21 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. Happy to hear that Troy is staying in southern gospel music. I will surely miss him with the Perrys. He sure is a great fellow.
    Waiting to hear a report from you on the Inspirations concert.

  2. His tweets are “protected.” That would be a unique musical format in SG, wouldn’t it? A guy and three “gals”?

    • McKameys, anyone? πŸ™‚

      • OK, you got me there! I really couldn’t think of others! πŸ™‚

      • Isaacs? Lewis Family?

      • Bluegrass. I don’t even know their format, though, so it doesn’t ring any bells even when you say it. Is it really a female trio plus a bass, though, on the bluegrass ones?

        Anyway, to defend my first comment πŸ™‚ – It is currently a unique musical format, anyway. Unless you consider the bluegrass groups. So if that’s what this one was, we would now have two groups out of all the big-name ones, which would be a fairly unique format.
        Could we linguists agree on an “uncommon” format? Because I really object to including the Lewis Family (which no longer exists, BTW)… and personally, I don’t even have the Isaacs booked under SG in iTunes. πŸ™‚

      • Full-time professionals in Bluegrass groups have told me that they don’t consider the Isaacs as a bluegrass group – apparently, as far as Bluegrass goes, the Bluegrass groups either consider the Isaacs as an SG group that sings a rather bluegrass style or as a genreless group, I suppose!

      • There’s no such thing as “fairly unique.” It’s either unique or it isn’t. No half-measures. πŸ™‚ “Distinctive,” “unusual,” or “uncommon” would all be accurate alternatives.

      • I knew a linguist would get me on that, so I suggested the alternative. Trying to cover my bases here! πŸ˜€

        “It would be an almost unique format.”

      • I’d go with genreless. I know they aren’t really bluegrass. But they fit in fine with SG. My vision of SG is a large circle. There are some groups that sit right in the center. Cathedrals, Blackwoods (old or new), Statesmen. Now, I’m gonna get told I’m inconsistent here, because all of the greatest groups have led in innovations. Maybe the Cats, for instance, cover an oval that includes the center.

        Other groups belong in ever-expanding, more distant rings. Some of them are here just because their style is music that average SG listeners also enjoy. I guess I visualize a “Venn diagram” sort of thing where groups like Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver overlap into “our territory.” So I’m OK with country or bluegrass styles, or Russ Taff getting attention in SG. I don’t always know where their “home” is. But some of them I see as barely poking inside the fringe!

      • Use of drums immediately disqualifies the Isaacs from bluegrass classification. πŸ˜‰

        It’s an eclectic style, to be sure. They were a much more traditional bluegrass band 15-20 years ago. But they’ve evolved. They’ve got a good thing going.

  3. My guess would be either that he was a soundman/bus driver.

  4. That has to be the best headline ever for this site.

  5. I have considered the Isaacs country with shades of bluegrass for their last few records – mostly starting with Heroes and even more so on Big Sky. Both are fantastic record. …Naturally would probably be considered more bluegrass than their past releases due to its stripped sound. I can’t wait to hear the new Christmas CD!

    • I heard “Labor of Love” on Mark Lowry’s blog, and it sounds great.

    • I liked Amy’s “Venn diagram” comment above :-). It allows a lot of quality material to creep into the bigger umbrella [sorry Isaac’s pun not intended!] of SGM.

      Perhaps we are guilty of making our generic walls too high, and our doors too well barred? Seems most of the steam that gets generated – even on this blog Daniel – is about the vexed question of definition, then we often fall into an entrenched sort of mentality and start lobbing mortars at CCM, which is when we get a few incendaries fired back….

      Perhaps “Genreless” is the elevated position of the prime Gospel Music Groups?

      It is interesting that, for example, if we focus on the vocals of Sonya and Becky Isaacs -we say “southern gospel”, if we pull the focus back and look at the musical ensemble, we say “blue grass”.

      It may be uncharitable to suggest that, inspite of their Jewish ancestory, the fact that the Isaacs siblings do NOT sing in their respective noses, disqualifies them as bluegrass anyway?

      Better to suggest that, on a stellar quality and breadth of material basis they transcend the respective genres. Whereas DL&QS are a very good “Bluegrass” group who’s singing appeals to SG fans…

      Can we differentiate between “cross-over” and “genre-less” as sub-genres in themselves?

      • Thanks, David! I’ve been getting a little too – I hope not quarrelsome – maybe just argumentative, lately. I was afraid I was going to make myself unpopular! I’ll blame it on stress (you know, preparing for a wedding and all that), but I’m not sure whether that explains it completely. I’ll try to be a little more consistently friendly. πŸ™‚

        Daniel could have a contest where we all draw our graphical conceptions of SG, scan them, and send them in for anonymous voting! (I mean the submissions would be anonymous.)

      • If you can line up at least three other firm contributors, so that I could be sure of at least four entries, I would be happy to.

        I’m just not sure how many of my readers are graphically inclined, and whether I’d only get one submission!

      • I haven’t any idea who else would – They’d probably all copy my idea now! πŸ˜‰ You could cancel it if you didn’t get a minimum number of submissions. But it would probably spawn an endless argument. (sigh)

      • …unless you could think of a way to make it fun. πŸ™‚