Recently Added, #1: Songs About Home

Way over yonder is a place that I know
Where I can find shelter from the hunger and cold
And the sweet tasting good life is easily found.
Way over yonder, that’s where I’m bound, that’s where I’m bound….

— Carole King, “Way Over Yonder”


Happy first day of February! [Okay guys, you can stop laughing now—I scheduled this post for the 1st, thinking today was the 1st, so naturally when it wasn’t published today what did I do? Hit publish without thinking through all the implications. I’ll put it down to my trademark absent-mindedness.]

Anyway, here’s a new little series for you: recently added. I’m constantly adding songs to my ipod and thought it might be fun to give you guys a little taste each week of what’s been tickling my ears lately, labeled by theme, artist, genre, whatever.

This week, the theme is “Songs About Home.” You’re getting a whopping SIX choice cuts today—practically an EP. The simple reason is I couldn’t bring myself to cut any of them. They’re mainly folksy and/or bluesy, some with a gospel twist. I chose Neil Finn’s “Song of the Lonely Mountain” (from The Hobbit soundtrack), Carole King’s gospel gem “Way Over Yonder,” Creedence Clearwater Revival’s soulful classic “Long As I Can See the Light,” the Carolina Chocolate Drops’ “Leaving Eden” (they’re a new to me group, and they’re really, really good), Randall Goodgame’s “Heaven Waits,” and lastly my favorite, the Wailin’ Jennys’ “Glory Bound.” Actually, “Glory Bound” is fast becoming one of my favorite songs, period. The Wailin’ Jennys is another new group I just recently discovered. The song sounds like a Christian song, but I don’t know if the group members are Christians:


Some of these songs indicate a longing for paradise. Others are talking about an earthly home. Sometimes it’s hard to separate the two. For the dwarves in “Song of the Lonely Mountain,” it’s the lost homeland of Erebor that calls to them. For the traveler in “Long As I Can See the Light,” it’s the “candle in the window,” reminding him that the end of all his exploring shall be to arrive where he started. On the flip side, “Leaving Eden” and “Heaven Waits” use biblical symbolism to express the ache of having to leave a home you love in hard times.

Whether earthly or heavenly-minded, all of these lyrics reveal that a desire for home is woven deeply into the human spirit. All of us are responding to that tug in one way or another, even if not all of us realize where it’s ultimately coming from.

For home a song that echoes on

And all who find us will know the tune…



High Quality Video from EHSS LiveStream Concert

I just uploaded some Signature Sound videos to Godtube for your viewing pleasure, captured from the livestream at FCC on Saturday. These are shared by permission from Ernie Haase. Happy viewing!

[Update: FCC has asked me to remove the videos from Godtube. I believe there’s a misunderstanding about the arrangement I had with Ernie’s team, but I’ve honored the request. FCC itself has uploaded “Glory to God in the Highest” on their channel.]


This is War!

A rousing update from Libbi Stuffle:

Yesterday was a rough day for Tracy. Last night his blood pressure and temp started rising. From 6 to 8 am & pm we have to leave ICU. I take the evening time to go to motel to shower and get refreshed. I admit I was a little down, well truth is a lot down! Before we left the motel to come back to hospital, my family gathered around me and prayed. When finished, I sat there for a few minutes gathering myself off the floor. When I stood up I said let’s go fight! All the way to the hospital something was rising up inside me! Walked into Tracy’s ICU room and all his vital signs were good.

TaRanda Greene has been a great support to me the past couple days. We were texting and somewhere out of the blue it hit me like lightening!! The devil has got to turn loose of Tracy’s body and turn loose from trying to defeat us in our minds! I put my foot down and declared war on the devil! We are warriors!! We have the greatest ammo on earth and it’s called prayer! I texted all of my family that “war was declared on satan!” I told them to suit up and let’s fight! I got permission from Tracy’s nurse to have all my family members who were at the hospital to come into his room and have a old fashion “come to Jesus prayer meeting!” I told them what things we were gonna pray about and told them if anyone in that room had any doubts to leave the room. No one left! I can’t tell you everything that happened, but God was in the room!! We prayed and sang!! That’s been almost 11 hours ago, all of Tracy’s vitals have been sitting on normal!!! Most of these without any help medically! I read healing scriptures over him and prayed over every area of his body!!! No, it’s not about what did, but it’s about what God did!! I am expecting a great miracle to take place!!! This is war!! Put on the whole Armour of God, and let’s send the devil packing back to hell where he came from!!!!! And in the mean time I want to kick his teeth clear out of his body and bruise his ole lying, no truth in him’s head!!!!!!!! If you don’t believe or agree with this, step away!

Live Blog: Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, Fayetville Community Church (LiveStream)

Ernie Haase announced on Facebook earlier today that the quartet would be streaming a live concert. I’m watching and live-blogging right now. You can watch with me here. Enjoy!

7:00 Choir is singing a couple songs to warm up.

7:10 Wesley Pritchard just gave away the specials and is now introducing the guys. He’s joked that they’re able to flip to a basketball game that’s going on right now, in case the concert isn’t going well. (They actually showed it on the livestream, so they’re not bluffing!)

1. When the Saints Go Marching In

This is fun! I haven’t heard them pull out this arrangement in… well, come to think of it, I’ve never seen them stage this one! All live-band. Wayne Haun provided some great piano improv.

2. Glory to God in the Highest

Nice. They ended “When the Saints” in the same key as this one begins. By the way, Ernie is wearing “that” jacket. The silver one with… leaves or something on it. And a pink shirt. No comment. 😉

In-between song banter. Ernie just joked that he made a New Year’s Resolution he could keep—eat more and exercise less!

3.I’m Gonna Live Forever

They put a cute twist on this by whistling over the piano intro.

Wesley just told Ernie that they have lots of people logging in from Argentina. Ernie says that somebody from Argentina had messaged him right before the concert asking them to sing “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” on the third song. When Ernie asked why the third song, the guy said, “Because I’m old, and it’s two hours later here in Argentina, so I might fall asleep after your third song.” So, for the fourth song, in hopes that our Argentinian friend is sometimes awake…

4. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

5. Reason Enough

Now Ernie is introducing Paul Harkey. “Scars In the Hands?” Yes, I think so.

6. Scars In the Hands

7. I Pledge Allegiance

Been a little while since they pulled this one out. I like this one pretty well. Standing ovation, very inspiring. Now they’re singing “God Bless America,” except Ernie wanted to change the word “bless” to “heal,” to make it more like a prayer. An interesting thought, but I think it doesn’t sing quite as well. Also, I’m not sure that the “divisiveness” Ernie referred to in the setup is something we need to be “healed” from, if “divisiveness” is another word for the incompatibility of good and evil. If so, then bring on the division.

Ernie just recognized the servicemen in the audience, a nice touch.

8. Moving Up to Gloryland

Our feed fell a little behind earlier, and fast-forwarded a little here. Now we’re back on track.

9. Everytime

I had my own private 60s prom in my bedroom! Paul Harkey did his own little dance in the middle of the stage at the end. 😀 I miss Kelly Vaughn’s guitar solo though. I noticed on twitter a while back that he was leaving the band, not sure why.

Ernie just recycled the “guy with the cellphone in a bathroom stall” joke from George Younce. Nice.

10. Sometimes I Wonder

They’ve slowed this down a bit from the studio. I like it. Zak Shumate is doing a little hand percussion. Oh, nice, they’re tacking on a tag of “How Beautiful Heaven Must Be.”

11. Then Came the Morning


12. Only Here For a Little While

Back now at 8:35, and Doug is out singing solo. Pre-recorded BGVs. (So far anyway.)

13. Our Debts Will Be Paid

Now this is kind of an oldie! Devin just held the long note. Paul Harkey doing great on bass. This is fun.

This provided a nice segue into…

14. Life Will Be Sweeter

Ernie just said they’ve had a lot of requests for this song, and he’s going to do it even though it wasn’t on the program, leaving the consequences to the Lord… and Wesley. And the song is…

15. Can’t Help Falling in Love

Ernie mopped his brow with his hankie and threw it at somebody! Too funny.

16. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Ernie announced that they were going to do a Christmas carol Wayne had arranged for five parts called “Wonderful Grace of Jesus.” Wayne gently “set him straight.” Zak is adding some well-placed drum beats for emphasis.

Now they are rocking the house with…

17. Any Other Man

This is the first time I’ve seen a high quality video performance of this song. I really enjoyed watching them in action up close, getting into this one.

18. You Are Welcome Here

Sorry for the delay in posting the rest. I took a break. My take on the rest of the concert as recorded by my RealDownloader will hopefully follow soon… if I can get my RealDownloader to work…

Update: Got it to work. Herewith, the rest of the concert… turns out it was just one more song.

19. Oh What a Savior

This was put into a medley with “Nothing But the Blood.” The audience sang along, but Doug and Devin also did some step-outs on the hymn. I enjoyed Wayne’s extra piano licks!

Here Ernie mentioned Tracy Stuffle and asked that the audience would keep him and his family in prayer. After closing in prayer, they left with another encore of “Glory to God in the Highest.”

A Call for Messages to the Perrys [Updated With Urgent Prayer Request]

Lauren at View From the Pew has posted a call for Perrys fans to send her any letters, e-mails, or encouraging notes that they would like to share with the Perrys. She will then put them together in a book for the family. This is a sweet idea. Please check out her post and share if you know any other Perrys fans. If you’d like to send an e-mail message, she has provided her address.

Libbi’s latest update was marked “urgent.” Tracy has a fever, and they are trying to diagnose the source of the temperature. Doctors think there is an infection, but their highest antibiotics have been ineffective. That was this morning. Future updates will be posted here.


Update from Libbi, Saturday morning, January 26th:

Tracy done good through the night. Was off the blood pressure medicine all night! And his blood pressure stayed in area of 117 / 64. They turned it back on just now because it went up while they were changing his sheets and bathing him. Temp is 101. Praise God, Praise God, Thank You Jesus!!!

Waiting on blood culture results to come back on infection. Chest X-ray showed chest congestion & fluid. Gave him lasiks to remove fluid. They have him almost fully sedated in order to let his body and brain rest from yesterday morning being so bad.

And I was able to sleep 4 hrs!!! Plan on slipping in some cat naps through out the day!!!

Thank you to TaRanda Greene for being there for me yesterday!!
Please know I cherish every prayer you pray for us!!!!!!!!!!

Eric Phillips Leaves the Mark Trammell Quartet

Talk about a big news day! The MTQ released a brief statement earlier today saying that Eric Phillips will be returning to police work starting February 10th. Trammell says that Phillips is one of the best tenors in the business right now and will be sorely missed. No further details were offered, but the parting appears amicable. It is quite possible that Phillips simply felt he couldn’t handle the demands of road life with two small children at home.

Phillips’ return, combined with the addition of Pat Barker as bass singer, gave us what many consider to be the finest quartet lineup since the Cathedrals. I have full faith in Trammell’s ability to select a suitable replacement, but Phillips’ impact can never be matched. We wish him well wherever he fares.

Tracy Stuffle Suffers a Stroke [Updated]

I just now read that Tracy Stuffle has had a stroke. Libbi says that his right side is paralyzed and his speech is severely slurred. He had the stroke while driving, but thankfully was able to call for help. The latest update from Libbi was posted to Facebook at 9 AM and says that the latest CT scan has shown increased bleeding on the brain. They have been able to control his blood pressure with medication, but they may need to put him on a ventilator if his breathing is affected.

Tracy and Libbi are very well-loved among southern gospel fans, and I know that we are all holding them up in prayer during this time! Keep an eye on their Facebook page for further updates.

3PM Update: Tracy’s neurosurgeon is planning to drain the building fluid in his brain. The downside to this is that the catheter could itself cause more bleeding, or it could cause infection. His blood pressure is stable at this time. Libbi writes, “At 7pm eastern time 6 cst a mass of churches across the United States are gathering to have a prayer vigil on Tracy’s behalf. We would be so honored to have you join with them and my family. Thank you to everyone who has and is praying!!!!”

6:00 Update: Tracy’s son says, “Tube is in and draining blood off of dad’s brain which is good, they have him knocked out right now but hopefully we will get to see him awake tonight.”

7:45 Update: “Last time a few went in dad was wiggling his toes and moving his shoulder on his right side so hopefully he is getting some of it back!”

Update from Libbi:

Drainage cath was placed into brain to drain off blood from bleed out. The blood in the fluid cavities is draining off! We noticed movement about 30 minutes later. They now have Tracy sedated so all of his pressures can rest. He also needed a mouth inserted trach to open up his air way. Which is a breathing machine, not a vent! They’ve had to strap his left arm down due to him trying to pull tubes out.

As of right now, he is running a temp of 100. Sometimes this common because the brain controls the temp. But, Gonna keep an eye on it to make sure there’s not a infection somewhere.

They should be doing another CT scan Wednesday. I will update if they do. 

Latest update (Wednesday night): “I ask Tracy to squeeze my hand if he wanted me to stay with him and he grabbed my hand and wouldn’t let go!!! He’s having a little more movement on his good side. This made me happy, happy, happy!!!”