NQC 2010: Wrap-up and Highlights
Last night, I spent thirty minutes reading commentary and discussion from several individuals who heartily disliked last week’s National Quartet Conclusion and came to the conclusion that Southern Gospel was nearly dead. For a moment, I wondered if they were right.
But then I remembered: Wait a minute, I was there. I know what I saw, and I know how the audience responded. Granted, a few mainstage groups and singers are past their peak, and a few at their peak had off days. (That happens to everyone, especially with horse stables right outside to aggravate allergies.)
But there’s no way Southern Gospel is dying. Even if several artists we have enjoyed in decades past have passed their peak, others are peaking now. Between hours rehearsing and a full-time live band, Ernie Haase and Signature Sound can be counted on to deliver a show that leaves NQC buzzing. The Collingsworth Family brings a special anointing to each set, nicely complemented by sheer musical brilliance. Mark Trammell, TaRanda Greene, Courtney Collingsworth, Lauren Talley, Scotty Inman—these and a dozen others could be put side by side with any rock, country, or CCM singer and hands-down sing them off stage.
Speaking of a singer that I would put up against any CCM/rock/country vocalist, I need to correct a mistake I made; Pat Barker was not imitating Big Chief Wetherington on “I Wanna Know.” Inquiries at the Mark Trammell Quartet booth revealed that he was sick / congested throughout the week and compensated by singing a more rhythm-style bass. Certain bass singers of yesteryear would wish they could sing that song as well as Pat Barker does on an off day.
Even if we miss the greats of yesteryear, we have greats today. And most of them hit home runs this year at NQC.
For those of you who were there—or watched the live video feed—what were the highlights? Aside from your favorite group’s current single, a moment we all enjoy, what moments or groups surprised you this year?
Side note: If you are making comments with the NQC highlights video in mind, keep in mind that video selections are drawn from mainstage performances on the final three days, since those are the only sets filmed with a full video crew.