New Hoppers Album Preview

I just saw this Youtube preview for the Hoppers’ new album Count Me In. Sounds good! Highlights so far: “I’ll Take You Home,” “He Carried Me,” the title track, and (I know, you won’t believe it), but their arrangement of “I Just Feel Like Something Good is About to Happen” just sounds so fresh, rockin’, and roof-raising that it breathes new life into the old thing. This project isn’t available on Amazon or iTunes yet, but it’s on their table and will be circulated at NQC. Also notable is that they’re covering a “Jesus rock” classic by Larry Norman, “I Wish We’d All Been Ready.”


And Now For Some War-Like Hymns

I meant to post this around the same time as the Chick-Fil-A flap but never got around to it. This post is dedicated to all conservatives determined to make a virtue out of wimpiness in these culture wars. I’d like to refresh everyone’s memory with some hymns they may have forgotten about, and perhaps introduce you to some new ones. I humbly submit that if these lyrics don’t light your fire, your wood is soaking wet.

“Onward Christian Soldiers,” sung by Libera:

“Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus.” I like this rocking version by the Promise Keepers:

“Rise Up, O Men O God,” sung by the FSU & UF Men’s Glee Clubs:

“Lift High the Cross,” sung by the Ward Chancel Choir:

And finally one that I couldn’t find a good video for, but here are the lyrics to “The Fight Is On,” by Lelia Morris:

The fight is on, the trumpet sound is ringing out,
The cry “To arms!” is heard afar and near;
The Lord of hosts is marching on to victory,
The triumph of the Christ will soon appear.

The fight is on, O Christian soldier,
And face to face in stern array,
With armor gleaming, and colors streaming,
The right and wrong engage today!
The fight is on, but be not weary;
Be strong, and in His might hold fast;
If God be for us, His banner o’er us,
We’ll sing the victor’s song at last!

The fight is on, arouse, ye soldiers brave and true!
Jehovah leads, and vict’ry will assure;
Go buckle on the armor God has given you,
And in His strength unto the end endure.

The Lord is leading on to certain victory;
The bow of promise spans the eastern sky;
His glorious Name in every land shall honored be;
The morn will break, the dawn of peace is nigh.

Did I get all your favorites? Which war-like hymns are you fond of?

(You are also free to comment if this entire post gives you hives. Just do so at your own risk. :D)

The Week(s) in Review (8/25): More on Amber Nelon’s Idol Story, Tribute Quartet Buzz, Sisters Wow at Stephen Hill Memorial, and More…

While I won’t try to go back and cover everything of note that I missed the week before last, I’ll do a little combining to flesh out this roundup.

On the faith and culture front

*Whether you think that Senator Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments were bizarrely offensive or just somewhat impolitic, I think all pro-lifers can agree that the Republican establishment has done a lousy job handling the backlash. They seem determined to throw a good man under the bus while simultaneously proclaiming loudly and proudly that yes, yes, yes, they do support the rape exception to abortion, as a matter of principle. I’ve been particularly saddened to see Paul Ryan forced to play along with Romney’s less conservative stance on this issue as Romney’s number one campaigner. Here we are and it’s only been a couple weeks since Ryan was nominated. Did I tell you or did I tell you?

*I’ve always said that it’s not enough for Christians to oppose same-sex “marriage” but shrug over civil unions, since civil unions give homosexual couples all the same legal rights, including adoption. There’s been a shocking new development in an old case on this issue. In 2009  2003, Lisa Miller converted to Christianity and sought to separate herself and her daughter, Isabella, from her lesbian partner, Janet Jenkins, after dissolving the civil union. When the court not only upheld her partner’s custody rights but eventually ordered Miller to give Jenkins full custody when she refused to cooperate regarding visitations (the few that she had allowed were highly upsetting to Isabella), Miller and her little girl disappeared in 2009. Now it’s been released that a Mennonite pastor named Kenneth Miller (no relation) had helped the two to flee the country. He has been caught and convicted of aiding in “kidnapping” and will mostly likely be sentenced to prison. Read the full story here. How does it hurt people to give homosexuals marriage rights? Now you know.

*I recently came across one of the most idiotic, substanceless and odious pieces from an ostensibly “conservative” pastor that I’ve ever encountered. The topic was the FRC shooting. Ed Stetzer says, in essence, “Well yes of course we shouldn’t go around shooting people, so that’s bad, but then there are consequences for doing some of the things FRC has done.” Please excuse me while I vomit quietly into the nearest garbage can… while trying to collect my few remaining brain cells.

On the Southern Gospel front

*There’s been a lot of buzz over the fact that the Booth Brothers are going to appear as a quartet with Gene McDonald at the Memphis Quartet Show. Michael Booth said “For those of you who have wondered what we’d sound like as a quartet, we’re about to find out at the same time! This is gonna be fun!” However, you can actually sample that sound already by checking out “Going in Style” from their album Pure Southern Gospel, which features guest vocals from Gene.

*Regular blog frequenter quartet-man contributed a guest review  to Musicscribe of Oak Ridge Boys bass Richard Sterban’s new book of memoirs, From Elvis to Elvira. It looks like an interesting read.

*Daniel Mount is hailing Tribute’s new project Our Anthem as their breakout project based largely on the strength of the two standouts “Good News From Jerusalem” and “The Song of Heaven.” Check out samples here to see if you agree! I have downloaded both songs, and they are excellent. “The Song of Heaven” reminds me of Mark Bishop’s “Let the Angels Take the Fallen” in musical composition and showcases Riley Clark’s magnificent tenor voice. Daniel has said “Good News From Jerusalem” is the next “Jerusalem” or “Midnight Cry,” and while I’m not quite prepared to make that comparison, partly because the melody is very repetitious, I think it compares favorably to “He’s Alive.”

*Hat tip to Lauren for finding this video of Kelly Nelon discussing her daughter’s Idol journey. She gives more details about how far Amber went, what kind of future people were predicting for her, and how the judges reacted to her statement of faith.

*Congratulations to Andrew S. for winning this year’s NQC Webcast Giveaway on SG Back Row! The competition came down the wire, but Steve broke the tie by having Andrew and another reader identify southern gospel personalities in a montage of spoken word concert clips.

*Speaking of SG Back Row, Steve has come up with yet another fresh, cool column idea in “What’s In an Album Cover??”. Steve will present a weekly batch of six album covers to be ranked by his readers, and at the end of the “tournament,” he will pick out the ten best and ten worst for final voting. Here’s the first round.

*The Garms Family, formerly known as the Great Adventure Gospel Band, has decided after much thought and consultation to shorten their official group name to the easy and simple “The Garms Family.” Check out their new website here.

*Karen Peck Gooch misses big hair. Anyone else?

*Video of the week: The Sisters singing “It is Well” at Stephen Hill’s homegoing service…

Open thread.

CD Review: A Tribute to the Songs of Bill and Gloria Gaither, by the Booth Brothers

This project is a labor of love for  the Booth Brothers. It’s a whopping 15-song collection of Gaither tunes, re-worked in the group’s signature understated style. The selection ranges from the essential (“Because He Lives,” “He Touched Me,” “I Believe in a Hill Called Mount Calvary”) to the lesser-known (“I Played In the Band,” “Let the Healing Begin,” “Through”). Should you go out and buy it? Read on for my thoughts. Continue reading “CD Review: A Tribute to the Songs of Bill and Gloria Gaither, by the Booth Brothers”

Songwriting: The Old, the New and the Ugly

I recently subscribed to Wayne Haun and Joel Lindsay’s new You Write Songs site [Edit, August 13: The site is now defunct and the link has been removed.] I’m excited about this and glad to see that two experienced vets of the biz are investing some time and effort in encouraging the next crop of young songwriters. As someone who’s just ventured into this field myself very recently, I figured I need all the tips I can get.

After subscribing, I watched a video that was made available to subscribers only. It was Joel Lindsay’s top five common songwriting mistakes.

I don’t want to give away all five, but I did want to discuss one point on which I definitely disagreed with Lindsay. (Hey, I didn’t have a problem criticizing John Piper’s preaching, so this is small potatoes. Anyway it’s been way too long since I wrote a post on songwriting, and I have at least one faithful reader who says they’re his favorite! So Rick, this is for you…) Continue reading “Songwriting: The Old, the New and the Ugly”

Legacy Five Hires Matt Fouch

Matt Fouch has resigned from Soul’d Out Quartet to join Legacy Five. This is a surprising announcement, but on reflection I can see why L5 would have zeroed in on Fouch’s voice. He has a deep, rich cut that’s reminiscent of what Glenn brought to the group. I think he’s going to give L5 a little more “edge” in the basement, and this should be a good fit for them. Here are some assorted press releases. First, from Matt:

For the past eight years I have had the great opportunity to travel and sing with the guys of Soul’d Out Quartet (SOQT). These men are high character individuals and it has been a pleasure to sing along side them. God has blessed SOQT and I am very thankful for the many friends I have made and the opportunities God has given through the ministry of SOQT.

With that said, after much prayer, thought and consultation with my wife, I have decided to resign my position with SOQT and join the Legacy Five team.

It is an honor and a privilege to join L5. These men have a wonderful calling on their lives and do a fantastic job. They are men of integrity and I couldn’t be happier to join their ranks. I’m excited to see where God leads and what He does in this new season of my life.

My family and I are thankful for your prayers and support, and I ask that you keep SOQT and L5 in your prayers as He leads both groups in the calling He has placed on their lives. God bless!

Second, from Scott Fowler:

Seasons of life change for us all. Change is never easy but it is inevitable. The older I get, the less I like change, but with change comes the excitement of seeing what new and refreshing doors God opens for us. We are really looking forward to Matt’s contribution to Legacy Five, both on and off the stage. To Matt, Dusty, Michael and Bryan of Soul’d Out, I want to say how much I have appreciated how gracious and kind they have been to Legacy Five and Matt during this time of transition. I cannot remember when two groups have had this type of cooperation in a situation like this. They are truly good men and I have great respect for them.

From Soul’d Out manager Matt Rankin:

Soul’d Out Quartet wishes to thank Matt Fouch for 8 years of service to the Lord and the group. We have been a part of seeing many come to Christ in those years. We have been a part of watching God’s hand at work and have watched him supply the group’s needs time and time again. We hate to see Matt leave Soul’d Out but we trust that God is leading this decision. We will be in prayer for a replacement and will continue our prayers and support for Matt Fouch, his family, and Legacy 5. Though change is many times difficult, the big picture is that we all are trying to serve the King. With that said, thank you Matt for making Soul’d Out a better group while you were here. We love you. God bless.

I’m with Scott. This is very refreshing to see.

Update: One of my readers hasn’t heard Matt’s sound, so here are a couple of videos. Hat tip to Aaron Swain on the second one:



Monday Morning Humor: Should Be a Parody But Isn’t

Oh dear.

Honest, people really think this guy is amazing. Sometimes they give him money. Here’s another specimen, only slightly less hilarious.

I’m putting this up for a laugh, but in all seriousness it’s rather tragicomic. A generation is growing up that no longer understands what art is and isn’t. That’s a sad thing. It’s also somewhat of a teaser for tomorrow’s post. Stay tuned…

Terry Warren Featured in Will Ferrell Comedy (??)

Okay, so somehow I got on the mailing list for McCain and Co. Public Relations, and every now and then they send me press releases about their artists. I checked my inbox the other day and found this:

All-American football star, recording artist and actor Terry Warren has a feature spot in The Campaign, the new comedy starring Will Ferrell that will be in theaters August 10. The Warner Bros. film, which tells the story of two Southerners vying for a seat in Congress to represent their small district, shows a clip from B.L. Stryker, a TV movie in which Warren starred with Burt Reynolds.


“It is such a great honor to be featured in a film starring the comic genius Will Ferrell, who I think is one of the funniest actors in Hollywood these days. Unfortunately, like most of his movies, the humor will not be appropriate for my 13-year-old daughter to see,” Warren said, laughing. “I give Jesus all the glory for this great opportunity.”

I couldn’t stop scratching my head. All it takes is a passing glance at the parents’ guide for this film to see that not only would it not be appropriate for a 13-year-old, it’s obviously not worth any Christian viewer’s time or money. Granted, it’s not Warren’s fault that a clip from one of his movies happens to be used in this movie, but why isn’t he embarrassed about it? Why is he “giving Jesus all the glory” for having a bit feature in… a pointless, godless, heavily raunchy, heavily profane comedy movie? I mean it’s not like people are going to be in the theater saying “Oh hey look, that’s Terry Warren! Hmmmm, wonder what he’s doing these days. [goes home and googles] Wow, he’s made a couple of Christian albums. How awesome is that?? I better go buy those right away.” Eh, not likely to happen. If he thinks that this little appearance is going to lead to somebody’s encountering the gospel, he’s using strange logic. Unless all he meant by giving Jesus the glory is that he just thinks it’s really cool for himself that he’s appearing in a Will Ferrell comedy. In which case he’s got me totally baffled.

So, my .02 on that strange little news item. Maybe if McCain and Co. finds this they’ll stop sending me their press releases. That would totally crush me…not.

Why I’m Sitting Out the 2012 Presidential Race

I’m writing this post a little hastily, so forgive the brevity and/or incompleteness of my thoughts. I had thought that I would be writing this a little closer to election time, but someone has already expressed an interest in what I think given Romney’s recent choice of VP candidate. So perhaps now is a good time to just get it out of the way.

Simply put, I’m not planning to vote for Mitt Romney this year. But not for some of the reasons other people aren’t voting for him. Actually, looking at some other people’s complaints has sometimes almost tempted me to give him my vote. Apparently he’s “too white,” “too nice,” “too rich,” too other stuff that shouldn’t make an iota of difference. Oh, and he’s Mormon. Now there are actually some Christians who seriously have chosen to withhold their vote based on that fact alone. I’m not one of those Christians.

So just why am I not voting for the guy? Continue reading “Why I’m Sitting Out the 2012 Presidential Race”