And that’s a wrap for the Cathedrals family reunion showcase. I thought it went as well as it could possibly have gone, and there were many great moments of music and camaraderie throughout. The singing was great and the songs were well-chosen, and it was everything I first loved about gospel music rolled into one. Below is my running commentary in order from beginning to end.
Good morning! I’m catching some bits and pieces of the Cathedrals Family Reunion afternoon showcase and will be jotting down some notes here on the setlist as I watch (in forwards order).
“Wedding Music”: My first thought when I tuned in was “Hey, is that Pat Barker singing ‘Wedding Music’?” So glad they could get him to come out and lend his voice to this showcase!
“He Made a Change”: Gerald Wolfe to Ernie Haase: “I love seeing you sweat!”
“Yesterday”: Featuring Gerald Wolfe and Ernie Haase. This is a nice gem from George Younce’s own pen that’s enjoyed a bit of a revival as a couple different Cats tributes have covered it. Personally, I will always be partial to Ernie Haase & Signature Sound’s heart-tugging, harmony-rich version. This reunion version tries to build to a bigger finale, and it seems that a low-key approach works better for this song.
“Somebody Touched Me”: Featuring Danny Funderburk. He’s trying to get the audience to sing along, but I think maybe the crowd isn’t sure what octave to choose!
“Can He, Could He, Would He?” Scrap quartet: Danny, Scott, Mark and Pat. I’m a little confused—I hear some voice doubling towards the end here. Stacking?
Gerald and Ernie are teasing Mark a bit. Gerald: “Mark sounds exactly the same as he did 30 years ago. You don’t look the same Mark, but you sound the same.” Ernie: “He’s like Jesus. He changeth not.”
“Heavenly Parade”: Gerald Wolfe and Pat Barker had some great banter in setting up this one, as Gerald announced he was going to sing bass, and Pat informed him that “You can’t just hit the notes. You have to sell it. Now you stand over there and I’ll stand over here, and I’ll show you how it’s done.” They both ended up singing bass in an acappella rendition that went over extremely well. They literally slapped each other around a little in the middle of the song, which was quite humorous!
12:29 Back Now!
Boundless Love: Gerald at the piano, Mark on bass, the guys sitting around jamming. This is fabulous! Gerald cutting looooose! Paul Harkey carried the bass and Ernie was in great form. This is my favorite song of the showcase so far. Ernie just said he’s going to kill Mark Trammell, because in a quartet, the tenor is supposed to hold the note as long as the baritone does. “Mark is over there just holding it and making me WORK!”
Thanks to Calvary: Pat Barker is singing “Thanks to Calvary.” Obviously nobody can sing this with the intimacy and personal conviction George brought to it, but it’s just so good to hear Pat’s voice again. He’s getting a little bit choked up.
Gaither Medley: Danny, Scott, Mark and Paul. Paul is featured on “I Will Serve Thee.” I really enjoy his rich upper register. Now Ernie is joining Danny on tenor. Gorgeous acappella breakdown.
Champion of Love: The verses are still as cringey as ever, but once the chorus hits, it’s a bit difficult to resist the uplift.
Search Me Lord: They rolled George and Glen’s introduction to this song. George’s words ring truer than ever today: “In a loud-mouthed, vulgar, vile, ungodly world that we live in today, you see so many things that we never dreamed we’d see. And you just think ‘My God, the pain of those people.’ And you think ‘It’s out of control.’ No. God still has everything under control.” All members of all groups are on stage for the final verse.
We Shall See Jesus: Yessss! I was hoping they would close with this, and I’m glad I guessed right. My only quibble is that after doing such a great job leading up to the finale, Mark Trammell handed the climax over to recorded video of Glen Payne. I’ve always thought this was a bit of a gimmick. I’d like to hear Mark nail the climax himself! But it’s a fitting closing number anyway.