Concert Review: LeFevre Quartet (Baxter, MN)
Our family trooped into the bus, all smiles and excited to experience some great Southern Gospel music on a Sunday evening, May 8th, 2011. The destination? Baxter, Minnesota. The group? The LeFevre Quartet. (Or as nine-year old Jayme innocently called them: “The LeFeather Quartet” and “The LeFever Quartet”. 🙂 )
Seeing the LeFevre Quartet’s bus sitting in the church parking lot several hours later heightened the excitement, and we all hurried into the church and claimed our favorite front pew spot.
The Minnesota crowd was excited to welcome this group from the deep South, and did they fall in love with this powerful quartet! Mike LeFevre, David Staton, Mike Allen, and Jeremy Easley started out with several upbeat songs, showcasing their smooth, strong blend. Their song selection and confidence on stage warmed up the audience, as well as their easy smiles and interaction with the people.
To be honest, we were expecting a more progressive feel to their songs, and while they do have a more modern flavor to their tracks (but nothing different from many current groups), we were pleasantly surprised to hear all the wonderful “old songs” they presented in their special way. Mike LeFevre drew from his rich heritage in Gospel music (being the nephew of Alphus LeFevre, an original member of the LeFevre Trio) and brought the audience back into Southern Gospel history with the songs from the past. The songs they featured from their recent New Gospel Singing Caravan: Keeps On Rolling CD with the Blackwood Brothers and The Chuck Wagon Gang were very well received, and their a capella versions of many classics were a gentle relief from this age of big tracks and large orchestrations.
Their current radio single, “Jesus Saves” was a powerful closure to their first half of the concert, and received a standing ovation for the strong message as well as their emotive performance. This song has to be one of the greatest message songs currently singled, and deserves to be played on radio stations across the nation.
Each vocalist had a unique styling to his voice and stands out in a crowd of gospel singers. David Staton handles the lead part extremely well and is very versatile with his voice. Jeremy Easley has one of the smoothest tenor voices in the genre (you can’t even tell he’s from Texas when he sings!), and easily hit the high notes on songs like “Little is Much” without any vocal strain. He is the perfect replacement for former tenor Gus Gaches (who left to join Legacy Five two years ago). Mike LeFevre still has one of the most distinctive baritone voices in gospel music, having won the award for Favorite Baritone three times, and equally matches David’s and Jeremy’s power. And of course, Mike Allen’s well-known, country-style bass voice was clear and deep, and supported the group well.
The LeFevre Quartet’s solid gospel message was well presented and passionately proclaimed from stage. In a time when churches today are preaching to the “itching ears” (2nd Timothy 4:3-4) and “saying, ‘Peace, peace’ when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:14b), the LeFevre Quartet boldly stood for the inerrant Word of God and plainly laid out the salvation story. This was appreciated by our family and many others.
On a side note, it was interesting to note Jordan LeFevre, Mike LeFevre’s son, ran the sound from the center aisle. We haven’t seen too many groups run the sound from this position, especially the large groups. This avoided the distraction of a group member fiddling with the equipment during the middle of a song.
Again, what we greatly appreciate about this genre of music is the personal interaction and connection with the artists who present the gospel in song. We very much enjoyed conversing with the quartet members after the concert and their friendliness and genuine interest in our family and other concert attendees. This treasured interaction between “artist” and “fan” is what make Southern Gospel music so unique and creates special memories.
Our family is grateful for groups like the LeFevre Quartet, their devoted families, and their commitment to their ministry which the Lord has given them. Remember to keep your favorite artists and their families in your prayers, especially as they travel long distances and are separated sometimes for many days from their loved ones. This life on the road is a walk of faith, a dependence on God’s provision, and a total commitment to God’s call of service.
Overall, we had a wonderful time, and cannot wait till the LeFevre Quartet returns to the North country. If you hear of the LeFevre Quartet coming to your area, be sure to go and see them! You will be blessed and glad to experience this powerful quartet.
Here’s a photo gallery featuring several snapshots from the concert (click on the pictures for a larger view):