Greats again

I’ve wanted an excuse to follow up on my “Remembering the Greats” comments and reader RF gave me that reason:

To disagree with you a bit, I thought Triumphant’s read on the old Lee Roy Abernathy song [”Terrible Time Down There”] was a highlight. The stage antics reminded me of something Hovie would have endorsed had he been 30 years old in 2004, and I’ve always been impressed with their singing. Abernathy was a character, apparently. He wrote, “I Found Jesus in Mexico,” and “Terrible Time Down There,” and talk about non-conventional songs. Wow. Just to give you an example of why that kind of performance is, I think, vital to the industry, my 18-year-old son who is into rap and CCM took one look at the DVD and stole my Integrity album with the song on it. He added it to his mp3 player and turned about ten kids on to it. It’s a start.

If there’s one thing that gets my attention, it’s when somebody’s 18-year-old steals a Triumphity cd. I’m willing to concede that what Triumphity was striving for was a kind of retro affect. I just didn’t and don’t think it worked. It looked too theatrical, too over the top, and that’s saying something on a song designed to be all melodrama and dinner theater. Still, the energy they brought to it was probably something I shouldn’t have dismissed so quickly. If it was vital enough to catch the ear of a teenager and put him to proselytizing, well, then it can’t be all bad.

A few other remarks on the showcase:

  • Several of you continue to disagree politely but forcefully with my characterization of “Because of Whose I am.” I confess, I wasn’t around in any meaningful way for its CCM heyday back in the 70s, so perhaps had I become exposed to it then I might have more tolerance for its reappearance at NQC. But still, Karen Harding and Reba Rambo McGuire took a song that is full of melodic demilitarized zones of deadness and overcompensated with histrionic screaming and howling and swooshing and wailing. Reviving a song shouldn’t inflict so much damage on the tune’s posterity.
  • For precisely the reason that RF’s son glommed on to the Triumphity song, I thought and think the idea behind the RTG showcase was a good one, as I said before. But with that support firmly established, let me say that any future iteration of this idea ought to be severed from proprietary control of a specific label. With the exception of Joyce Martin, the Florida Boys and the Freemans, everyone performing at the showcase was a Daywind artist. Hold on, you say … the video is full of unique and compelling performances. What’s the problem? The problem is that some of the DW artists could have easily been outsung by artists from other labels. As a matter of simply getting a better show for the money, paying fans probably would want the latter rather than the former. Case in point: though the video conveniently edits it out, the McCraes turned in a horrendous performance, as I understand it. The Ms are a Daywind group whose appearance there more than likely had to do with DW’s ramrodding the event and far less to do with their preparedness to hold their own on a roster with heavyweights. Instead of an event full of anyone and everyone from Daywind’s roster, next time the line up ought to include a wider variety of upper echelon acts ready and (dare I use the word) worthy of appearing at such an event. There’s a time and a place for unproven but promising. This was not that place.
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