update [EDIT, 3/16/13: Broken link removed], the website I launched a week or two ago, is off to a running start. We have reviews up from five of our contributors to date. Some of our contributors live in areas (Oregon/Idaho, California, etc.) where Southern Gospel groups rarely come, so they will only be able to contribute occasionally, but this is a decent start.

Some of the first posts have come under criticism in certain quarters for being too positive. Is it not better to err on the side of being positive than going to the opposite extreme? Besides, what is the point of going to a concert if there isn’t a decent chance you’ll enjoy it? And if one of my contributors enjoyed a concert, I sure hope that would come through in their review.

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14 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’d rather have positive, yet honest, write-ups. Leave the negative ones to the fellow that is so good at it!!

  2. THAT particular person would probably complain if he was hung with a brand new rope!!! Actually – I enjoy most of his writing.

    And – I am enjoying the new website. Concert reviews – just like CD reviews, are highly subjective and in the eye of the beholder. I’ve been to see the same group twice within 45 days (with no opening acts) – and could honestly offer two totally opposite reviews. One was miserable – and I would have not gone to the second if the ticket had not already been purchased. I think that everyone on the bus had gotten up on the wrong side of the bed – or something. There was no chemistry.

    But you know – the truly greats may not be totally on for every show; but you never know it.


  3. I enjoy all SG concerts I attend.

    Just like church services… yes, some are better than others. But I can’t recall a concert I’ve been to that I’ve thought, “Oh that was bad, I can’t believe I wasted my time!”

    I have more fun at a SG concert then any sporting event I’ve attended. Maybe I’m weird.. but that’s me! Bring on the fun!

  4. Whenever I do a review, concert, CD, or otherwise, and I find a negative that I feel needs to be brought to light, I always try to find a positive to go with it. There are VERY little instances where I would write a totally negative review of something unless I were required to do so, or felt obligated to do so.

  5. Daniel, I hope you can make it to the Mark Trammell Trio concert at my church on July 20 and post a review.

  6. It’s fine for a review to focus on the positives without beating you over the head with the negatives. My concern would be whether or not the reviewer points out anything unique about the experience. A setlist is interesting and the fact that the reviewer “liked it” is OK. What can they tell us beyond those aspects that we could have likely guessed on our own?

    That’s what makes a concert review worth reading.

  7. VERY good points, DBM!!

  8. #6 – I’ll echo Kyle. Very good points. Good enough that I’ll forward that comment to our contributors, to make sure they see it. 🙂

  9. I’d like to see the whole spectrum in a review. Give specific detaills and cirtiques. But let it be constructive criticism, not something that would tear someone down.
    For example, I’ll use a common circumstance to illustrate. If a certain group runs their sound system constantly to an earbleed level, then I want to know about it to avoid inducing hearing damage by seeing them. Who knows, if that certain criticism is put online IN A CONSTRUCTIVE MANNER, perhaps a group member would read it and be more inclined to be sensitive to the fans’ desires regarding how loud the PA is set.

  10. #9….. that’s why I try to remember to take earplugs with me to concerts. And, I had to use them at a concert recently! TURN IT DOWN, GUYS!!!!

  11. What is partly cloudy to some might be partly sunny to others even sunny to the most positive person.
    People who are blessed with excellent hearing can pick up sound better than going down the road of hearing impairment.
    Folks with a tendency with to have severe headaches or muscle spasms with might have a hard time with the deep bass sound whether from a singer or a track.
    Some people with a High-frequency hearing loss would have a difficult time with a high pitch singer like a Karen Peck when she go sky high.
    Like everything else, it boils down to question of is your cup half full or half empty.
    Let’s not discourage involvement on the internet by common southern gospel music fan by expecting our expectations or standards to be applied to their posting on the internet.
    The last few years has seen increase numbers of common fans on other southern gospel music web sites just lurking around because they could not meet the expectation of others or they were blasted off by others.

  12. so far i’ve enjoyed both of the new sites, the concert reviews and the cd reviews. both have given me food for thought, would i buy… would i attend a concert by a group when they get close…
    when it comes to reviewing, i will always believe the reviewing is more subjective than objective… more eyes and ears of the beholder… and i have no problem with that.
    trust me when i critique something, a cd, a book, a movie, a concert… i’m very aware of how subjective i am…

  13. I remember a CD review we did one time that consisted of two sentences. I think that what wasn’t said spoke volumes.

    Honesty tempered with love is great. But honesty tempered with cruelty is not. The internet has brought the latter into the light in recent years. I have yet to see where it has helped SG in any way.

    Daniel, I commend you on your Christian approach.

  14. Thanks! That sounds like some review—if I knew how to operate the search feature on your website better, I’d do some searching. That would be pretty interesting to read. 🙂