YouTube user TheNelonsFan posted the seven-minute segment that the Dove Awards allotted for Southern Gospel:
Don’t miss the cutaway at 2:51 to Troy Peach. Though just a second or two, his face tells the story as effectively as the lyric—the anticipation waiting for the payoff line, and then the sheer joy when Joseph hits the words “…was no longer in that grave.” On one level, it’s the power of the lyric, on another the musical underpinnings that build the intensity of the moment. As much as anything Joseph Habedank does—he did his part with a picture-perfect delivery—it’s Peach’s brief cutaway that sells the song.
I hope you’ve all had a great Resurrection Sunday!
All across the world, musically inclined church members sang special musics about the Resurrection this morning. One church on the West Coast had Philip Batton and Liberty Quartet’s Jordan Cragun and Keith Waggoner singing “If You Knew Him.” Here is the result:
This incredible rendition rivals the original. Jordan Cragun, who has the feature, has really grown as a vocalist since joining Liberty Quartet about a year ago; there is new richness and fullness in his delivery. Batton and Waggoner are both tenors; Batton is singing a baritone part through most of the song, until after the second chorus. At that point, Waggoner jumps to lead, Cragun moves down to baritone, and Batton sings the tenor through the high power ending.
Ever since Josh Cobb introduced “I Stand Redeemed” on Legacy Five’s debut project, Strong in the Strength, the true test of a Legacy Five tenor has been their rendition of that signature song.
Cobb’s original rendition was in an unearthly-high F, modulating to G. Few other tenors can sing in that range—David Phelps is probably the only tenor on the road today (besides Cobb himself) who could deliver a power-tenor rendition in that key—and following Legacy Five tenors have keyed it down.
Frank Seamans, who recorded the song in 2007 on Know So Salvation, took it down two keys, to E-flat, modulating to F. Gus Gaches takes it down one more key, D modulating to E:
I doubt the issue is whether Gaches can sing the song in the higher keys. He hits throws in fifth intervals (e.g., high As and Bs) here and there, comfortably. So undoubtedly, he can technically hit the notes, but he probably prefers slightly lower territory and more to command to upper range regions with the chance or sounding strained on an off night.
It seems that he is comfortable enough in his own shoes to put his own mark on the song without attempting to equal other renditions. Under Gaches’ ownership, this song will be slightly mellower, less a big ballad and more a message / testimony song. And there is a place for both renditions.
Daniel J. Mount has started writing about Christian music again! Check out expositorysongs.com. This website highlights songs where the main idea of a passage of Scripture is also the main idea of a song.
Fifty of the best posts from Southern Gospel journal's eight-year run are now available in book form. Learn more here.