Concert Review: Legacy Five with Matt Fouch (Baxter, MN)

The lobby of Heritage Assembly of God was filled with people and questions. “Where’d the old bass singer go?” “Who’s the new guy?” “What does he sound like?” Speculations hovered around Legacy Five’s product table as devoted fans milled about on the evening of September 21st, 2012, anxiously waiting for the doors to open. Everyone was saddened by the departure of Glenn Dustin, but filled with excited anticipation about his replacement. “Shh, here he is now,” said friends to each other as Matt Fouch, Legacy Five’s new bass singer, appeared in the lobby and began to strike up conversations with the concert-goers.

By the time the concert was over, Matt Fouch had won the die-hard Minnesota fans over.

With his casual, friendly manners and warm bass voice, Matt adds an unique aspect to Legacy Five. His voice at times resembles Glenn Dustin’s, though his tonality is smoother and fuller. For being only his seventh or eighth concert with Legacy Five, he fit right in with the group!

The other members of Legacy Five were in true form: Scott Fowler sharing his passion about political “incorrectness”, Gus Gaches masterfully handling his smooth tenor licks, and Scott Howard…well, let’s just say, he was just Scott Howard! 🙂 Trey Ivey also continues to impress us with his piano prowess, and even surprised us when he carried the lead on a verse!

Each time we see Legacy Five, we are reminded once again why the polished quartet has made such an impact on Southern Gospel music. Their cohesive blend, spontaneous humor, uplifting songs, and the way they share the Gospel of Jesus Christ on stage and off has made them a fixture in this genre.  

Pictorial Concert Review

Photos by Taylor and Jayme Garms; captions by Taylor, Leesha, Sam, Jayme, and Caleb Garms.

Song List and Comments

A Wonderful Life
God Cares for Me
I’m Still Amazed
I’ve Been Changed (first feature of Matt Fouch)
Had It Not Been (featuring Scott Howard; he carried the simple arrangement of this powerful song with heartfelt emotion.)
I Found Grace (Gus took his verse into the clouds!)
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms (Trey Ivey piano solo, with plenty of crazy humor intermingled, as usual; standing ovation)
Life Will Be Sweeter (this was one song Matt was still learning, but they all pulled it off well; encore of Trey’s piano solo)
Getting Ready Today (Trey was reluctant to carry the second verse, but did a great job on this catchy tune.)
Truth is Marching On (such a majestic song which garnered a standing ovation)

Product Pitch/Intermission (This was Sam’s favorite part of the whole concert – don’t ask us why!)

Destination Known
I’ve Got a Newborn Feeling
Strike Up the Band (This happy song is always a favorite with the Baxter crowd.)
For What Earthly Reason (Legacy Five sang it by request, and what a moving effect it had on the audience; it too also had a standing ovation)
There’s Something About That Name
The Patty and Hanna Story
Ask Me Why (with an a capella reprise)
Living in the Palace (Jayme’s favorite)
Boundless Love (with Caleb; standing ovation and reprise)
Champion of Love (again, a prolonged standing ovation)

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What to Do When You Cannot Attend NQC

While some of you are out meetin’ and greetin’ at the National Quartet Convention, some of us are hanging around home, trying to “occupy” our time.  Here are a few things we found to do this week…

What to Do When You Can’t Attend NQC


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Concert Review: The Ball Brothers with Chad McCloskey (Buffalo, MN)

Despite a bus tire exploding, a car not starting, and a “late” leave time, our family was able to attend a Ball Brothers’ concert this past Sunday evening (May 6th, 2012) in Buffalo, Minnesota during Chad McCloskey’s second full weekend with the group.

When the Ball Brothers ran up on stage, immediately, the crowd was interested in this exciting group of five young men. As they opened with their signature “do-dos” on “Happy Am I”, we were instantly impressed with their cohesive blend. With each note precise and solid, the Ball Brothers have probably the strongest group blend we have heard live. And with their new vocalists, Andy Tharp and Chad McCloskey, they are on top of their game. They easily master intricate harmonies and send them hurling into the audience as a unifed wall.

Daniel Ball’s robust lead vocals provide a rich, full sound to the group, and Andrew Ball’s clear, silky tenor fuses their distinctive blend. Both of the brothers’ voices have matured since we first heard them on tour with Ernie Haase and Signature Sound in 2006, and they are some of the most polished vocalists in our genre.

Andy Tharp, who recently replaced Stephen Ball as baritone, has a very reliable, resonant voice and unassumingly adds greatly to their harmonies. The Ball Brothers made a fine choice for a new baritone!  Andy does well adding a country twang to his voice, as on “Walking in Jerusalem” and “I’ve Been Redeemed”.  

At 22 years old, the newest member, Chad McCloskey, has an exceptional voice and range. He sang “Beulah Land” with his own creative improvisations, and held down the low parts of the rest of the songs well.  He is a great addition to the group!  

Cody McVey, formerly of the Kingsmen Quartet, is a talented piano player and it was fun to observe his technique.

Enthusiastically diverse, the group offers a broad selection of music, covering their style of Southern Gospel, contemporary, jazz, country, bluegrass, and even a touch of classical. But each song was refreshing and filled with the message of Jesus Christ.  Their ending song of the concert, “It’s About the Cross”, defines their ministry and message, and they passionately deliver their now popular song with power.  (See below for a video.)

A particular highlight was listening to the story of their beginnings, which they shared candidly while sitting on the church’s stools (theirs weren’t as nice, supposedly). They also paid tribute to the Cathedral Quartet by singing “Plan of Salvation”, which was neat for our family to experience, as we were never privileged to hear the famous quartet share this touching song live. Daniel Ball carried the solo well and Cody McVey’s piano playing recalled Roger Bennett’s familar piano arrangement.  Also, they made a familiar Cathedrals’ song “Glory Train” their own, adding a humorous twist.  (See video below.) 

In 2006, when we first saw the Ball Brothers, Ben told one of the brothers that when they had their first stand-alone concert in Minnesota, we would be there. Amazingly, God graciously allowed this to happen, and are we glad to have been able to attend! The promoter told us that many people wanted the Ball Brothers back, and we’d encourage any promoter to have this 2011 Horizon Group of the Year at their church or venue.

Here’s a video of assorted song clips from the night:



“It’s About the Cross”



“Ride that Glory Train”




To read a list of songs from the concert, click “More”.  

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Booth Brothers Pictorial Concert Review and Caption Contest

On March 17th, 2012, the Booth Brothers, with the Declaration Trio, returned to Maplewood, MN for their annual concert at Lakewood Worship Center.  Below is a pictorial review of the blessed night with captions created by Sam, Jayme, and Caleb (with help from older siblings!).  Also, scroll down for details about a chance to win the Booth Brothers’ latest CD: “Let It Be Known”!


Give This Picture a Caption and Win!

We need a caption for this picture!  The person with the winning caption will receive a brand new copy of “Let It Be Known”, the Booth Brothers’ latest CD.   Leave your caption in the comments by 9:00 a.m. EST, Friday, March 30th!

UPDATE: We have a winner! Daniel’s Siblings, also known as the Once Quaking Judges Who Are Now Powerful and Loving and Of A Sound Mind, selected this comment from Joy (March 29, 2012 at 10:36 pm):

Ronnie: “Wow, you have a lot of flies buzzing round your horses and cows. Do you ever shoo them?”
Michael: “No we just let them go barefoot.”

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Garms Family Road Stories: Make that quintuple…

The Quadruple Bass with the Double Bass

The "Quadruple Bass" with the "Double Bass".

At many concerts that we do as a family, I receive many compliments about my “wonderful bass voice”. (I’m not at all the next J.D. Sumner or Tim Riley, so don’t worry!)  These caring people often have suggestions for songs I should sing, and they make sure they tell the rest of the family that I never sing enough during our performances! I receive almost as many compliments as Caleb does about his personality, yet no one ever threatens to kidnap me and take me home (unlike Caleb)!

Anyway…one of my favorite compliments I received was after a performance at a church near our home. I was walking down a hallway in the church, and a little elderly man stopped me. He was about half my height, and exuberant to tell me what he was thinking. He looked up at me, and asked, “Have you ever heard of a double bass?” I paused for a moment before hesitantly answering, “Well, yes I have!” I was wondering what he was getting at, because as an instrument player, I immediately took what he said in the sense of an instrument. In fact, this man had just spent a half hour watching Mom play a double bass in our performance. He then, with triumph in his voice, exclaimed, “I tell you, YOU are a QUADRUPLE BASS!” At the same time he bent to half HIS height and made a large sweeping motion with his hand, shaking his head in emphasis of “quadruple bass”. To say in the least, I was speechless for a moment.  But that didn’t phase him a bit! He kept on going with his description of my voice. He ended with, “If you can go that low when you’re still young, just think about when you get older!”  

After I thanked him for his kind compliments, we parted company; he with a lighter heart, and I with a big smile on my face, wondering how I was ever going to live up to his descriptions of my voice!

Ben Garms

Submitted by Ben – ’cause he’s “Ben” there!



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Garms Family Road Stories: Danger Above!

Our family band’s touring equipment consists of many different parts and pieces; in some cases we have major Southern Gospel groups beat in terms of the amount of stuff!

All of us have our own favorite components; for some members of my family, it’s the musical instruments; for others, it’s the promotional material; and for myself, it’s the audio equipment!

Personally, I love speakers. Subwoofers are the most fun. When you start pumping low frequencies through a powerful, quality woofer, well…in my opinion, it’s a heart-pounding experience that can’t be beat!

We first bought our sound equipment from an e-Bay store. When our subwoofer came via UPS®, the delivery-man was giving us and the 90-pound box a couple of good stares. Ever since then, that wonderful piece of equipment has found a special place in my heart. So when things start happening to it, I – and my family – start to get concerned.

There is a saying which goes, “No one cares for your ministry like you do”. Well, I’d like to modify that a little…”No one cares for your audio equipment like you do”! You see, I’ve seen our subwoofer placed on the ground upside-down, used as a step ladder (I’ll admit, I’ve done so also), and have it’s life threatened! OK, maybe that’s too much of an extreme, but it was slightly dangerous all the same.

But before I get to the story, I need to explain one more thing…people love to try to help us clean-up after concerts. Some do it because they want us out of there so they can go home, some because they know what they are doing, and others just because they have big hearts. It was after this incident that it became family policy to not allow anyone to handle the big, expensive audio equipment, unless by special permission and known background.

We were at a venue which had gone extremely well. After eating a delicious meal, the audience was warm and responsive. The chef of the night was one of those people with a big heart. He was one of the most likable guys you could meet. So when clean-up and tear-down time came, he offered as much assistance as he was able.

Time came for hauling our stuff out to our trailer. Suddenly, he got a novel idea. Repeat, a novel idea. He went back to the kitchen, and brought back a couple of old, metal serving carts. “We can place stuff on here, and then roll the carts to the exit door!”, he reasoned. Mom was skeptical from the start. For some things it worked…kind-of. From my vantage point in the trailer, I could see Sam, Jayme, and Caleb wheeling gurney-looking things with one or two small articles to the door, unloading them, and then returning. It was after a few trips that near-disaster struck. Mom still gets the shivers when she thinks about it.

Our friend the chef spotted the speakers. So, taking one, he loaded it onto the top shelf of the rickety cart, standing upright, and had one of the Lil’ Adventures push it towards the door. When I saw the LA reach the door, the cart was wobbling back and forth, and Dad was jumping to grab the speaker from the cart before it fell and squashed the LA! If I remember correctly, I could hear Mom’s slightly tense voice floating out the door.

I don’t exactly know the sequence of what happened next, since I wasn’t quite an eyewitness. But I do know what happened. A cart had come back empty, and our chef friend decided to load what was closest at hand…the subwoofer. I don’t know the exact weight of the woofer, but it is somewhere near 90 pounds. Our friend was of the short, rotund stature, and Mom remembers seeing him heave the subwoofer onto a trembling cart and trying to convince one of the LAs to push it to the trailer. That was it for Mom. She yelled for Dad, and had Dad (and the chef) take the subwoofer off the cart, and stop using the carts. Mom had visions not only of busted subwoofers, but also pancaked LAs.

THANKFULLY, no one was hurt that night. But we came away a lot wiser. So, maybe I will revise the old adage one more time…”No one cares for your CHILDREN like you do!”

Ben Garms

Submitted by Ben – ’cause he’s “Ben” there!




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Garms Family Road Stories: “Is this a two story building?”

I hope to never top this experience. It was undoubtedly some of the scariest few seconds I had ever lived.

Our family was going to perform an afternoon concert in East Battle Lake, Minnesota. The venue was located in a restored chapel on an island in the middle of East Battle Lake. It was a warmer day, and do to the antiquity of the building, we made sure we opened up the windows in the chapel, as air conditioning was not an option.

After we finished setting up our equipment, we began to mingle among the audience who had gathered. I spotted a young man in the front pew, and we began to pleasantly converse with each other. In the middle of our conversation, we were interrupted by a middle-aged mother, and her daughter who was about two-years-old. Instead of choosing to walk around us to get to their seat in the front pew, the mother chose to shepherd her daughter in between us conversing men. My mind was saying, “That was unique”, but then I looked around myself and saw that I was hogging up quite a bit of the walkway. The chapel we were in was fairly small, the distance between the steps up to the platform and the first pew being no more then two feet. It was so small that the pews, which might have held eight people max, ran all the way to the wall, each pew having a corresponding window.

As we talked, I looked down to the end of the pew, just in time to see the little daughter walk up to the corresponding window, push out the screen, and promptly fall out. Needless to say, my heart stopped. Our conversation ended too. I found myself running down the aisle, wondering if we were in a one or two story building.

The Chapel

The Chapel

I ran out the front door (to the surprise of a few people) and dreading to do it, turned and looked at where the window was. To my surprise, I saw the mother step out the window, and pick her daughter up. The girl had fallen a maximum of a foot in height. My poor little mind almost couldn’t handle it. The adrenaline rush of fear almost toppled me over in shock. I shakily walked over to the window after the mother and daughter stepped back inside through the window, and as calmly as possible replaced the screen. I then shakily walked back inside the chapel, and did my best to regain my composure. All I know was that I was glad it turned out NOT to be a two-story building!

Ben Garms Submitted by Ben – ’cause he’s “Ben” there!


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Garms Family Road Stories: Call the Elevator Man!

Probably everyone who has hit the road singing Gospel music has picked up some memorable stories along the way. I asked Ben Garms of the Garms Family to share a few of theirs; here’s the first one.

My middle name should be “unique”.  Of course, most everyone in my family has a certain level of uniqueness about them, but I seemed to have acquired a special measure of …”uniqueness”.

The Fateful Elevator

The Fateful Elevator

There came a time (and it hasn’t been the only time, which the rest of the family can attest 🙂 ) where this came out loud and clear. We were in Isle, Minnesota, unloading our equipment into the second-story sanctuary of the church. The church was almost a hundred years old, yet building maintenance had been kept up very well. They had at one time installed what I call a “lift” type elevator. It’s the kind which a platform is contained in a glass well. You look up, and you can see where you’re going, and you look down, and you can see where you came from. (Great for height-lovers like me…NOT!) It was one of my first encounters with such a device.

When we met the promoter, she had explained that we could use the elevator for our unloading purposes. About half-way through the process, I had a considerable load to take up to the sanctuary, and no one else was around to help me out. So, using my head, I thought, “Well, I’ll just use the elevator! Why haul it up some steep steps?” By the time I had the stuff in front of the elevator door, Leesha had shown up. I confided to her my plan, and she said, “Okay?”.  I loaded the things into the elevator, and looking around the cramped space, saw the button that made the thing go up, and gave it a push.

From here on, my memory fails me. All I remember was that I was halfway up the glass shaft, STUCK and going nowhere, with Leesha and the promoter staring at me. Some how, in some way, I had done something to cause this horrific situation. I think it had something to do with releasing the button, but I don’t know for sure. And with my great love for heights (NOT!), I was as comfortable as a fish in a fish bowl with a cat staring at it. I don’t even remember what I did to get moving again. By the time I was up to the second story, I had nine pairs of eyes staring at me! I do remember the urge to scream for help as loud as I could, but that wouldn’t have served any purpose other than to hurt my ears.

So, after I was out of the elevator, I made up for the muddle the best I could, by staying out of the elevator! The next time I had to use a “lift” type elevator, I made sure I followed all the instructions.

Ben Garms

Submitted by Ben – ’cause he’s “Ben” there!




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Garms Family Road Stories: Mosquito Problems

“Oh no, we don’t have a mosquito problem,” the promoter assured us.

Famous last words.

We were setting up for an outdoor concert at a beautiful retreat center in Wisconsin, and were slightly concerned about a possible mosquito attack as the evening wore on. The promoter, with his thick Swedish accent, said, “We have not had mosquitoes during any of our concerts all summer. We don’t have a mosquito problem.” Despite his assurances, we were still worried and made sure we had plenty of bug spray.

The audience was warm and responsive and we were having a fun time connecting with the crowd. Toward the end of the concert, in fact, the last song, something began to change. The song we were closing with was an emotional arrangement of “My Jesus I Love Thee”, and usually, all the people are riveted listening to Mom communicate the song. Well, the audience was attentive until suddenly someone in the middle started slapping. Several other people began to slap their heads, arms, and thighs. A wave of slapping people, beginning in the middle, moved over the entire crowd. With horror, we knew what was happening: it was a mosquito problem, a big mosquito problem.

Well, singers and instruments are not exempt from mosquito problems. The insects attacked. A large mosquito landed right in the middle of Mom’s forehead, and sat there for the rest of the song, causing a large welt to grow on her forehead. Mosquitos swarmed around Sam as he sat on his drum throne, and he, trying to swat a few, starting hitting random cymbals quite accidently, adding an unique flavor to the song. Taylor couldn’t concentrate on singing because of the mosquitoes buzzing in front of her eyes and was slapping mosquitoes in between mandolin chords. Leesha was slapping mosquitos off of Ben as he attempted to play guitar.

Needless to say, the crowd evacuated the area immediately after the song.

Did we mention we still had an hour and a half of tear down? We had placed all of our instrument cases in the grass before we loaded the instruments, and, if you live up north, you know full well mosquitos live in grass. It was a torturous night and we itched all the way home.

This year we drove up to the same retreat center for a return concert.  The promoter told us upon arriving, “Well, you know, we haven’t had a mosquito this entire summer until just this week, and they are the little ones with a biii-g bite!”  

We had a wonderful time – INDOORS! 

The Garms Family marching around, trying to warding off mosquitos!

The Garms Family (2010) marching around, trying to warding off mosquitos at the retreat center!

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