Installment #3. Enjoy.
I just came in to catch the tail end of the Freemans’ set. I believe this song was called “Children of the Dust.” It sounded like it had some really good lyrics.
Jason Crabb and the Sisters are hosting tonight. This is a great combination and I look forward to it.
Okay, just as the Browns came on, my computer had a MAJOR crash, and I had to miss about 20 minutes getting the problem solved. I came back on to find Riley Clark bringing the house down on “Homecoming Day.” Jim and Melissa Brady were just coming up on stage for an encore when my program shut down. I’m so annoyed that I missed Tribute’s set. It looks like there was a fantastic moment there at the end. Fingers crossed I will be able to keep going for the rest of the night. Am really glad for video on demand right about now!
Now the Perrys are on, singing “On Time, Every Time.” And I just realized my bandwidth has been detected at… 0 kbps?? What the heck? It must have been the crash. I can hardly see a thing. Oh well… Now Libby is singing “Celebrate Me Home.” This song has always annoyed me, to be honest, but it’s pretty. Right now I’m trying to figure out how to get a decent picture. Hold on… I just saw they’re showing an accompanying slideshow of old legends like Vestal Goodman on screen. That is a nice touch. And Libby sings with a lot of feeling that really does get to the heart. Okay, now this is good: Bryan Walker on “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” acapella. I LOVE it when he sings this. Country/gospel acapella is always awesome. Tracy just interrupted him and told him to REALLY “cut loose.” Okay, he just did a key change, cool. His voice cracked a little at the end there, but this is live singing. Very good. Now Libbi is doing a solo bluegrass number called “Jesus Hold My Hand.” Dailey & Vincent are on her back-up track, but the other Perrys just joined in at the end. I heard Bryan doing some pretty cool high bluegrass singing. Joseph is singing “I Could Have Been There.” He’s got terrific poise when he delivers a song and a great voice to boot. Wow, they just brought the house down! Jonathan Wilburn came up on stage suddenly and started doing a Holy Ghost dance and trading off lines with Joseph… wow. Jordan just sang some too on the last line. What a great surprise. I wonder whose idea it was to have the Wilburns come up. Great touch. Now Libby is saying that Jason turned her down as a guest vocalist on her new album. They just argued a little bit over it. LOL.
Stewart Varnado is playing a piano solo now. Ruh-roh, suddenly it froze, and THIS time it’s not me. Okay, so we just missed Stewie, but now a showcase group is singing called the Irwins. They’re singing a nice song called “What Really Matters in Life.” Kind of a forgettable song, but they actually have a nice sound. Forgot to mention they’re a very young trio of brothers. Somebody just said they’re 18, 16, and 15. How cute!
[Insert pointless video here.]
Now Jason and the Sisters are getting VERY excited as they introduce Signature Sound! Hey, they just kicked up the microphones and launched into “Someday!” Just like old times! And Ian was able to do it. 😀 Now they’re singing “Movin’ Up to Gloryland.” Ian sounds a little choppy tonight. I hope he loosens up some. Devin is looking more spiky than usual. It practically looks like a mohawk. 😉 Ernie just had a few “guests” sing the “Movin'” part. Rodney Griffin, Joseph Habedank, Gerald Wolfe… Then Ian tried it and did it better than all of them. In fact, he sounded like that was easier than the bass part! Ah, here he goes on “I Believe.” Gonna be honest, this song is not a fave, but Ian really sings it great. He is sounding much more comfortable now. It’s this upper register stuff where he really shines. I sure don’t want him to lose that even though it would be good for him to get smoother in “the basement.”
Now here’s a surprise: An all-acoustic version of “Until We Fly Away.” Cool! Doug sounds fantastic as ever. This is really working! They just did an incredible bit completely acapella, with higher harmony than usual. Then they ended on a Picardy third. Beautiful.
Lights down, and now “Then Came the Morning.” Still all acoustic. I’m intrigued that they have used no tracks all night. I wonder if that will continue here. I hear a little bleeding through towards the end, but still very live. Okay, now track is all the way up for the bridge. They finished great. There’s a problem with the mix it seems like though… I think they didn’t turn Devin back down after his solo. They need to turn Ernie up.
Okay, they just rocked the house with a couple encores of “Glory to God in the Highest.” And I just DIED because they had Gerald Wolfe come up and sing and HOP with them. It was hilarious. Amen (hop) Amen (hop) Amennnnn.
Gerald and Ernie joked a little, and then Gerald had a special announcement: “If you see me in the men’s room, DO NOT ask to shake my hand! I’ll see you in the hall!” HAHAHA! 😆
Now this is a ladies’ bluegrass trio called High Road. They sound impressive! Incredible for a showcase group. They play their own instruments too! Just a piano, violin and upright bass. Gorgeous sound. The girl who played piano was excellent. I hope they all find some nice young guys. They’re really pretty girls.
Now Swanny is up doing comedy… you know I was kind of hoping for music instead…
Now it’s the Rambo/McGuire group. Their band is great. The girl playing fiddle is one of the ones who sang in that showcase trio. Reba is wearing a WEIRD chain thing around her waist. And her shirt has bare patches on the shoulders. Weird outfit.
Buck just came up and sang “Too Much to Gain to Lose.” I like it better when Anthony Facello sings it with Beyond the Ashes (speaking of, why aren’t they on mainstage?) Now Dony is singing “He Looked Beyond My Fault” and he sounds terrible. He needs a coughdrop, or three. Little better with the group. Terrible blend though.
They’re finally gone now, and Jason just shared some of his NQC memories, remembering how he used to wish and pray he could be on that stage some day. “Never thought a boy from Kentucky would get to do this.” Sweetheart. Greater Vision up now singing “When They Ring the Bells.” I like their sound on this one. Now it’s “You Were Faithful Yesterday.” Chris is singing a solo. I’m happy. Now Gerald is delivering a great message on becoming joint-heirs with Christ even though Satan will try to bring us down with our memories. Great set-up for Chris to sing “Like I Wish I’d Lived.” It’s just Chris and Gerald on piano. This is even better stripped down. Just beautiful. I can never get enough of Chris’s pure tenor. I’m sure this song’s message is touching a lot of people tonight. Gerald: “Don’t live a life of regret. Live a life of victory in Jesus Christ.” Amen. Now he is singing “Til the Storm Passes By.” He dedicated to the Hayes family. Sing it Gerald! Wow. He put his whole heart and soul into that performance. Standing-O and some tears at the end.
Another flawless performance from the King’s Heralds. Now GV and Sisters are singing a Lari Goss arrangement of “All Creatures.” Jason said it was going to be veryveryveryveryveryveryveryVERY special, so it’d better be good! And it does sound good. Now it’s turning into a medley with “O For a Thousand” and “O Worship the King,” with a little “Praise My Soul” in there. Sisters’ blend is obviously tighter than GV’s though. But they brought a lot of power to that ending.
Now Jason is singing “Who Am I” with Wayne Haun accompanying him on piano. Nice. I’m confused though: Aren’t we about half an hour behind schedule here? This wasn’t on the program, and neither was the GV/Sisters thing either. Not really complaining, just sayin’… Uh-oh, just got word from the moderator that Dailey and Vincent are no-shows, so Jason is filling time. Hurry up boys! (Now I know why Jason did so many “verys” to set up GV & Sisters). Now the song is done, what are they gonna do? Roll a Compassion International pitch video of course!
Well, I took a break and came back, and D & V still haven’t shown up. They’re just going on with the show—Janet Paschal now, singing “I Wish You Enough.” Just got word D & V have been scratched off the program for tonight. I feel bad for them—hope all is well. Maybe they got lost in the detours? I hear getting to NQC is easier said than done with the road issues they’re having right now. Janet is singing a song she wrote, and she said she thought at the time it would be either “really fun or an argument for taking some Sominex.” I’m voting for the later. Sorry Janet.
Clarke Beasley just got up and announced that Dailey & Vincent caught a bad bug from their Scotland tour earlier this week, and they are both completely out of commission tonight. Literally in bed sick. UGH! The poor guys. I love their sound too.
John Ashcroft is talking on stage now, and I have to say he is very down-to-earth and likable. He just asked how many people in the audience are professional musicians, and when almost nobody raised their hands, he said, “See most of you aren’t. I’m your representative!” Now he’s telling a joke about how he got invited to NQC. (Clarke Beasley calls and asks, “Are you the one who they [insert long list of nasty stuff people have done to him]?” “Yeah that’s me, yeah that’s me,” said John. Then “Well do you still believe in free speech?” “Yes.” “Good. I want you to come to Louisville and make one.”) He sang a song, then played the piano. For a singer, he makes a really good piano player! 🙂
Now the Crist Family and the Hoppers are up together. They better not use any stacks with all those singers up. Singing “When I Get Carried Away.” Man, the Crist ladies have some ugly clothes… just sayin’, LOL. Now they’re singing “I Love Lovin’ Jesus.” Dreadful song. D-R-E-A-D-F-U-L. I sure hope they have something really good coming up to make up for it. Good, they did. Tami Crist shared a powerful testimony about her struggles with epilepsy, and now she’s singing a song called “He Knows What I Can Stand.” Then “My Heart Knows.” Now “The Great Beyond.” Their blend sounds the best on this song of the whole set. Good up-beat number.
The Hoppers came on and sang “Yahweh.” I think this is a very cool song, even though it’s kind of long. It’s just got a different flavor, a kind of big epic feel. It’s exciting. The Hoppers sang it well. Now Karlye is singing “Nobody’s Too Bad To Come In, Too Good to Stay Out.” The grammar kind of bugs me on that one, but oh well. Connie just sang “I’ve Come Too Far to Look Back.” They encored it acapella, which was pretty cool. And now it’s “Shoutin’ Time.” You know, I’d forgotten that the verses are “I Will Arise and Go To Jesus.” My opinion, they don’t fit with the chorus. But it’s a fun song. Tim Riley just came up for the second encore (or is it the third?)
Now Kim is singing “Well Done, Well Done” as a tribute to Tony Greene. This will make me cry, prediction. Oh how lovely. Lovely song.
Now a showcase group called Paul’s Journey is singing. Wow, this tenor sounds exactly like a female alto. That’s actually a good thing. He’s very good. They’re singing “What Heaven Means To Me.” I didn’t catch this tenor’s name. I’ll have to ask somebody. Okay, just asked: Randall Garland. Handsome guy too. Good sound for a regional group. Now an acapella encore. Did I mention this tenor is good? A few people even stood at the end. They’re the second showcase group to elicit that tonight (the other one was High Road).
Sisters up now, singing “Under His Wings.” I always wish this song was just a little faster getting going, but the Sisters always make it sound so great. They are probably the most talented trio in gospel music right now. The song just finished huge. Now Jason is singing “Sometimes I Cry.” Gotta be honest, this song never grabbed me much, but it was definitely better than most of the alternatives for Song of the Year this year at the Doves. The band is slowing it way down—probably prefer it faster, but live music is good. Oh great, they weren’t turning on Jason’s guitar mic. It’s coming now… Missed his solo. Dang. Okay, we heard a little at the end. Jason, you just can’t not like him. The boy is just too likable.
Now it’s Gold Citaaaaaaayyyyy. Singing a rushed version of “We’ll Soon Be Done.” I see Craig is still singing with them. Sure hope he sings “Midnight Cry.” Next they did “Peter James & John,” their new song. They sang this on Monday too. Now Craig is singing “I’m Rich.” Come on Craig! Hit those high notes! Ah, I’ll miss him… As somebody just put it, all two dozen people left in the auditorium are on their feet. Now it’s “Cast My Bread Upon the Water.” Next, “Get Up, Get Ready.” I just heard Dan Riley say, “Come on, it’s not that late.” Yeah, right. Maybe not for you Danny, the rest of us… but as somebody just said in chat, they’re picking all fast songs to keep us awake. 😀 Will Dan Keeton do the high note on the encore? Nope. Ah well, he must think it’s late like the rest of us.
Triumphant’s up now and… Scotty Inman’s mic was not on for the beginning of “Love Came Calling.” *facepalm* Scotty sang great, as always. Beautiful baritone voice. Now they’re doing “Saved By Grace.” Their sound is great tonight. They did an encore got the people standing. Now they just cheered the moment “Old White Flag” started up. Clayton KILLED it. Everybody had their hankies out. Us in the chat room were scrambling for paper towels and white sheets of paper… anything we could get our hands on. Now they’re doing “We’re Almost Home.” They are red hot tonight… just tearing it up. I’ll bet the people who chose to stay are glad they did! They’re encoring it for a second time. Honestly, I think they have the best quartet blend of the night.
And that’s a wrap. And I am tired. I don’t even have the energy to go back and pick out all my highlights. I’ll just say Triumphant rocked, and so did Signature Sound, and the Perrys were great, and Greater Vision was great, and… I’m falling asleep… Fix my typos in the morning, will y’all? Zzzzzzzzz…