How to record a DVD that will get reviewed on SouthernGospelBlog.com
It is a running joke amongst bluegrass groups invited to appear at a Southern Gospel event that they are appearing at “a karaoke show.”
Numerous bluegrass artists, especially those on good enough terms with our genre to get these invitations, enjoy Southern Gospel music and count our artists among their favorites—so this is presumably said in a good-natured way, with a twinkle in their eyes. But there’s more than a little truth behind the joke.
I fully understand that this economy keeps all but the highest tier of acts from being able to afford the salaries of a live band. Given tracks or nothing, tracks is an easy choice . . . for a live concert.
But it doesn’t have to be this way for DVDs. Though they may be few and far between, video projects like the Collingsworth Family’s Fear Not Tomorrow, Greater Vision’s Live at First Baptist Atlanta, and the Bishops’ Chapter X Live show that entirely or mostly live orchestration is possible on a live recording.
From this point on, this caliber of DVDs will be the ones selected for review on SouthernGospelBlog.com. Granted, circumstances such as an incredibly high level of interest in a special-event project (i.e., Gaither Vocal Band Reunion) may require a rare exception. But this site will focus on DVDs without canned orchestration. Unless you are the Dixie Echoes or the Chuck Wagon Gang, this probably means a live orchestra in addition to the standard piano/bass/guitar.
One important caveat: Of course, we won’t review every DVD released with fully live orchestration—it must naturally also be Southern Gospel, well-produced, and have good and theologically solid songs.
Will this result in fewer DVDs reviewed here?
Yes, but the DVDs we do review will be of a higher caliber. So it’s worth it.
UPDATE (1/12/11, 7:23 P.M.): A participant in the discussion prompted me to make the following comment, which I think is pertinent enough to append to the original post:
Live vocals bring a certain energy that studio vocals’ polished, phrased, and tuned perfection cannot.
In the same way, live musicians bring a certain energy that studio tracks’ polished, phrased, and tuned perfection cannot.