorded by Gordon Mote), and Sherry Anne Lints (song - “You Came” to be recorded by the Hyssongs).
  • The Guardians announced an exclusive booking agreement with the Dominion Agency.
  • Tracy Stuffle had to undergo major surgery. They removed 2 liters of infection from the left lung. He will be in ICU several days to recover, but the surgery went well.
  • On Tuesday, Dean Hopper underwent a follow-up angiogram. The doctor reported that Dean is not only doing well, but the stent is adhering and improving better than expected. Dean's only artery has gone from 5% usage on day of surgery to 90% on Tuesday.
Anything I've missed?

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Come Thirsty - Jay Stone Singers - CD Review

The Jay Stone Singers have a 41-year heritage in Southern Gospel music. The second and third generations of the family are now carrying on the name and legacy with Jay's daughter Sharona, her husband Bobby and their children, Stone and Emma.

Come Thirsty is the latest release from the group. It's actually their third album with Crossroads Music.

Emma Carter kicks off the album with "Just Receive It." It's a great country sounding song that really shows off her young talent.

Sharona is featured on "Your Will Another Way." It's a beautiful song about surrendering to God's will and purpose even when it may not be clear to us. She has a strong, power voice that lends itself to this song beautifully.

"I'm Saved," which was written by Karen Peck Gooch, Jason Cox and Sue Smith and previously recorded by Karen Peck & New River switches back to the more country-flavor. Bobby takes the lead on this song.

"Each Time" takes a more progressive turn. The song was written by Stone Carter and Matthew Lawson. Stone is featured on this song. I knew that Stone has been recognized for his drum skills in the industry, but he is also a great vocalist.

Sharona steps up again with "I Won't Turn Back," which is Karen Peck Gooch's second cut on the project. She also sings the ballad "That Great Tomorrow," a definite highlight of the project. There's something about Sharona's voice that really makes me want to hear her sing something from a Broadway musical. She's definitely got an incredible vocal talent!

Stone is not only the group member with a writing credit. "That's Where Miracle Begin" was written by Bobby Carter and John Mathis. He's also featured on the song. The song wraps up the project going back to the more country sound.

If you were like me and weren't that familiar with the Jay Stone Singers, pick up Come Thirsty today and give them a listen!

Song to Put on Repeat - "That Great Tomorrow"
Song to Turn Up - "I Won't Turn Back"
Song That Will Take You to Church - "Cornerstone/ I Go to the Rock"

Song List -
1. "Just Receive It"
2. "Your Will Another Way"
3. "I'm Saved"
4. "Each Time"
5. "I Won't Turn Back"
6. "Come Thirsty"
7. "Kept by the Promise Keeper"
8. "Cornerstone/ I Go to the Rock"
9. "That Great Tomorrow"
10. "That's Where Miracles Begin"

Saturday, November 18, 2017

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbit - November 18

Here are some news and tidbit items from this week in Southern Gospel music -
  • Gus Gaches will host the very first Song Garden Summit to be held October 26-28, 2018 at Ridgecrest Conference Center just east of Asheville, North Carolina. This three-day conference event will feature music and unique activities with seven Song Garden artists. In addition to concert times, attendees will enjoy contests, games, hiking, fellowship and laughter along with an intimate time around the campfire each night. “We are very excited about the level of enthusiasm we have received from the artists, sponsors and attendees for this unique weekend event,” said Gus Gaches. “We look forward to providing a weekend where folks can relax and renew, make memories that will linger throughout the year and leave with lasting friendships.” The conference event pass includes admission to five sessions, two nights lodging and four meals on campus. For more information or to register for the conference event please visit:
  • Paul's Journey announced a new tenor singer, Ron Higgins. Ron has been singing gospel music for 29 years previously singing professionally with the Pacesetters Quartet.
  • The Troy Burns Family have reached an exclusive booking agreement with The April Potter Agency. Troy Burns is a 2017 inductee in the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame. The Troy Burns Family consists of Troy Burns, his wife, Tammy, their baritone, Shane Mathis, and pianist, Jacob Kluttz.
  • Congratulations to Chapel Valley’s CEO Shane Roark and his fiancĂ©, Jacqueline Ratliff on their upcoming wedding on December 8, 2017. Shane and Jacqueline welcome your prayers as they begin their life together as husband and wife.
Anything I've missed?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Concert Recap - Brian Free & Assurance

A few weeks ago I got the chance to see Brian Free & Assurance in Arkansas. It had been over a year since I had gotten to see this group in person and this was coming right off the release of their new album, Beyond Amazed. Here are some highlights of the night -

  • They had a lot of requests for fan favorite songs, but they were able to get in two new songs and they probably were the two I most wanted to hear live - "He Can Take It" and "Sometimes You Need a Song." Glad that they are already staging a few new ones!
  • "For God So Loved" - This is one of the most powerful songs. I love hearing this one live!
  • "Say Amen" - This is another powerful song. I love when the audience will chime in and say "Amen" as the song progresses. This is becoming one of their staple songs.
  • "He Will Carry You" - I've heard this song on the radio so much lately. It's a beautiful reminder that when tough times come He will be there to carry us.
  • "You Can Be the Difference" - This song is a fun upbeat song, but also very challenging. It's another great one to hear live.
  • It's always good to hear those fan favorite songs. It wouldn't be a Brian Free & Assurance concert without "Long As I Got King Jesus." They also sang "I Keep Looking Up," "Praying Man" and "If It Takes a Valley," three more of my personal favorites.

Check out Brian Free & Assurance's schedule to see when they are near you!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits - November 11

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

  • The Triumphant Quartet will now be booked by the Harper Agency.
  • The Dixie Melody Boys also announced a new booking agent with the Beckie Simmons Agency. 
  • The Talleys, Tribute Quartet, Kenna West, Highroad and pianists Jeff Stice and Sandra Payton as well as other gospel artists will start the holiday season with “Bells, Boots, and BBQ,” a dinner and music event benefiting The Veranda. The event will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 5 at The Depot Square in Gallatin, Tenn. A silent auction begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and concert at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $40 per person, and tables of eight are available for $300. Seating is limited to 300, and reservations are requested before November 24. Reservations may also be made online at

Anything I've missed?

Friday, November 10, 2017

Fun Clip Friday - CMA Awards

In case you missed the CMA Awards that aired this week, you missed an incredible version of "Softly and Tenderly" that has been circulating now online. Carrie Underwood sang the hymn during the "In Memoriam" tribute. And I've also heard that gospel music's own Gordon Mote did the arrangement and played during the performance. I've yet to see anything from him post that, so if anyone knows for sure, be sure to comment!

Watch the video below for today's Fun Clip Friday!

Monday, November 6, 2017

The Last Big Thing - Kingdom Heirs - CD Review

The Kingdom Heirs released The Last Big Thing at the end of September during the National Quartet Convention. That week, I got to hear a few of the songs live from main stage. Of course, the big hit of the week was the title song, "The Last Big Thing." I have to say it's the standout track of the album.

The project starts with a standard Kingdom Heirs style song, "Plenty of Singing." Then Jeff Chapman really gets the album going with "Victory." If this song doesn't get your toe tapping along, nothing will. I think one will be a big hit for them. I can see this one going over really well live.

This is the first mainline release with baritone Loren Harris. He is featured on "Telling the Story." This song really showcases Loren's voice. It's a great song that goes through many of the miracles of the Bible. It talks about these stories about the power of God never get old and can serve as reminders when we go through trials.

"Heroes of Faith" is another great uptempo song featuring Jerry Martin. He also sings the country-flavored "Just Another Mile." Fun fact - this is actually Dianne Wilkinson's 1,000th song!

Jeff Chapman gets a feature again with "I Wanna Do More." He shows why he's consistently one of the best in the business. I love the harmonica on this song. The style is great with Jeff's voice. Another standout from NQC was Jeff singing "Heaven Just Got Sweeter for You." On a project with a lot of uptempo songs, this ballad definitely stands out. It's a a great tender song about the promise of Heaven and letting our loved ones go.

The project wraps up with the classic sounding "I'll Trust You With My Tomorrow." The style is completely different than any other song on the project. It has a timeless sound, and the message of the song is definitely just that!

Song to turn up - "Victory" and "The Last Big Thing"
Song to grab a tissue for - "Heaven Just Got Sweeter for You"
Song to put on repeat - "I'll Trust With My Tomorrow"

Song List -

1. "Plenty of Singing"
2. "Victory"
3. "Telling the Story"
4. "The Last Big Thing"
5. "Heroes of Faith"
6. "I Wanna Do More"
7. "Heaven Was Counting to Three"
8. "Heaven Just Got Sweeter For You"
9. "Just Another Mile"
10. "Live It Up"
11. "I'll Trust You With My Tomorrow"

Saturday, November 4, 2017

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits - November 4

Excuse the blog hiatus this week. Here are some news items from this week in Southern Gospel -

  • Thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Naomi Sego. The gospel legend passed away on Friday.
  • Christ Church Choir founder and long time director, Landy Gardner passed away on October 28, 2017.
Anything I've missed?

Saturday, October 28, 2017

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits - October 28

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

  • Congratulations to Morgan Easter and Landan Smith who got married on Wednesday, Oct. 25 in Lincolnton, Georgia!
  • Former National Quartet Convention (NQC) board member and Director Don Shumate passed away on October 24, 2017 at age 88. The funeral service was held Friday, October 27, 2017 in Lebanon Tennessee.
  • Karen Peck & New River was featured on Joni's Table Talk on Daystar on Thursday.
  • Prayers requested for Down East Boys bass singer Rick Walls. He was admitted to the hospital in Monterey, California after experiencing severe abdominal pain. After evaluation by doctors he was admitted for a minimum of three days for further testing. 
  • Tracy Stuffle is home after being in the hospital this week. Pray as he continues to recover from his Watchman procedure and heart cath and that his AFib will be controlled. Tracy will have to have a pacemaker later on. 
Anything I've missed?

Saturday, October 21, 2017

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits - October 21

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

  • The Dove Awards were held on Tuesday in Nashville. They will air on Sunday night on TBN. Here are a few winners - 
    • Southern Gospel Artist of the Year - Gaither Vocal Band
    • Southern Gospel Recorded Song of the Year - "Better Together" by Gaither Vocal Band
    • Bluegrass/Country/Roots Recorded Song of the Year - "When Grandpa Sang Amazing Grace" by the Nelons (writers Wayne Haun and Barbara Huffman)
    • Southern Gospel Album of the Year - Resurrection by Joseph Habedank
    • Bluegrass/Country/ Roots Album of the Year - Sing It Now by Reba McEntire
  • Congratulations to Jeremy and Jennifer Peace (of the LeFevre Quartet) on the addition of their baby girl Leah Rebekah. Mother and baby are doing well. Leah was born on Oct. 17 and weighed 7 lbs. and 1 oz. and was 20 inches long. She joins big sisters Abigail, Elizabeth and Rachel.
  • Prayers go out to Arthur Rice (of the Kingdom Heirs) and his family in the death of his sister, Juanita. Services will be held on Sunday afternoon in Ashville, North Carolina.
  • Daywind Records announced the launch of Daywind Radio Station and the Daywind Radio App. Daywind Radio will play Southern Gospel music 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Gaither Music Group and UP TV have announced a joint partnership this fall with special programming of content from the award-winning Gaither HOMECOMING brand scheduled to air on the network and UP Faith & Family, a streaming service.
Anything I've missed?

Friday, October 20, 2017

Fun Clip Friday - Dove Awards

The Dove Awards were held this week in Nashville. They will air on TBN Sunday night. Several gospel artists performed on the show and the pre-telecast show including Tribute Quartet, Joseph Habedank (with Reba McEntire) and the Gaither Vocal Band.

For today's Fun Clip Friday, here's a clip from last year's awards with the Gospel Music Hymn Sing segment. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Beyond Amazed - Brian Free & Assurance - CD Review

Brian Free & Assurance released its latest CD Beyond Amazed the last week of September. The quartet turned trio has become known and loved for its unique, progressive sound.

Brian Free is known for picking top-notch songs and this project is no exception. This collection of songs is one of the strongest to be released this year. The album credits contain a who's who of songwriters.

The project kicks off with "Anything Is Possible." It has the same sound we've come to love from this group. It's not the same song that was recorded on the group's Never Walk Alone project.

Brian takes the lead on "He Can Take It," which is the current single. It's a great reminder of the power of God. All our fears, doubts, questions, troubles - He can take it. Not only that but He can take whatever we have, take it and heal it. It's a powerful reminder how God can use whatever we might be going through for His glory.

Mike Rogers steps up to mic on the title track as well as "The Voice of Jesus." The latter is definitely more on the progressive end. It's a great uptempo number that reminds us to simply listen to the voice of Jesus. No matter what the world is saying or how tough the situation we are facing is, we can listen to Him.

"Leave With Nothing Left" is one of the slower songs on the album. It's an inspiration to really make the most of the time we have here on earth. Bill turns in a powerful performance on this song.

The lyrics of "Sometimes You Need a Song" will grab your attention. It's one you'll find yourself repeating to allow the truths of the song to sink in. Sometimes music can speak to us in ways that a sermon or other things can't.

"At the Cross" is another one of those songs that just has the Brian Free and Assurance sound. Brian takes the lead on this one that might not be what listeners expect from the title. Brian also has the ballad, "The End of Grace." It's the type of song that Brian just shines on.

"Unheard" is the closer of the album. It's one that you should not miss. When we can't even find the words, there's not a prayer unheard. Also, I never realized how similar Mike and Bill sound until this song.

It's impossible to find a song that is not going to speak to you on this project. Beyond Amazed is one of the projects you definitely need to add to your collection.

Songs to Turn Up - "Anything Is Possible" and "At the Cross"
Song to Put on Repeat - "He Can Take It"
Song to Give a Second Listen - "Sometimes You Need a Song" and "Unheard"

Song List -
1. "Anything Is Possible"
2. "He Can Take It"
3. "Beyond Amazed"
4. "Leave With Nothing Left"
5. "The Voice of Jesus"
6. "Everything He Forgot"
7. "At the Cross"
8. "Sometimes You Need a Song"
9. "The End of Grace"
10. "Unheard"

Saturday, October 14, 2017

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits - October 14

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

  • Joseph Habedank will be performing at the Dove Award with Reba McEntire. The awards will be held on Tuesday in Nashville and air on TBN on Sunday night, Oct. 22. 
  • Paul's Journey welcomes Keith Gillam as its lead singer. Keith has been singing for more than 25 years. He previously sang with the Toney Brothers Quartet and the Harmony Quartet.
  • New Day Records has added the LeFevre Quartet to its roster of artists. The quartet's newest project is slated for a Spring 2018 release.
  • Johnny Minick and the Stewart Brothers have reached an agreement with Spring Hill Music Group, a subsidiary label of Gaither Music Group. Their release is scheduled for January 2018.
  • The LifeFM Network has been selected to receive the Southern Gospel Radio Impact Award from the Gospel Music Association at the Dove Awards on Tuesday.
Anything I've missed?

Friday, October 13, 2017

Fun Clip Friday - Gospel Singing Jubilee

At NQC, I got to attend the afternoon showcase that was a tribute to the Gospel Singing Jubilee. It was great to see a lot of the old footage they showed that day. As someone who didn't get to watch the show, I enjoyed seeing and hearing how much it meant to so many artists as fans growing up or how it helped them as artists.

So for today's Fun Clip Friday, we're pulling from the archives to this clip from YouTube of The Gospel Singing Jubilee. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

What's Not to Love - Mark Lowry - CD Review

Mark Lowry released his most solo CD in August. This is Mark's second solo release with Daywind Records. The project features five songs that Mark co-wrote. The majority of the songs are from the pens of Reba Rambo-McGuire and Dony McGuire.

I think sometimes we think about comedian Mark Lowry but forget about what an incredible voice he has. This CD reminds us 

"Why Don't We Sit and Talk" opens the album. This song has a great soulful feel. It's a fun song and really speeds up and takes you for a ride at the end.

The Gaither Vocal Band joins Mark on "What's Not to Love." The song is second on the album and then reprises as the last song.

"Love Is the Golden Rule" is a great song. Interestingly enough Michael English recorded the same song on his solo project (it's also the title cut). The song paints such an accurate picture of where we are in the world today. It's a song that everyone needs to be reminded of. "No Room for Hate" is the next song and really follows that same idea. Both were co-written by Chip Davis, who had four cuts on the project.

"What if He Meant What He Said" is one of those songs we all need to just sit and ponder on. It's the type of song that really challenges all of us as Christians. We all know the words of Jesus, but do we really consider that He meant what He said?

"Mama Prayed" is a sweet tribute to Mark's mother. I'm sure most of us have mothers or women in our lives that this song will make us think of.

"Feels Like I'm Already There" is stylistically different from most of the other songs. It has a beautiful and heartfelt message. It's another one from the McGuires along with Jimmy Yeary. When we feel at our end, it's His power we can rely on.

I was familiar with the Dunaways' version of "Didn't I Walk on the Water." I've always been a fan of this song and I love Mark's version of this song.

"Only Jesus" reminds me of the "Untitled Hymn" style wise. This is one of my favorite songs on the project. It's a reminder that He is enough, only Jesus can truly satisfy and be what we need. 

Song to Turn Up - "What's Not to Love"
Songs to Give a Second Listen - "What if He Meant What He Said" and "Only Jesus"
Song That Will Take You to Church - "Didn't I Walk on the Water"

Song List -
1. "Why Don't We Sit and Talk"
2. "What's Not to Love"
3. "I Know When I'm Hearing From Home"
4. "Love Is the Golden Rule"
5. "No Room for Hate"
6. "What if He Meant What He Said"
7. "So You Will Know How to Pray"
8. "Mama Prayed"
9. "Feels Like I'm Already There"
10. "Didn't I Walk on the Water"
11. "Only Jesus"
12. "What's Not to Love?" (Reprise)

Saturday, October 7, 2017

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits - October 7

Since I was out at NQC last week, I'm catching up on news this week. Here all news items and tidbits in Southern Gospel music -

  • The Singing News Fan Awards were held last week at NQC. There were a few changes in the typical awards with favorite soloist going to Joseph Habedank and favorite tenor going to Chris Allman. Here's a full list of winners. 
  • Les Beasley was honored last Friday at NQC for his work with the Gospel Singing Jubilee
  • Southern Gospel promoter Norm Basden, of Altoona, Alabama, passed away this week. Visitation for will be held Monday with the funeral services on Tuesday.
  • Triumphant Quartet celebrated its 15th anniversary last week with a special appearance by Louise Mandrell who helped the group in its beginning stages.
  • The latest "On the Couch With Fouch" episode features Matt Fouch interviewing Tribute Quartet bass singer Anthony Davis. Watch it here.
Anything I've missed?

Friday, October 6, 2017

Fun Clip Friday - NQC

Excuse the lack of posts this week, I'm still recovering a bit from NQC last week. So in honor of that, here are two clips of NQC from last week. The reunions the week features were some of my favorite sets. Here's a look at the Gold City reunion and the Perrys reunion. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Saturday Night - National Quartet Convention

Well, NQC 2017 has now come to an end. Since I first discovered gospel music as a teenager, I heard about the National Quartet Convention and how it was a "must" event for gospel music fans. It's been a "bucket list" item for a while for me, and this week I got to check it off. It's truly been an incredible week. I've gotten to attend more than 42 hours of concerts during this week (and I didn't even go to everything!).

This morning's chapel was a hymn sing hosted by Gerald Wolfe and Dr. Tim Hill speaking. It was one of the most precious times of worship I've ever been a part of. The message was one of the best I've ever heard. This afternoon, we got to see a Dixie Melody Boys reunion and a tribute to the television show The Gospel Singing Jubilee.

Here's a look at highlights and commentary from tonight -

  • The reunions and tributes were my favorite sets of the night. The Gold City reunion featured Jay Parrack, Mark Trammell, Jonathan Wilburn and the one and only Tim Riley. The Perrys reunion went through the decades starting with the original Perry siblings - Libbi, Debra and Randy. They sang clips of all their hits through the decades. Then, the Nelons did a sweet tribute to Rex Nelon. They had Jason's dad, Dan Clark, singing bass for them. They all lived up to the hype!
  • Tribute and the Isaacs had the longer sets tonight. Tribute got to sing a lot from Here For You. Sonya (who hosted along with Scotty Inman tonight) got to give part of her testimony before singing "I Love You More."
  • The finale of the night featured #1 songs from eight different groups. Well, except for the Kingdom Heirs who were supposed to sing "Joys of Heaven" but there was a track issue. They ended up having Gerald Wolfe come up and play piano for them on "I Know He Heard My Prayer." This ended up being such a great moment!

Key Performances -

  • "I'd Rather Have Jesus" - The Blackwood Brothers featuring Michael Helwig
  • "Scars in the Hands of Jesus" - Diplomats
  • "When He Calls I'll Fly Away" - Gold City Reunion
  • "Every Cry Is Heard" - Jim Brady Trio
  • "Jesus Saves" - Tribute Quartet
  • "I Wish I Could Have Been There" - The Perrys Reunion
  • "Just When You Thought" - Joseph Habedank
  • "Damascus Road" - Kingdom Heirs
  • "He Is Mine and I Am His" - The Hoppers
  • "I Love You More" - The Isaacs
  • "It's Almost Over" - The Mark Trammell Quartet
  • "Oh, For a Thousand Tongues" - The Nelons
  • "Then Came The Morning" - Ernie Haase & Signature Sound
  • "Til the Storm Passes By" - Greater Vision

National Quartet Convention - Friday Night

Tonight was my favorite night overall. Every group pressed through it being Friday night of NQC and put together amazing sets. There are a lot of highlights and standout peroformances, so here we go -

  • The past two nights have been more quartet centric. Tonight it was more about family groups with the majority of the groups being mixed groups. But even with the quartets you had some family connections.
  • The Erwins had one of the strongest sets of the night close to the beginning of the night. They brought Joseph Habedank up to join them for a sing since they are doing some tour dates together now. They also paid a sweet tribute to Vestal Goodman with "What a Lovely Name."
  • We got to hear several new songs again tonight with Gold City singing "If Church Pews Could Shout" and Jeff and Sheri Easter singing several from their new project including Sheri featured on "Wayfaring Stranger" and Morgan on "'Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus," loved both of these old/new songs. I'd also never heard Ricky Braddy of Karen Peck & New River sing "I Bowed on My Knees and Cry Holy," but he did an outstanding job on that song!
  • The Browders told the story of a woman who had been given a grim diagnosis listening to the song "Put It Into God's Hands." The song became an anthem for her and she called the Matthew Browder after a followup appointment. The Browders played the voicemail they received saying that all the tests were now completely clear. It was a powerful moment! They then had some help on the chorus of the song from Riley Harrison Clark, Lauren Talley and John Darin Rowsey.
  • The Whisnants singing "New Day Dawning" on main stage never fails to disappoint. They were joined by Suzanne Taylor Hise (one of the hosts for the evening) and several members of Second Half Quartet with Rodney Griffin showing off his dance moves around the stage.
  • It's too hard to crown a best set of the night. 
Key Performances

  • "Heaven in the House" - The Littles
  • "We'll Understand It Better By and By" - Dixie Echoes
  • "I Can Through Christ" - Erwins with Joseph Habedank
  • "I Will Stand" - Gold City
  • "I've Won" - The McKameys
  • "Cost of the Cross" - Kingsmen
  • "I'm Trusting the Blood" - The Whisnants
  • "Put It Into God's Hands" - The Browders
  • "Going Home" - Second-Half Quartet
  • "Wayfaring Stranger" - Jeff and Sheri Easter
  • "Jesus Only Jesus" - The Rick Webb Family
  • "Jesus Changed Everything" - Ernie Haase and Signature Sound
  • "Four Days Late" - Karen Peck & New River
  • "The Cross Is All the Proof I Need" - Triumphant Quartet
  • "This Is My Father's World" (a cappella) - Collingsworth Family

Friday, September 29, 2017

National Quartet Convention - Thursday Night

Day four of the National Quartet Convention is in the books. I attended the afternoon showcase of Aaron Wilburn and the Gaither Homecoming sing-along. I have to say that the two-hour Homecoming sing has been my favorite part thus far of convention. I've never had an experience quite like that one. When I've been to Homecoming concerts in the past, there have never been that many artists on stage at one time.

So for the evening concert, here are highlights -

  • Tonight was a sell out. Of course, the Gaither Vocal Band was the closer tonight. They had an extended set as well as the Hoppers.
  • The reminder of Heaven was a major theme tonight. Jim Brady shared of his dad's passing and the song that came out of that. Mike LeFevre said goodbye to his mom only a few weeks ago and shared about her passing and then they sang a tribute to her.
  • Patriotism was another theme of the night as it has been all week. The Nelons sang several from their recent Americana project. Selah actually joined the Nelons during their set. Of course, Legacy Five sang and played a couple as well. 
  • Bill Gaither came up during the Hoppers' set talking about the new album he just worked on with them. Mark Trammell paid a touching tribute to Gaither before singing his song "The King Is Coming."
  • The Gaither Vocal Band set was great tonight and gave us something different from what we had been hearing this week. Mark Trammell Quartet, the Hoppers and Tribute Quartet also had some of my favorite sets of the night.

Key Performances -

  • "I'll Worship You Again" - The Taylors
  • "To Say Goodbye" - LeFevre Quartet
  • "When Grandpa Sang Amazing Grace" - The Nelons
  • "Hallelujah, Praise the Lamb" - The Talleys
  • "It Is Well" (a cappella) - The Isaacs
  • "The King Is Coming" - Mark Trammell Quartet
  • "Farewell, But Not Forever" - Jim Brady Trio
  • "What a Meeting in the Air" - Tribute Quartet
  • "Be An Overcoming" - The Hoppers
  • "Facts Are Facts" - The Booth Brothers
  • "'Til the Storm Passes By" - Gaither Vocal Band
  • "It Is Finished" - Gaither Vocal Band

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

National Quartet Convention - Wednesday Night

We're more than half way over with the 2017 National Quartet Convention. Only three nights left! Wednesday was another night full of great music. And everything seemed to run a little bit ahead of schedule.

Here's a look at highlights and commentary from the night -

  • It was a night for quartets. Kingdom Heirs, Second Half Quartet and Triumphant were all featured artists having a longer (30ish minutes) set. It's a toss up with Second Half and Triumphant for the best set of the night. With Second Half, they took the time to tell a little bit about how the group came to be. It's good to hear just the voices the the piano and bass guitar. Triumphant sang a few songs from Thankful including the title song and their two-time #1, "Chain Breaker." Eric got to share a little bit about how much the song "Chain Breaker" is changing lives.
  • Specials guests were a plenty tonight. Karen Peck & New River's set featured the Wilmington Celebration Choir. Jeff Easter in true Jeff Easter fashion was kind enough to share the stage with Michael Combs and Eli Fortner both of whom have undergone transplant surgery this year.
  • For those who left before the power half-hour, they missed some incredible young talent. The Chitans was the showcase winner. The group is five young siblings. 
  • Layke Jones and Morgan Easter were the hosts for the night. It's been so good to see the younger generation of Southern Gospel artists showcased in this way this week. 
  • There were a number of debuts tonight with new songs and new featured singers. Gold City debuted its new single "I Will Stand." Jason Crabb also sang another new one his dad wrote, "God Works in Mysterious Ways." Kingdom Heirs also sang a few new ones with "Heaven Will Be Sweeter" being a highlight of the night. I think this was the Wilmington Choir's first trip to the mainstage of NQC. Also, the Perrys featured Jared Stuffle for the first time on main stage. 

Key Performances
  • "I Will Stand" - Gold City
  • "What a Day That Will Be" - The Guardians
  • "Heaven Just Got Sweeter" - Kingdom Heirs
  • "Like My Mother Does" - Jeff and Sheri Easter
  • "Let the Church Arise" - LeFevre Quartet
  • "Hope for All Nations" - Karen Peck & New River
  • "God Works in Mysterious Ways" - Jason Crabb
  • "I Love You This Much" - The Whisnants
  • "Wonderful Grace of Jesus" - Second Half Quartet
  • "Then I Met the Master" - Booth Brothers
  • "It Carried Him" - The Perrys
  • "Hallelujah" - Triumphant Quartet

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

National Quartet Convention - Tuesday Night

Night two of the 2017 is now complete. The last few hours of the night were packed with highlights. For those who left before the power half-hour missed a lot of great up and coming groups. Here are my thoughts on the night.

Highlights and Commentary -

  • I am really enjoying the longer sets for featured groups. Last night it was the Whisnants. Tonight it was the Jim Brady Trio and Greater Vision.
  • The entire Daywind set was incredible. It featured Legacy Five, the Hoppers, Greater Vision, Joseph Habedank and Tribute Quartet. 
  • If for some reason you didn't love Katie Erwin before, you would after tonight. She and Joseph Habedank hosted together. She looked just as comfortable and at home up there as he did. They did a great job!
  • I was impressed by the unity and support of groups tonight. From artists in the artists circle supporting each other to actual on-stage support. Jason Crabb had several younger artists back him up on a new song. He returned the favor for Highroad's song. Jaquita Lindsey of 11th Hour filled in for Lisa Williamson, whose grandmother just passed away. Riley Harrison Clark joined the Talleys set for "What Grace Is Mine," a duet with Lauren.
  • Josh Townsend of Legacy Five gave a stirring testimony before playing and singing "God's Been Good." Today was his 20th birthday and he told everything that he'd been through in his 20 years. He's a walking miracle. He gave such a touching performance singing and playing "God's Been Good." It's one of those moments people will be talking about for years to come. 
  • The power half-hour tonight featured a lot of great playing and picking from the live music of Highroad and the Lindsey family to the incredible piano playing of Jacob Klutz with the Troy Burns Family.
  • It was another night for a lot of new songs. The Perrys had all songs from Testament, their latest project. Jason Crabb sang a song he wrote after the recent hurricanes that had never been sung before.

Favorite Performances -
  • "The Greatest of All Miracles" - Jim Brady Trio
  • "It's About the Cross" - Ball Brothers
  • "Give Me Jesus" - The Talleys
  • "What Grace Is Mine" - Lauren Talley and Riley Harrison Clark
  • "Find Me Faithful" - The Perrys
  • "Love in Your Heart" - Jason Crabb
  • "God's Been Good" - Legacy Five
  • "Something's Happening" - The Hoppers
  • "Still" - Greater Vision
  • "Here He Comes" - Joseph Habedank
  • "Beauty of the Blood" - Joseph Habedank
  • "When the Prodigal Comes Home" - Tribute Quartet

Monday, September 25, 2017

National Quartet Convention - Monday Night

The first official night of the 2017 National Quartet Convention is now in the books. And what a full night of great gospel music, it was! It's great getting to be here in person this year.

Here are commentary and highlights from the night -

  • The Kingsmen Reunion with Squire Parsons was a highlight of the night. Nick Bruno had the original chart he wrote for "Beulah Land" when the Kingsmen first cut the song. Kingsmen alumni joining them on stage included Arthur Rice, Ernie Phillips, Mark Trammell along with Squire and Nick. It was probably the highlight of the night.
  • The young talent was out in full force tonight with the Erwins and the Hayes kids all doing incredible. These kids can sing!
  • There were seven groups that took the stage I'd never seen before live. One that you might be surprised about is the Kingdom Heirs. It was good to finally see them in person.
  • Recent events in the NFL and national anthem were front and center tonight with several groups singing patriotic songs and having commentary on it. 
  • We got to hear a lot more new songs tonight from several different groups including the Kingdom Heirs, 11th Hour, the Mylon Hayes Family and the Whisnants. 
  • Riley Harrison Clark and Lauren Talley were great hosts for the night!
  • The power half-hour featuring a lot of new or lesser known groups is a nice addition. I was glad that most people around us at least stuck around to see all these groups. It's a nice way to feature them on main stage.

Favorite Songs of the Night - 
  • "He's Still Alive" - The Erwins
  • "The Last Big Thing" - Kingdom Heirs
  • "He Welcomes the Beggar" - 11th Hour
  • "Is That the Old Ship of Zion" - Kingsmen Reunion
  • "I Choose Christ" - Karen Peck & New River
  • "The Lighthouse" - Mark Trammell Quartet
  • "Grace Happened Here" - Mylon Hayes Family
  • "When the Trumpet Sounds" - Triumphant Quartet
  • "All Is Well" - The Whisnants
  • "God Calls It Grace" - Kingsmen

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sunday Night at National Quartet Convention

Today we drove all day to get to Pigeon Forge tonight. We weren't sure if we'd make it in time or be able to go to the kickoff concert, but we made it! The Sunday night bonus concert featured the Hoppers, Mark Trammell Quartet, Tribute Quartet, Tim Lovelace, the Jim Brady Trio and Greater Vision. Each group came out and sang two sets. I have to say overall the second sets were better than the first sets. There were some incredibly powerful moments!

As is pretty typical, we got to hear some songs from some new projects. Mark Trammell Quartet sang several from their Great Moments project. Tribute Quartet also featured one from their quartet tribute CD.

Here are some highlights of the night -

  • "Life Is Good" - The Hoppers - Dean is back on stage with them. For them to stand and sing "Life Is Good" with all they have been through with Dean back on stage, you couldn't help but smile.
  • "Why Me Lord" - Greater Vision
  • "God of the Storms" - Tribute Quartet
  • "What a Day That Will Be" - Jim Brady Trio
  • "He Is Mine and I Am His" - Mark Trammell Quartet
  • "Come on and Go to That Land" - Tribute Quartet
  • "Grace at Its Best" - Tribute Quartet 
  • "Love of God" - Jim Brady Trio
  • "Grace Will Always Be Greater Than Sin" - The Hoppers
  • "The King Is Coming" - Mark Trammell Quartet
  • "For All He's Done" - Greater Vision
I'm going to tie the two grace songs for the moment of the night with "Grace at its Best" and "Grace Will Always Be Greater Than Sin."

Can't wait for a week full of gospel music!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits - September 23

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

  • Jason Crabb will join Selah on the “Your Love Is Unbreakable” tour this fall. It is presented by World Vision and will start tonight. It is scheduled to be in 13 cities during the months of September, October and November.
  • Smacker Bats has partnered with Matt Felts to release a special edition bat. The company is now offering a “Matt Felts Signature Series” baseball bat. The bat has Matt Felts signature and logo on the barrel of the bat.
  • The Griffith Family reached an exclusive recording and distribution deal with Newday Records, a division of Daywind Music Group and Newday Distribution.
  • Karen Peck and New River, the Talleys, Highroad and Emily Ann Roberts have kicked off The Gospel Through Girls and Guitars Tour. This tour will be in fall 2017 and continuing into the spring 2018. 
Anything I've missed?

Friday, September 22, 2017

Fun Clip Friday - NQC

Well in honor of National Quartet Convention, today's Fun Clip Friday is a clip from last year's NQC. Greater Vision pulled up young Eli Shaw to sing "I Know a Man Who Can" with them. Check it out below.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

National Quartet Convention

Sorry for the lack of blogging lately. I promise to make up for it next week since I'll be at NQC! This is my first time to go to National Quartet Convention. I normally end up watching it on the webcast. This has been a bucket list item of mine for a long time, so I'm excited for the chance to be there in person.

There will be several groups there that I will get to see for the first time in person and of course so many favorite groups. Since it's the 60 anniversary of the convention, I know they have a lot of great things planned throughout the week.

If you're in the area, it's not too late to get tickets. Or if you can't make it, tune into the webcast. Go to

If you're going to be there next week, I'd love to hear from you. What's your favorite part of NQC? What do I not need to miss? Any tips for the week?

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Still Greater Vision - Concert Recap

Earlier last month, I had the chance to see Greater Vision in Arkansas. This was my first time to see the group since Jon Epley's addition. When a group as consistent as Greater Vision makes a big change, fans are always interested to see what the group will sound like. You'll be happy to know they are still Greater Vision with the same sound they've always had. Jon is a great addition to the group and fits in well with their overall blend.

Here are some highlights from the night -

  • "He'd Still Been God"
  • "Rolled Back Stone" - It was good to hear so many songs from their new project during this concert. This is just one of the new ones that has a country-flair that Chris sang.
  • "Why Me Lord" - Jon was featured on this great, old song.
  • "His Grave Wrote the song" - Another great new one!
  • "I Know a Man Who Can" - Never get tired of hearing Chris on this one.
  • "God Doesn't Care" - I don't know of a person who doesn't need to hear this song and be reminded that God doesn't care what we have done in the past.
  • "Still" - This was the moment of the night for me. Such a powerful song that Rodney sings.
  • They pulled Wade Lentz on stage who is the pastor of the church. He got to sing bass with Greater Vision last time they were there, so they made a quartet and had him sing with them again. He has a great bass voice. They sang "Wedding Music," then he said there's a quartet song he's always wanted to sing but never gotten the chance. The song was "Boundless Love."
  • "Until You've Known the Love of God" - Gerald stepped out from the piano to sing this song. Good hearing him featured on this one!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

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

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

  • Prayers go out to the family of Elinor LeFevre. She was the mother of Mike LeFevre and grandmother of Jordan LeFevre. The services were held this past Monday in Gainesville, Georgia.
  • The Blackwood Brothers have welcomed Jonathan Mattingly as their new lead singer. Jonathan and his wife Sarah and first child Asher now live in Nashville, Tennessee. 
  • Daywind Publishing has welcomed Hunter Leath to its family of writers. 
  • Several artists including the Perrys, Legacy Five and the Chuck Wagon Gang had damage to their personal vehicles and bus from recent flooding in Nashville. 
Anything I've missed?

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Wrapping Up Southern Gospel Picnic

Well I'm finally getting a chance to wrap up the rest of Southern Gospel Picnic at Silver Dollar City. On Sunday, we enjoyed a great morning service with Dennis Swanberg. I got to see Voices of Lee, Jeff Stice and the Martins later that day. Then on Monday, I enjoyed the last day of the festival with Spoken 4 Quartet, the Diplomats and the Isaacs before heading back to the real world.

Here are highlights from the last two days -

Voices of Lee

This was my first time seeing this group live, and I was impressed!

  • "The Lord's Prayer"
  • "No Longer a Slave" - This song featured Tripp Hess (son of Judy Martin Hess). Since the Martins sang that night, his mom and other family members were there to support him. He did a great job on this feature!
  • "Higher"
  • "Gloryland Medley"

Jeff Stice
  • Andre Crouch Medley
  • "Hallelujah Chorus"
  • He brought Maddy on stage to sing "Sing." At 12 years old, she has quite a good voice!
The Martins
  • "He Leadeth Me"
  • "Love's Gonna Drive This Train"
  • "The Promise" - One of my favorite gospel songs ever. Love hearing this long live!
  • "Out of His Great Love"
  • "On Days Like This" - This is a new song that will be on their upcoming album. I think I have the title right. It was great hearing new material from them!
  • "You'll Never Walk Alone" - No one does a cappella like they do!
  • "Love Enough"
  • "I'm Still Standing" - Another new one that featured Judy!
  • "So High" - They were about to close the night when Duane Garren came out and said they had to sing this song! I'm glad he did!

Spoken 4 Quartet
  • "I Know My God Can Do It"
  • "Blessed Assurance" 
  • "Because He Lives" - Love hearing them on the classic hymns.
  • "Light at the End of the Darkness" - Great hearing Cecil featured on this song!
The Diplomats
  • "Sheltered in the Arms of God"
  • "Walking With Jesus"
  • "Scars on the Hands of Jesus" - Harold Reed was featured on this song. Love this one!
  • Their live band is incredible!
  • "I Wouldn't Take Nothing for my Journey Now"
The Isaacs
  • "Rocks"
  • "I Love You More" - Love hearing Sonya's testimony with this song. Definitely the moment of the night!
  • "If That Isn't Love"
  • "I Find It All in You"
  • "Yours Amen"
  • "Lord's Prayer" - You can't beat family a cappella harmonies.
  • "Walk On"
  • "If That's What It Takes" - Ben gave a bit of testimony before singing this song talking about how much it meant to him. 
It was a great festival again this year! Thank you Silver Dollar City, Brad Thomas, DA Callaway and Duane Garren for all you do to make this event happen each year!

    Sunday, September 3, 2017

    Saturday at Silver Dollar City - Southern Gospel Picnic

    I went out to the park late yesterday afternoon. I went to see the Browns before heading down to Echo Hollow to see Michael English and the Nelons. Here are a few highlights!

    The Browns

    • "Aim Higher"
    • "What a Beautiful Day" - Andrew has more energy on stage than anyone else in gospel music. It's great to see him have such an energetic spirit!
    • Instrumentals - Love hearing them play their violins. 
    • "Grandpa Tell Me 'Bout the Good Ole Days"

    Michael English 
    • "Mary Did You Know"
    • "Daystar" - Michael talked about the song and how it has been a breakthrough song for him with the Gaither Vocal Band.
    • "In Christ Alone"
    • "Love Is the Golden Rule"
    The Nelons
    • "In My Father's Hosue"
    • "The Sun's Coming Up" - Always good to hear Kelly sing this song!
    • "Coat of Many Colors" - Autumn was featured on this one playing her mandolin. She did a great job! 
    • "God Bless America" - Their a cappella arrangement of this song was great! 
    • "You Needed Me" - Kelly dedicated this song to Jason for this birthday! It was such a sweet moment!
    • "Then Came the Morning" - Amber does an amazing job on this song!!

    Both groups came out of the very last part and sang a number of songs together including - "Home," "Look for Me," "I Bowed on my Knees" and "We Shall Wear a Robe and Crown."

    Saturday, September 2, 2017

    Good Things Happening - Friday Recap of Silver Dollar City's Southern Gospel Picnic

    Friday, we made it out to the park in time to catch four different groups. Three of these groups I don't get to see very often or at all, so it was good to see them live. We ended the night with a packed house for the Booth Brothers! Don't miss the video on my Facebook page of the song that Michael Booth requested to warm up the crowd.

    Here are highlights from the day -

    High Road

    This is the first time I remember seeing this group live. These young people are talented and used no tracks -- all live music. And they write a lot of their own music!

    • "We Are Broken"
    • "Somewhere I'm Going" - Beautiful song about Heaven!
    • "His Hand on Me"
    • "Two Coats"
    The Craguns
    • "Blessed Assurance" - Elena does an incredible job on this song!
    • "I Know the Master of the Wind" - They did this chorus a cappella.
    • "On the Other Side"
    • "This Is My Father's World"
    • "Oh What a Savior"
    • "Giver of Life" - Loved hearing Chris on this song!
    • "I'm Going There" - Newest member Ronnie Bright was featured on this song.
    • "Come to the Fountain"
    Booth Brothers

    Of course, it's always good to see the Booth Brothers. They sang several songs from their recent project that I wasn't as familiar with, so it was a good mix of the newer songs and classic favorites. 
    • "I Just Feel Like Something Good Is About to Happen"
    • "Moment of Grace" - Love hearing Paul sing this song!
    • "Stop the Storm"
    • "It Is No Secret"
    • "Down by the River" - Such a fun one that really gets the crowd going!
    • "Jesus Saves" - This was just a powerful moment of worship with the crowd on its feet!
    • "Life's Railway to Heaven"
    • "Look for Me at Jesus' Feet" - Always a powerful song from Michael!
    • "Then I Met the Master" - No one sings this better than Ronnie.
    • "Facts Are Facts"

    Friday, September 1, 2017

    Ain't God Good - Thursday Recap of Silver Dollar City's Southern Gospel Picnic

    Wednesday night was the Second Half Quartet and the good news is that all of the members were back in the park on Thursday. I got the chance to see the Mark Trammell Quartet, Pat Barker and Greater Vision before heading down to Echo Hollow to see Ernie Haase and Signature Sound. Here's a look at highlights from the day -

    The Mark Trammell Quartet

    • "Leave Your Sorrows"
    • "Treasures in Heaven" 
    • "I Know" - Nick did a great job on this song! This is one from their new project, which releases today. 
    • "The King Is Coming" - No one does this song better than this group!
    • "He Hideth My Soul"
    • "Echoes From the Burning Bush" - They joined new piano player Trevor Conkle around the keyboard for this song with just the keys backing them up. 
    Pat Barker
    • "Ain't God Good"
    • "How Big Is God" - Of course he received several requests for this song. He said it was 10 years ago when he first sang that song at Silver Dollar City on the stage where he was yesterday.
    • "I Can See (Emmaus Road)" - Such an incredible song!! He shared a bit of his testimony and what the song meant to him now.
    • Request time - Pat took time just to hear what people wanted him to sing or answer questions. He sang a cappella verses and choruses of several songs like "Amazing Grace," "The Lighthouse" and "Because He Lives." 
    • "Thanks to Calvary"
    Greater Vision
    • "There Is Hope" - Great one they started with from Still.
    • "God Doesn't Care" - Love this song also from their new project! It's a song that Chris wrote.
    • "My Name Is Lazarus" 
    • "He's Still Been God" - They ended with this one that you could tell the audience still loved hearing!
    Ernie Haase and Signature Sound
    • "Some Day"
    • "Noah Found Grace" - Even if it might not be Devin's favorite song, it's one the audience loved hearing. 
    • "Give Me Jesus" - This is a song that Fanny Crosby wrote lyrics to but was only recently found. 
    • "Sometimes I Wonder" - So glad to hear them staging this song again!
    • "A Soldier Coming Home" 
    • "Then Came the Morning" - This was the moment of the night for me!! Ernie said it had been a while since they had sung this one, but it was incredible!
    • "Step Into the Water"
    • "Heavenly Parade" - It's good to hear them doing a lot of these older gospel songs. 
    • "Draw Me Nearer" - They put an EHSS spin on this Fanny Crosby classic.
    • "Any Other Man"

    Thursday, August 31, 2017

    Beginning the Second Half - Silver Dollar City's Southern Gospel Picnic

    I was back at Silver Dollar City Wednesday ready for a full day of gospel music. And I'll be here for the rest of the second half of the festival. And what a better way to start the second half of the picnic than a night with the Second Half Quartet! But before the evening in Echo Hollow, here's a look at highlights from other groups throughout the day -

    The LeFevre Quartet

    • "He Was There" - I've been hearing this song so much on the radio, so I'm glad I got to hear it live!
    • "Let the Church Arise" - Incredible song from their new album!
    • "I'm Gonna Be Movin'"
    • "I Want to Walk Every Day With My Lord" - Good to hear their new bass singer Keith Plott.
    Soul'd Out Quartet
    • "Blessed Assurance"
    • "I'll Fly Away" - Love their spin on this song!
    • "I Believe" - Always enjoy hearing Ian featured on this song. 
    • "Arise My Love"
    The Talleys
    • "After All This Time"
    • "His Life For Mine" - Always such a powerful song! 
    • "Up Above" - I hadn't heard them sing this one in a while, I forgot what a great song it is! 
    • "People in the Line"
    • "But I Need You More"
    • Piano medley - They had audience member call out hymns, "Great Is Thy Faithfulness, "What a Day That Will Be" and "How Great Thou Art" and Roger put them together on the piano.
    • "He's Alive" 
    Second Half Quartet

    • "Standing on Holy Ground"
    • "Master Builder" - Always love hearing Mark on this song! 
    • "There's Something About That Name/ I Will Serve Thee" - This was absolutely beautiful! 
    • "Cheer the Weary Traveler"
    • "Prodigal Son" - I believe this is the song that started it all for this group. 
    • "How Big Is God" 
    • "I Know a Man Who Can"
    • "Going Home"
    • "Wonderful Grace of Jesus" - Good to hear them on the Cathedrals a cappella arrangement. 
    • "Boundless Love" - Last song of the night and the audience was on its feet!

    Monday, August 28, 2017

    Sundays are Family Days - Silver Dollar City Southern Gospel Picnic

    I am currently back home working for a couple of days before heading north again to catch the last half of Silver Dollar City's Southern Gospel Picnic.

    Sunday we started the morning at the Red Gold Hall for morning worship. We had a great service with the Hosea Bilyeu family. I was able to see four different family groups. Here is a look at some of the highlights.

    The Lesters

    This was the second time I have seen the Lesters since it became an all family group again with the addition of Bailee Lester. They are just getting better and better!

    • "Hold On Tight"
    • "Ain't God Good"
    • "Call on Jesus Medley" - Great song that really got the crowd going. 
    • "I Shall Know Him" - They did a great job on this old hymn!
    Reggie Saddler Family
    • "In Christ Alone" - Ingra sang this song solo from her new project. This was the highlight of the set for me! Absolutely beautiful!
    • "Whiter Than Snow"
    • "I've Got Me a Home"
    • "Fill My Cup Lord" - This is the title song from their new project. Good to hear some of their new songs!
    The Erwins
    • "Isn't He God" 
    • "I Choose to Be a Christian" - Katie knocked this one out of the park!
    • "Plan of Salvation" - With all that Kody has been through recently, it was good to hear him bring the bass on this Cathedral classic.
    • "Well Done"
    Jeff and Sheri Easter

    In true Jeff and Sheri Easter fashion, they didn't take the stage right away that night at Echo Hollow. They gave up part of their time to let the Erwins sing a few songs that night to a packed house of almost 5,000. The Erwins certainly got the crowd going with "Chasing After You," "He's Still Alive" and "What a Lovely Name." This was such a great opportunity for these talented siblings!

    • "Small Town Someone"
    • "Someone's Listening"
    • "Sitting on Top of the World" - One of my favorite love songs they have recorded.
    • "Jesus Loves You" - This has become one of my all-time favorite Jeff and Sheri songs. 
    • Instrumental - "Beulah Land" and "I'll Fly Away" - Jared Easter is one of the most talented musicians on the road today.
    • "Praise His Name" - So glad this was a request for Sheri to sing!
    • "Thank You Lord for Your Blessings on Me" - It's such an incredible moment to hear Jeff and Sheri and a full amphitheater choir sing the chorus of this song.  
    I can't wait to get back up there for the second half of the festival!