2013 SouthernGospelBlog.com Awards: Best On-Stage Video: Voting

Quite a few Southern Gospel magazines and websites offer “best of” contests and awards shows. But they often cover much the same ground: Favorite artist, song, album, musician, singer at each vocal part, and the like. Let’s do something different. Let’s honor the best Southern Gospel videos—concept videos, behind-the-scenes videos (including studio videos), and live concert videos. For each category, we’ll do a nominations post and a follow-up post with a poll featuring the top nominees.

You’ve already selected the best concept video and the best behind-the-scenes video. You’ve also nominated and seconded the finalists for this final category, best on-stage single-song video, here. It’s time to vote!

[UPDATE, 1/27/2014] The results are in! Here are the final vote totals and percentages:

  1. 42% / 1,313 votes: From My Rags to His Riches – Devin McGlamery – http://youtu.be/LC0B7idut00
  2. 33% / 1,036 votes: He Broke The Chains – Inspirations – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7clxQv-uRZ8
  3. 8% / 239 votes: Long Live The King – Old Paths – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bW-t09L4kk
  4. 4% / 132 votes: Thanks To Calvary – Pat Barker at the Cathedrals Family Reunion – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cnp8azmLVQ
  5. 3% / 83 votes: I Rest My Case At The Cross – The Perrys – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wozmtqhEfA4
  6. 3% / 80 votes: While I Still Can – Devin McGlamery – http://youtu.be/wi2CWLFEInE
  7. 2% / 52 votes: Glorious Freedom – Gaither Vocal Band – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qzxv8EYGCM
  8. 2% / 47 votes: Light a Candle – Ernie Haase & Signature Sound – http://youtu.be/sWvLdgG2RQk
  9. 1% / 44 votes: He Loves Me – Chris Allman, Gerald Wolfe, Mark Trammell, Pat Barker – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3z-vIVdoeE
  10. 1% / 43 votes: All Bass Quartet at NQC – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSBYqFdeKo0
  11. 1% / 28 votes: Something’s Happening – Hoppers with TaRanda Greene – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhTXW0Q8s5U
  12. 1% / 16 votes: All is Well – Whisnants with Melissa Brady – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nw7u9F1-n7k

Total votes: 3,115.

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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 5: NQC Music Awards

Daniel is at work, so Daniel’s Siblings are live-blogging the afternoon showcases.

For all those who signed up, remember the Friday NQC coverage is free!

3:25 Favorite Male Group: The Booth Brothers. Ronnie: “This is called a Quartet Convention award…” Michael, “We did a quartet album this year, so we’re okay.”

3:19 Les & Clarke Beasley brought on stage to explain that a CPA firm validates the results. They introduced the individuals representing the firms. The Southern Gospel Music Guild chooses a business who has made an impact on Southern Gospel. This year’s winner of the Les Beasley Impact Award is Herschend Properties, the parent company of Silver Dollar City and Dollywood.

3:16 Favorite Song: “I Played in the Band” by the Booth Brothers. Michael Booth talking about Bill Gaither believing in the body of Christ and each person doing there part to honor the Heavenly Father.

3:12 Booth Brothers singing “I Played in the Band.”

3:07 Favorite Album: Through the Night! The Perrys.  Libbi, “I’m totally blown away.” David Ragan has his baby on stage with him! Bryan Walker and Leah Page are up there with Libbi. She is saying how Tracy usually is the one who accepts the awards and has something to say. She never dreamed they would live every song of the album. Every song needs to have a message and say something and be scriptural. Someone will need it. This year she was one of those people who needed the songs (and songs from other artists). Libbi thanking Leah for helping and being her right arm and doing an incredible job. She’s thanking the guys in the group and is asking for prayer. Libbi said “Next year, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, Tracy Stuffle will be there.”

3:05 Radio Stations of the Year: WGUS & FWFC.

3:05 Promoter: Landon Beene.

3:05 Producer of the Year: Ben Isaacs.

3:04 The Hosts are introducing Autumn, the award girl.

3:00 Favorite Songwriter: Dianne Wilkinson…and the feed went down! She didn’t expect it. She is saying how she feels such a responsibility. “Sinners need to be saved. Christians need to be encouraged, The Church needs to be awakened, and God needs to be Glorified.”  Thanking the singers and studio players, who do her songs. She is overcome!

2:55 Hoppers singing, “He Didn’t Just Carry the Cross, He Carried Me.” Claude was absent, but Mike and Karlye were singing, making the Hoppers a five part group.

2:53 Video of the Year: “I Wanna Be That Man” by Brian Free and Assurance. BF&A were not in town, touring in North Carolina. The producer accepted the award for them.

2:50 Presenter Gordon Mote brought on and said his trick worked. “I swapped glasses with Kim Collingsworth and it worked!” referring to when she said she couldn’t see to read what was on her card. They continued with a series of humor as would be expected from Mote, Williams, and Easter. The crowd was laughing!

2:46 Favorite Bass: Eric Bennett. Says he’s amazed. Every bass loves to do what he does. “All of them deserve to be up here.” He hopes to never let the fans down. He’s thankful for his wife, the super guys he travels with, and to God.

2:43 Kim Collingsworth’s card didn’t say who was to sing next, so she said, “Whoever is supposed to sing now, come out and they’ll welcome you.” Greater Vision appeared and sang, “He Didn’t When He Could Have Passed By.”

2:41 Favorite Lead:  Ronnie Booth. He said, “I don’t know what to say.” He talked about growing up in Florida, hearing his dad sing for the Rebels Quartet. He talked about the day when there will be an award show like no other and we will lay our awards at Jesus’ feet.

2:40 Presenter Kim Collingsworth introduced. She will be presenting the Favorite Lead award.

2:36 Triumphant Quartet singing “Take it From Me, Meshach.”

2:32 Favorite Tenor: David Phelps. “I’m just amazed by this.”  He’s thanking the fans. “I have nothing other than great appreciation for this.” He loves singing for the people in the seats.

2:29 Legacy Five singing “I’m Still Amazed.”

2:26 Favorite Soprano: Kim Hopper. Saying thanks to the fans. It has been a wonderful year, but one of the most trying years of her life. She was sick at the beginning of the year and enjoyed being at home with her kids, but became homesick for being on the road, doing what God has called her to do, encourage the Christians. She is thankful for God’s sustaining grace.

2:24 The Hosts brought up Josh Singletary as the next presenter.

2:14 Favorite Musician: Kim Collingsworth. Kim’s says she’s at a loss for words. Before she is a musician, she is a wife and a mama. Thankful for parents who introduced her to music and taught her to love God with her heart, soul, and mind. Thankful to her visionary husband. Matthew Holt asked her to play a song.  Kim played “His Eye is On the Sparrow” with just the piano–no tracks! She got a partial standing ovation.

2:09 Kingdom Heirs singing “Just Beyond the Sunset.”

2:07 Favorite Baritone: Jim Brady. “This music is all I ever wanted to sing.”  Psalm 37:4 is true. He is doing the desire of his heart, singing for the Lord. Thanked Booth Brothers, his wife, Melissa Brady, and NQC.

2:05 Presenter Matthew Holt introduced.

2:01 Favorite Alto: Sheri Easter. Sheri saying how she watched Libbi and was thinking of the Grace of God that it takes to sing on stage after 30 years of it being different. “We are blessed.” Sheri thanking fans.

1:57 The Perrys sang “I Got A Hold of God.” (Libbi Perry Stuffle, David Ragan, Bryan Walker)

1:53 Favorite Mixed Group: The Collingsworth Family! Phil Sr. saying 10 years ago, they never envisioned standing here.  He thanked fans for their support and prayers.

1:49 Presenter Jeff Stice brings on the Gaither Vocal Band to sing their top ten nominated song “Glorious Freedom.”

1:47 Favorite Soloist: Guy Penrod! Guy Penrod is in Canada so Jeff Easter held his award for him.

1:45 First hosts: Kevin Williams and Jeff Easter.

Dixie Stampede sponsored the Gaither Sing-a-Long, and it looks like Dollywood is sponsoring the Awards show.

1:42 The NQC Music award show was kicked off by Gordon Mote. There was no microphone at the piano and he shouted something about someone saying he didn’t need a microphone. A microphone promptly appeared at the piano and he started with “Ain’t It just Like the Lord.”  As long as the feed stays up, we plan on bringing you play by play coverage of the award show!

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NQC 2013, Day 4: Live Blog

Highlight of the Night

The Perrys’ set was one of the strongest sets of the week. They started with “Blue Skies Coming,” a song with an incredibly timely message given their struggles over the last eight months (as bass singer Tracy Stuffle recovers from a January stroke and five cerebral hemorrhages since.) Things got even better with another song appropriate for this trial, “Through the Night.” I was prepared to note that song as one of the highlights of the night, but the Perrys were just getting started.

Libbi told David Ragan and Bryan Walker that she was going to throw them a curveball and change up the program. She spent the time frame that would normally have gotten allotted to song three testifying to God’s faithfulness during these last eight months. She then talked about how the two most important things in our lives are God and our families, and offered a sharp rebuke to people who put expensive cars, houses, and boats at higher priorities. It was a passionate and timely reminder.

Libbi said that as she was leaving Tracy’s side this morning for the drive up to Louisville, she told him that they would use FaceTime to show him their set live. She asked if there was a song he wanted them to sing. He asked them to sing his all-time favorite song, “I Rest My Case At The Cross.” They did, and Louisville came unglued.

These are the sort of moments that capture the essence of the National Quartet Convention, the moments that make it feel more like a family reunion than just a big concert or a trade show.

Other highlights

In chronological order:

  • Southern Raised was one of the best performers in today’s showcases. Their rendition of “Angels, Swing a Little Lower” was incredible, both instrumentally and vocally.
  • “I’m Winging My Way Back Home,” Dixie Echoes, featuring Andrew and Alex Utech. Andrew was singing lead; Alex was singing bass. The audience responded with an enthusiastic ovation.
  • “He Ain’t Never Done Me Nothin’ But Good,” The Isaacs. 
  • “He’s Alive,” The Talleys. (The whole Talleys set was strong.)
  • “Grace Will Always Be Greater Than Sin,” The Hoppers.
  • Triumphant Quartet had an all-around solid set, with moments of heartfelt testimony, humor, and no-holds-barred big endings.
  • “We Believe,” Booth Brothers—both the song and how Michael Booth used humor and serious exhortation to introduce it.
  • “Tradin’ The Old Cross,” Booth Brothers. The Collingsworth Family, who also recorded the song, came up on the encore. Great energy late in the night!
  • “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” The Collingsworth Family. An acapella highlight!
  • “Oh, Holy Night,” Kim Collingsworth piano solo.
  • “Hope Has Hands (Grace Has a Face),” Greater Vision. Subtle brilliance; a highlight of the Christmas section.

Play-by-play highlights

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NQC 2013, Day 1, Live Blog

Highlights of the Night

In no particular order:

  • “My Jesus, I Love Thee” – Collingsworth Family. (See the live blog, at 8:40).
  • “I Know a Man Who Can” – Chris Allman with Greater Vision. (Is the man incapable of having an off night?!) (See 9:30.)
  • Triumphant Quartet’s set. There wasn’t a single moment that stood above the rest, because the entire set was so solid. (See 7:59.)
  • “When I Wake Up to Sleep No More” – Eagle’s Wings. (See 9:01.)

Webcast Quality

As always, the camera work was exceptionally strong. Thinking back to the endless primary Presidential debates last year, I doubt if a single network crew doing one of those events could top the NQC crew in this setting. The audio work was also fairly good; there was the occasional soloist buried in the mix for a few notes, but the audio team did a fantastic job, overall, of keeping the featured soloists prominent in the mix and the harmony vocals blending in smoothly.

The website serving up the video feed, though, had a number of issues through the evening. The live feed went down in seven or eight of the evening’s twelve multi-song sets, making it all the way through four or five. The website itself went completely down at a couple of points. But to their credit, the customer service agents @NQCOnline on Twitter put in a valiant effort to check in one-on-one with fans reporting problems. They also posted a “Thanks in advance for your patience” message on Facebook here.

Live Play-by-Play

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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 www.tracystufflebenefit.com; an audio-only feed is also available at www.southerngospel.com. 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: http://www.tracystufflebenefit.com/donations.html

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 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 #147

Worth Knowing

  • Sunlite Radio, long known for airing Paul Heil’s The Gospel Greats on demand, now offers Bill Gaither’s Homecoming Radio on demand.
  • Phillip Collingsworth Jr. has launched a blog at phillipcollingsworth.wordpress.com.
  • Worth Reading: Musicscribe’s take on things that matter more than a charting song and getting a bus. [EDIT, 3/16/13: Broken link removed.]

Worth Watching

Somehow every decade that passes makes this song even more timely:

Worth Discussing

It’s open thread Saturday—you decide!

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Song Snapshots #3: But For the Blood

Song Snapshots is a column featuring the stories behind new and classic Southern Gospel songs.

Belinda Smith, who co-wrote “But For the Blood” with Joel Lindsey, grew up in a church her grandfather pastored. After her grandfather died, the church shut down, and she bought the church piano.

One day, co-writer Joel Lindsey had come over to Belinda’s house in Nashville. They were sitting at this piano when they decided to write a straight-up Southern Gospel song. “Whenever you tell me straight-up Southern Gospel,” Smith recalls, “I immediately think of the Blood, the Cross, the tempter, and Salvation. Those would be the things where I go immediately.”

“I was trying to write a song that my grandpa would like,” she adds, something that would “get my grandpa to say amen out loud.”

After they had been working on the song for a while, Joel asked, “What if we did a chorus that was like, ‘But for the mercy, but for the blood’?”

“It was one of those moments where it was like the ceiling opened up, and the light of Heaven came down,” Smith said, “and I’m like, ‘Yes, Yes!’”

After that chorus idea, they finished the song in about ten minutes.

The Hoppers recorded it on their 2002 album Steppin’ Out and selected it as a radio single. Though the song didn’t hit #1, it got so much radio airplay that BMI gave Smith and Lindsay an award for the song being one of the most-played Southern Gospel hits of the year.

Videos

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Saturday News Roundup #120

Worth Knowing

  • The Gospel Music Association has announced that the Hoppers will be inducted into their Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will be August 14th.
  • Long-time NQC emcee Buck Morton’s wife Annette passed away last Saturday.
  • Former Sego Brothers & Naomi member Lamar Sego, the last surviving Sego brother, also passed away last Saturday. In recent years, his sister-in-law Naomi Sego Reader has continued the group as Naomi and the Segos.
  • Radio promoter Donna Beauvais King will be leaving Daywind at the end of the month to focus on the artists associated with her own promotions company, Vertical Sky. She will be replaced by Southern Gospel soloist Taj Rohr.

Worth Watching

Here’s an in-the-studio sneak peek of a new Mark Bishop song:

Worth Discussing

It’s open thread Saturday—you decide!

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