NQC 2013: Schedule, Preliminary Thoughts and Poll

[This is an argument against preparing blog posts in the wee hours of the morning. A kind commentator has noted that we are currently in the year 2013, not 2014. Apologies for this error, which has now been corrected!]

This year I plan to offer the same running commentary format on the NQC webcast that I’ve offered in years past. I won’t catch every showcase or even every evening set, but I will watch and comment on as much as I can that I find to be interesting. Here is the schedule without exact times. Afternoon showcases here. Not much has changed from last year (no surprise!) Here are a few quick thoughts I had:

1. I’m glad to see that Signature Sound is back for one night. It may be only a night, but it will be great fun to see Paul Harkey on mainstage singing their new material.

2. Wilburn & Wilburn should totally have gotten more than one set. My review copy of their latest is on its way, and I should have a review up soon. I’ve been a big fan since I reviewed their official debut two years ago. They offer something different to the genre and bring great father/son chemistry to the live stage.

3. I was disappointed to see that High Road III has been relegated to an afternoon showcase. Their appearance as a showcase artist on NQC mainstage in 2011 was one of the highlights of the year for many of us who were there or watching. They just came out with a new project which I also need to review.

4. Also conspicuously absent from the mainstage schedule: Both Ryan Seaton’s new group Union Street and Canton Junction. Union Street had a brief appearance last year and chose a song with a more progressive edge to it. Perhaps the organizers were a little turned off? I personally enjoy their sound a lot and would love to see them get a whole set. The absence of Canton Junction is even more surprising since Tim Duncan is so popular and the quartet has always had a very rooted style. New member Shane McConnell has appeared on any number of Gaither videos.

5. Sisters, sisters… where are the Sisters? Ah well, at least we have the Nelons.

6. I see Penny Loafers in a showcase slot but not on mainstage. We need these guys doing the acapella moments! [EDIT: Apparently somebody else had the same idea and unbeknownst to me the Penny Loafers actually have been scheduled for the acapella moments. Great minds, etc.]

7. Very cool to see Declaration and the Revelation boys from Ireland getting slots in the afternoon showcases.

8. Showcases I’m hoping to catch or catch up on include: Song of a Lifetime, Ken Davis & Friends, Bluegrass Picking Jamboree, the Gaither, Gatlin & Booth Brothers Harmony Showcase (really looking forward to that one!) Bill Gaither’s Homecoming Singalong, Redback Hymnal Sing, and Parade of Pianos with Gordon Mote and Gerald Wolfe.

Let’s do a little poll here while we’re at it. I’m curious to see how many of my readers are a) going to NQC, b) watching via webcast, c) relying solely on blog commentary, or d) have no clue what I’m talking about? (I expect the last category to be small, but I know a few of you are out there!)

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NQC Hasty Notes: Saturday Night

It’s over already?? Yes, hard to believe though it is, tonight was the last night of NQC. The singers were tired tonight but gave it their all, and we had some wonderful moments. I think everyone who bought the webcast should have felt like they got their money’s worth. If you’re on Facebook and you bought the cast, be sure to check out the group NQC Webcast Friends 2012. Consider this an NQC Open Thread. I hope you’ve enjoyed my snapshots of each night! Looking forward to next year already!

Continue reading “NQC Hasty Notes: Saturday Night”

NQC Hasty Notes: GVB Reunion Showcase

Hi all, I’m coming in at about quarter after 2. Apparently I missed Jim Murray playing cowbell on “Sail On” with the Booth Brothers earlier. But right now Larnelle is hamming it up on “Can’t Stop Talking About Him.” With backup from Wes Hampton, Mike English and Bill.

Now Michael English is singing “Give Up,” and I’m finding out who all’s here. Basically, everybody except three tenors and one lead/baritone (Frankenstein, I mean Gary McSpadden). YIKES, just saw that David Phelps is wearing tight red leather pants. Okedoke.

Now Mark Lowry is singing the baritone part for the National Anthem all by himself because Bill asked him whether he had learned it or not. Funny! Then all the members sang it acapella together. Great moment. Now Russ Taff is singing “Why Me Lord.” They’re doing a very sweet encore. Wes on tenor is really clear. Very sweet. But now Bill is trying to do a 2nd encore and that seems like over-kill to me.

Now Steve Green is introducing “Find us Faithful” with some good words about different kinds of faithfulness—the kind that’s just a self-righteous facade and the kind that’s true and comes from God. Singing it now, and still sounds great. That was an awesome performance, standing-O.

Bill introduced Jon Mohr and said he wrote that song. Jon talking now about Bill’s influence on his songwriting. Very touching. Jon says that he wrote “Passing the Faith Along” by literally bringing each piece to Bill one by one. Now every time he writes he still thinks, “What would Bill think about this?” He asked the audience to give Bill & Gloria a standing-O. Now he’s singing “New Point of View.” Good, we were worried it would be “Rumor Mill.” Still, we only have 15 minutes left, and so far not many power moments. I’m assuming they’ll bring in Guy on something huge? Maybe “I Believe In a Hill Called Mount Calvary?” “Let Freedom Ring?” “Worthy the Lamb?” We’re waiting…

Okay, this is pretty good, “Heartbreak Ridge & New Hope Road.” Russ is taking the lead. I guess this wouldn’t be a bad way to close the set.

Wow, this is a surprise! They’re closing with something called “Glorious Freedom” from _Pure and Simple_.  David Phelps killed it, this is a power ending! Tenors and leads are doing these wild acapella tags. Now I want that project. Cool stuff, great surprise closer.

And that’s all I caught folks! Gotta head off now, I have a very important class that will keep me from watching the Dennis Swanberg showcase. I know you’re heartbroken I won’t be covering it. 😀

I’m told that things were better earlier in the showcase, but even so my impression is that Guy Penrod wasn’t really utilized to his full extent. They gave him two fairly good songs, including “Baptism of Jesse Taylor,” but no “These Are They,” no “Worthy the Lamb,” no “I Believe in a Hill Called Mount Calvary.” This seems like a shame to me. I guess it’s possible that he didn’t feel vocally up to one of those songs anymore, but I still feel like it was a missed opportunity. That’s the main disappointment of this year’s showcase for me. But I’ll have to catch the earlier half later to see what I missed.