Saturday News Roundup #119

Worth Knowing

  • On Tuesday, Tim Surrett’s bluegrass group, Balsam Range, launched a new membership program, Balsam Nation.
  • Paul’s Journey has hired Joe Kitson as their new lead singer. He has previously sung with the Dixie Melody Boys, the Toney Brothers, Statement of Faith, and In the Vine. The group has also hired Dodd Meadows to add vocals and instrumentation and help run sound.
  • Scott Godsey, who produced Legacy Five’s recent “Ask Me Why” concept video, has launched a media and marketing agency, Godsey & Associates.
  • Danny Funderburk’s father, Bill Funderburk, passed away on Wednesday. He was 82; his health had been declining for some time, and he had suffered a heart attack last month.
  • Channing Eleton’s mother, Janice Eleton, passed away this week after a long battle with cancer (hat tip, DBM).
  • Ryan Seaton’s quartet, Union Street, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to attempt to fund their debut album.

Worth Watching

The Garms Family keeps getting better:

Worth Discussing

It’s open thread Saturday—you decide!

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18 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. Glad to see Scott Godsey doing well. I have known the Godseys for over 20 years and they are a wonderful family.

  2. The Ball Brothers just posted on their Facebook page that tonight’s concert in Reedsburg, WI, will be streamed online at

    The concert begins at 6 pm local time (so 7 pm for those on Eastern time). A great opportunity to hear their brand new lineup.

    • Very cool! Now if I wasn’t already scheduled to go see Barry Rowland and Deliverance, I’d probably just tune in!

      • Don’t worry, Daniel, we’ll tell you all about the new Ball Brothers’ from their concert tomorrow night. 🙂

      • I’ll be counting on you! 🙂

    • Thank you so much for sharing this information. I was able to watch the entire concert via the video stream. I thought it was outstanding…beautiful harmony, great Christian humor thrown in, several styles of music [all which still fall within Southern Gospel] to please every age group, and God’s plan of salvation presented during the concert. What more could you ask for?

      • They have great live programs, and I’m glad you liked them! 🙂

      • Yup, I watched about the first hour our so. Very good.

      • Hello Cindy – good to “see” you here! 🙂


  3. Another obituary:
    Channing Eleton’s mother passed away a couple of days ago after a long ordeal with cancer. Please keep Channing’s family in your prayers. The funeral service will be Monday in Dalton, GA.

    • Oh, my – I completely meant to include that. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. Daniel whats your opinion of a group asking for money for a debut album? [edit]

    • Abe, actually, I think there is no problem with asking. If people want to help them out, why not?

      Yes, they have dressed in suits and sung on stage before. But that doesn’t mean they were rich! Even with the groups they were with, they might have made a decent middle-class salary, but that is a far cry from being rich. They probably don’t have a spare $15,000 laying around. Fans have been asking them for a debut album sooner rather than later. Sure, they could do love offering concerts for a year or two and hopefully pick up enough money for an album from that, but their fans don’t want them to wait that long.

      (Comments are welcome, but please stay within the comment guidelines, found right above the comments area for every post.)

  5. I was thinking more on the lines of, “What’s the problem that they need the $15k?”

    I wasn’t even aware that all four [five] HAD on the road exposure with other groups, I though at least two were pretty much newbies.

    It did cross my mind that the dress code may be infringed? Once established, you can tinker with the sound and the shoes [while keeping the suits]. I like the casual image, though it needs coordinated a little, but I did wonder was the lack of traditional image a diversion; conflicting slightly with the traditional sound.

    I do think they have the ability to reach a younger demographic, with a very strong straight ahead SG sound, yet a real freshness and apparent sincerity.

    It seems strange that no label sees them worth the investment – or is the amont quoted just what the group brings to the kitty? I have no idea, but I do hope the CD and DVD come quickly.

    To good a sound, for newbies, to let slip! Best wishes to the boys and I trust it all works out.

    • They haven’t necessarily asked labels and been turned down. Maybe they just wanted to do it this way.

      Labels generally want full-time groups, anyhow.

  6. Kickstarter is huge among independent recording artists. I was not surprised at all to see them doing this. Expect to start seeing it a lot more in SG. Think of it as a love offering for cd’s.

    The fact is profit margins are slim to none for a while in any start up business. If your company accepted donations for its services it probably wouldnt last long. For some reason the church world thinks this is a great model. Sure it is if you are the church that gets the group to come sing for free (love offering passed along to artist=no cost to church) when there is no guarantee, and the audience loves it when they can put money in the plate if they want to or not. The artist puts all the costs up front and trusts everybody else to listen to the Lord.

    With Kickstarter, the fans get to share in the faith!

  7. I had just been wondering what Joe Kitson was up to these days. Been a fan of his since his Dixie Melody days. Slightly bummed that In the Vine won’t be taking flight, but Paul’s Journey has gained a wonderful talent!

  8. Whether or not people have a problem with U.S. asking for money, it seems to be working. Here’s an update that Ryan posted tonight:

    Ok in 1 week we have had 100 backers, you have pledged 59% of our goal with a total of $8860. That leaves us with a remainder of $6140 and 22 days left to reach our goal. Please keep sharing and telling everyone you know about this journey we are all taking together. I’m overflowing with gratitude. LY