National Quartet Convention 2011, Day 4

Moment of the Night

My personal favorite was a stunning Karen Peck & New River rendition of “On the Banks of the Promised Land” in an invitation-only media showcase; she hit her high notes perfectly despite feeling quite sick and having laryngitis. But since that was an invitation-only event, I’ll select the best-received moment from the public evening concert:

Mark Trammell Quartet: Statue of Liberty. Of all the sets I witnessed first-hand in Freedom Hall—a good percentage—this had the strongest audience reaction. I didn’t see a single person sitting, even in the farthest reaches of the balcony, and it is rare that a performance brings virtually everyone—Inspirations and Lauren Talley fans alike—to their feet.

Runner-up: Wilburn & Wilburn: Mainstage Fire in the Choir spotlight, singing “Church on Fire.” Wilburn & Wilburn is top-tier right out of the gate. They brought the energy and even the humor to cover a track malfunction.


As reported here, Guy Penrod was indeed absent from the Gaither Vocal Band reunion, making it something like a Happy Goodmans reunion minus Vestal. But, to continue the metaphor, Rusty, Sam, Tanya, Johnny Cook, Mike English, and Eddie Crook all showed up. (Literal-minded readers: Please note the metaphor part!) 

That said, it had its moments. “Let Freedom Ring” was huge. “The Love of God,” “I Bowed on My Knees and Cried Holy,” and “Mary Did You Know” were very big. Steve Green’s one and only feature was on “No Other Name,” and he got an enthusiastic standing ovation. For a number of years, Steve Green held the record as the most-awarded singer in Inspirational / Contemporary Christian Music (though Steven Curtis Chapman holds that crown now). Given the huge career he has had post-Gaither, it would have been nice to see more than one song.

That quibble aside, the reunion was a great show—as good of a show as was possible without Guy Penrod.

Evening Performances

Click “more” for a song-by-song set list from Daniel’s siblings, with commentary in bold from Daniel.

  • Showcase Performance: The Torchmen: Jesus Saved My Soul. This group from Canada had a solid quartet sound and turned in a great performance.
  • Fire In The Choir and Jonathan & Jordan Wilburn: Church On Fire. See comments above.
  • Hoppers: Victory Shall Be Mine
  • Congregational Singing led by Brian Free: Victory in Jesus. Freaks of nature aren’t the best choice to lead congregational singing; Free ended up singing soprano before the song was over. Literally! But he’s Brian Free, after all, so he pulled it off!
  • Collingsworth Family: Joy UnspeakableFear Not Tomorrow, Tell the MountainJesus Is All I Need. A solid set, composed mostly (3/4) of songs from their new CD. They haven’t staged the best ones from the new CD yet this week, though!
  • Pfeifers: How Great Thou Art (Crowd asked to stand for a reprise)
  • Kingsmen and Kingdom Heirs: When I Wake Up.
  • Kingsmen: When My Feet Touch the Streets of GoldIf Not for the Love of ChristAfter the SunriseI Am Healed, That’s All I Need (He’s Everything I Need). Particularly strong response to the closing number.
  • Kingdom Heirs: I’m Not Worried About ForeverTell Me Why, When Heaven’s Gates Swing Open WideHe Locked the Gates. Closing number left the audience on their feet! 
  • Kim Collingsworth: My Tribute  (standing ovation)
  • Legacy Five: Sweeter as the Days Go ByGod Cares For MeI’ve Been ChangedThankful For The ChangeThere’s Just Something About That NameWe Shall See Jesus. “We Shall See Jesus” had one of the most enthusiastic receptions of the night.
  • The Talleys: He’s So Good to MeWhy Me LordApplauseHe’s Alive (Crowd on their feet by end).
  • Showcase Perfomance: Calvary’s Voice: He Sees Me Through the Blood.
  • Mark Trammell Quartet: Echoes From the Burning Bush, TestimonyThat Day at CalvaryStatue of Liberty. See top of post for comment. 
  • Smoky Moutain Reunion: Jesus Is Coming SoonRose Among the ThornsHe’s My Best Friend, Wonder of WondersRoll On Jordan, (Intros),Worthy The Risen Lamb.
  • King’s Heralds: Dem Bones
  • Isaacs: Walk OnThe Three Bells (a.k.a  Jimmy Brown), I’m Gonna Love You Through (Recognized cancer survivors), I Will Praise Him.
  • Ernie Haase and Signature Sound: Here We Are AgainI’ve Been Here Before (two reprises, new song), Doug Anderson: I’ll Take What’s LeftOh What a Savior, Glory to God in the Highest. It was a risky set—two new songs, plus a song from Doug Anderson’s solo CD—yet it went over at least as well as their earlier set.
  • Showcase Performance: Omega: Jesus’ Face I Shall See
  • Dixie Echoes: I’ll Be Ready to Go With HimHow Big is God, Walk With Me, I’m a Pilgrim, I’ll Have a New Life.  I was in the vendor’s hall during this set; when “How Big is God” came in over the mainstage monitors, I wondered why Pat Barker was filling in—before realizing that it was indeed new bass singer Mike Jennings. He did a great job.
  • Gordon Mote: I’m Gettin’ Ready
  • Jeff & Sheri Easter: I Need You more TodayHear My Heart, James Easter: Heart That Will Never Break AgainMorning’s Coming.
  • Showcase Performance: Eternal Vision: I Must Tell Jesus.
  • Dove Brothers: I Recall,  Hold On, We’re Still Singing The SongDidn’t It Rain (While he was “debating” what to do, the audience requested this.), Get Away Jordan (audience on feet from start).
  • Booth Brothers: He Saw It All, Feeling Fine (crowd on feet), Tears Are A Language God Understands, Then I Met the Master.

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21 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. We were there for all but the last two groups. Good night of music. We just got home about 10 minutes ago, and it’s 3:10 AM!

    Highlight of the day: GVB Reunion.

    • It was nice to meet you and your daughter!

  2. Who was the singer on the i dont need an adjustment song during the Gaither Sing along?

  3. I really enjoyed the GVB Reunion (webcast) however, I certainly would have enjoyed seeing more of Steve Green! Given how huge he is in the Christian Contemporary music industry, he deserved more time.

    Also, Larnelle completely hit a home run! For 64 years of age, he can forever more sing!!!

  4. My highlight was finding Daniel Mount not once, but twice!

    • Suck-up! 😉 Just kidding. 😀

      • I did too, and was so tired I didn’t even introduce myself, but I was wearing my official nametag.

    • Hey, Logan! I saw you and noticed your nametag. However, I was so tired / etc. that I couldn’t recall if I only knew you from commenting here, or from somewhere else as well. Plus, I think you or I was in a conversation at the time!

      • And to think I told Ben (Speer, for those playing the “at home” game) that nametag was dumb. Even Mr. Gaither noticed it (brag) HA! Stupid nametag. I think it was your conversation, but the chair looked comfy and I find inside info and opinion to be fascinating. BTW I may have some for you…

  5. Gaither Remembered was awesome. To me the best thing Bill has done in some time. I missed Guy also, would have made it complete. Do you know if it is gouing to be on DVD or how I couled get a copy? I show DVD’s to our Nursing Home and think they would enjoy very much.

    • Since he’s already done a two-DVD set with Guy, I rather doubt he’ll release this one.

  6. I still feel bad for Gary McSpadden having to sing with the efx on full, but he made his way through it like a true professional so props to him.

  7. I really enjoyed the Gaither time. Just wish he would add a few more fast songs in his programs. Found myself getting somewhat time of all the encores and a little sleepy with all of the slow paced songs.

    Has Guy Penrod appeared on anything with Bill lately?

    • Guy appears on the 2 new Gaither dvds, Tent Revival & Old Rugged Cross. He closes one with “Then Came the Morning”, but I fail to remember the other song he sang.

      • Thanks!

  8. Any knowledge of why Guy was missing from the GVB reunion? He was surely missed.

  9. Does anyone know if the group, Omega, had a website or anything. I’ve been searching Google or Yahoo, can’t find anything.

    • That is a hard to Google name!

  10. jackpot, just found it.