Comment of the day

KB makes some asute observations about Give it Away and living (and listening) in the age of stracks:

My only beef is with the tracks. Gaither’s got a full band that appears to be playing everything the track is doing, why not just LET THE BAND PLAY?! The real reason is because the Vocal Band (at least, when I saw them on the webcast when this was originally taped) was singing along with prerecorded tracks.

This was most obvious with the title song, “Give It Away.” The song starts with an acapella chorus. During the first take, the tambourine on the tracks gave a synchopated countoff, and the guys would come in. The problem was, the synchopation threw off the group, and the pre-recorded vocals started before the live singers did, prompting a VERY quick “Nope, HOLD IT!” from Guy Penrod. The tracks immediately stopped, was restarted, and Guy verbally counted off with the tambourine. After that count off, they came in right where they should have.

This is not the first time I’ve caught such “karaoke-isms” with the GVB. “Let Freedom Ring” (or maybe it was the counterpart DVD, can’t remember which one), the DVD started with “I’m Gonna Sing.” At the end of the song, the four singers held their “me” note out until the very last beat. The problem is, the track’s vocals cut out earlier, and there was a dramatic volume drop, almost as if the group had been cut in half.

And don’t get me started on the “Praise God, Hallelujah”-’s on “When We All Get Together”…..

Nothing to disagree with here, as far as I can tell. Stracks disspirit me, especially from groups like GVB which obviously could (and should) do without them. But after a while of course it becomes an enabling co-dependency. Start using tracks because they make the show slicker and give everything a brighter edge and cleaner line; keep using tracks because you become too lazy or indisciplined or just too hooked on the phony perfection they provide to do without them.

Stracks: Crack for Crooning Christians.

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  1. eddie crook wrote:

    If you had heard the GVB on the Grand Ole Opry recently singing live with live musicians you would understand why the stracks are used.

  2. eddie crook wrote:


  3. KB wrote:

    I must add, when watching the English/Lowry/Franklin version of the GVB on their “Live At Praise Gathering” video, the performance looks much less polished and more spontanteous, and there were no visible backing vocals on the tracks. Heck, Gaither didn’t even sing for half of the show (and didn’t even try to hide it!). This remains one of my favorite Vocal Band videos!

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