Absolutely Gospel Awards: My Votes

It’s that time of year again—time for southern gospel fans to cast their votes at the Absolutely Gospel Awards. I’m reproducing the list of nominees along with my votes and some comments.

I noticed that there is no category for non-artist songwriters, and I thought it was particularly unfortunate this year since the most notable new songs came from the pens of Lee Black, Barbara Huffman, Dianne Wilkinson, etc. I wonder, would Wayne Haun be counted as an “artist” writer since he does tour and sing with the EHSS band? [Clarification: Chris Unthank has reminded me that there actually is a non-artist writer category, just not one voted on by the fans. Thanks Chris!]

Among the nominated songs, a couple seem a bit old—“Almost Home” and “Homecoming Day” were both big in 2011.  For Tribute Quartet, I felt that “Good News From Jerusalem” or “The Song of Heaven” might be a more current choice. However, those songs haven’t had as much time to find success as “Homecoming Day.”

I must confess that I felt ill-informed in a few of these categories, particularly since there were some artists I didn’t recognize, and not just in the Breakthrough category. In the category for Female Group, I confess that I was unfamiliar with most of the names. I know Sisters and Red Roots. Can someone enlighten me about 2nd Generation, the McClennan Sisters, or Sweetwater Revival? (That’s funny, the first thing I typed from memory was “Cleerwater Revival.” Oldies on my mind.) Also, I noticed that The Williamsons were nominated both for Breakthrough Artist and Fan Favorite. A family group, I presume? I saw on their website that they’ve been singing since 1998. Was there a particular song of theirs that caught folks’ attention this past year? I also don’t recall running across Back Home before, also nominated for Fan Favorite.

Among special event projects, the Lari Goss tribute was a no-brainer. Easiest choice of them all. Go get it if you haven’t already—it’s a fantastic concert DVD.

Here is a full list, with my votes in bold:

1. SONG OF THE YEAR *
Almost Home – Triumphant Quartet
Blue Skies Coming – The Perrys
Homecoming Day – Tribute Quartet
I Want to Be that Man – Brian Free & Assurance
I Want to Know – Mark Trammell Quartet
Just Another Rainy Day – Collingsworth Family
Lord of Life – Gold City
Masterpiece of Mercy – Booth Brothers
Mighty Big God – Karen Peck & New River
Waiting In the Water – The Isaacs
2. ALBUM OF THE YEAR *
An A Cappella Collection – Sisters
Eyes Wide Open – Jeff & Sheri Easter
How You Walk the Miles – Karen Peck
Lifetime – Mark Trammell Quartet
Love Won – The Talleys
Nothing But Love – Brian Free & Assurance
Our Anthem – Tribute Quartet
Through the Night – The Perrys
Twelve – Three Bridges
What the World Doesn’t Know – Soul’d Out Quartet
3. BREAKTHROUGH ARTIST OF THE YEAR
11th Hour
Barry Rowland & Deliverance
The Browders
Canton Junction
The Williamsons
4. MALE GROUP OF THE YEAR *
Booth Brothers
Brian Free & Assurance
Gaither Vocal Band
Mark Trammell Quartet
Tribute Quartet
Triumphant Quartet
5. FEMALE GROUP OF THE YEAR *
2nd Generation
McClellan Singing Sisters
Red Roots
Sisters
Sweetwater Revival
6. MIXED GROUP OF THE YEAR *
Collingsworth Family
The Isaacs
Karen Peck & New River
The Nelons
The Perrys
7. SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR (ARTIST) *
Jim Brady (Booth Brothers)
Melissa Brady (Jim & Melissa Brady)
Joseph Habedank (The Perrys)
Scott Inman (Triumphant Quartet)
Jimmy Yeary (The Isaacs)
8. PRODUCER OF THE YEAR (ARTIST) *
Michael English (Gaither Vocal Band)
Wayne Haun (Ernie Haase & Signature Sound)
Ben Isaacs (The Isaacs)
Michael Sykes (Canton Junction)
Roger Talley (Talleys)
9. MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR *
Kim Collingsworth (Collingsworth Family)
Madison Easter (Jeff & Sheri Easter)
Channing Eleton
Ben Isaacs (The Isaacs)
Gordon Mote
10. SPECIAL EVENT PROJECT OF THE YEAR *
Celebrate Me Home – The Perrys
Feels Like Christmas – Collingsworth Family
Jubilee 3 – Booth Brothers, Greater Vision, Legacy Five
Lari Goss: The Man Behind the Music – Various Artists
Reunion: 50 Years of Influence – Dixie Melody Boys
11. BEST LIVE PERFORMER *
Booth Brothers
Collingsworth Family
Ernie Haase & Signature Sound
The Isaacs
Karen Peck & New River
Sisters
12. FAN FAVORITE ARTIST OF THE YEAR *
Back Home
Booth Brothers
The Bowling Family
The Browders
Guy Penrod
Jeff & Sheri Easter
Karen Peck & New River
Michael English
Sisters
Three Bridges
The Williamsons
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11 thoughts on “Absolutely Gospel Awards: My Votes

  1. Melissa

    Here’s a clip of the McClellan Singing Sisters. I had the pleasure of meeting them and their mom Judy at the Steve Hurst School of Music last year. They’re very nice young ladies!

  2. YGG – There are actually 24 categories. The fans only decide the winners in 12 of the 24 categories. The winners in the other 12 categories (Male & Female Vocalist, Pacesetter, Songwriter (Professional), Producer (Professional), Engineer, Traditional Song & Album, Progressive Song & Album, and Country Song & Album) are decided by the staff and select media representatives.

    A full list of nominees can be found here:

    http://absolutelygospel.com/index.php?/content/articles/2013-absolutely-gospel-music-award-nominees-announced

    Regarding a couple of your comments:

    Female Group category – we have anywhere between 3 and 5 nominees in this category each year – depending on how many groups get a majority of the votes. This year, we had 5 groups earn enough of the majority votes to get in the category.

    The Williamsons – national touring group that has a huge fan base in the Texas/Oklahoma region. Been doing NQC featured artist showcase for years. They used to tour as The Homesteaders until a couple years ago.

    Fan Favorite Artist – this is the only category where the fans choose all of the nominees and the staff have no part in picking those nominees. The 10 artists (or 11 this year due to a tie) that get the most votes get the nomination. We always have a few underdogs that get in every year, and this year was no exception.

    “Homecoming Day” – this was the big single from Tribute in 2012. We’ve only had one song in the history of the awards program (Booth Brothers’ “What About Now”) that wasn’t a radio single to end up with a nomination for Song of the Year.

    1. Thanks Chris! Now it’s coming back to me that there were other categories voted on by professionals.

      By the way, I had another question—how come Matthew Holt isn’t nominated in the Musician category? I would have voted for him in a heartbeat had his name been on the list.

      1. Matthew actually did the arrangement and played keys on the demo of my first song, so I have a personal reason to like him. But I also thought he just was the stand-out musician this year because of joining the Gaithers.

  3. quartet-man

    No votes for EHSS, a vote for the Gaither Vocal Band and a vote for Michael English. Who are you and what have you done with YGG? 😉

    1. 😀 The new lineup of the GVB has been growing on me, and I gave their new _Pure and Simple_ a really good review. I picked Michael English for producer because I thought he did some great work on that project.

      I decided to choose Booth Brothers over EHSS for live performer because even though I think both artists put on a great show, I think nobody can match the BB’s blend of talent, music and ministry in a concert.

      1. quartet-man

        You’re already starting to wise up. Before you know it you will say the Funderburk, Trammell, Bennett version of the Cathedrals is the best, English is a better lead, and the Oak Ridge Boys rule. 😉

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