[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!)