DVD Review: Caribbean Live (Tribute Quartet)

Rating: 4 (of 5)

Executive Producer: Gary Casto.

Song List: Brother, Don’t Lose the Shout; Good News; In the Shelter Of His Hands; Heaven in Sight; Every Day With Jesus; You’d Better Have a Boat; There is an Eye; Beulah; This I Know; When Those Gates Open Wide; I’m In That Crowd.

* * *

The summary on the back of this DVD describes it as “the first Live DVD ever recorded on the high seas of a gospel concert!” That may indeed be true; at any rate, it is the first such Southern Gospel DVD I have heard of. This project, Tribute Quartet’s first DVD, was recorded on Templeton Tours’ 2008 Jubilee at Sea to the Bahamas cruise.

The concert was filmed in the Astoria Lounge of the MS Celebration. Probably largely due to this setting, the lighting is quite dark. (A half-point was deducted from the rating due to the lighting.) Other than the lighting, the camera work is solid. Neither the camera work nor the editing dazzle the viewer with special effects (like, for example, on a Signature Sound video), but it serves its purpose well—it fades in the background and does not distract from the concert.

The original lineup of Tribute Quartet was Gary Casto singing lead (and managing the group), Josh Singletary singing baritone and playing piano, Dennis Dugger singing bass, and Jacob Kitson singing tenor. This lineup recorded the group’s debut and sophmore CDs (their only two released to date); this DVD was their final project together before Jacob Kitson left to join Greater Vision. (He has since been replaced by Brian Alvey.)

The program is a mix of ten new songs (from their first two recordings) and a piano solo (“Every Day With Jesus”) from Josh Singletary. There is a good mixture of convention-style songs, ballads, and even a novelty number or two (most particularly “There is an Eye,” sung by Josh Singletary, which Casto introduced as being in a Frank Sinatra style.)

The front cover notes: “Featuring Extended Bonus Footage.” The extras—footage of the ship and scenery, and of the four members playing in the water and taking in the sights—actually form a large part of giving the film a Caribbean feel. The main program could just as easily have been filmed in a moderately dark hotel banquet room somewhere and achieved the same results, but the extras help accentuate the uniqueness of the setting.

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4 Letters to the Editor

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  1. Just got this DVD in the mail. Your review is spot on! I actually see similarities between Kitson and Clark, with Clark obviously having a higher range.

    • The Cathedrals’ Bobby Clark?

      That’s an interesting comparison. The more I listen to Kitson’s voice, the more it makes me think of Gerald Wolfe’s, just pitched two or three notes higher to get the same note-for-note quality.

      • Ummmm, Riley Harrison Clark?

      • Oh, well, duh!