Legacy Five on Practicing the Classics

In Legacy Five’s most recent e-newsletter, they answered a question from a fan, Stan Branch of Normal, Illinois, who wanted to know if the rehearsed their classic songs in case someone requested them. Their answer was unexpected:

Another thing you may be surprised to learn is that we don’t hardly ever practice the classics… you see, when an old favorite is requested or called in a concert, we really enjoy the spontaneity and nostalgic feeling that comes with just singing it from memory… you know that special feeling you get when the song starts… we feel the same way on stage. We wouldn’t want to mess that up by rehearsing it or trying to “plan” a special moment!

Hmm…now that I know that, I think I’ll request a classic at my next Legacy Five concert! 🙂


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10 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. I wish L5 did even more music like this. I attended a Cathedrals Remembered concert Saturday night in Winston-Salem, NC with L5, Greater Vision & Mark Trammell Trio. Danny Funderburk was unable to participate as he continues to recover from bypass surgery.

    My favorite part of the evening for MTT and L5 were the songs without tracks. GV did everything with tracks. The second half Cathedrals Remembered was all with just piano and bass.

    As a serious fan – I am so tired of over-orchestrated SGM. As good as GV is – and they are superb, it really is like three guys singing karaoke.

    I have not seen the Dixie Echoes in concert in over 20 years – but if they come anywhere in North or South Carolina – I will be there. I can’t wait to hear four parts, piano and bass. Even Saturday night – the greatest applause was for songs with just piano and bass.

    The recent live recordings for BFA & L5 – with the previously recorded tracks, leaves so much to be desired. There must be a trade-off financially paying for the orchestration versus perfecting the craft with piano and bass.

    I think back to the Cathedrals. They used tracks on about four or five songs in a 1-1/2 to 2 hour concert. The Dove Brothers put on probably the best concert available today – and they use some tracks – but not heavy orchestration.

    Thanks for the chance to vent.

    Longing to hear and see the Dove Brothers & Dixie Echoes…

    JEB in NC

  2. JE Butler, go sometime to see the Dixie Melody Boys. Their last three or four albums have been nothing but the old songs sung with simple tracks, piano and bass. Come to think of it, I don’t even remember hearing drums on those soundtracs when I saw them last.
    I must also vent about this. A friend of mine who has played piano for over 60 years sums it up like this:
    Bob’s theroy is that bands and tracks often are used to cover up and even hide bad singing.
    If us singers will think about it and not jump to the defence of the way that it’s done today, we’ll realize that there’s alot of truth to this statement.

  3. I don’t think they need to practice the classics becasue they do so good at them.

  4. I agree with everyone so far and JEB, I couldn’t agree with you more.

    QN is right on. As a quartet nut, the best concert I have been to in a long time was the Dove Brothers Homecoming back in March. DBQ were great as always and the Dixie Melody Boys were a great surprise as they did nearly everything with very little tracks other than piano.

    Go to the Dixie Echoes website and follow the link to a video of them singing recently…it’s well worth your time.

    DEB…If the Dixie Echoes are ever in NC or SC, I’ll see you there.

  5. QN & Gradie:
    Thanks for confirming it is not just me. It must cost a fortune to produce these recordings with heavy orchestration. I can’t imagine the Prague Symphony comes very cheap or a similar group in Nashville.

    By the way – I never saw DMB with Dustin Sweatman. That guy is TALENTED. I saw him with the Mark Trammell Trio. In addition to his singing – it was a joy to see him on the piano for a couple of songs.

    I hope Trammell can hang on to him for a long time…

    JEB

  6. I hope so, too!

  7. Has anyone heard if Rob Shelton is a pianist or not?
    Andrew King departing the DMB’s was a huge loss for the group vocally. But the group of that time didn’t have a pianist.
    So my point is: if Rob is just as good of a vocallist as Andrew and , AND can play piano, filling Dustin Sweatman’s former role of lead/pianist, then I’d say that nothing is lost and the DMB’s can only get better from there.

  8. Just to clarify myself, I’m not implying anything against Dustin Sweatman as a vocalist. He is also one of the best.

  9. I wholeheartedly agree with everyone above. I went to L5’s Celebration in May, and while I thoroughly enjoyed the music, my favorite songs were the ones with just piano/piano & bass. While L5 doesn’t need to cover their vocals with tracks (I am biased, they are my favorite quartet), I preferred the songs where I could really hear their voices. MTT was equally enjoyable – it was my first time hearing them in concert, and they didn’t disappoint – but again, I really prefer just piano/bass to tracks.

  10. For us piano and bass fans, I’ll post a reminder that the Grand Ole Gospel Renunion says in their ads something to the effect of “no drums or ear-splitting sound”. That seems to be a perfect event for those of us who don’t want to strain to hear the voices.