Wow. I’m still collecting myself after last night’s homecoming show. It was probably the best show I’ve ever seen, even though things like song selection and comedy were fairly predictable for anyone who’s been around southern gospel for any significant amount of time. I think every fan of the music should go and experience a homecoming at some point, even if you’re only a casual fan. The quality was outstanding, and there was something for everyone. Every artist shone. I went around asking folks what their highlights were, and quite a few simply said “everything.”
I also got to meet several of the artists. Kevin Williams was right there at his table when I walked in. He gave me two free CDs just because he’s a sweetheart and he likes me (look for a review of his new Christmas album, which was one of the ones he gave me—the other was “Wacky Words” which I can’t wait to enjoy). We’ve corresponded some, and he said “You’re so sweet, and you say such nice things about me, so here you go.” (Some folks may remember that I gave his project _Acoustic Sunday_ my first five-star review on southerngospelblog back when I was still writing there. You can read it under the “Old Reviews” tab on this site.) I made sure to wish him a Merry Christmas on my way out. He said he adores me and he’s a huge fan. Naturally I returned the compliment! He asked what my career was going to be, and I said my plan was to get married and have kids. ;)
I also got to meet Gordon Mote, and we chatted some about a local artist named Ken Medema who was popular in the 70s. Like Gordon, Ken is a blind pianist and singer/songwriter, though their styles are very different. Gordon said he knew Ken’s music very well and had some of his old records. Medema is quite honestly one of the greatest Christian musicians I’ve ever heard. Both Gordon and I love his talent and ability to take any song, even an old one, and put his unique style to it. Gordon said that their managers had been in conversations about a possible duet at some point, but so far nothing had materialized. (Let’s hope that happens one day!)
I also met Buddy Greene, and when I said I had a blog, he said, “Well I’d give you my latest CD to review, except it’s not southern gospel.” When I said that in fact I was already getting it as a Christmas present, he said, “Oh, okay! Well, is there something else you’d like?” A little stunned, I haltingly said, “Um, well, this Christmas CD looks really good!” and he gave it to me. He said “Here you go. You can write about it on your blog if you like it, and if you don’t like it, write about it anyway but don’t tell me.” I said that I couldn’t imagine not liking anything he did. It’s an older project from 1998, and I hope to incorporate it into my Christmas review series.
At the Booth Brothers’ table, I wanted to buy two CDs for $25 as the sign said, forgetting that since one was a solo project, it didn’t count for the deal. But the product guy I was buying them from just let me have them anyway, even though I was more than willing to pay full price when he reminded me.
Those moments were what really made the concert experience special for me, even though I will have PLENTY to say about the concert itself. There’s nothing quite like actually getting to mingle with the artists themselves, and the incident at the Booth Brothers’ table was just a small example of what great people they surround themselves with. I met some insanely talented folks, and they were so down-to-earth and normal. Oh yes, forgot to mention that I also met Wes Hampton, and I tried to get him to talk about the new GVB project, but he said it was confidential and he couldn’t say anything! All he said was that they have seven songs tracked so far, and he’s not even sure how many will be on there ultimately. Not all the songs have been decided yet. But he said it’s going to be incredible. I told him that I hoped he got a lot of features.