NQC 2013, Day 1, Live Blog

Highlights of the Night

In no particular order:

  • “My Jesus, I Love Thee” – Collingsworth Family. (See the live blog, at 8:40).
  • “I Know a Man Who Can” – Chris Allman with Greater Vision. (Is the man incapable of having an off night?!) (See 9:30.)
  • Triumphant Quartet’s set. There wasn’t a single moment that stood above the rest, because the entire set was so solid. (See 7:59.)
  • “When I Wake Up to Sleep No More” – Eagle’s Wings. (See 9:01.)

Webcast Quality

As always, the camera work was exceptionally strong. Thinking back to the endless primary Presidential debates last year, I doubt if a single network crew doing one of those events could top the NQC crew in this setting. The audio work was also fairly good; there was the occasional soloist buried in the mix for a few notes, but the audio team did a fantastic job, overall, of keeping the featured soloists prominent in the mix and the harmony vocals blending in smoothly.

The website serving up the video feed, though, had a number of issues through the evening. The live feed went down in seven or eight of the evening’s twelve multi-song sets, making it all the way through four or five. The website itself went completely down at a couple of points. But to their credit, the customer service agents @NQCOnline on Twitter put in a valiant effort to check in one-on-one with fans reporting problems. They also posted a “Thanks in advance for your patience” message on Facebook here.

Live Play-by-Play

Due to length, we’ve hidden the complete play-by-play from the home page. Click “read more” to read the complete play-by-play.

10:36: The finale kicks off with the Collingsworth Family singing “Tell That Mountain.” Song 2: Greater Vision, “Looking For the Grace.” Song 3: The Hoppers, “Stepping On The Clouds.” Song 4: Ivan Parker, “God Bless the U.S.A.” Song 5: Triumphant Quartet kicks things into a high gear with “Almost Home.”

10:35: Chris Allman, Rodney Griffin, and Jeff Stice come up for an encore of “Still Feeling Fine.” The always-effervescent Michael Booth joined Jeff Stice at the piano keyboard to hit a couple of chords before racing back to the stage.

10:18: The Booth Brothers kick off their set with “Because He Lives.” Song 2: “Welcome To The Family.” Song 3: “In Christ Alone” medley (the modern hymn “In Christ Alone” with the Michael English-popularized “In Christ Alone.”) The feed crashed halfway through the song, but was back up by the end. Song 4: “I’m Free.” Song 5: After the Lovelace/Bishop introduction, how on earth could the Booth Brothers skip “Still Feeling Fine”? Well, they don’t disappoint! 

10:17: The best group introduction of the night is definitely Tim Lovelace and Mark Bishop bringing on the Booth Brothers. “These guys . . . if their bus broke down on the side of the road, smoke pouring out, you’d still find them there on the side of the road, singing, ‘Still feeling fine, after all this time’! You know who we’re talking about; make welcome The Booth Brothers!”

10:11: A soloist from today’s showcases, Sherry Anne, sings “God On The Mountain.”

9:54: Ivan Parker starts his set with “Big Change.” Song 2: “Sail On.” Song 3: “I’m Going Home.” Song 4: “Midnight Cry.” The webcast freezes in the final chorus. About four minutes later, it’s back up for the final four words of “When I Get Carried Away.”

9:30: Greater Vision’s set begins with Rodney Griffin singing “Faces.” Song 2: “He’d Still Been God.” Song 3: “I Know a Man Who Can.” Chris Allman absolutely nailed his performance, as always. Song 4: “Tell it Like It Is.” Gerald Wolfe then leads the audience in a sing-a-long of “Blessed Assurance.”

9:05: The Hoppers take the stage with a Dean Hopper feature, “Count Me In.” The set starts with only three vocalists on stage—Kim, Dean, and Connie. Perhaps Claude, a NQC Board member, has gotten tied up in a NQC business matter. As song 2, Dean confirms what I suspect: “I don’t know where Dad is.” He speculates that Claude is selling booths for NQC 2014! Nevertheless, the three remaining vocalists launch into “Yaweh.” Claude makes it in time for song 3.

Kim introduces song three, “He Didn’t Just Carry the Cross, He Carried Me,” with a heartbreaking story of how her daughter tried to talk a friend out of committing suicide. The friend ended up committing suicide anyhow. She shared how badly she wanted to share her daughter’s burden; she then compared it to how God wants to take our burdens. “Yes, I Am” closed out the set.

9:01: The afternoon’s showcase winner, “Eagle’s Wings,” is a bluegrass group from Alabama. They turn in a blistering rendition of “When I Wake Up to Sleep No More.” It’s easy enough to see how they won the showcase. The family matriarch is a power alto; she’s every bit as good a stage communicator as she is a singer, looking perfectly at home on the mainstage. This is surprisingly strong! It certainly left me wanting a full set!

8:40: The Collingsworth Family set begins with a Phil Sr. trumpet feature on “O Magnify the Lord.” Song 2, “Living in Love With the Lord,” is from their new CD, The Lord is Good, officially releasing tomorrow. Song 3, “My Jesus, I Love Thee,” is from their Hymns From Home CD, also releasing tomorrow. They could hardly have a set without letting Kim play at least one song; “And Can it Be” is a song she’s been doing as a solo for a number of years, but does also appear on Hymns From Home

After the piano solo, Kim starts testifying. This is the most fired-up the audience has been all night. Her abilities behind the keyboard and singing leads and harmonies are well-known, but her ability to fire up a concert audience and set up a song is rather underrated. She introduces “The Blood of Jesus,” the closing song.

8:39: Thankfully, the feed is now back up.

8:38: Right before the Collingsworth Family set, the appears to have gone down. It has been down for two or three minutes.

8:21: Squire Parsons comes on stage, starting his set with “Sweet Beulah Land.” After “no sad goodbyes,” he fits in a perfectly timed ad-lib in reference to the Speer retirement video, “like we just saw.” He is backed up by his son Sam and Sam’s wife, whose name is escaping me at this late hour. His second song, “The Bible in The Room,” is a tribute to the Gideons. Song 3: “I Want to Go Out With a Shout.”

8:20: One of the major themes of the week will be memories of the greatest moments in the event’s twenty Louisville years. An excerpt was played of the Speer Family’s retirement performance.

7:59: Triumphant Quartet comes on stage with a Jeff Stice piano solo, “Down From His Glory.” Song 2: “Don’t Let The Sandals Fool Ya.” Song 3: “He Is.” Song 4: “He Loves Me,” featuring Eric Bennett on bass. Song 5: “When The Trumpet Sounds.” The set didn’t have any of the landmark or unexpected moments (a retirement, a special guest appearance, et cetera) that tend to mark the week’s most unforgettable moments. Yet it was perfectly paced, and flawlessly delivered—easily one of the most solid moments of the night so far.

7:56: News Alert: Clark Beasley announces that NQC is not abandoning its Louisville presence, launching a new event, NQC Spring Break. This will be held from March 27-28 in Louisville, Kentucky.

7:35: The Primitive Quartet brings a touch of bluegrass to the mainstage. With as good as they are at their instruments, somehow they seem to be at their best when they’re singing acapella. They conclude with “He Included Me.”

7:30: The Penny Loafers sing “Climbing Up the Ladder” acapella, while the next group up—the Primitive Quartet—sets up their instruments.

7:16: The Sneed Family begins their set with “It Won’t Be Long,” a Happy Goodmans classic (hat tip, Austin). Second up is a classic, “I’ve Got More to Go to Heaven For.” Song 3: “Hallelujah Square.” Their live band is so good that I didn’t realize until I looked at the screen (switching from the blogging tab to the video tab) they the music wasn’t a track! Song 4: “He is Leading the Way.”

6:55: The Lesters’ set is the first opportunity for many of us to see them in a male trio configuration. They always offer a strong vocal presence on stage, no matter the configuration, and this lineup is no exception. They’re smooth and tight enough to leave no doubt that they belong on mainstage. (About five minutes into the set, the video feed crashed until after the set was over.)

6:51: The video feed is back up. Refresh! 🙂 

6:47: The Browns started their set with an instrumental. This time, Michaela Brown was on fiddle, and her brothers were on acoustic and bass guitar. Musically, it’s the strongest configuration they have put on stage yet; it’s stronger than three violins in unison. They then sang “Now and Forevermore,” “A Beautiful Day,” “Rock and Redeemer” (their current radio single), and were in the middle of one more song when the feed crashed for the second time tonight.

6:27: Providence Quartet closed their set with “I’m Going There,” a song written by Bill Shivers. They brought him up on stage to do a guest solo on the last verse.

6:25: The footage is back up, at least for me. Time to try to refresh and see if it stays up!

6:20: NQC confirms via Twitter that they are aware that the site and feed has crashed. They are working to resolve the issue.

6:13: The nqcvideo.com site appears to have completely crashed—not just the video feed, the entire website, according to Google Chrome’s error messages.

5:47: As the Booth Brothers came on stage, they sang the first line of “I Played In The Band.” Michael ad-libbed, “with the McKameys,” for another round of laughter.

5:45: Tim Lovelace on roving cam asks a lady in the audience to name one of her favorite groups. She said, “The Sneed Family.” Then Michael Booth appeared on-camera and had Tim ask her if she had another favorite group. She replied, “The McKameys.” That brought the house down!

5:41: Coming up over the next hour or so: The Booth Brothers, Triumphant Quartet, Greater Vision, and the Browns will all be involved in the opening. Providence, The Browns, and The Lesters will be the night’s three opening groups. I will be listening as I exercise, resuming more active blogging a little later on this evening.

5:37: Tim Lovelace does a roving microphone segment.

5:30: Things are under way with several groups from today’s showcases invited up to sing a song. The Mattingly Family sang “I Believe,” the song (and using the soundtrack) from the Booth Brothers’ Declaration project. Tim Lovelace’s introduction was every bit as memorable as the performance; he said: “They have ministered over 200 times this year at booth 533; let’s hear it for the Mattingly Family!” The McClellan Singing Sisters sang second.

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86 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. That lady answered Michael Booth’s question perfectly!

    • I know! I’m going to live-blog that one in a minute! 🙂

  2. I’m listening to it on the XM radio! I’ll be there Friday night!

  3. Mine just crashed…anyone else’s? Hope this isn’t indicative of the week…

    • Yep…quit working during Triumphant singing “Saved By Grace” (2nd song of the night). I really hope they fix it before tonight is through, and let us have a clear feed in the “On Demand” where we can see what we missed.

  4. Mine has Crashed on my computer… anyone else???

  5. So far, my connection has been very stable, good quality (both audio and video). I am using the google chrome browser.

    Only gripe so far: The piano sounds hollow or not mic’d well.

  6. Its been fine for me. It froze for a couple seconds, but thats it. If that happens, just refresh your browser.

  7. you would think, they would iron out all of the bugs before hand. is anyone s up and running?

  8. Mine crashed during Mattingly Family and won’t come back. Not even to see the website

  9. I”m still down… according to Twitter so are many others… @NQCOnline says they are working on it… “Sorry for the inconvenience”

  10. mine just crashed as claude hopper made his way to the stage.

  11. NQC says they are having problems with it.. and working to get it fixed. Libbi Stuffle is even having problems getting on line to watch according to her tweet.

  12. Now I’m down. Les was starting the NQC intro. As it froze, Claude was running towards stage.

  13. Mine made it through Les Beasley and Claude Hopper. Then the video feed crashed. Then the website itself went down. (“Google Chrome cannot connect to nqcvideo.com.”) Not an auspicious beginning to the week!

  14. I’m guessing its a server issue.

  15. Tech Werks (THe company in charge,ironic name)emailed me and said they are experiencing heavy volume and to try back later…I guess they had no idea how many people signed up???

  16. From Twitter

    NQC ‏@NQConline 59s
    We apologize for the inconvenience to our online/ROKU viewers. We are working diligently to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.

  17. I’m back online!

  18. Its bacccckkkkk

  19. Im back…How about everyone else?

  20. sound, but no video

  21. I didn’t know bill wrote that song, i know the kingsmen recorded it when they were the carolina boys.

    • I either hadn’t known that or had forgotten!

  22. I didn’t know bill wrote that song, i know the kingsmen recorded it when they were the carolina boys.

  23. Tech Works, also e-mailed me and said due to heavy volume. I ask them if they did their homework before signing on for the job of NQ C web-cast. I’m guessing they didn’t.

  24. I like the Browns’ instrumental stuff, but wish they would do more singing too!

  25. I agree Josh.

  26. IT’S BACK!!!…..for now lol

    • Mine, too, except for about 15-20 minutes when my browser’s error message indicated that the site was completely down. Thankfully, it wasn’t during one of the headliner sets.

  27. The younger Brown seems like quite the character!

    • He is, and he’s been quite the character ever since he was a little guy!

  28. Aaaaaaaaand….It’s gone….again…

    • Yuuuuuppp!

    • It’s back up now; refresh!

      • Mines been hit and miss, but mostly hit

      • Did anyone else’s go down again?

      • Yes. Mine did, and ~5 minutes later, it’s still down.

  29. I agree about the Lester’s. I still like their sound with a bass though (as evidenced by the Youtube video with Pat Barker)

    • Yes! But Pat Barker makes any bass-less group sound better! 🙂

      • Well yeah, that too

  30. Mine cuts out of full screen and shows the “live coverage begins at 5:25” graphic, but then it comes back on a couple seconds later though.

    • mine doing same thing, good sound but NO video, showing the same graphic “live coverage begins at 5:25”

    • Sometimes it’s a couple seconds, sometimes it’s ten minutes.

  31. The first song that the Sneed Family sang, “It Won’t Be Long”, is an old Happy Goodmans song from the 70’s.

    • Thanks! I don’t think I caught all of the song. The ending sounded familiar, but I couldn’t place it just from the ending.

  32. I love the Penny Loafers!

    • Me, too. It’s obvious that they spend way more than the average time practicing. 🙂

  33. Triumphant on fire tonight!

    • Agreed. Best set so far. Nothing unexpected—just perfectly paced and flawlessly delivered.

  34. Who’s backing up Squire?

    • His son Sam, and Sam’s wife.

  35. What year did the Speers retire? The sisters are still alive, right? I know Ben is.

    • 1998, as I recall.

    • Yes, Rosa Nell and Mary Tom are both still living. Rosie is as spry and witty as ever, and a Facebook regular. Mary Tom is not in the greatest of health.

  36. no video yet, just not at this little light of mine no audio

    • They really need to resolve this feed. There is no excuse. It really is the worse I have ever seen it.

      • I think it is actually better than the first year. But it’s not as good, so far, as last year.

  37. Brett, I agree this is the worst it’s been in years. NQC facebook page is full of unhappy people. I agree Daniel
    I think last year was the best webcast. I know this is NOT going to happen, but you would think Clark, or someone from the board would acknowledge from the stage that they are working on the problem and that they appreciate our patiences. But I am not going to hold my breath.

    • At least they’ve been acknowledging it on their Twitter. I have to give them credit for that!

  38. He Carried Me is one of my favorite Hopper songs.

    • I wish that was the title. If I’m not mistaken, the full title is quite the mouthful!

      • Yeah, I shortened it. Too much to type.

      • 🙂

  39. Great nod to National Suicide Prevention Week from the Hoppers!

    • Agreed. I didn’t hear them mention that it was this week, though, but perhaps I missed it.

      • I don’t think they mentioned it. I only know that because we’ve had some of the same problems in my community so people in my town are a little more aware than most. They may not even know that themselves but still give them credit for bringing up a “taboo” subject.

      • OK. And I do give them credit; they handled it tactfully and appropriately, striking an excellent balance.

  40. Wish I could be there! I’m going Saturday night though. 😀

    • I’m not going to make it at all this year. Enjoy!

  41. Wow, nice crowd reception through Still Feelin Fine

    • Well, how could the audience not respond after the Bishop/Lovelace introduction? 🙂

      • I must confess, I missed that part. But I laughed when I read that, and I’ll have to look for that when the archive is posted.

      • OK. 🙂

  42. The amazing alto from Eagle’s Wings just happens to be my amazing mother-in-law!!!!! I know this made her night! My wonderful husband is the guitar player!! Thanks again for your sweet comments!

  43. This is Matt Wilson from Eagles Wings. Thank you for your comments on our performance of When I Wake Up tonight. We appreciate the kind words.

    • You are welcome! The last time I was this impressed by a Bluegrass Gospel group, it was the Harper Family, in a similar best-of-showcase feature at NQC a couple of years ago. And the next I heard of them was when they were recording a CD at the Crossroads/Mountain Home studios! 🙂 Definitely count me as a fan of your group now; I loved it!

      • Thank you sir. We will definitely get you a cd in the mail ASAP. Thanks again

      • Thanks! (And to all the onlookers: Be watching for a review before too long!)

  44. I loved the lesters last night. They did Fanny Crosbys “I shall know him” was incredible!

    • I hate that my feed was down during that part of the set!

      If I’m not mistaken, the actual title is “My Savior First Of All,” even though the title doesn’t appear at any point in the chorus.

  45. Is that a genuine rattlesnake guitar strap Reagan Riddle has? 🙂

  46. Did you get a copy of the Whisnants NEW CD and will you be reviewing it soon/

    • Sorry, but the answers are “no” and “no.” It has not been submitted for review. Meanwhile, the stack of CDs awaiting several hours of writing time each per review is high enough that I’m not currently going out and spending money on any CDs to add to that stack.