Concert Review: Colonial City Quartet
Last Friday, I took the chance to see a regional quartet based in my hometown, Colonial City Quartet. I’ve been impressed with previous lineups and wanted to see them with their new bass Kim Brown.
- Testify. Each group member had a solo on this song and the next one,
- Strong in the Strength. This is a good way to start a concert; it relieves the pressure on any one member to carry the first song or two on their own, and leaves them all warmed up.
- My Lord & I (Walk This Road to Glory, Children). Most of Colonial City’s songs are cover songs; manager Tim Campbell has told me that they are content to be a regional group, and since they have access to local venues that have never had a Southern Gospel group in, it is the first time many in their audiences hear these songs. This particular concert was at a local mega-church; most of its members had never heard of Southern Gospel, but their seniors pastor brought the group in for their annual Seniors Banquet. (Thanks perhaps in part to the dinner, there was quite an audience, at least 300 and maybe over 400. The sanctuary was pretty filled.
- I Bowed on My Knees. This song featured tenor David Campbell. Right before the song, he had some sound system issues, but recovered well with this song. It received prolonged applause. (It was the sort of reaction that would become a standing ovation elsewhere, but this audience did not seem particularly inclined to stand, standing only when invited on “Give it Away” and for the patriotic number.) Since the group’s lead singer, Steve Feazel, used to sing tenor with the group, their arrangements are high; he sang the harmony part above David.
- Pray (“You Can Awake to a Beautiful Morning”). This was a new addition to their program since the last times I’d seen them. It was performed acapella–and performed well. Kim Brown is an excellent rhythm bass; he struck me as the sort who is a good bass now and has the potential to be a great one with a few more years of voice training and experience.
- Give it Away. This was the Gaither Vocal Band song; during the encore, the group came down into the audience and shook hands.
- Total Praise. I had never envisioned this Talley Trio song as a quartet song until the first time I heard Colonial City do it, but since hearing their rendition I think it’s even better as a quartet song.
- Journey To the Sky. Classic quartet number.
- I Pledge My Allegiance. This was the first time I’d heard the group do a patriotic number. I’ve been told by some groups that they sometimes include a patriotic number in their programs since they know that it will sometimes evoke a stronger response than anything else on their program. If they haven’t gotten a standing ovation earlier in the program, a patriotic song will often bring a standing ovation if all else fails. It’s a weird quirk of American evangelicalism that the flag will bring some audiences to their feet when everything else–even the cross, the empty tomb, and Heaven–fails.
- I Then Shall Live. This was the first time I’d heard them do this song; it’s a good addition to their program.