CD Review: Revival (Karen Peck and New River)


Revival - Karen Peck and New River

Ten or fifteen years ago, Karen Peck & New River transitioned from the live-band era of the group to a more progressive sound. At that point, they were ahead of the curve. But now, that curve has come and gone, and probably 2/3 of what is in the Singing News Top 40 today would have been classified as progressive just fourteen years ago, when the Cathedrals hung up their traveling shoes.
With Revival, Karen Peck & New River doesn’t exactly abandon the progressive sound. What they do is incorporate a fresh infusion of Bluegrass. Karen has always had an affinity for that genre, and the group has done Bluegrass-influenced tracks before, but the influence seems to be more significant here. While several tracks remain straight-ahead to-tappers or progressive numbers, there are a number of tracks with a relatively prominent Bluegrass-style banjo, fiddle, and mandolin added into the mix.
Three tracks stand out as particularly strong songs. The opening and closing numbers, “Revival” and “I’m Saved,” are both impossibly catchy strong songs about salvation, and, incidentally, are two of the most Bluegrass-influenced songs. “Dancing Like Lazarus,” a Joseph Habedank co-write, is every bit as creative, lyrically and musically, as we’ve come to expect from his pen. It’s probably one of his three to five most innovative songs yet.
With Revival’s shift in a Bluegrass direction, is Karen Peck & New River ahead of the curve again? Is a significant Bluegrass influence part of our genre’s future?
There’s a sense in which, for the time being, that doesn’t really matter, because it fits Karen Peck & New River, that’s what really matters.
Traditional or Progressive: Middle-of-the-road with flavors of progressive and bluegrass.

Group Members: Karen Peck Gooch (soprano), Susan Peck Jackson (alto), Jeff Hawes (male harmony).

Credits: Produced by Wayne Haun. Tracks recorded by Melissa Mattey at Daywind Studio A, Hendersonville, TN. Vocals recorded and edited by Justin Kropf. Orchestra recorded by Bobby Shin at Little Big Sound, Nashville, TN. Musicians: Gordon Mote (piano, B3 organ); John Hammond (drums); Kevin Grantt (bass); Kevin Williams (acoustic guitar); Pat McGrath (acoustic guitar, mandolin, banjo); Glen Duncan (fiddle, banjo); Kenny Greenberg (electric guitar); Scott Sanders (steel guitar).

Song List (songwriters in parentheses): Revival (Kenna Turner West, Karen Peck Gooch, Don Poythress); Oh Hallelujah (Gerald Crabb, Don Poythress); Finish Well (Kenna Turner West, Karen Peck Gooch, Michael Farris); Everybody’s Going Through Something (Kenna Turner West, Karen Peck Gooch, Don Poythress); Dancing Like Lazarus (Joseph Habedank, Sue Smith, Tony Wood); Jesus Remember Me (Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey, Jeff Bumgardner); I’ve Been Broken (Daryl Williams); Joy In My Heart (Tanya Goodman Sykes, Walter Mills); You Did It Anyway (Don Poythress, Rich Als, John Colgin); I’m Saved (Jason Coxx, Sue Smith, Karen Peck Gooch).

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NQC 2013, Day 5: Live Blog

Highlights of the Night

The evening kept getting better and better; it is safe to call the five-song finale the strongest part of the evening. 

  • Greater Vision kicked it off with “I Know a Man Who Can.”
  • Karen Peck and New River followed it with “Four Days Late.” It’s one of the strongest renditions I’ve ever heard them offer.
  • The Booth Brothers sang “Still Feeling Fine.” 11 PM or not, I’m not sure the audience will sit down at all between Greater Vision and the final notes! (Was that Gene McDonald who came up by the end? I had to look away for a couple of minutes.)
  • Mark Trammell Quartet, “I Want to Know.” I was surprised they didn’t sing it earlier; this was why!
  • To top it all off, there was an unannounced appearance by the Gaither Vocal Band, singing “It is Finished.” Wow! Talk about a strong ending!

Other highlights, in reverse chronological order:

  • Gold City’s set: Three classics and a recent favorite that unleashes the greatest legend amongst current Southern Gospel bass singers makes for a strong set! (And a cameo appearance from Jonathan Wilburn is never a bad thing.)
  • “The King is Coming,” Mark Trammell Quartet. A rousing standing ovation!
  • The Booth Brothers brought Bill Gaither up for the final song of their set, “I Played in the Band.” Before the final encore, Gaither had everyone who had sung in a choir, driven a bus, and done several other specific things he acknowledged, stand. Most of the room was standing.
  • “He’s Alive,” David Phelps with the Gaither Vocal Band. It deserves its own mention!
  • The Gaither segment. (Of course.) “That Sounds Like Home To Me” was particularly strong.
  • Canton Junction’s surprise appearance at the start of the Gaither set was very well-received.
  • The entire Karen Peck & New River set. It’s been their strongest of the week. They started with their current, catchy single, followed with two of their #1 hits, and left the audience on their feet with “We Shall Wear a Robe and Crown.” They did their two biggest hits (“Four Days Late” and “Last Night”) earlier this week; that they could do a set without either song and still turn in their strongest set of the week speaks both to their ability as performers and to strength of their repertoire.
  • “If That Isn’t Love,” Isaacs, with Bill Gaither on the piano. We’re used to the Isaacs with Bluegrass arrangements; it’s nice to see them with Southern Gospel accompaniment once in a while.
  • “The Living Years,” Isaacs. As Bill Gaither walked on stage for the next song, he talked the Isaacs into doing an acapella chorus and tag of this one. Nobody can touch Gaither’s masterful touch at making a good moment unforgettable.
  • “Something’s Happening,” Hoppers. It was good throughout, but kept getting better and better. Then, when TaRanda Greene walked over to Kim Hopper and started singing a third above Kim’s soprano part, the raw musical power was simply too much for even Freedom Hall to contain.
  • The Nelons’ entire set was incredibly strong. They started with their recent radio single, “Excuse Me, Are You Jesus.” Then, they took the daring and risky move of singing the “Hallelujah Chorus” a cappella. The set just kept getting better and better; song 3 was the Sandi Patti song “More Than Wonderful.” Soprano Amber Thompson nailed Patti’s high ending, hitting notes I’ve never heard her hit before. Then, with the Gaither band backing them up, they pulled off an energetic rendition of “I’m Going Home With Jesus.”
  • Freedom’s Showcase Appearance: If this is any indication, John Rulapaugh’s new lineup is off to a spectacular start. But get Rulapaugh, Dale Shipley, and Burman Porter all into one group, and what do you expect?

Live Play-By Play

This post got so long that we’ve hidden the live play-by-play from the home page. Click “read more” or the post title to read the complete coverage.

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NQC 2013, Day 2: Live Blog

Are you watching in person or online? Jump in; join the discussion and share your thoughts in the comments section!


In no particular order.

  • The webcast quality was greatly improved from last night. There was only one point where there were any significant interruptions—though, sadly, it was…
  • The Cathedral Family Reunion appearance—Danny Funderburk, Ernie Haase, Gerald Wolfe, Mark Trammell, and Scott Fowler, joined by guest bass Paul Harkey—singing their new radio single, “We’ll Work.” I could only catch a few seconds here and a few seconds there, but it was enough to confirm that it was one of the evening’s highlights.
  • Even though Legacy Five’s set had the somewhat odd pacing of three bass solo songs to open, it showcased Matt Fouch’s growth into his role as a Legacy Five-style bass singer within the past year.
  • I was prepared to describe the Kingdom Heirs set much like I described one or two sets from yesterday: Solidly paced, and so great as a whole that it deserved mention here, even though there wasn’t one song that stood head and shoulders over the rest. But then they closed with their current #1 hit, “Just Beyond the Sunset.” They gave it the all-our barn-burner treatment that they’ve given to previous favorites, “He Locked the Gates” and “I Know I’m Going There.” 

Highlights of their respective sets include: “Homecoming Day” (Tribute Quartet), “Searchin'” (The Talleys with Jason Crabb), “When He Spoke” (The Perrys), “That’s What The Blood is For” (Jason Crabb), “Calvary Conquers It All” (Gold City), “Goodbye World Goodbye” (Penny Loafers), “When We Meet to Part No More” (Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver), “When I Wake Up To Sleep No More” (Inspirations), “Reason Enough” (Ernie Haase & Signature Sound), “What Remains of Me” (Dixie Melody Boys with The Isaacs), “Hold On” (The McKameys), “Four Days Late” (Karen Peck and New River), “I’ll Trust The Potter’s Hand” (The Whisnants)

Live Play-By-Play

Click “Read More” to read the live blog; it is hidden from the home page for space considerations.

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Saturday News Roundup #185

Worth Knowing

  • The Kingdom Heirs’ current radio single—”Just Beyond the Sunset,” penned by Dianne Wilkinson—will be #1 on the October 2013 Singing News chart.
  • Perrys baritone Bryan Walker married Bethany Allred last Saturday. Perrys alumni Loren Harris filled in for Walker during his honeymoon.
  • Gaither Vocal Band lead singer Michael English’s father, Clifton Aubine English, passed away on Wednesday. Here’s an obituary.
  • Aaron Wilburn had gall bladder surgery on Tuesday. He is recovering well.
  • Bill Dykes, former baritone for The Cathedrals and for Jerry and the Singing Goffs, is recovering from major colon surgery.
  • Karen Peck & New River has renewed their recording contract with Daywind, signing a multi-album deal. Karen commented, “We are very honored to be a part of the Daywind family. We are excited about what The Lord has in store for our future together!”
  • Danny Funderburk, Ernie Haase (with Ernie Haase and Signature Sound), Scott Fowler (with Legacy Five), Mark Trammell (with the Mark Trammell Quartet), and Gerald Wolfe (with Greater Vision) were in the studio this week, recording vocals for a Cathedral Family Reunion CD, to be released this November. The album, announced in May, will at least be released in conjunction with Ernie Haase’s Stow Town Records. Stow Town is distributed by Provident/Sony. Provident/Sony releases a sales book marketing their new releases each quarter; Landon Beene, executive producer for the project, announced on Facebook this week that Provident will feature this CD on the cover of their 4th quarter book, and that this is the first time a Southern Gospel release is the cover feature.

Worth Watching

Thanks to MusicScribe’s Diana Brantley, here’s our first look at the new Dixie Echoes lineup:

Also worth watching:

Now this, my friends, is what a Kingsmen concert is supposed to sound like!

A third video worth watching: Ernie Haase & Signature Sound lead singer Devin McGlamery released a solo album several months ago. This week, he released his first concept video, based off of one of the songs from that album. It is posted here.

Worth Discussing

It’s open thread Saturday—you decide!

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Tracy Stuffle Benefit Concert: Live Blog

As we discussed this morning, many of Southern Gospel’s leading artists are putting on a benefit concert this evening for Tracy Stuffle. Video is streaming at; an audio-only feed is also available at Let’s discuss it live!

7:08: The evening begins with a prayer, introduction of hosts Jason Crabb and Joseph Habedank, and with all participating artists singing “We Need Each Other” together.

7:16: The concert is being hosted at Christ Church Nashville; its pastor, Dan Scott, is singing several songs. He’s a surprisingly good singer.

7:21: The first headliner artist up is The Bowlings. Mike Bowling sings a classic, “I’ll Be All Right as Soon as I Touch Calvary.” It looks like group’s vocal lineup now is Mike and Kelly, their daughter Hope, and Troy Peach. Mike and Troy are both Perrys alumni.

Kelly shares some heartfelt testimony about how the same community on stage and in the audience rallied around them in 2010. (If you weren’t following the genre then, here are two posts about their bus accident.) She uses this to set up “Your Cries Have Awoken the Master.”

7:34: Gold City is up next, singing “Cast My Bread Upon the Water” and “I’m Not Giving Up.” Jerry Pelfrey is singing lead, Danny Riley is on baritone, and Tim Riley is raising the roof on bass. I’m assuming Bryan Elliott is on piano, though I haven’t seen shots with the piano in view yet. Is that former Palmetto State Quartet tenor Robert Fulton on tenor?

7:45: Karen Peck & New River starts off with “Four Days Late,” and the place comes unglued pretty much instantly. She goes down into the audience to sing “My God Will Always Be Enough”; her delivery is so heartfelt that she chokes up at several points. She nails the ending and gets a standing ovation.

7:56: An unusual configuration of The Hoppers takes the stage. Kim Hopper is on bed rest for several weeks with sinus issues so bad that she may face surgery, and her husband Dean is at her side. So Claude and Connie are holding down their usual parts; TaRanda Greene is pinch-hitting for Kim Hopper, and, none other than Joseph Habedank is filling in for Dean! Claude is featured on “If I Could Help Somebody”; Connie and (oddly, given the earlier announcement) Jason Crabb provide harmonies. Claude takes a drink in the middle of his solo; is it an intentional Marco Rubio moment? Is that why it gets the response it gets?

Connie is up next, singing “I’ve Come Too Far to Look Back.” Trust Connie to tear up the building, with testimony and singing alike! “God has never seen a hopeless case.” Tim Riley comes up for the encore.

8:15: The Booth Brothers kick off their set with an exquisite piano-and-vocals-only version of “I Will Serve Thee.” It looks like their erstwhile producer Nick Bruno is sitting in on piano. After the song, Michael Booth takes a minute to testify to God’s faithfulness in our storms. Jim Brady sings the group’s second song, “Every Cry is Heard,” another exquisite piano-and-vocals version.

8:27: Libbi Perry Stuffle is welcomed with a prolonged standing ovation. She gives a heartrendingly powerful rendition of “Through the Night.” The audience is to its feet by the bridge. This is easily the moment of the evening.

Former Perrys pianist (current Gaither Vocal Band pianist) Matthew Holt is filling in on piano. He plays a soft musical accompaniment while Libbi testifies to God’s faithfulness and gives a current update on Tracy’s health.

Then, Libbi, Joseph Habedank, and Perrys baritone Bryan Walker sing harmonies with a track of Tracy’s pre-recorded voice on “Plan of Salvation.”

8:39: Looks like this crashed the servers for the live stream again.

8:42: Looks like the traffic from Libbi’s surprise appearance was enough to crash not just the stream, but the whole site. I did get the feed back for about three seconds, to see that Leah Page (Libbi’s fill-in for the last two months) was on stage, and that the intro to the track for “If You Knew Him” was playing.

8:45: The stream is back up.

I’ll mention, in passing, that I had the chance to catch the Perrys live two days ago, last Sunday evening. Two things struck me, in particular: First, Joseph Habedank exceeded my expectations as an emcee. Though there was humor, there was maybe a little less than Tracy would bring to a live program. But, on the other hand, Joseph brought a unique songwriter’s perspective, sharing insightful insights about songs he’d written and songs he didn’t write when setting songs up. Second, the implications of the Perrys’ 2010 Song of the Year win for “If You Knew Him” had blessings for the group far beyond what they could see at the time. Since Joseph Habedank co-wrote the song and sang the feature vocal, the win for this—as well as Joseph’s other #1 hits and radio hits—gave Joseph a stature in the industry that enables him to carry the group forward in a way that someone who had just joined the group couldn’t do.

8:51: Phil Hoskins came forward to anoint Libbi and pray for Libbi and Tracy. Libbi shared that a nurse told her that, amidst all the health crises Tracy has pulled through so far, most people don’t make it as far as he has. Within a few days, the doctors will determine if Tracy will need a permanent shunt. The procedure to implement it would be very high-risk; prayer is requested that it will not be needed.

9:09: Libbi is leading the audience in “‘Tis So Sweet.”

9:15: Phil Hoskins gives an altar call.

9:23: Jason Crabb shares Perrys memories and encourages donations to help with their expenses. Online donations can be made here:

9:31: During the offering, Matthew Holt plays “Great is Thy Faithfulness” while a slideshow of classic pictures of Tracy plays on the screens. 

9:40: The Isaacs kick off their set with “Walk On.” Rebecca Isaacs Bowman introduced their second song, “Waiting in the Water.” Song 3: “I Will Praise Him,” acapella.

9:55: The Collingsworth Family begins with “Fear Not Tomorrow.” They used to stage this as a ladies’ trio of Brooklyn, Courtney, and Kim Collingsworth; since the last time I saw the group stage this song, Olivia has joined to make it a foursome. If I’m not mistaken, Olivia is doubling Brooklyn’s part. Song 2: Phil Jr. sings the lead on “Just Another Rainy Day.” They closed their set with “The Healer is Here.” Though it’s an older part of their repertoire, it is such an obvious thematic fit that it made sense to pull it out for the occasion.

10:10: Dailey and Vincent brought out a special, surprise guest for their set: Ricky Skaggs. They started with “Noah Found Grace in the Eyes of the Lord.” Christian Davis was on bass. Song 2: “I Believe He Gave His Life for Me.” It’s a little weird to hear a bluegrass band with an electric bass guitar and a piano.

10:21: Ricky Skaggs testified about his faith, and then sang “A Work of Love.”

10:25: Dailey & Vincent close out their set with “The Fourth Man.”

10:29: Mark Lowry takes the stage.

10:30: I stand corrected. Due to a broken femur, he’s standing in front of the stage. He sits on the stage stairs and launches into a comedy routine. He has a talent for making even the jokes we’ve heard a half-dozen times funny again.

He introduced “Mary, Did You Know” in a way I’ve never heard him introduce the song before. He said that one day, his mother shared with him that one of the greatest proofs that the Gospel story is true is Mary’s silence at the cross. His mother told him that if Mark’s hometown decided to crucify him, she’d be raising a storm. If Mark was claiming to be God, his mother said, she’d be the first out there to say, “He’s a liar! He might be a lunatic, but he’s not God! Don’t kill him!” But when Mary stood at the foot of the cross, as Jesus was being crucified for being God, she didn’t say a word—even if it would save His life, spare the cross—because she knew it was true. She, of anyone on this planet, was the one in a position to know the truth of the virgin birth. And she stayed silent.

He closed out with “Mary, Did You Know,” and got a standing ovation.

10:56: Clarke Beasley (NQC Executive Vice President) and Jackie Patillo (head of the Gospel Music Association) shared heartfelt words of encouragement for Libbi.

10:58: Ernie Haase & Signature Sound started their set with “Someday.” Song 2: “Glory to God in the Highest.” They must have figured out that the program needed some energy at this late hour. Song 3: “Get Away Jordan.” Lots of energy here. Signature Sound doesn’t do a huge number of dates with other Southern Gospel groups; this could be the first time that a fair chunk of the industry has seen this lineup live. I think their set tonight will help the buzz spread that this lineup has something special going.

11:09: Les Butler came up on stage to give Libbi gifts from the Predators sports team to pass along to Tracy for his birthday tomorrow.

11:11: The Oak Ridge Boys kick off their set with “Where the Soul Never Dies.” Song 2: Farther Along.

11:26: Jason Crabb began the final set of the night with his new single, “That’s What the Blood is For.” It’s a very strong song, and got a standing ovation at least from his fellow artists. Then he sang another new song, “Love is Stronger,” another very strong song.

He closed with “Through the Fire.” He stopped halfway through the chorus to preach a little. What a closer for the night! Karen Peck & New River, Joseph Habedank, and Ernie Haase & Signature Sound joined him for the closing. Libbi Perry Stuffle also came up on stage to sing it with him.

Libbi testified about how much the song had been ministered to her recently: “This too shall pass. We’re just going through the fire. It didn’t come to stay.”

Jason closed in prayer.

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3:1 CD Review: How You Walk the Miles (Karen Peck)

How You Walk the Miles (Karen Peck)3:1 Reviews offer three highlights of an album and one area that could have been improved.

1: If You Want to Go To Heaven: You’ve probably heard a number of songs like Nicodemus, but you’ve certainly never heard one like this. The melody would lend itself to the bluesy quartet style the Kingdom Heirs are known for, and other male quartets will do on occasion (e.g. Legacy Five’s “Goin’ Home Day” or Gold City’s “Keep Me on the Wheel.”) But that’s not where Karen and her production team takes the song. Instead, this fun, bouncy track is infused with a south-of-the-border calypso or mariachi flair.

2: Stand By The River: Karen’s cover of this Dottie Rambo classic brings an appropriate mixture of almost playful delight and soulful passion. The Oak Ridge Boys’ background vocals are a pleasant contrast that works far better than one might guess at first glance. In a minor complaint, it seems that the sound engineers ran their de-essing software (a program that removes “s” sounds) a little too enthusiastically on some of the background vocals. That aside, this is a fun take on a fun song.

3: Holy Spirit, Speak To Me: On this song, which Karen co-wrote with Kenna Turner West and Don Poythress, her long-standing love for the music of the mountains comes through. This Bluegrass-infused tune might be soft and mellow, but it’s a showstopper. If you loved Janet Paschal’s “I See a Crimson Stream” or the Collingsworth Family’s “Oh, the Thought that Jesus Loves Me,” the album is worth purchasing for this track alone. Jeff Taylor, who has toured with Vince Gill and currently tours with Keith & Kristyn Getty’s live band, adds an accordion track that is a perfect complement to its meditative feel.

:1: Put a Little Love in Your Heart: This is more a positive song than a Gospel song. It’s not that it’s a bad moment; it’s just the album’s weakest. If you like Karen’s voice and style, this track is no reason to skip picking up the whole project. In fact, this project is packed with so many solid songs that, if you were to compare this with her last two or three Karen Peck and New River projects, this one’s the strongest of the set.

Traditional or Progressive: Both of the above, plus everywhere between.

Credits: Produced by Ben Isaacs. Tracks recorded at The Sound Emporium by Mark Capps and Johs Papp. Vocals recorded at Daywind Sky Studios by Justin Kropf and Ben Isaacs. Additional vocals recorded at Ben’s Place, The Crib, Ron Fairchild Records, and The Parlor. Mixed by Mark Capps. Mastered at Georgetown Mastering by Shelley Anderson. Musicians: Bryan Sutton (guitar), Aubrey Haynie (fiddle, mandolin); Gordon Mote (piano, keyboards), Kenny Greenburg (electric guitar), Michael Rhodes (bass), Tony Creasman (drums and percussion), Jeff Taylor (accordion), Scott Sanders (steel). Background Vocals by The Oak Ridge Boys, David Phelps, Wes Hampton, Jason Crabb, Gordon Mote, Sonya Isaacs Yeary, Ben Isaacs, Susan Peck Jackson, Jeff Hawes, Gene McDonald, Chip Davis, Angie Primm, Gail Mayes, and Jerard Woods.

Song List: Talk about the Good Things (written by Karen Peck Gooch, Don Poythress, and Kenna Turner West); How You Walk the Miles (written by Scott Inman and Kenna Turner West); God Lives There (written by Kenna Turner West and Lee Black); If You Wanna Go to Heaven (written by Sonya Isaacs and Jimmy Yeary); Extra Mile (written by Maurice Carter and Margaret Harris); Stand By the River (written by Dottie Rambo); Partof Letting Go (written by Justin Rivers, Brandon Hood, and Wes Willet); Pray (written by Cindy Morgan); Fix Me, Jesus; Put a Little Love in Your Heart (written by Jimmy Holiday, Randy Myers, and Jackie De Shannon); Everywhere (written by Jerry Kelso, Sheri La Fontaine); Holy Spirit Speak to Me (written by Karen Peck Gooch, Don Poythress, and Kenna Turner West).

Five-star songs: If You Want to Go to Heaven, Holy Spirit Speak to Me.

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3:1 DVD Review: Lari Goss: The Man Behind the Music

Lari Goss: The Man Behind the Music3:1 Reviews offer three highlights of an album and one area that could have been improved.

1: Song and group lineup: The lineup of groups appearing at this live tribute to legendary producer Lari Goss is basically a who’s who of Gospel Music: The Booth Brothers, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, Babbie Mason, The Hoppers, The Mark Trammell Quartet, Greater Vision, Legacy Five, TaRanda Greene, The Martins, The Nelons, Karen Peck, Charlotte Ritchie, Reggie & Ladye Love Smith, Melissa Brady, Geron Davis, and the Christ Church Choir. 

Imagine each of these groups performing their greatest songs, with a…

2: Live orchestra: Lari Goss’s orchestrations are magnificent, but that magnificence just isn’t fully appreciated when they are delivered by three or four singers on stage with a soundtrack machine. The orchestra here wasn’t just any orchestra—it was the Nashville String Machine, the studio performers who are on so many of the original versions of these songs.

It doesn’t hurt that the house band includes Kevin Williams on guitar, Wesley Pritchard on bass guitar, Mike Hopper on drums, and, on many songs, the man himself, Lari Goss, on piano!

3: Video image quality: Thanks to the filming taking place at TBN’s studios, the cinematography—image quality, lighting, and resolution—is magnificent.  

:1: Nothing: This DVD doesn’t have a single flaw.

Here’s a case in point: Narrations. For those of you who enjoy them, they’re often pleasant, subdued moments. But many of you, on the other hand, skip the narrations. When was the last time you heard a narration get a standing ovation? That’s exactly what happens with Gerald Wolfe’s narration on “Statement of Faith.”

You can give this DVD to someone new to the genre, and comment “This is what Southern Gospel is all about.” If this doesn’t get someone hooked on Southern Gospel, there’s a fairly strong chance nothing will.

Traditional or Progressive: Middle-of-the-road, largely fully orchestrated.

Credits: Produced by Jim Brady, Gerald Wolfe, and Phil Brower. Recorded live at Trinity Music City, Hendersonville, Tennessee. Directed by Kim White and Graham Bustin. Live sound engineer: Robert Dixon. Post Production video editing: Jim Brady, Gerald Wolfe, Phil Brower, Cindy Carter, and Eddy Joyner at TMC Studios, Hendersonville, Tennessee, and Tre’ Corley and Paul Corley at Oak Tree Studios, Hendersonville, Tennessee. Post production audio mix by Bob Williams and Jim Brady.

Song List: Overture of Praise (performed by Lari Goss and the Nashville String Machine, conducted by Mike Casteel); I See Grace (performed by The Booth Brothers); Then I Met the Master (performed by The Booth Brothers); Glory to God in the Highest (performed by Ernie Haase and Signature Sound); Oh What a Savior (performed by Ernie Haase and Signature Sound); He’ll Find a Way (performed by Babbie Mason); Marriage Supper of the Lamb (performed by The Hoppers); Jerusalem (performed by The Hoppers); I Want to Know (performed by The Mark Trammell Quartet); It’s Almost Over (performed by The Mark Trammell Quartet); Champion of Love (performed by Cathedrals Alumni); Faces (performed by Greater Vision); Redeemed Medley (performed by Greater Vision); Thankful for The Change (performed by Legacy Five); I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked (performed by TaRanda Greene); Doxology (performed by The Martins); I Am Bound for The Promised Land (performed by The Martins); We Shall Wear a Crown (performed by The Nelons, Karen Peck Gooch, and Charlotte Ritchie); Oh For a Thousand Tongues (performed by The Nelons, Karen Peck Gooch, and Charlotte Ritchie); All in All (performed by Jim Brady); Statement of Faith (all artists); We Shall Wear a Crown reprise (all artists). Bonus tracks: Midnight Cry (performed by Reggie and Ladye Love Smith, Michael Booth, Julie Goss, and Jim and Melissa Brady); I Am is Enough (performed by Geron Davis, Bradley Knight, and the Christ Church Choir Singers).

Five-star songs: Pretty nearly every song.

DVD rating: Five Stars.

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Saturday News Roundup #109

Worth Knowing

  • Devin McGlamery is back on the Signature Sound bus after surgery to correct his torn pectoralis muscle. He does face months of physical therapy before being given an all-clear, though!
  • The Dove Award nominations were announced earlier this week. Musicscribe put together a list of Southern Gospel nominees. [EDIT, 3/16/13: Broken link removed.]
  • Blackwood Legacy has hired Daniel Rivera as tenor, moving Daniel Childs to lead. [EDIT, 6/18/12: Broken link removed.]
  • Brad Smith has joined The Blackwoods. Butch Owens, meanwhile, has moved to the Songfellows.

Worth Watching

Here’s a video of Karen Peck and Greg Bentley (who was, at the time, tenor for the Hoppers) singing “Here Through Eternity” at an NQC chapel service in 1989. Greg has posted several other Hoppers-related videos here.

Also worth watching: Here’s a twelve-year-old who can play Jeff Stice’s arrangement of “When We All Get to Heaven.”

Worth Discussing

It’s open thread Saturday—you decide!

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Saturday News Roundup #104

Worth Knowing

  • Karen Peck & New River: Joyful Noise, the movie including an appearance by Karen Peck, was #4 in the box office last week. The soundtrack, featuring the musical performances from the movie, was #1 on Billboard’s Soundtrack Bestsellers list.
  • Kingdom Heirs: Here’s a concert review from a very impressed Cayman Compass newspaper reporter after their Grand Cayman Islands appearance.
  • Awards: AbsolutelyGospel announced their 2012 Ovation Awards nominees. Voting will open February 1. [EDIT, 2/21/13: Broken Link Removed.]
  • Awards: The Christian Voice Magazine awards nominations are open now, here. [EDIT, 4/18/13: Broken link removed.]
  • Awards: The Diamond Awards nominations are open now, here.

Worth Watching

Here’s a first look at the Ball Brothers with new baritone Andy Tharp:

Worth Discussing

It’s open thread Saturday—you decide!


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Saturday News Roundup #103

Worth Knowing

  • Gold City: I don’t discuss upcoming charts unless someone else has made them public, but Gold City tweeted yesterday evening that Peter James & John is going to #1 on the Singing News radio charts. This is incredibly welcome news for the group; they haven’t had a #1 in well over a decade; their last one, “He Said” in 2000, was also written by Dianne Wilkinson. This is also their tenth #1 hit.
  • Ryan Seaton Quartet: On February 17th, the Ryan Seaton Quartet will appear at a concert in Evansville, Indiana. A poster on baritone Andrew Goldman’s Facebook page indicates that they’ll announce their official name there. Pianist Roy Webb will appear at the concert, but he’s being billed as a special guest, not a member. It’s not known if he will be announced as a new member there.
  • Karen Peck & New River: Joyful Noise, a musical starring Dolly Parton, Queen Latifah, and others, opened yesterday. It includes this performance from Karen Peck Gooch.

Worth Watching

Here’s a first look at the Booth Brothers singing the Gaither song “Tell Me,” from an upcoming project:

Also worth watching: This gem from the mid-1980s Cathedrals, “Into His Presence,” is all too forgotten today:

Worth Discussing

It’s open thread Saturday—you decide!

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