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.
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 Unspeakable, Fear Not Tomorrow, Tell the Mountain, Jesus 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 Gold, If Not for the Love of Christ, After the Sunrise, I 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 Forever, Tell Me Why, When Heaven’s Gates Swing Open Wide, He Locked the Gates. Closing number left the audience on their feet!
- Kim Collingsworth: My Tribute (standing ovation)
- Legacy Five: Sweeter as the Days Go By, God Cares For Me, I’ve Been Changed, Thankful For The Change, There’s Just Something About That Name, We Shall See Jesus. “We Shall See Jesus” had one of the most enthusiastic receptions of the night.
- The Talleys: He’s So Good to Me, Why Me Lord, Applause, He’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, Testimony, That Day at Calvary, Statue of Liberty. See top of post for comment.
- Smoky Moutain Reunion: Jesus Is Coming Soon, Rose Among the Thorns, He’s My Best Friend, Wonder of Wonders, Roll On Jordan, (Intros),Worthy The Risen Lamb.
- King’s Heralds: Dem Bones
- Isaacs: Walk On, The 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 Again, I’ve Been Here Before (two reprises, new song), Doug Anderson: I’ll Take What’s Left, Oh 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 Him, How 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 Today, Hear My Heart, James Easter: Heart That Will Never Break Again, Morning’s Coming.
- Showcase Performance: Eternal Vision: I Must Tell Jesus.
- Dove Brothers: I Recall, Hold On, We’re Still Singing The Song, Didn’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.
For more about all things Gaither and Ernie Haase and Signature Sound and Legacy Five and the Booth Brothers and the Collingsworth Family and the Dixie Echoes and the Dove Brothers and the Kingdom Heirs and the Kingsmen and the Mark Trammell Quartet and the National Quartet Convention and the Talleys and Wilburn and Wilburn—and other Southern Gospel news and commentary—follow our RSS feed or sign up for our email updates!