Some changes I missed will in exile recently.
1. Anthony Facello left Mercy’s Mark, or rather, Mercy’s Mark hired a new tenor. The way the group handled that “transition” probably wasn’t the bizarrest thing I can imagine, but it was pretty strange: you’ll recall that Garry Jones simply put out a press release describing how all atwitter he and the group were to announce that SoandSo Somethingerother was MM’s new tenor. HOORAY! Jones left it up to us to do the math: quartet + 2 tenors = something way too close to the Johnny Cook/Vestal Goodman fiasco of yesteryear. Ergo, Facello is out. And thus continues the dissolution of one of the brightest spots among new quartets. First Chris West left, now Facello is gone. The strain has even reduced the website to one page. Sigh.
2. Tim Riley is back on the road. This sounds about right to me, actually. The last year or two have really been tough on GC. The death of the Riley’s oldest son, a key member of the group, really is more than you can ask any group manager to weather by himself, to say nothing of that manager being the dead son’s brother. Tim Riley’s reappearance on stage will go a long, long way in reassuring everyone involved - both the group and their fans, I’m sure.
3. The Easters and NQC. If this singing thing doesn’t work out for Sheri Easter, she’d have a bright future in corporate contract negotiations. With perfectly homespun sugarcoated shrewdness, she whipped up a big wad of cotton-candy sympathy (or at least the PR equivalent) in a matter of hours for the Easters that gummed things up enough at NQC that Clark Beasely & Co. reversed themselves and decided to pay for the fuel it’d take to get the Easters to Louisville. You can read it all here. Notice the time stamps on the posts. Of course NQC did the right thing. The Easters are a big draw. But still …