Weekend Roundup (06/20): Fundraising Campaign For the Old Paths, the Isaacs in Israel, and More…

Since I didn’t have a long roundup last week, this will combine some items from this week and things from last week that other folks haven’t already noted.

*The biggest news item from the week, which has already been well covered, is the merger between StowTown Records and IMC Concerts. Landon Beene and Nate Goble have bought shares in StowTown and will lend their marketing services to promoting StowTown artists. You can read Wayne and Landon’s thoughts on the new venture here.

*Fans of the Old Paths Quartet have organized a fund-raising endeavor to help them recoup the costs of their stolen trailer and the equipment inside it. The Singing News reports that while some items have been recovered, much is still lost. The real tragedy is that there were some goofs in the paperwork with their insurance company, meaning it’s doubtful that they will be able to claim their policy. You can donate through a site called YouCaring. Here is the link.

*In upcoming release news, the Nelons are preparing to release a new acappella hymns album next week. You can read a little more about the song selection here.

*Devin McGlamery has a twitter giveaway of his new album for @ replying a favorite comment or question from this interview with Matt Fouch. But you guys can figure that out, ‘cuz I’ve never tried that tweeter-twitter thing. 😉

*Glen Allred, considered one of the finest southern gospel baritones ever, celebrated his birthday this week. Happy Birthday Glen!

*I thought this was a cute Throwback Thursday picture of one of southern gospel’s favorite trios. Guess who!

Worth Watching: Last week, the Isaacs visited Israel and brought back a lovely video of them singing “I Will Praise Him” by the river Jordan, dressed all in white robes. This may be the first time I’ve seen Ben Isaacs minus his hat!


Weekend Roundup (6/5): Old Paths Lose Trailer, New Acappella Martins, and More…

Here’s a look at the week in Southern Gospel:

*Keep the Old Paths Quartet in your prayers. Last week, their trailer was stolen overnight, and with it all their product, wardrobe, and sound equipment. Pray that they’ll be able to cover all stolen valuables with the police’s help.

*The Martins have come out with a new acappella release, which yours truly is working on a review of as she types. You can watch a Gaither exclusive interview with the group about the new project and enjoy a preview reel here.

*Gordon Mote fulfilled a lifelong dream this past week when he went into the studio with legendary country group Alabama. Here’s a snapshot of all the boys together:

Gordon Mote with Alabama


*Worth reading: Absolutely Gospel catches up with Tribute Quartet.

*Worth watching: Andrew Goldman takes on “If You Knew Him”:



Weekend Roundup (05/23): AGM Award Winners, New Booth Brothers, and More…

*The Absolutely Gospel Music Award winners have been announced, and the full list is here. Of particular note is Amber Nelon Thompson’s first win for female vocalist of the year. Congratulations to Amber! You can watch the whole 3-hour ceremony here.

*The Booth Brothers’ latest has dropped: Pick up your copy of Isaiah 12:2 at their website. Expect a review soon.

*If you’re interested in hearing Ernie Haase & Signature Sound’s latest live CD, you can tune in to StowTown Radio at 7 o’clock each day this week for the whole thing streaming free, plus an interview with Ernie! (That’s 7 PM Eastern Time by the way, and you can thank me for noticing that it was initially streaming at Central Time and bringing the team’s attention to it so they could fix it!)

*Check out Lauren’s Views From the Pew reviewing a concert by the up and coming group 11th Hour here.

*Here’s an audio interview with Todd Suttles, newest member of the Gaither Vocal Band:

*To celebrate Amber Nelon’s win, here’s a clip of her singing her latest sugar stick, “More Than Wonderful”:

Weekend Roundup (5/16/14): Jeff Stice Leaves Triumphant, Brooke Collingsworth Expecting, MTQ with fill-in, and more…

Here’s a roundup of goings on from the week in southern gospel!

*Triumphant Quartet announced that pianist Jeff Stice is leaving the group to help his sisters care for their parents. This ends a stretch of 12 years for the group with no turnover since their inception, something unheard of in our industry. I hope Triumphant hires a replacement, but this “remains uncertain.” Farewell to Jeff, whose classic touch on the keys and fun spirit will be missed!

*Hat tip to my reader John for noticing that Brooklyn Collingsworth is expecting her first child! Congrats to Brooklyn and her husband William! Of course this immediately raises the question of whether she’ll continue to be with the group, perhaps simply bringing the baby along with her. However, we learned a little while ago that Phil’s fiancee is going to join the group, so it could be that she’ll take on Brooklyn’s role.

*Read Lauren’s View From the Pew on the Mark Trammell Quartet’s latest bass fill-in and his incredible dedication to helping out the group even after a tornado destroyed his home here.

Continue reading “Weekend Roundup (5/16/14): Jeff Stice Leaves Triumphant, Brooke Collingsworth Expecting, MTQ with fill-in, and more…”

Saturday Survey, 3/15/14

Here’s a little potpourri of doings from the southern gospel world and elsewhere. Apologies for my laxness this week, I simply ran out of time to post a whole lot of fresh stuff! Rest assured, there are album reviews for the Gaither Vocal Band and the Perrys, a Christian movie review, and more on the way.

*Southern Gospel music executive Norman Holland passed away this week. As vice president of A&R at Daywind records, Holland was an integral figure in the careers of some of gospel music’s most celebrated groups, including, but not limited to, Greater Vision, The Perrys, Legacy Five, The Booth Brothers, Brian Free and Assurance, The Nelons, and Mark Trammell Quartet. Gerald Wolfe reflects:

Norman was the first Record Company Executive I ever met in Nashville.  In January of 1987, the Cathedrals stopped in Nashville in the middle of the night, to pick up a load of records at Benson Record’s warehouse. The big overhead door opened, and there stood one of the tallest people I had ever seen. Norman Holland, all 6 feet, 8 inches of him, had showed up at 1am to help us load records.  We instantly became friends.  Neither of us knew that, just a few year later, he would be instrumental in the formation of Greater Vision.  It was Norman who encouraged me to consider starting a group, and it was Norman who convinced Riversong/Benson to give us our first Record Contract.  When Norman moved to Daywind Records, we went with him.  I once told Ed Leonard, the President of Daywind, “as long as Norman is here, we’ll be here.”
We had a great working relationship for almost three decades, but our personal friendship was much more important.  Norman became a part of our family.  He went on family vacations with us to Disney World, New York City, and even a Hawaii Cruise.  All the guys on our bus, and their families, loved Norman.  He was one-of-a-kind.  He was certainly a big dude, but his personality was even bigger.  He could light up any room he entered.  He had the rare gift of being naturally funny, and people were instantly drawn to his magnetic personality.  He made a lasting, positive impression on anyone who ever had the honor of meeting him.
 *Don’t miss this great post from Daniel Mount, where he passes along a wonderful story about the Cathedrals and small acts of kindness. And don’t stop at the post–others have begun adding their own reminiscences about the Cathedrals and others in the comments thread!

*David Bruce Murray is answering reader questions out of his vast store of musical knowledge over on Musicscribe. Check out his entry on secular influences in southern gospel and vice versa.

*Did you know that the Internet turned 25 this week? Here’s a google blogpost from the man who designed the first web browser. (Just hum your way through the naive “diversity” blather.)

*Social conservatism was given disappointingly short shrift at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, and the future doesn’t look great for the Republican party. John Murdock gives a report. Denny Burk also shares some statistical info about the South’s current stance on gay “marriage.”

*Here’s your weekly dose of sniffles. You’re welcome:

Open Thread (11/29)

Sorry for my lack of posting this week. I’ve been working on a whole bunch of things, but haven’t finished any one single post. I have a couple new series in the works, and I also want to (gradually!) ease into some Christmas posting. But I should probably postpone most of that until after finals, which will be in the week of December 10th. So don’t be surprised if I take a little hiatus here. I don’t think I’ll completely lay off posting until then (for one thing I’ve got a stand-alone piece I’m very excited about that I probably won’t be able to keep from writing when I get a few spare moments), but I won’t post as frequently. Meanwhile… what do you want to talk about? I notice, among other things, that Zig Ziglar passed away this week. I know that he had a great impact for Christianity and was close friends with the Booth Brothers among many others. If you’ve been touched in some way by his legacy, feel free to share in the comments.

The Week in Mini-Review (9/8)

Just a few notable things from the week… you guys can fill in the gaps. This week was rather busy for me, as you can tell.

On the Southern Gospel Front

*The GVB is adding three songs to Pure and Simple. Also, they’re cutting two songs from the original list and releasing them in a Walmart exclusive. Sound confusing? DBM tries to explain it all.

*Dove Brothers are getting a new pianist, Andy King, because Joe Lane is retiring to have back surgery. Ouch!


*No, I didn’t watch Michelle Obama’s performance from the DNC because I was busy living a productive life, and I like to avoid inducing nausea in myself if I can help it. However, I did find a terrific fisking of her speech over at The American Thinker. The one misleading thing about the article is that it gives the impression Obama spent his entire childhood in Indonesia, when he actually just spent some formative years there. Otherwise, a pretty crushing blow-by-blow.

*Another week, another irritatingly vapid Russell Moore article (ho hum). This time he’s trying to tell us that a new kids’ movie with Puritan zombies and a main character whose special gift for talking with the dead makes him “not normal” (spawning language and themes obviously meant to parallel situations where kids are gay), plus a casual reference by a male character to his “boyfriend” which is played for laughs… is harmless, somewhat endearing, and not the least bit subversive. Royght. I tell you that guy’s like the little girl with the curl. When he’s good he’s very, very good, and when he’s bad, he’s, well, horrid.

*Could you summarize the gospel in seven words?

The Week in Review (08/28): Fall Outlook, New Dixie Echoes Lineup, Matt Fouch Debut, and More…

Well, as the Bruce Hornsby song says, “the autumn’s coming in and the summer’s all gone.” Man, I feel that. I wish I could have this summer back and spend the time more wisely. But alas, we can only go forward.

I want to start with a word about the Week in Review. This particular feature is actually pretty time-consuming for me, but I’ve tried to keep it up because it’s a way of rounding up some news items and other things that bigger blogs have already covered. I don’t tend to post these sorts of things throughout the week because typically somebody like Daniel Mount is immediately on top of it, and by then the item has been reposted on several other blogs. I’ve always wanted my blog to have its own character. That said, I don’t want to make it look like I’m living in a bubble. But that does mean running around and picking stuff to include, putting it in order, saying something meaningful about each item, etc. Starting next week I’ll have a new job, and of course I’ll be in school. This means that blogging in general will very likely take more of a back seat, though I do hope to continue posting regularly (if less often). But that may mean that for a lot of weeks, there just isn’t a Week in Review. However, what I might do instead is put up an Open Thread for you guys to supply the interesting stuff. I hope you’ll understand. 🙂

Second, I know that you have all been waiting patiently for several months for me to write that concert review of the EHSS/Collingsworth Family double-billing I caught in Shipshewana. Or at least some of you have… others may have forgotten about it altogether by this time. 🙂 But I haven’t forgotten, and in fact (drum roll please), the review is finally in the can and ready to go for some time next week. Watch for it…

Thirdly, I am hoping/planning to cover the National Quartet Convention this year, but it’s going to be a little different from last year because my new job involves teaching classes in the evening for four evenings. So no running commentary every night, sadly. 🙂 Probably what will happen is that I will watch sets from only some of the artists, then try to pick highlights for the next day.

Okay, now for the week in review…

*Scotty and Kasey Inman’s daughter was born earlier this week but quickly began to struggle with seizures in conjunction with breathing loss. The latest update is that her brain scans came back normal, but she still has the seizures and will be remaining in intensive care on medication for a few more days. The Inmans covet your prayers!

*The Dixie Echoes have filled all their positions with some names that I for one didn’t recognize: Craig Thomas on tenor, Jordan James on bass, and Ben Hart on piano. They sound great. Here’s a video of the lineup singing “If You Know the Lord” (shaky vid, good audio), and another video from the same concert of “On the Other Side of Jordan,” which showcases Craig and Ben’s skills. And this is Jordan James’ rendition of “How Big is God” (audio so-so but good video). We’ve found another great young bass singer!

*DBM has posted the first review of Dianne Wilkinson’s new autobiography.

*Video of the week: Matt Fouch made a successful debut with Legacy 5 at Silver Dollar City. Lauren at Southern Gospel View caught him singing “I’ve Been Changed” (cut off before the last chorus, unfortunately). I know this might be heresy, but I think Fouch may actually be a better bass than Glenn Dustin (I hope I haven’t called down the wrath of L5 fans everywhere!) You can read Lauren’s coverage of the entire Southern Gospel Picnic at her blog.

Open thread.

The Week(s) in Review (8/25): More on Amber Nelon’s Idol Story, Tribute Quartet Buzz, Sisters Wow at Stephen Hill Memorial, and More…

While I won’t try to go back and cover everything of note that I missed the week before last, I’ll do a little combining to flesh out this roundup.

On the faith and culture front

*Whether you think that Senator Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments were bizarrely offensive or just somewhat impolitic, I think all pro-lifers can agree that the Republican establishment has done a lousy job handling the backlash. They seem determined to throw a good man under the bus while simultaneously proclaiming loudly and proudly that yes, yes, yes, they do support the rape exception to abortion, as a matter of principle. I’ve been particularly saddened to see Paul Ryan forced to play along with Romney’s less conservative stance on this issue as Romney’s number one campaigner. Here we are and it’s only been a couple weeks since Ryan was nominated. Did I tell you or did I tell you?

*I’ve always said that it’s not enough for Christians to oppose same-sex “marriage” but shrug over civil unions, since civil unions give homosexual couples all the same legal rights, including adoption. There’s been a shocking new development in an old case on this issue. In 2009  2003, Lisa Miller converted to Christianity and sought to separate herself and her daughter, Isabella, from her lesbian partner, Janet Jenkins, after dissolving the civil union. When the court not only upheld her partner’s custody rights but eventually ordered Miller to give Jenkins full custody when she refused to cooperate regarding visitations (the few that she had allowed were highly upsetting to Isabella), Miller and her little girl disappeared in 2009. Now it’s been released that a Mennonite pastor named Kenneth Miller (no relation) had helped the two to flee the country. He has been caught and convicted of aiding in “kidnapping” and will mostly likely be sentenced to prison. Read the full story here. How does it hurt people to give homosexuals marriage rights? Now you know.

*I recently came across one of the most idiotic, substanceless and odious pieces from an ostensibly “conservative” pastor that I’ve ever encountered. The topic was the FRC shooting. Ed Stetzer says, in essence, “Well yes of course we shouldn’t go around shooting people, so that’s bad, but then there are consequences for doing some of the things FRC has done.” Please excuse me while I vomit quietly into the nearest garbage can… while trying to collect my few remaining brain cells.

On the Southern Gospel front

*There’s been a lot of buzz over the fact that the Booth Brothers are going to appear as a quartet with Gene McDonald at the Memphis Quartet Show. Michael Booth said “For those of you who have wondered what we’d sound like as a quartet, we’re about to find out at the same time! This is gonna be fun!” However, you can actually sample that sound already by checking out “Going in Style” from their album Pure Southern Gospel, which features guest vocals from Gene.

*Regular blog frequenter quartet-man contributed a guest review  to Musicscribe of Oak Ridge Boys bass Richard Sterban’s new book of memoirs, From Elvis to Elvira. It looks like an interesting read.

*Daniel Mount is hailing Tribute’s new project Our Anthem as their breakout project based largely on the strength of the two standouts “Good News From Jerusalem” and “The Song of Heaven.” Check out samples here to see if you agree! I have downloaded both songs, and they are excellent. “The Song of Heaven” reminds me of Mark Bishop’s “Let the Angels Take the Fallen” in musical composition and showcases Riley Clark’s magnificent tenor voice. Daniel has said “Good News From Jerusalem” is the next “Jerusalem” or “Midnight Cry,” and while I’m not quite prepared to make that comparison, partly because the melody is very repetitious, I think it compares favorably to “He’s Alive.”

*Hat tip to Lauren for finding this video of Kelly Nelon discussing her daughter’s Idol journey. She gives more details about how far Amber went, what kind of future people were predicting for her, and how the judges reacted to her statement of faith.

*Congratulations to Andrew S. for winning this year’s NQC Webcast Giveaway on SG Back Row! The competition came down the wire, but Steve broke the tie by having Andrew and another reader identify southern gospel personalities in a montage of spoken word concert clips.

*Speaking of SG Back Row, Steve has come up with yet another fresh, cool column idea in “What’s In an Album Cover??”. Steve will present a weekly batch of six album covers to be ranked by his readers, and at the end of the “tournament,” he will pick out the ten best and ten worst for final voting. Here’s the first round.

*The Garms Family, formerly known as the Great Adventure Gospel Band, has decided after much thought and consultation to shorten their official group name to the easy and simple “The Garms Family.” Check out their new website here.

*Karen Peck Gooch misses big hair. Anyone else?

*Video of the week: The Sisters singing “It is Well” at Stephen Hill’s homegoing service…

Open thread.