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.

NQC Hourly Schedule for Evening Concerts

The folks on the ground from Absolutely Gospel forums have worked hard to put together an evening schedule for the rest of us. I’m merely republishing their work. Here’s what the week looks like folks!


Host: Jerry Goff

5:15 Best of the Showcases
5:33 Fan Cam (Tim Lovelace)
5:44 Grand Opening (Booth Brothers)
5:55 Sing People Sing (Mike Speck)
6:00 Karen Peck & New River
6:19 Browns
6:35 Webbs
6:57 Collingsworth Family
7:19 McKameys
7:38 Acapella (Sisters)
7:42 Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
8:05 Squire Parsons
8:21 Congregational Singing
8:29 Whisnants
8:51 Soul’d Out
9:06 Hoppers
9:25 ‘Jubilee’ (Gerald Wolfe)
9:37 Legacy Five
9:59 Talleys
10:19 Perrys
10:38 Booth Brothers

Tuesday Night
Host: Brian Lester

5:20 Best of the Showcases
5:36 Fan Cam – Tim Lovelace
5:49 Patriotic Grand Opening
6:04 Sing People Sing – Mike Speck
6:08 Jeff & Sheri Easter
6:27 ‘We Remember’
6:29 Naomi & The Segos
6:43 Dixie Melody Boys
7:06 Mark Trammell Quartet
7:25 ‘We Remember’
7:27 Bowling Family
7:46 Jason Crabb
8:09 Acapella – Sisters
8:13 Primitive Quartet
8:32 ‘We Remember’
8:35 ‘Think About It’ – Rodney Griffin
8:40 Browders
8:52 ‘Songs & Hymns’
9:10 Brian Free & Assurance
9:29 ‘We Remember’
9:32 Triumphant Quartet
9:51 ‘We Remember’
9:53 Gold City
10:16 Greater Vision
10:48 ‘God Bless America’ Finale

Wed. Night
Host: Jerry Goff

5:20 Best of the Showcases
5:35 Fan Cam – Tim Lovelace
5:50 Sing People Sing – Mike Speck
5:57 ‘All Quartet’ Grand Opening
6:07 LeFevre Quartet
6:29 Skyline Boys
6:37 ‘I Was There’
6:41 Dixie Echoes
7:04 Kingsmen
7:27 Dixie Melody Boys
7:46 Jerry Goff
7:50 Down East Boys
8:05 NQC All Star Quartet
8:12 Mark Trammell Quartet
8:35 Kingdom Heirs
8:55 Paul’s Journey
9:07 Brian Free & Assurance
9:26 ‘Think About It’ – Scott Fowler
9:30 Legacy Five
9:53 Gold City
10:13 Triumphant Quartet
10:32 All Quartet Closing

Thursday Night
Host: Mark Bishop

5:20 Best of the Showcases
5:31 Fan Cam – Tim Lovelace
5:42 Grand Opening – Hoppers
5:46 Sing People Sing – Mike Speck
5:53 Fire In The Choir
5:57 Tribute Quartet
6:16 Instrumental – Collingsworth Family
6:20 Lesters
6:43 Whisnants
7:02 McKameys
7:21 ‘You Won’t Believe It’ – Dennis Swanberg
7:25 Jason Crabb
7:44 Jeff & Sheri Easter
8:03 Collingsworth Family
8:26 Dr. David Jeremiah
8:34 Greater Vision
9:00 Acapella – Sisters
9:04 Isaacs
9:26 Booth Brothers
9:44 Mark Bishop
9:53 Talleys
10:15 Kingdom Heirs
10:36 Karen Peck & New River

Friday Night
Host: Dennis Swanberg

5:30 Best of the Showcases
5:45 Fan Cam – Tim Lovelace
5:56 Grand Opening – Triumphant Quartet
6:00 Sing People Sing – Mike Speck
6:08 Tribute Quartet
6:31 Dixie Echoes
6:50 Instrumental – Pfeifers
6:54 Diplomats
7:07 Taylors
7:15 ‘The Tracy Report’
7:18 Perrys
7:40 Bill Gaither & Friends
9:10 Pfeifers
9:32 Crist Family
9:45 ‘Think About It’ – Dennis Swanberg
9:48 Triumphant Quartet
10:10 Mark Trammell Quartet
10:29 Hoppers
10:50 ‘A Touch Of Christmas’ Finale

Sat. Night
Host: Gerald Wolfe

5:20 Best of the Showcases
5:35 Fan Cam – Tim Lovelace
5:47 Sing People Sing – Mike Speck
5:56 Grand Opening – Greater Vision
6:00 Kingsmen
6:20 Chuck Wagon Gang
6:34 Gold City
6:55 Kingdom Heirs
7:16 Collingsworth Family
7:37 Legacy Five
7:59 Ivan Parker
8:17 Greater Vision
8:44 Hoppers
8:57 ‘Think About It’ – Michael Booth
8:58 Booth Brothers
9:17 NQC 2013
9:19 Voices Of Lee
9:41 Talleys
10:00 ‘The Week That Was’
10:05 Perrys
10:26 NQC 2012 Finale
– Greater Vision
– Talleys
– Hoppers
– Booth Brothers
– Karen Peck & New River

NQC 2012: My Thoughts

–I for one actually enjoyed the pairing setups for emcees and am sorry to see the shift to solo. There was some fun chemistry in 2011. I particularly enjoyed Brian Free and Sheri Easter, Michael Booth and Susan Whisnant, and Gerald Wolfe and Karen Peck.

–Yay for all quartet night. Someone was listening. I notice that Paul’s Journey is getting a slot—good for them. They impressed me last year.

–Am I the only one who’s actually sad to see the King’s Heralds gone for the acapella moment? They always had the best blend of anyone. Not that I’m crying over hearing more of the Sisters though.

–No idea why the Nelons weren’t on mainstage last year. Glad to see they will be this year.

–I’ll be interested to see whether Signature Sound has a scheduling conflict and drops NQC this year for that reason. Could it be signaling a new trend if so?

–Correct me if I’m wrong, but at a glance it seems like Soul’d Out has just one slot. That seems a little odd with the addition of Hutson.

I guess the Booth Brothers and Brian Free & Assurance are being given first and second slots after being forced to go last or nearly last most nights in 2011. Even though I understand the logic behind “saving the best for last,” as people have commented it didn’t even work like it was supposed to (Booth Brothers weren’t featured on the live DVD partly because of the empty seats), and I could tell it was brutal on the singers. Brian Free and Michael Booth in particular seemed to be feeling the strain. So I’m glad these two groups are getting a break this year.

[Edit: I somehow missed that the groups are listed alphabetically. Scratch all that. But I DO hope those groups don’t get saddled with the last slots again.]

Saturday Survey #10

*Here’s the 2012 schedule for NQC. (I for one am amazed they post these so dang EARLY. It’s barely past Christmas of 2011.) I’ll save my full reactions for a separate upcoming post.

*Rick Santorum once again takes heat for taking a stand on the gay “marriage” issue. I really was impressed by the way he handled himself in that clip, even though he conceded a few things I wouldn’t have conceded. Yet more evidence that being nice doesn’t get you anywhere. Here he is almost being too gracious, and he still gets booed. You’ll probably hear more from me on Santorum later.

*Gordon Mote is on twitter. Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

*Ernie Haase is celebrating 25 years of professional singing this year. To allow fans to celebrate with him, they’ve set up a Facebook competition. Check it out.

*Here’s what you get when an English professor writes a book on Southern Gospel. One word: Oy.

*Yesterday, I tried to describe this particular Singing Success technique to my voice teacher. You should have seen her face. I suspected she’d react that way, so I smiled and said, “Okay, so now I definitely know I’m not supposed to do this, right?” “Uh… no.” She’s hilarious. She’ll start naming x or y big-name singer, then lower her voice and say, “She had nodules too.” “Ever hear of so-and-so? Well, she’s like the most famous opera singer ever. Nodules.  Of course Whitney had nodules… And Julie Andrews, well.”

*Speaking of singing, I’ve discovered that my break is higher than Whitney Houston’s. I realize everyone was just dying to know that. 😀 Actually, that’s not as impressive as it sounds, because it means I have to work on notes that were easy for her, and I’m not talking about the super high ones. It’s the ones right in the middle—well, right in the middle for me, that is. What would be a comfortable upper range belt for her lands right in the place where I’m trying to bridge the gap between upper and lower. Steadily improving though. Meanwhile, Celine Dion is way easier to imitate (not sure if this is good or bad).

*School starts next Monday. Sad yankeegospelgirl.

*Coming up: My favorite southern gospel songs of the year. Stay tuned.

It’s an open thread. What do you want to discuss?

It’s Just My (Second) Opinion: NQC 2011 CD/DVD Song Selection

If you’re not already reading Fuson’s Findings, let me encourage you to check it out. It’s a regular new blog by a new blogger who loves the music and has good insights. He recently started a column called “It’s Just My Opinion,” in which he shares candid IMHOs about southern gospel-related things he’d rather were done differently.

I decided to give him a little support for his most recent one, which is an honest (though very courteous) complaint about the projected track listing for this year’s NQC collection. After looking it over, I have to agree with Brian that it could have been much better. While some of the selections are great and deserve to be on there, many major artists were left off, and a few that were included were featured with songs that didn’t stand out.

Here is the list as it’s shaping up now:

Tracks Include:
Kingdom Heirs – No Bones About It
Ivan Parker – Twenty-Four Hours A Day
Collingsworth Family – The Resurrection Morn
Kingsmen – He’s Everything I Need – That’s All I Need
Crist Family – I Love Lovin’ Jesus
Jeff & Sheri Easter – Hear My Heart
Tribute Quartet – Homecoming Day
Dove Brothers – I Recall
Talleys – The Broken Ones
Hoppers – All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name
Mark Bishop – My Name Is Jesus
Greater Vision – You Were Faithful Yesterday
Legacy Five – Thankful for the Change
Triumphant Quartet – Almost Home

Bonus Features:

The Dixie Melody Boys Celebrate 50 Years
Antioch Church House Choir

Greater Vision – Looking for a Tenor (aka Looking for a City)

The Perry’s Birthday Surprise! I Wish I Could Have Been There

Laughin’ With The Swan
Dennis Swanberg

This is NQC!


Right away you notice that Crossroads artists make up a huge percentage of the featured names. Is this a bad thing? It needn’t be… if they were legitimate highlights of the whole convention. The problem is that not all of them were.

Let’s go down the list in order, starting with the Kingdom Heirs. Why not include “We Will Stand Our Ground” instead of “No Bones About It?” It could have been sound or mix issues, but in that case I would say the Kingdom Heirs should maybe be replaced with another artist, because that song was the main highlight of their appearance. But I’ll assume “We Will Stand Our Ground” was doable and say that song should have been included instead.

Right away, the Crist Family and Ivan Parker selections jump out at me as huge head-scratchers. (I know, this is jumping out of order, sorry). They didn’t stand out in any way. I would cut them both and replace with them with, say, the Booth Brothers’ “She Still Remembers Jesus’ Name” and the Gaither Vocal Band’s “He is Here.”

Collingsworth Family: I’d definitely leave this one on.

The Kingsmen’s new single is a solid song. It’s not one I’m dying to cross out, but I’d be inclined to replace it with Gold City’s “I’m Rich,” because it was Craig West’s first and last appearance on NQC mainstage, and he nailed it.

The Easters, “Hear My Heart”: I’d probably leave this one. However, I’d be more inclined to feature James Easter’s guest appearance on “Thank You Lord For Blessing Me.”

Tribute Quartet, “Homecoming Day”: Yeah, keep this. Great moment, great showcase of young talent.

Dove Brothers, “I Recall”: Well, since this featured Burman Porter upon his return, one might be inclined to keep this, but I’m sure something better could have taken its place (plus there’s the Jonathan Price situation). What about something by the Mark Trammell Quartet, like “That’s Enough For Me To Know,” or “Echoes From the Burning Bush” or “Statue of Liberty?”

The Talleys’ “The Broken Ones” was of course a good performance of a hit song, but it didn’t particularly stand out as a memorable moment of NQC 2011, even though the Talleys were debuting a new lineup. I’d replace it with the Dixie Echoes’ “I Am a Pilgrim.” They also had a new lineup, and that particular number doubles as great comedy because Stewart Varnado was doing funny stuff with nothing to do as the pianist.

The Hoppers, “All Hail the Power”: Again, good music sung well, but I’d replace it with something else. How about “Well Done, Well Done,” Kim’s tribute to Tony Greene? That was a great moment.

Mark  Bishop, “My Name is Jesus”: You know, even though I personally would probably replace this with something else, it was a significant moment at NQC and featured a good lineup of artists (even though the mix was terrible—I bet there was a lot of over-dubbing on this one).

Greater Vision, “You Were Faithful Yesterday”: I don’t get this at all. Replace this with “I Know a Man Who Can!”

Legacy Five, “Thankful for the Change”: Well, okay, I’ve loaded this up with ballads, so I might keep this fast-paced number. But personally, I’d lean towards featuring Gus’s performance of “For What Earthly Reason.” He was a little hoarse, but it was a really good performance of a great song.

Triumphant Quartet, “Almost Home”: Can’t argue with this selection. Great new song and great performance.

Bonus Features: Cut the Swan and replace him. With what or how much I’m not sure, since I don’t know how long the segment is, but I’d go for a few choice picks from the GVB Reunion showcase, or maybe Squire Parsons and friends singing “Beulah Land,” the whole thing (as opposed to the snippet featured in the montage).

What do you think? Would you be more inclined to buy an NQC 2011 compilation with this lineup of songs? Here it is in more graphic form:

Kingdom Heirs – No Bones About It [Replace with “We Will Stand Our Ground”]

Ivan Parker – Twenty-Four Hours A Day  [Replace with Booth Brothers, “She Still Remembers Jesus’ Name”]

*Collingsworth Family – The Resurrection Morn

Kingsmen – He’s Everything I Need (That’s All I Need) [Tentative cross-out. Possibly replace with Gold City, “I’m Rich?”]

Crist Family – I Love Lovin’ Jesus [Replace with Gaither Vocal Band, “He is Here”]

*Jeff & Sheri Easter – Hear My Heart [Tentative cross-out, possibly replace with “Thank You Lord?”]

*Tribute Quartet – Homecoming Day

*Dove Brothers – I Recall  [Replace with something by the Mark Trammell Quartet.]

Talleys – The Broken Ones [Replace with the Dixie Echoes, “I Am a Pilgrim”]

Hoppers – All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name [Replace with “Well Done, Well Done”]

*Mark Bishop – My Name Is Jesus

Greater Vision – You Were Faithful Yesterday [Replace with “I Know a Man Who Can”]

*Legacy Five – Thankful for the Change

*Triumphant Quartet – Almost Home

Bonus Features:

The Dixie Melody Boys Celebrate 50 Years [I didn’t watch this showcase. Was it any good?]

Antioch Church House Choir [I think this is the choir Wilburn & Wilburn sang with. Am I wrong? A bonus feature about them might be really neat.]

*Greater Vision – Looking for a Tenor (aka Looking for a City) [An obvious keeper.]

*The Perry’s Birthday Surprise! I Wish I Could Have Been There [Ditto.]

Laughin’ With The Swan Dennis Swanberg [Replace with something, anything. Maybe a choice pick or so from the GVB Reunion Showcase, or perhaps “Beulah Land” with Squire Parsons and friends.]

This is NQC! [Well, this montage is about the only way we’re getting to see even snippets of some of NQC’s actual highlights, so we need it!]

The Weird Illogic of NQC Mainstage

The other day I was thinking about the mysterious process by which certain artists are invited to perform on mainstage and other artists aren’t. And a question occurred to me: Does it not seem strange that you basically only perform on mainstage if you’re either a really big name or a no-name?

I just don’t understand how it is that a group like the Erwins (who seem like sweet kids, so this isn’t at all intended as a personal slam), can get two spots on mainstage, while Beyond the Ashes, for example, gets zero. And Wilburn & Wilburn get a measly one song with a choir at the very beginning of the program, plus being on stage during the encore of a Perrys song. And don’t even get me started about a group like Paid in Full, who just celebrated 20 years of quality music.

Bottom line is, I get the idea of giving people nobody’s ever heard of before an opportunity of a lifetime and a chance to be heard, but I think that for the sake of quality it’s not fair to exclude other artists much more deserving of that time. Many times the showcase groups that “win” a spot on mainstage have little or no talent at all. I’m not saying this is the case for everyone—I named the Erwins because they appeared twice, but they’re not even the worst example. I won’t specifically name all the worst ones because I don’t think there’s any constructive point to it. Suffice it to say that I think anyone with a moderately critical ear who sat through the entirety of NQC would agree with me. And for that matter, there were big-name groups who didn’t impress me musically either.

But now I yield the floor. What are your thoughts, gentle readers?