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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Concert Review: Greater Vision (Lake Gibson, FL): Live Blog

Greater Vision (Lake Gibson, FL)Greater Vision is performing tonight in Lake Gibson, Florida; the concert is being streamed live online, here. We blogging this concert live! Here’s a set list with comments:

  • He Didn’t When He Could’ve Passed By: This toe-tapper opened Greater Vision’s latest mainline release, The Only Way. It just makes sense as a concert opener; it’s energetic and gives multiple members chances to shine. The live sound mix, at least as streamed online, is often an issue at Lake Gibson concerts. This time, tenor Chris Allman is hot in the mix—not that I’m complaining. He’s such a good singer that I’d go hear him live, even if all he was doing was singing the same harmony parts he’s singing here with Gerald and Rodney. At the same time, it sure would be nice to hear more of the melody. 🙂
  • I Could Never Praise Him Enough: Chris Allman steps forward on a song he wrote and recorded on Greater Vision’s 1995 album Take Him At His Word.
  • When They Ring the Bells of Heaven: Gerald Wolfe carries the melody on this one, and thankfully we can hear him in the mix now!
  • No Longer Chained: Rodney’s first feature of the night. I had wondered if Greater Vision would stage the long orchestral intro; it turns out they do. Gerald Wolfe uses it as a musical backdrop for his first extended remarks of the evening, then transitions to Rodney as the orchestral portion ends.
  • Introductions: Greater Vision just returned from a concert. Gerald Wolfe’s wife and children are watching online; he sent them a special message via the video screen that he indeed is not jaundiced and indeed doesn’t need liver pills!
  • Chris Allman (Greater Vision) singing "I Know a Man Who Can"

    Chris Allman singing "I Know a Man Who Can"

    I Know a Man Who Can: Chris Allman proves that if the song is good enough and the singer is good enough, you don’t have to have a huge, orchestrated soundtrack to tear the roof off and get a standing ovation.
  • His Eye is on the Sparrow: Chris Allman is featured on what Wolfe introduced as Allman’s grandfather’s favorite song. For this and the preceding song, Wolfe was playing piano, and there was no soundtrack. These moments are Greater Vision at its best!
  • The Only Way.
  • Gerald Wolfe shared one of his classic “I made that up” stories. (That line has become such a classic that, when Wolfe introduces a new story, the audience laughs at the punch line, but reserves the biggest laugh for that!)
  • It Pays to Pray. Gerald Wolfe set it up by saying that Rodney Griffin wrote both “Just Pray” and “It Pays to Pray” about the same man, his father-in-law. He prayed daily for his father-in-law’s salvation for over a decade. He wrote this song in faith; within a month after he completed it, his father-in-law became saved. His father-in-law passed away several days ago. (Mark Trammell filled in with Greater Vision for the cruise they just completed.) That makes this Griffin’s first concert back since the funeral; it’s a wonder he made it through the song.
  • He’d Still Been God. 
  • Offering/offertory.
  • My Name is Lazarus. After an extended offering and talk from the pastor, Greater Vision picked the perfect song to bring the audience back to life.
  • Greater Vision takes requests.

Other responsibilities come calling, so I’ll call it a night early. But it’s been a great program and a great evening!

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Guest Post: Ernie Haase and Signature Sound Concert Review (Portland, Oregon)

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Ellen Gerig, known to those who love Southern Gospel videos on YouTube as “Psalm of Praise.” After she sent several links to song videos from a Signature Sound concert last week, I asked if she would consider writing a review to accompany the videos. She graciously obliged!


Concert Review

When Ian Owens stepped out on stage for the first time with Ernie, Devin, and Doug on January 21, 2011, in Portland, Oregon, I was privileged to be there.

I was also privileged to hear them in the same venue a year later on January 20, 2012.

But it wasn’t without a bit of dis-incentive on the way! I was barely into the 70+-mile journey when, on I-5, a truck in the other lane kicked up some pieces of metal. They thankfully weren’t “heavy metal”, but I was not able to swerve or slow down due to traffic and had to just go with the blows. The battle scar from that encounter was the new paint on my bumper getting scraped and gouged down through to the subsurface. Then as I was rounding about the last street corner before arriving at the church, there must have been an object in the travel lane that I hit. I felt a little sidewise jolt to the car and heard a disconcerting “pop”. I looked in my rear-view mirror and saw the car behind me stop at the same location where I had felt the jolt, and then pull off at a curb cut (one that I had missed, or I would have pulled off there, also). Apparently they had either seen or encountered the same mysterious object that I had! As we were only a block or so from the church and the doors had opened already, I decided it would be more prudent to just go on to the church. Where the jolt had occurred was four lanes intersecting four lanes, with dividers in the middle, etc., so it would have taken a considerable amount of time to go back and find a place to park and investigate further. Anyway, after arriving at the church I discovered that a panel in front of the passenger-side rear tire was broken and had a bolt missing. Inspection of the offending street corner after the concert revealed nothing out of the ordinary, but whatever had been there had probably long since been removed.

When we walked into the church, the balcony was not open for concert-goers, much to my disappointment—and surprise. Last year even the balcony had been filled to nearly overflowing. I usually prefer a front-row balcony seat in large churches for better visibility. But in a couple minutes the offending rope on the stairway was removed, and my friend and I had prime front-row balcony seating!

The balcony never came close to being filled, however, and it was obvious that the crowd was not as big as it had been the year before. However, western Oregon was just emerging from one of the biggest floods in years, and the Columbia River Gorge (one of two primary routes into Portland from the east) was coping with snow, ice, and freezing rain—I-84 through the Gorge having been closed at least part of the day due to those very factors, and almost preventing Ernie Haase & Signature Sound from getting into town! In fact, their concert the night before in Pasco, Washington, had been canceled due to weather complications. I imagine that there were some people who would have been at the concert but were dealing with flooding aftermath, or perhaps couldn’t even get into town safely if they were coming in from the east.

It wasn’t until several days after the concert that there was mention made of my writing a review—so I was not even making any particular mental notes. I was more focused on (no pun intended) simply enjoying the evening, and grabbing some photos and videos by which to remember and relive the concert, and to share with my friends. Those of you who know me know that my powers of recollection of recent events and of chronology are not always the most stellar!

From my balcony vantage point I saw Ernie doing some meeting and greeting in the crowd on the ground floor level before the concert—a genuine smile and handshake and a few words with different individuals who were seated reachably near the aisle. The other members may have been doing that also, but as I wasn’t truly taking notes, I do not recall if that was the case or not. I also know that even the band members were available at the product table after the concert; this is one group that is available to their fans.

The usual pre-concert, in-audience product pitch/sales took place, also—this is the third time that I recall EH&SS selling pre-packaged four-item bundles for $20 directly to the seated crowd. I think the bundle consisted of one DVD and three CDs, but as I was busying myself otherwise during the pitch, I don’t recall for sure. Since these items are generally not their newest releases, I have either most or all of them already so do not avail myself of the special. But it seems to be an effective sales maneuver, and I would imagine that it also helps to keep the shopping crowd down to a manageable size at the product table at intermission and after the concert. They ARE popular, after all!

One of the first songs (maybe it WAS the first?) they sang was “Stand By Me”—one of the (if not THE) first big hit(s) for EH&SS. This was originally a song that Tim Duncan (former bass for the group) had “owned”, but now Ian has integrated well enough and has shown himself capable of filling some pretty big shoes—and did a very good job at holding down the bass line. There has been a lot of naysaying and negative commentary about the most recent personnel change in the group—and although Ian is not Tim, he brings a lot of good qualities to the stage. My opinion is that Ian is fully capable, sounds great, and is doing a wonderful job. I am not as thoroughly analytical as many of the active commenters here; I tend to simply know what I like and what I don’t like. And I like Ian. I also very much liked Tim. No two singers are going to sound alike, and “life happens”—including the inevitable personnel changes.

A few songs from the Cathedrals’ vault were pulled out, and I thoroughly enjoyed those. Last year’s tour featured songs that had been mainstreamed by the Cathedrals, and I truly hope those never are relegated to the archives. The Cathedrals knew good songs and set the standard in many ways for southern gospel as we know it today. It is a good thing—and an honor to the Cathedrals—for them to be emulated.

Their multi-talented producer and keyboardist, Wayne Haun, was featured on a couple songs, also.

I enjoyed everything that was sung, but there are two standouts in my mind. The first is the nearly-acappella rendition of “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen”. Wayne Haun joined in to help create some particularly full and pleasing harmonies at the end. The second was the driving “Any Other Man”. The tempo wasn’t so fast, but the passion and the compelling guitar draws one in. I had seen some commentary on a previous post here likening it to the sound of the Imperials in the 80s, I have to concur wholeheartedly. I loved that sound—and I love it now (in fact, it made me realize how I miss the Imperials of the 80s!!)… Some might call it rock—but it doesn’t strike me as being a truly rock song. The mostly-senior crowd in attendance loved it!

Yes, there was some of the always-debated “choreography” and non-mainstream-southern-gospel attire. This year the “look” was subdued in some ways from what EH&SS has portrayed in the past. The guys had donned matching dark suits and white shirts. The short ties that EH&SS fans have come to expect were present, but the ties were matching, solid, dark, and more narrow than I recall having seen in the past. Tie clips were worn very high on the tie. Black and white canvas Converse shoes were their footwear of choice. Given that I have never found a dress shoe for myself and my funky feet that is comfortable—not even flats–I value comfort over style any day, and unconventional stage footwear doesn’t bother me if I think it looks comfortable for the wearer! And that those Converse looked! I believe that EH&SS does not intend to be the same as every other quartet out there, and that is their prerogative. I do have a feeling that as Ernie gets a few more years under his belt, there may be a bit of an evolution of clothing and choreography toward the conservative. And personally, the choreography and attire “twists” are basically neither here nor there with me. At times they can be distracting, but not so much so that I can’t enjoy the concert! I think I simply find it more intriguing than anything.

Ernie Haase’s vocals had never impressed me much in his Cathedrals days, nor in the early days of EH&SS. He tended to flat way too often. I’ll admit, however, that I have an ear that is probably hyper-tuned to hear such things. But it made some of his singing difficult to listen to—including up to the first of the two “Vintage” recordings that were made (I’ve not heard the second one, so cannot speak for it, however). However, Ernie has been improving his game—and I am very pleased to say that there was nothing difficult for me to listen to pitch-wise last Friday night! Those guys have a tight, professional sound that I could listen to a lot!

Many groups need to take a lesson from EH&SS; they have the audience clap along on 2 and 4! Imagine that! It seems that most groups have the clap-alongs on 1 and 3 (even some of my very favorite groups that should know better 🙂 ), which is boring and miserable for me. And on the rare song that is in ¾ time, EH&SS have the clap-alongs on the 2 and 3. MAJOR kudos for that!!! That elevates them a star right there!

My recommendation is to go hear Ernie and the guys if you have the opportunity. It will set you back a bit financially; they bring a full band (four members) and stage backdrops and lighting. So, if you are expecting a freewill offering and/or a subdued presentation it might not be for you—but if you want to hear some mighty good singing and don’t mind a professional presentation that doesn’t remain strictly within the confines of conservative southern gospel, and you can part with a bit of cash (this concert was $25), then by all means go! 🙂

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Concert Live-Blog: Legacy Five (Lake Gibson, FL)

Legacy Five at Lake Gibson Church

Legacy Five at Lake Gibson Church

Legacy Five is appearing tonight at Lake Gibson Nazarene Church in Lake Gibson, Florida. The concert is streaming live online here. This is a live blog.

  • 6:04: Introductions.
  • 6:09: Opening congregational numbers, “His Name is Wonderful” and “Family of God.” It seems Lake Gibson’s server is already overloaded; it seems to be cutting out once every thirty seconds here.
  • 6:15: Opening prayer.
  • 6:21: As Pastor Kirby prepares to finally bring the group on stage…the server crashes entirely!
  • 6:23: The servers are back up, briefly, as Legacy Five sings “I’m Feeling Fine.”
  • 6:26: Scott Fowler kicks off his emcee work with a political joke. He said that the church made the group feel so welcome there that it was like the welcome they’d give a President … but maybe not this President. (Then he added, for a bonus, “Perhaps Marco Rubio!”)
  • 6:32: After an introduction from Scott Fowler, Glenn Dustin rattles the subwoofers with “Roll On.”
  • 6:36: Scott Fowler introduces Scott Howard, who sings the best song from L5’s latest project, “Destination Known.” (For some reason, I thought the review had already gone up, but it turns out it’s actually in the queue for next Friday.)
  • 6:42: A funny comedy moment from the Scotts—Scott Fowler was giving Scott Howard grief over his socks. Howard: “They’re golf socks.” Fowler: “Golf socks? There’s just threadbare.” Howard: “They have a hole-in-one!”
  • Trey Ivey playing piano for Legacy Five at Lake Gibson Church

    Trey Ivey playing piano for Legacy Five at Lake Gibson Church

    6:45: Scott Fowler introduced Trey Ivey with their familiar routine of Fowler telling Ivey to play something Southern Gospel, and Ivey playing a classical piece before moving into “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.” (Thankfully, by this point in the program, the streaming issues seemed to be mostly resolved.)
  • 6:54: “Life Will Be Sweeter Someday,” with no track—just piano accompaniment.
  • 6:59: We spoke too soon. The streaming issues are back.
  • 7:01: Glenn Dustin steps out front for “Somebody Sing.”
  • 7:06: After “Somebody Sing” got a rousing response, the group immediately launched into “Boundless Love.” It seems the classics are getting the strongest response tonight—not that Lake Gibson can’t welcome new songs, since they’ve proved with other groups that they can.
  • 7:11: Evidently that’s the case, since “Boundless Love” indeed closes out the first set.
  • 7:26: The live stream crashes for several minutes at intermission. When the feed returns, Scott Fowler is doing the product pitch.
  • 7:27: Scott tells the audience to say “Wow” (at the price of the product special) “on one, two, three.” At one, several members of the audience say “Wow!” Glenn Dustin offers up some great impromptu humor: “We have to remember we’re in Florida. They can’t count.” Ouch! 🙂
  • 7:37: After a 10-12 minute product pitch, it’s back to the music. “God Had a Hand In It.”
  • 7:40: Legacy Five moves onto requests. First up: “Strike Up the Band” (from Live in Music City, reviewed here.)
  • 7:45: “Living in the Palace,” with solos from the Scotts.
  • 7:48: Scott Fowler sets up “Ask Me Why” by telling the story of a Muslim mother and daughter, Hanna and Patty, and the opportunity he had to witness to them. (This has been a key moment in their live program for the last two or three years.)
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Concert Review: Dove Brothers with Keith Casstevens (Shelby, OH)

On Sunday, November 13, Daniel’s Siblings went to a Dove Brothers concert at a church near us.

Song list:

  • One Day at a Time featuring Keith Casstevens
  • I Recall featuring Burman Porter
  • If I Knew Then featuring McCray Dove
  • Life Can Have a New Meaning featuring Eric Dove
  • Little is Much featuring KeithIntroductions: It was Keith Casstevens’ third night helping them out. He was their booking agent and previously sang lead with the Anchorman. McCray Dove still sings Lead, Eric Dove still sings Baritone, and their “original bass singer” Burman Porter is back! In the Dove Brothers Band were: Joe Lane playing keyboard, Jacob Danieley playing guitars (who, by the way, is “always smiling”), and Devin Dove playing drums. We think that Devin Dove is in charge of the band, which might seem funny until you consider that he has been there longer than the other two musicians (to our knowledge). It is not entirely unheard of to have the drummer in charge of the band (Ricky Free and Brandon Reese).
  • Long Black Train featuring Burman Porter. McCray introduced this one by saying that Burman Porter used to like and talk about Randy Travis all the time, but now he likes Josh Turner. Therefore, he has been asked to sing Long Black Train. Apparently Mr. Porter sings all the time and will at least try to sing anything he is asked to do.
  • There’s Been a Change in Me featuring McCray. He wrote this song on Father’s Day, and it is basically his Dad’s life story.
  • Operator featuring Burman Porter. Mr. Porter did his first bass slide of the night on this song, and it was impressive! He shook the floors (aka: rattled people’s cages)! He did more bass slides on songs after the intermission. After a reprise, the crowd finally got on their feet and stayed up for another reprise.
  • Following the music-less intermission, The Dove Brothers came back and kicked off the second half with Didn’t it Rain and Get Away Jordan. The stage was not big enough for their usual choreography, but they did a little. Shelby, Ohio, must have been a tough crowd because while there was applause, there was no standing ovation. 
  • Still Singing the Song. McCray dedicated this song to all the couples married 50 or more years.
  • They Wouldn’t Forgive Me. A new song that McCray recently wrote about situations where a church leader falls, and the people around them “keep them down” instead of forgiving and reaching out to them.
  • He is Here featuring Keith Casstevens. It was a nice ballad. They segued from this song to Won’t it be Wonderful There with which they closed the concert.

Following are photos from the concert.

Update (11/17/2011, 7:05 P.M.): McCray Dove also recorded a video greeting; technical issues delayed its posting until now. Here it is:

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Concert Review: Dixie Melody Boys Concert

Text, photos, and videos all by Daniel’s siblings.

On October 9th, the Dixie Melody Boys Quartet did an afternoon concert at Temple Baptist Church in Green, Ohio.  Temple Baptist’s resident vocal groups, the Rogers Sisters and the Calvary Singers, opened and sang at the intermission.

From our seats, the audio was not clear, so the DMB song list is to the best of our detection ability:

  • Your First Day in Heaven
  • Roll On Jordan
  • Royal Telephone
  • Turn Your Radio On
  • We Gotta Get the Good News Out, featuring baritone Steve Cooper
  • Bottom of the Basket, written and sung by lead Donald Morris
  • Oh What a Savior, featuring tenor Matt Felts
  • I’ve Got Family There, featuring bass Ed O’Neal
  • There’s Joy in Serving Jesus
  • God Will Hear Your Prayer
  • His Blood Alone
  • I’m Getting Ready

After the intermission and product pitch:

  • Goodbye World Goodbye
  • When I Cross to the Other Side of Jordan
  • The Longer I Serve Him
  • That’s What Jesus Means to Me
  • The Call is Still the Same

We enjoyed getting to hear and see the members of the DMB again, as well as getting to meet Mrs. O’Neal, who has been traveling with the group since Mr. O’Neal’s fall and broken leg.  Mr. O’Neal seems to be doing fairly well and is now getting around without a cane.

Here are some photos and a video greeting from Mr. Felts.

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National Quartet Convention 2011: Photo Gallery

The 2011 National Quartet Convention has concluded. We survived the crazy hours and are gearing up to plunge into a busy week of regular life. But first, here are a few photo highlights:

(click on any photo to enlarge; then use left and right arrows on keyboard to flip through gallery)


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National Quartet Convention 2011, Day 6

Moment of the Day

Song of a Lifetime Showcase. The standout showcase of the week. Phil Cross knows how to pick the best songs; more on that below.

Showcase Highlights

Kingdom Heirs Chapel Service: The top half of the Kingdom Heirs worked through the early-morning challenges to tenor singers smoothly. The hour-long 9:15-10:15 set kept getting better and better as it built toward the end. Before the closing number, “We Will Stand Our Ground,” the Kingdom Heirs featured Jerry Martin on a double-header of his biggest hits with his two previous groups, “I Can Pray” and “Look for Me at Jesus’ Feet.”

Singing News Straw Poll: The straw poll winners were largely unsurprising. Kim Hopper was named Favorite Female Singer; Ronnie Booth, Favorite Male Singer; Rodney Griffin, Songwriter; Triumphant’s Love Came Calling, Album; Jeff Stice, Musician; Perrys’ “Celebrate Me Home,” Song; Booth Brothers, Artist. The Perrys was perhaps the least expected, though of course they did win in that category last year, so it’s not as much a surprise as it would have been for others. We can compare these with the final results in two weeks, but chances are a high enough percentage of Singing News’s audience is now online that there won’t be much difference.

By all accounts, the highlight of the showcase was a 20-30 minute segment devoted to the Dixie Melody Boys’ 50th Reunion. Ed O’Neal got a standing ovation at the start and close of the program, and Matt Felts got one with his delivery of the closing song, “The Call is Still the Same.” But the song where the atmosphere was simply electric was “Gonna Ride That Cloud Someday”; the audience stood by the end of the song, and through an encore or two. McCray Dove, who had the solo, gave it everything he had.

There was a live band; former pianist Eric Ollis led on piano. I couldn’t see the drummer from my seat. But what was particularly impressive was that, after the first song, Rodney Griffin stepped back into the band pit to play bass guitar. With all the members standing in the front of the stage, this meant that he essentially couldn’t be seen by most of the audience. Especially since Ernie Haase had already left for the week and couldn’t make it, he was easily the biggest name on the stage, and certainly winner of the most awards. His humility to quietly do what needed to be done was as impressive as anything else about the set.

Song of a Lifetime: An incredibly strong showcase, filled with steady standing ovations and a half-dozen moments which would have been the peak of any other showcase.

  • “Up On This Ridge” – Singer/Songwriter: Channing Eleton.
  • “One Holy Lamb” – Songwriter intro: Phil Cross. Singer: Tribute Quartet, featuring Riley Clark. First standing ovation of the showcase.
  • “That’s All I Need (He’s Everything I Need”) – Songwriter intro: Joseph Habedank. Singer: Kingsmen. Standing ovation; Joseph joined on encore.
  • “Hear My Heart” – Singer/Songwriter: Sheri Easter. Powerful moment.
  • “Preach the Word” – Songwriter intro: Jim Davis. Singer: Gold City. Dan Keeton won himself a standing ovation—and quite a few fans—with this performance. Incidentally, it was probably also Craig West’s final moment on stage with Gold City.
  • “Hands of Grace” – Songwriter intro: Tony Wood. Singer: Talley Trio
  • “When You Bow at Jesus’ Feet” – Songwriter intro: Jim Brady. Singer: Booth Brothers. An exceptionally strong mellow moment; a break between the uptempo songs and huge ballads.
  • “We Will Stand Our Ground” – Songwriter intro: Dianne Wilkinson. Singer: Kingdom Heirs. Standing ovation.
  • “Side Effects” – Songwriter intro: Roger Comber. Singer: Tim Lovelace. A funny comedy moment that had the writers, especially in stitches throughout.
  • “My Name is Jesus” – Songwriter intro: Mark Bishop. Singers: Mark Bishop, Lauren Talley, Bill Shivers, and Mitchel Jon. Standing ovation—electric atmosphere in the room. There just aren’t words to capture the energy in the room on this one.
  • “Fall On My Knees” – Singer/Songwriter: Matthew Browder.
  • “Another Child’s Coming Home” – Singer/Songwriter: Chris Allman, joined by studio musician Jeremy Medkiff on guitar. It was one of the strongest performances of the afternoon, and deserved a standing ovation.
  • “Almost Home” – Songwriter intro: Scotty Inman. Singer: Triumphant Quartet. Uptempo song, and another enthusiastic standing ovation.
  • “Do You Love Me?” – Songwriter intro: Phil Cross. Singer: Sisters. Standing ovation. Phil Cross said it was his personal favorite of all the songs he’s written, and he got quite emotional during Sister’s strong performance. As much because of the intro and his reaction as because of the song itself or the performance, the moment did receive a standing ovation.
  • Audience singalong: “Jesus Loves Me” (led by Rodney Griffin)
  • “No Longer Chained” – Songwriter intro: Rodney Griffin. Singer: Greater Vision.
  • “Redemption Draweth Nigh” – Songwriter intro: Gordon Jensen. Singer: Greater Vision. Gordon Jensen was a huge songwriter in Christian music in and around the 1970s, writing that song, “Tears are a Language,” “Bigger than Any Mountain,” “I Should Have Been Crucified,” and others. This was his first appearance at the songwriter showcase, and undoubtedly his first NQC appearance in a number of years. After an incredibly strong songwriter intro, Greater Vision blew the roof off in what will easily go down as one of the strongest performances of the week. The audience was on their feet by the second chorus, and there was a prolonged standing ovation afterwards. I don’t know if I have ever seen Gerald Wolfe get more into a song; he was so enthusiastic by the big ending that he held out his closing big note for a full measure after the track and other singer stopped, and well after the almost-deafening applause was under way.

Evening Concert

I was driving home all evening, so my siblings did the complete report for the evening.

Evening Highlights:

  • Looking for a Tenor, written by Gerald Wolfe and performed by John Rulapaugh (tenor), Arthur Rice (lead), Mark Trammell (baritone), and Gerald Wolfe (bass).
  • Brian Free’s rendition of Looking for a City—he took it up five times!
  • The Booth Brothers’ What About Now–Powerful delivery!
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National Quartet Convention 2011, Day 5

Moment of the Night

Collingsworth Family: Final three songs of set. The acapella encore to “That’s the Place I’m Longing to Go” was the night’s most exquisite moment musically. “Resurrection Morn” is a top-notch good-as-new big ballad. Kim Collingsworth’s closing piano solo, “Hallelujah Chorus,” received one of the most sustained and prolonged ovations I have ever heard at the National Quartet Convention—and perhaps the longest.

First runner-up: Greater Vision, “I Know a Man Who Can.” The fact that the Collingsworths had three songs equally deserving of making the list bumps them to the top spot, but even so, this is close behind. This song is to Chris Allman as “Oh What a Savior” is to Ernie Haase.

Second runner-up: Kingdom Heirs, “We Will Stand Our Ground.” Excellent and timely song, excellent performance.

Showcase Highlights

Intriguingly, of all the groups and soloists appearing at the Gaither Sing-A-Long showcase, the two who received the strongest and warmest applause of welcome were Mosie Lister and Ryan Seaton. The set had few standing-ovation moments, but the closing numbers of “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” (with the Nelons, Shame McConnell, and David Phelps) and “Worthy the Lamb” (Gaither Vocal Band) did bring the audience to its feet.

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