The Perrys and the Next Phase

So I’ve been wondering lately when the Perrys will be starting work on their next album. It will, after all, be the first with baritone Nick Trammel and erstwhile baritone Joseph Habedank in his new role as lead and as such will mark a kind of official move into The Next Phase (as in, after Loren Harris).

It’s an interesting moment for them as a group. Even though it’s a bit soon to be picking the greatest albums of the aughts (three years too soon to be exact), it’s already pretty clear that with time and retrospection, Life of Love and This is the Day, while not perfect, really do and always will stand out as the kind of instant classics that both define a group and consolidate on a single album or two some of the best that’s being thought and written and arranged in an entire genre.

And yet what has followed these landmarks has often felt unworthy of the Perrys’ own standard of achievement. What the Goodmans tribute album gained the group in the near term – endearing themselves to legions of old-timer fans eager to find an object for their Howard and Vestal nostalgia – it has cost them in focus over the longer term. Come Thirsty, the last major release from the Ps and the first project of new songs since the Goodmans album, went wobbly on the basis of uneven material, and that wobbliness was only exacerbated for the group when Loren Harris left.

Shortly after Habedank was promoted to fill Harris’s spot and Nick Trammel hired to replace Habedank on baritone, a friend of mine saw the Perrys in concert and caught a glimpse of Habedank, Trammel, and the Stuffles’ son JK together. Describing the situation in email, my friend wondered wryly if Tracy and Libbi Stuffle had a license to operate a day care.

A huge Perrys fan, my friend was being facetious. But I think I understand her point: the same youthfulness that has invigorated the Perrys’ style and energized their sound has in the last year or so seemed to scatter their force to a certain extent. In promoting Habedank to lead and replacing Habedank with Trammel, the Stuffles seem to have become somewhat captive to, rather than primarily role models for, the young talent in their group.

What makes me say that? It’s not, actually, the shakiness of Trammel’s start with them (whether he ultimately proves himself vocally is a matter for which there’s not yet quite enough evidence to decide). Rather more urgently, there’s the problem of Habedank’s metastasizing ego, which by all outward appearances has gone virtually unchecked. Instead of impressing upon the young Habedank how much he had to learn, his promotion to lead seems instead to have been an occasion for him to slip the chain and harass the neighbors. The spottiness of his vocal work in the lead position wouldn’t normally be cause for much concern – everybody needs time to adjust and grown into new roles. Neither are any one of his hammy, manicured stage habits worth much notice in isolation – the white hanky peaking out of the clenched fist, the little glory hops at strategic moments, the over-practiced expression during particularly powerful moments of teetering between heaven and hysteria, the IAG singing.

You’ll see any number of talented but young and inexperienced artists over-indulge one of these behaviors now and then when they get their first big break. But converging in a single artist, which they have, and establishing themselves, which they are, as serial patterns of misbehavior in Habedank, these habits look a lot like symptoms of a more general lack of focus and proper instruction – the kind of acting out that kids will do to get attention.

There a couple of mp3 clips making the email rounds in sg right now. They’re both, I gather, from a gospel cruise back from the first part of the year. I’ve heard one of them and had the other described to me by a few people. The more widely circulated of the two involves a bunch of artists getting together one night and singing Amazing Grace intentionally out of tune. Several phony shouts go up among the general carrying on. This little dramedy’s high point involves one Joseph Habedank stepping into the “pulpit” and launching into a lengthy parody of an old-fashioned fire-and-brimstone preacher discoursing extravagantly on the carnality of the flesh. It goes on for some while.

I know people who grow up evangelical and/or fundamentalist and think this kind of stuff is funny. And I can’t say I’ve never joked privately about the pietistic fervor of the stem-winding evangelist. But there’s an outlandishness to all this that’s unnerving and off-putting, the kind of thing that when you hear it you’re embarrassed to listen, and embarrassed for the people involved largely because they have no better sense than not to be embarrassed themselves (see, for example, here). Habedank’s full-throated embrace of his “preacherly” satire gives off a certain tawdriness that spoils the fun, leaves one with the feeling that such cheap limelighting comes a bit too naturally for him, is not that far off from the glory hops and the white hanky of the main stage, the “real” thing.

Why hasn’t someone told him: A)that it’s probably not a good idea to publicly mock the religious traditions of so many of your fans, especially when it could be (and obviously was) recorded for posterity and circulation (I’m assuming here that Habedank himself isn’t emailing these things around to people, which would be incomprehensibly gauche); and B)that his focus needs to be on learning how to lay down his lead lines with polished expertise instead of fixating on matters of choreography and stagecraft and cheapseat showboating? Where, that is, are the Stuffles in all this?

Where were they when “He Forgot,” a song from Come Thirsty written by Habendank and Perrys pianist Mathew Holt, was chosen as a single, passing over any one of the far superior tunes on the project – “Until the Last One is Home,” “They Sang a Hymn,” and “Day that Never Ends” come most immediately to mind? Instead of singling middlin’-to-fair Habeholt music, why aren’t they sitting the two young aspiring writers down for a talk: Look guys, you’ve got a great deal of promise as writers, but your song doesn’t quite cut it. In fact (and now I’m quoting myself here), “it doesn’t really make a lot of sense in the context of the verses, which talk about all the transgressions that have required God’s forgiveness. I get the “sea of forgetfulness” allusion here, but what does it matter that God has forgotten more than I’ll ever know when what the song really seems to want to say is that he forget all that I ever did when I asked forgiveness?”

The song and the songwriters have a great deal of promise that with the right support and honest feedback could be cultivated into something special. But for a group of the Perrys’ status, an early cut from the songbook of two fairly inexperienced writers simply won’t do as a single. At least it shouldn’t have.

This can’t be news to the Stuffles. The hits they scored off Life of Love and This is the Day – among them, “I Will Find You Again” or “Calvary Answers for Me,” or “Wish I Could’ve Been There” – possess a lyrical and melodic coherence that are conspicuously absent from “He Forgot.” So what gives?

Perhaps they’re afraid of losing Habedank and so are willing to single a musically inferior song of his and Holt’s – just as they’re willing to indulge and let go unchecked Habedank’s indiscipline on and off the stage – in passive kind of appeasement. Or maybe they see other groups cutting Habeholt songs – for instance, Mark Trammell Trio, which just recorded “Weary at the Well,” a rhythmically savvy and melodically catchy tune, but lyrically, full of beginning writers’ mistakes – and think, “well, they must be good.” The irony, of course, is that other groups are probably cutting Habeholt songs because they’ve been recorded on a Perrys album. A perfect little echo chamber of abdicated responsibilities and bad judgment.

I don’t know. Maybe it’s something else altogether. But in any case, it’s natural to wonder (or fear) if whatever is leading the Stuffles to cede their creative and professional authority to their less experienced and skilled employees means we should expect their next album to be weighted in favor of musically substandard Habeholt songs.

Supporting young artists in the industry the way the Perrys have is deeply admirable. They’ve made a long-term commitment to investing in their own people that speaks clearly of their fundamental goodness and professional integrity. But to make this investment an effective one, you’ve got to have a solid grasp of your own needs first and then decide how much you can give the artists you surround yourself with. It’s not just a matter of inadvertently creating another Andrew Ishee or the next generation’s Jonathan Wilburn, troubling as that is. It’s a matter of unintended self-sabotage, of surrendering so much control over the direction of your music that the artistic vision languishes in the hands of those who are still in their professional adolescence.

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  1. these extra long weekends « little j on 16 Feb 2009 at 3:16 pm

    […] it was entertaining, and i was sad to leave early, if only bc i had still not heard their much debated single, that is if you have an understanding of all that is and was and will be southern gospel.  i was […]

Comments

  1. Daniel J. Mount wrote:

    I was also surprised at the decision to single “He Forgot.”

  2. SM wrote:

    Rumor I’ve heard through the loops is that the choice of a single is completely a Daywind decision, which would explain the long line of bone-headed singles they’ve released from their groups. Can anybody back up my rumor, gossip and innuendo?

  3. Paul Jackson wrote:

    Intersting analysis of the art and discipline of songwriting. I don’t really know any of the people involved herein, but it’s clear you have thought this through.
    Introspection has it’s benefits and is required for anyone to make potenial into reality…but it can also be over rated. I believe the cliche is: “paralysis by analysis”.

    You are definitely fun to read. I always learn something. That’s my instant analyis.
    Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.

    Paul Jackson / The Prophets
    www.pauljacksongroup.com/blog

  4. EH wrote:

    You really need to meet this guy you’re talking about. I mean, get to know him. He is a very rare kind of young man. I accolade him not because of his role in music industry, but because of his God-given talent and abilites for such a young person. Not just anyone can have the lifestyle, training, not to mention personality and abilies he has and STILL KEEP AN humble attitude. I’ve seen that firsthand. He has much maturity about him, in his young voice and thoughts. Have you ever read any of his interview conversations? It is astounding at how insightful, unselfish, and true his thoughts really are. Have you ever seen this kid in real life, or really sat down and talked to him? I think it would change a point or two that were made in your piece. Joseph’s writing abilities have been successful because PEOPLE LIKE THEM! I like them. My friends like them…and not just because he sings with The Perry’s. The music and vocals are good. I’m personally amazed at how well he can write for only a young guy. I’ve seen many wanna-be writers in my day, just looking for prestige and recognition. Joseph is quite the contrary.
    I’m tuely sorry you choose to look past all the good qualities in this man and focus on his faults.

  5. EH wrote:

    Another thing. I’ve not seen the ‘choreography, stagecraft, and cheapseat showboating’ you refer to. All the times I, along with fellow friends and singers, have attended The Perry’s concerts they have been very professional on Joseph’s behalf. As a singer myself, there are times that you must get invovled more than standing in one place and holding a microphone in hand in order to create an atmosphere that people will enjoy. As a performer of the arts, you must sometimes go beyond the norm to get a response. If you clap your hands, the audience will tap their foot or baby clap along. If you raise your hands above your head in praise, the audience will slip up a hand. This can continue on until they feel comfortable enough in the atmosphere to relax and do what they feel.
    Also, Everyone makes a has a church experience that they copy later, whether for fun or for humor purposes. It isn’t something that’s considered wrong. It’s called comic relief. I know that there was a story behind it and that if one wasn’t there, one doesn’t need to feed the fire of what he or she does not know. Quite frankly, I’m just glad the mature kid has a personality. I was worried from my experiences with him that he was a little too mature. I’m glad that he is having a good time, and chooses not to base his good time on what everyone else thinks. It’s called individuality.

  6. Payton wrote:

    This isn’t the first time I’ve seen you make a remark about the lyrics to the song “He Forgot”. I still have trouble understanding exactly what it is that you don’t understand about it. Especially with you being someone who seems to pride themselves in using words from the English language that no average person uses, or much less knows exists. Whether that is to make up for some personal insecurity or not, I’m not quite sure of. Most of the time it just makes us ‘average’ people not quite understand exactly what points you are trying to make. You aren’t posting to a group of college professors. I think you should cater to your audience… But that is another post. Back to my point…. The hook in the song says “He forgot more than I will ever know”. What about that can you not seem to grasp? How many thousands of songs use a play on words in the hook in the chorus? TONS! It can be taken two ways. 1. God is all-knowing and smarter than we can ever comprehend, and if God were to be able to forget things, would it not be safe to say that he would have probably forgotten more than our human minds could have ever learned? Um….yes…. Seems pretty simple to me and I’m just a high school graduate. 2. It can also be taken as he has wiped away sin from us, and forgiven us more than we will fully understand. Am I the only reader here that understands what this song is saying? You just have to take it for what it is. It’s quite a crafty line and a VERY WELL written song in my little opinion. Doug, I honestly think that if the song were written by anyone else other than Joseph Habedank, you wouldn’t be picking it apart. Cut the guy some slack. He is a great writer, and a great singer. I’m sure he and Matthew Holt will pen many hit songs for SG artists in the future. After all, they are just getting started.

  7. Beth wrote:

    It seems most interesting to me to note that you choose a bag-over-the-head icon for your website ramblings, and that you slip illusively in and out of the crowd at NQC all the while basking in the attention of folks who wonder at the great mystery of “Avery’s” true identity. It would appear that this is… shall I say, “the kind of acting out that [insecure men such as yourself] will do to get attention.”
    Why not save yourself some keystrokes this year– walk from booth to booth at the NQC, look people in the eye (as real men do) and give them your unsolicited opinion as you would generally hide behind your computer screen and keyboard to do.

  8. thom wrote:

    mr. moderator: I could not DISAGREE with you more! You got this one wrong.

    Jospeh Habedank is one of the great young lead singers of our time. I am on record on Oct 10th, and on Jan 10th, in previous posts as supporting Joseph, ..”Joe will be one of the great lead singers..” He has good range, good placement and tone, great stage presence, professional image, and as I have said before ..”looks like he enjoys what he’s doing”. The ability to “tell the story” “paint the picture” is one of the qualities of a great lead singer and Joseph has this ability. He enunciates the lyrics where you can understand them, unlike many, many singers.

    Your comments here are mean spirited and viciously harsh.

    Having had several conversations with Joseph I find him to be genuine and sincere. Not phoney and “hammy” as you put it. and your comment about his “mestastasizng ego” is way out of line. These things will be very hurtful to him. Why are you attacking this young man on such a personal level?

    When was the last time you saw The Perry’s in person? Have you been in a service with them recently? Well I have on several occassions since L.Harris left. Moving to lead from baritone was not an easy change for Joseph to make - but he has made it and is doing a fine job.

    The anointing of God is upon this group and you can feel it when in a service with them.. The Holy SPirit within me bears witness to this when they sing. Having not only seen them on stage from afar, but also, having been in church services with them when they were NOT on stage, and having worshipped alongside them, I can tell you that the characterizations that you have made here are dead wrong. Just simply wrong.

    The fun that is had on the cruises is just that - light hearted fun. lighten up already. If you visit the Perrys website “www.perrysministries.com” and check out the photo albums you will see that every year they do a comedy routine (as many artists do) - and they dress up as the “King James Only Gospel Singers” or something like that. It is simply good natured fun. I suspect what you are referring to is in this same vein.

    The “come thirsty” album was great. you are wrong in this, too. The songs “Mary For a While” “He Will Hide Me” “Still Thrilled” “Walk Away Free” and “He Forgot” are all good. You don’t like the lyrics to “He Forgot?” Think about it. I for one agree that God has forgiven me for sins I never realized I had committed and that He has Forgotten things that I never even knew about or realized. That is the spirit of the song. If you can’t agree with that then we don’t have the same understanding of God’s grace and forgiveness.

    You’ll have to ask Daywind how they choose radio single releases. But, on it’s own, “He Forgot” is a good song.

    I have been reading this blog for about a year now, a little less. I have often agreed with your critiques, many times disagreed. But when I read what you have written hear it makes me hurt inside. I can only imagine how it will hurt Joseph AND the rest of the group when they read it. I believe you should edit your own words and tone down the vicious personal attack on this fine young man. You are way out of line. You will cause more hurt than good with this one.

  9. rpt wrote:

    Have you ever taken into consideration the reason why gospel singers sing. Is it to pleasing to men, or is it supposes to be pleasing to God. What does it matter if Joe has a hankie, or hops around on stage, maybe you’re just jealous because he can do and you can’t? What does it matter if Nick is not the best singer in the world? So are a lot of others gospel singer. What does matter is that they are singing for the Lord, given their age and their ability to write and sing songs, they could be living their life for the devil. Thank the Lord for that, instead of trying to find something wrong. If you keep running the youth in gospel music down, there are not going to be any left. Then what will you have. I am so sick of the southern gospel music politics. Why can’t we just be happy and support each other instead of bringing everyone down. Now is that pleasing to God. I heard one preacher put it ” Put on your big Girl Pants and deal with it.”

  10. RNGfreckles wrote:

    I remember when the Perrys were called “God’s Little People.” Ha!

    Anyway - moving on…I thought the Stuffles’ decision to go from 2 guys and gals to 3 guys and Libbi was great. The sound was so good. And Loren helped immensely. He had such a distinct voice! Now, I have not heard Habedank in the lead role yet. But from what I hear on the previous recordings with him as baritone, he seems to blend into the background too easily. The lead position is a stand-out part. And when a group loses a great lead, they lose everything.

    And Avery/Doug can say whatever he likes. We’re in a free America still - or so I thought?

  11. thom wrote:

    hey freckles: yes, i suppose Doug has the right to hurt whoever he wants to! But, is it really necessary to make such vicious personal characterizations about someone that he does not even know? I think not.

  12. jb wrote:

    My, My, My…..You have stooped to the lowest of lows with this one. Why would you think, for even one second, that you should blog this. You are attacking a young mans character and I for one think you owe him an apology. Not only that, you are questioning the annointing of the Holy Spirit on this group. I think you need to really sit down and listen to the words of the songs you are questioning. They may just speak to your heart…. “He Forgot” is a wonderful song with a great play on words. Thank God he has forgot more than I will ever know and he saved me by his Grace….

  13. Karalyn wrote:

    The whole point of a critical blog is to critique, isn’t it? If you don’t like it… Don’t Read It!

  14. Beth wrote:

    Oh, and one more thing…. have you ever made the effort to contact the Perrys and ask about how Joseph’s being moved to the lead position came about? (obvious answer here would be “no”)

    When Loren left and the Perrys began looking for a lead singer to replace him, the thought never entered Joseph’s mind to take the lead position. The Perrys approached him with the idea– twice, in fact– and he declined the position, feeling unqualified. After seeking the advice of older men in the industry as well as one of the leading vocal caoches in the industry (all assuring him that he had what it took for the job), he reluctantly accepted the position. I recall that he spoke with me by phone and told me, “It’s definitely outside my comfort zone vocally, but it will be good for me to remember that I must be dependent on the Lord and have His help.”

    I’d say this is a far cry from the arrogant young man you attempt to portray.
    I personally challenge you… call him and schedule a time to have lunch and spend some time conversing with him. I guarantee that you will find a mature-beyond-his-years young man who will sit and speak frankly but kindly with you AND pick up the tab.

    It’s one thing to post your verbal regurgitations regarding one’s vocal abilities; it is quite another to attack the personal character of a young man with whom you’ve NEVER spent any one-on-one time.

  15. Blueboy wrote:

    Habedank is not the only one guilty of the the “preacherly satire” that Doug describes. This kind of frat house goofing around goes on constantly on most gospel buses (read: male quartets). I have witnessed it many, many times. But it also goes on in churches, at church league softball games, etc. wherever young men gather to grab fanny and horse around. I don’t think it is intended to be mean spirited. It’s just funny. Until that stereotype fades ( fire breathing, big hair, bright suits, white shoes) it will always be funny. However, it ain’t a real good idea to allow someone record your mocking so it gets spread around to those same folks that are helping you get a paycheck. That is just stupid, and it makes the “mocker” look silly, i.e. “Mr. Rasslin’ himself, Jonathan Wilburn.

  16. SJ wrote:

    Let me get this straight; your whole diatribe is about someone you have never (but could easily have) met? Never having read your blog before, I’m wondering if this is the kind of hit-and-run analysis you always indulge in. If so, I have to assume there is some kind of thwarted ambition driving you. I am not an authority on Southern Gospel music (though I have been involved in gospel music for over 50 years), but I am an authority on the young man you have maligned so viciously and cluelessly. Not only are you categorically wrong; you are foolish enough to make it public.

  17. Felicia wrote:

    Amen, Avery! I know you’re getting flak for this but I think the fact that you HAVEN’T met Joseph Habadank gives you even more credibility here — no personal bias. Seems to me sometimes that southern gospel has become more about hugging the fans than singing good music. Now, I love me some Joseph Habadank and I pinch his rosy little cheeks everytime I see him — what a cutie! BUT…fact is, the Perrys haven’t sounded GREAT since Loren Harris left. Joseph is an amazing singer but he hasn’t grown into the lead role yet. Maybe he will in time, I think he has it in him, but he needs to just sing and stop trying to be something he’s not, IMO.

  18. Beth wrote:

    Felicia,

    You wrote….

    “…Now, I love me some Joseph Habadank and I pinch his rosy little cheeks everytime I see him — what a cutie!…”

    Don’t use the term “love” so loosely. If you truly loved him, you wouldn’t allow someone to bash his character and judge his motives the way Avery did… and if you were THAT big a fan, you’r know how to spell his last name properly.

  19. P. Andrew Sandin wrote:

    This has got to be the most striking example of blowhard bloviating in the web-sphere I’ve encountered in at least a week.

    Let’s see: The Perrys are singing God-honoring music; Habedank is writing Christ-centered lyrics; the group is influencing thousands for the Gospel and the Kingdom of God. Yet you object to Habedank’s stage antics and cherubic face. Well . . .

    Get a life.

  20. Felicia wrote:

    Beth,

    So sorry if I offended you, but I see it differently. I didn’t see his character bashed or his motives judged, but I did see a PROFESSIONAL singer being evaluated in a critical manner which, if heeded, would greatly improve his performance.

    And, yes, I DO love Joseph.

  21. Daniel J. Mount wrote:

    I am of the opinion that Joseph Habedank is the best lead singer that the Perrys have had, at least in the past ten years.

    (I have all their recordings since about 1997, and so I am only speaking of what I know from personal experience.)

  22. Tim Habedank wrote:

    Let me start by telling you I am Joseph’s little brother, and Joe is much more tolerent of your pointless ramblings than I. I know Joe as well as anyone, and it is quite obvious that you, Avery, have no clue as to who Joseph Habedank actually is. Let me give you a little history lesson… My two older brothers and i were raised to be Godly young men. We started singing together in churches at the ages of (myself) two, (Nate) three, and (Joe) four. Hell fire and brimstone preaching churches are where we grew up, thats why Joe can joke about that kind of preaching. For one minute pull your knickers out of a wad and lighten up!!! Pioneers of southern gospel music must be turning in their graves over how much it has become an industy and ceased to be a ministry. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Joe views it as a ministry. We have talked several times on that topic, and we are shocked at the “industry” point or view. Since you are so content to spend all your time putting people down in the MINISTRY, may i ask what ministry you are involved in? My Bible still says that stirring up discord among the brethren is a SIN. May the Lord bless you for your deeds and punish you accordingly for your sin.

    Oh one last thing… The world already has a Simon Cowell, so your services are no longer needed.
    Thats will be all.

  23. Tim Habedank wrote:

    A few more things… How many people have come to know Christ as their savior because of what you do? Joe, Matt, and Nick are the future of sgm. I guess my question is, why put them down? If they quit you have nothing to write about in the future, but at least that would free up your time so you could make fun of slow people of throw rocks at blind children or whatever other heartless hobbies you may have. Joe is far from perfect but he has two things you will never have, and those sir are respect, and the Holy Spirits leading in his life. In you defence it is hard to gain respect when you are to much of a COWARD to release your name. I have always been taught to respect my elders but i think I’m straying from my upbringing when it comes to you. if want to put down people’s vocal ability hav at it, but how dare you question Joe’s chracter and sincerity. He may be a little flashy on stage, but he has toned down considerably in the past few months. As for your choreography comment, Joe has never once practiced blocking or movements on stage. I stood next to Joe and sang for 13 years, and he always moved as the Lord led. Nothing more nothing less. Joe will one day be remembered as a one of greatest singer/songwriters in sgm while you will pass as nothing more than harsh words on a page. What a waste of intelligence you are. Live well for when you are gone no one will remember you.

  24. Grigs wrote:

    Way to stick up for your brother, Tim! I wouldn’t worry too much, though. Thirty years from now, people will still be listening to Joe sing, but they won’t remember this blog at all.

  25. kw wrote:

    Rose Colored Glasses!!!!! Some of you people are absolutely clueless and rather humorous. Avery-I couldn’t agree with you more. I have supported The Perry’s for years now. But the last 3 Perry’s concerts that I have attended have left me wondering what in the world has happened to the quality(sound-wise) I had come to expect. Now I will say this, hopefully with a new project this will change. I’m sure the songs were picked with Loren in mind. Loren’s shadow, i’m sure, is hard to get out of. Hopefully he will come into his own with new songs.
    As far as arrogance, I have witnessed it numerous times and first hand. It is not very becoming of him. If it had only happened once I would overlook it. Everyone has bad days, but…… An outgoing personality goes a long way in this industry. Most of the time even more so than talent.

    As a side note: In no way am i attacking his christianity.

  26. Blueboy wrote:

    I read Doug’s remarks as a critque of Habedank’s lack of professionalism, not his lack of devotion to ministry. Most of the comments I am reading here are akin to “shoot the messenger and ignore the message.” Another point, no one but God has an accurate score on “how many come to know Christ” through any singer in SGM (or anyone else for that matter). That statement is ludicrous should not be used to back up the rest of a one-sided, subjective, emotional rebuttal of Doug’s critique.

    I have been a fan of SGM for my entire 49 years on this earth, and the SGM business has always struck me as being Christian entertainment for those who are already Christian. If your serious about bringing the lost to Christ, your probably not going to find them in a pew at church or buying a ticket at Freedom Hall. Check down on skid-row where the sinners stay.
    What I take from Doug’s critique of Habedank is “be a professional.” If a singer truly does want to be remembered as a great singer/songwriter in SGM, keep the stupid horseplay on the bus where it belongs.

  27. Seaton wrote:

    I too did not see where this was an attack on Joseph Habedank the person, but simply a critique of Jospeh Habedank the performer.

  28. R.D.S. wrote:

    I am Joseph Habedank’s ‘proud’ grandfather, (it runs in the family, you see). I always hesitate to write to your kind, simply because I do not believe in shooting dead horses. But in your case I’ll make an exception. For some fifty years now I have observed your clan and have found those who dig up dirt, fall in the hole they themselves have provided . David foresaw issues such as you have with my Gody and manly (aren’t you jellous) grandson.

    Avery-”He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made. His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.”

    Joseph-”I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the Lord most high.”

    One last word, men don’t hide (John 18:20)

    R.D.S.

  29. jb wrote:

    Seaton: You are kidding, right? Not an “attack”, but, a “critique”.
    Blueboy: Joseph is professional. Much more than a lot of others who have been in the ministry for a long time and as far as the “stupid horesplay” remark, grow up. It was all in fun. Don’t you think there is a lot more things to be concerned about.
    We are blessed to have young men like Joseph in the ministry and I think the Perrys are much better now than before.

  30. Payton wrote:

    Seaton,

    When you are trashing someones songs that they have written, which is their work and artistry, I’m afraid that isn’t a critique on someone as a performer. Furthermore, I believe these artists in SG aren’t on stage to “perform” for you. They are on stage to MINISTER to you. Every performer in SG has their own particular mannerisms and movements that they do while they sing. Who is to say that what Joesph does on stage isn’t just exactly that? Who says he is doing it for show? Also, no one else seems to want to touch on my previous comment on whether or not I’m the only guy that actually grasps what the song “He Forgot” says. Doug (Mr. Averyfineline) has enjoyed making jabs at Joseph and really all the Perrys for some time now. I thought it was completely trashy of Doug to use Joseph’s car accident that he had some time back as a way to exploit the fact the Joseph drives a BMW. So what if he does??? Is Doug simply jealous that Joseph can afford to drive a BMW on the money he makes by waving his hankie on stage and acting like a so-called fool? Maybe Doug drives around in a 1979 Pacer and it makes him mad when he gets in it to go to his job at the local community college…. Who knows? Joseph is a single man and doesn’t have a family to support at this time in his life, so if he wants to drive a BMW, HE CAN!!!

  31. TS wrote:

    Once again Avery has proven himself to be an idiot. i feel sorry for ANYONE and EVERYONE this retard has bashed in his blogs.

  32. Trent wrote:

    Averyfineline.com is a web log. A web log serves as an avenue for its owner to post commentaries on whatever topic he or she chooses. In these commentaries, the owner posts his opinions. That’s it. His opinions.

    Web logs are all over the internet, numbering in the thousands. This site is unique from most of them because it deals with a topic most of us readers enjoy, Southern Gospel music.

    Avery often posts opinions on subjects related to Southern Gospel music that I disagree with. That’s OK, because I understand it’s his web log (blog), and he has a right to his opinion, and I am mainly reading his opinion to hear a different perspective on SG happenings/trends other than my own. Many times I take away a new appreciation of whatever topic is being discussed; other times, I so strongly disagree with him that there is no way my mind could be changed. Either way, there is really no need to get angry with Avery, because, at the end of the day, he is just posting his opinion. On his blog.

    I disagreed with some of this one. I agreed with some of it.

    The thing is, Southern Gospel music, at the professional level, is in the spotlight, and can (and should) be examined, interpreted, and discussed. To those in the industry or close to the industry, let me say that it comes with the territory.

    If your kid or brother or grandchild or uncle is on American Idol tonight, he or she will be discussed in great detail all over the web the next day. It comes as part of the package. Here’s a closer related comparison: If you are a professional CCM artist, your performances will be discussed and critiqued. Plan on it, get used to it.

    If you are the Perrys or Gold City or Sig Sound or the Gaithers, your performances and even some of the off-the-stage stuff is going to slide under the microscope and get looked at in great detail. With notoriety comes great scrutiny from fans & skeptics alike. Many of your actions, though your intentions might have been lilly pure in doing them, will be examined to the “nth” degree and your intentions will be inferred as being other than what you intended. Again, part of the territory of being well-known and in the limelight.

  33. Dan Keeton wrote:

    Excuse me,

    Mr Unknown Critic now has an avenue in the Singing News Magazine to post his thoughtless rantings. I believe people’s feelings should be considered before you blurt out to the world your hyped criticism.

  34. Mark Forester wrote:

    I really have no comment on the post except to say that Avery is NOT UNKNOWN!!!

    It has been common knowledge in SG for about 2 years that his name is Douglas Harrison.

    He is free to think and post what he wants…..so is everyone else.

  35. gc wrote:

    Avery had many positves in his post. Good post that was well thought out. I understand his family supporting him and defending him but HE HAS FAULTS and by being in a top-tier group he is placed on a platform where people will judge his TALENT. Nobody has questioned his integrity…The hanky is a little overboard for me but that is my opinion..

  36. NG wrote:

    SGM will never grow if it can’t accept that criticism and analysis is part of what makes it a legitimate musical form. How can it improves if no critic ever comments on what problems.

    All artistic endeavors — music, movies, plays. books, art — are seriously reviewed every week without the families of the artists waiting in to complain.

    If you in public business and charging a fee than you’re open to be reviewed and possibly criticized. It happens to the biggest most talented folks in the world so why should SGM be any different.

    Before I pay to buy a ticket or a CD I’d love to know what some reviewers thought of it. If we had enough good reviewers in SGM then we could get a wide range of opinions. But someone had to get the ball rolling and that was Avery despite what his family, fans, and fellow singers like Dan Keeton think.

  37. Trent wrote:

    Some things I disagreed with Avery on in his commentary: I really have no problem with Habedank’s singing; in fact I think it’s smashingly good. I was listening to XM radio yesterday and “Who Am I” came on. I was thinking about how mature and full Habedank’s voice sounds at his young age. Call me crazy, but I love the hanky waving thing and the cheerleading and encouragement he gives to the other singers while onstage. It comes across as genuine to me. I love “He Forgot”, if for no other reason than the neat groove of the song. I love the melody and I love the chorus of the song.

    What disturbs me about Habedank and what I agree with Avery on is his apparent disdain for the old-fashioned style of worship that many of his ticket-buying supporters ascribe to. I’m hoping that someone will post the mp3 of his “preaching” on here. When I first heard it, it offended me that not only Habedank spent a fair amount of time mimicking a hell fire & brimstone preacher, but that his cohorts (other groups) who were singing on the cruise so enthusiastically chimed in. Do these people have a clue who is paying for their buses? It’s the very people they are making fun of! If it were possible to take out all of the Pentecostals, Church of God people, United Baptists, , etc. from NQC or any other concert setting, the place would look deserted.

    An interview with the Perrys was recently posted on DanielBritt.com. During the interview, either Britt or Libbi was commenting about how conservative the young men in the group are. Britt jokingly said something like “well, all except for your hair, Joseph”. Habedank didn’t like it, then launched into a sermonette about how “legalists” don’t like his hairstyle….”but there are a lot of legalists out there”. Give me a break. We live in an era when anybody who disagrees with your individualism is a “legalist”.

    The thing is, Habedank is probably a really nice young man. He is a great singer, in my opinion. I guess we forget that he’s in his early 20s and still has a lot to learn about PR. He certainly needs to conduct himself in a more professional manner. And he, along with a lot of other people in southern gospel music, needs to consider who is paying his bills.

  38. Paul Jackson wrote:

    I have learned a lot about SG ,and other things as well, by reading all of these comments.

    PJ

  39. Nina McPeake wrote:

    I just hope the Perrys make a better recording than “Come Thirsty.” Was Wayne Haun deaf when he chose the songs for that project or what? I know that every group won’t make a hit record every time they go into the studio, but this last one was way below average. However, I will be one of the first to buy the new one. Here’s hoping for good things.

  40. gc wrote:

    I can remember being 20 yrs. old and singing across the country.It is very tough and I made many mistakes that were just made out of youthful stupidity.

    JH is good but he is not beyond critique or criticism. I agree with his overview of his songs, he will improve and become a great songwriter but at this point, he is a young writer. He was having some fun with the mock preaching thing and I do not have a problem with that. I have a 11yr old who does a great TD Jakes..

    The Perry’s are good people, good singers, worked hteir way thru the ranks and I admire them greatly. They will help the kids grow and it will work out for them. If not, they will make a change. People just need to quit being so defensive. Just admit he has made a few mistakes but he is a great kid (good singer)and trying to grow into a position that was thrust on him at a young age..

  41. Realistic wrote:

    Nina:
    Extremely few producers (if any) have complete control over the songs chosen for a project. They are hired at the good pleasure of an artist or company, and can only fight so many battles during the song selection process.

    Doug is right; if you’re concerned about song quality on a project, look to the artist — in this case, the Perrys. They are making decisions that will impact their future as a group.

    It all begins — and sometimes ends — with a song.

  42. Nina McPeake wrote:

    Dear Realistic:

    Thanks for the information. I should re-phrase the question. Were the Perrys deaf when they listened to the songs for that recording? I admit I really like them, a lot, but I have to agree with averyfineline. It just wasn’t up to the standard of earlier recordings.

  43. Jim2 wrote:

    Avery,
    I just had reason to reread the last paragraph of your post and it was eerily similar to something Russ Bremeier of christianitytoday.com said about the new Michael W. Smith CD.
    “What happened? It probably stems from Smith’s longtime passion for investing in fresh, young talent. In addition to a couple tracks co-written with his kids, he relies on Leeland Mooring (Leeland) for writing/co-writing more than 60 percent of the album. The teenage talent showed much promise on his debut, but he’s still an unproven 18-year-old, and Smith has essentially handed him the keys to his career’s Corvette. No one at that age is capable of carrying a high-profile veteran to the satisfaction of fans. ”
    Now, I am a HUGE fan of Leeland and pretty much disagree with Russ, but the similarity of what he said and what you are saying was too close to pass unremarked.
    Keep up the good work - always thought provoking, whether I agree or not!

  44. John R. Allen wrote:

    I have purposely waited to post the following comments regarding your “critique” of the Perrys, the direction of their music and ministry, and in particular, Joseph Habedank. I waited so that I could completely absorb both “the poison and the poignancy” in your article and the some of the positive and negative comments of others. In fairness, I am unequivocally biased in favor of Joseph based upon our family’s “firsthand” experiences with him. When Joseph first joined the Perrys, he moved to Morristown, Tennessee. Without going into great detail, God literally dropped this home-sick gospel singer from Zenia, Ohio into our living room. For the next two years our whole family was entertained, blessed, at times aggravated and always loved by this basically shy young man. During that time, we “broke bread, cars, and golf equipment” together on a regular basis. We have gone through trials, tribulations, and tragedy together. In other words, we have gotten to know the real Joseph Habedank “up close and personal”. The Joseph that we love possesses all of the kind attributes and incredible talent that others have mentioned and that you failed to see. If you want to blame someone for what you sarcastically called “metastasizing ego…hammy, manicured stage habits…over-practiced expression” and (our personal favorite of your borrowed and benign ramblings) “cheapseat showboating”, you can blame our family. When he first joined the Perrys, Joseph was hesitant to “let go” on stage for two reasons: 1) he did not want to give the appearance of “upstaging” anyone else in the group; and, 2) he was fearful of others perceiving him as you have. Therefore, Joseph was obviously holding back to the point of being a little too “mechanical” in his delivery and in all honesty, not giving God his best. The day after a very moving church concert, Joseph asked me to critique him. He felt as if something was not quite right in connecting with God on stage. Even though much like you, I do not know a lot about singing or writing, Joseph persisted in wanting my input. So I gave him the following advice: ALWAYS let your “heart and soul” come out whenever you are singing and sing for the glory of God, not others. Our whole family cautioned him that some would understand and that others would not (it was the same way at Pentacost but that is another Sunday School lesson for you later). We told him that this should not deter him from “pouring himself out” so that God could use all of his talent. We further explained that those that were listening with their “heart and soul” instead of just their eyes and ears would be the ones that would not only be blessed, but would be used to further God’s Kingdom. With both a playful wink and a seriousness that was beyond his years, Joseph let me know that he would always pray for those on either side of musical discernment. Finally, you asked one question that summarizes your lack of understanding of the true nature of Libbi and Tracy. You asked, “Where are the Stuffles in all of this?” The answer is simple. They are where they have been all along. Standing side by side with Nick, Matt and Joseph, encouraging them to sing and play with all of their heart and soul, urging them to ignore the “slings and arrows” of men and praying that the forgiveness and love of God be their guide, now and always.
    John R. Allen, Morristown, Tennessee

  45. Rod wrote:

    Did RPT actually say “put on your big girl pants?” It’s put on your BIG BOY pants…The point is…Joseph, His “family” and friends need to put’em on. Whenever there is a change in any group the newby is going to be open to criticism regardless of how much you love your darling little singer. This IS about quality and professionalism…This is NOT a ministry or tickle your ears blog. You can go to sogospel.com or singing news blog for that kind of fluff. Also for the many people who want to defend the “MINISTRY” of southern gospel music spend a couple of days on 85% of the SG artists buses and then give me your opinion on how “spiritual” they are or where their “heart” is. I seen them, been one of them and most of them need to just sing, shut up and be the best singer they can be. Leave the preaching and ministering to the preacher. Oh by the way Randy Perry was the best lead singer they ever had…MINUS THE PREACHING.

  46. Karla wrote:

    Joseph is an extraordinary young man. To be only 21 years old, I think he’s doing a great job representing southern gospel music. You got to hear about the light hearted stuff that happened on the cruise, but you don’t know about Joseph ministering to a young man on the beach in Nassau, Bahamas. I got to witness Joseph’s compassion for ministering to the lost. A young guy in the Bahamas is now a Christian because of something that Joseph did. I don’t think it would be a bad thing if Joseph became the next Jonathan Wilburn. Jonathan is definitely a fan favorite, so I’m sure Joseph wouldn’t mind following in his footsteps. Joseph has an incredible voice especially for his age. He may not be your favorite, but he probably sings better than you ever could. Before you start criticizing someone, get to know them and then make your judgements.

  47. RobertM wrote:

    To quote British PM Tony Blair (from the recent film The Queen), “…When you get it wrong, you REALLY get it wrong.”

    Our family has attended The Perrys concerts since Joseph took the lead, and he truly sells a song. His heart is right, and we’ve seen large crowds blessed by his emerging ministry.

    I should also say that the Habedank/Holt songs are among the best the Perrys are doing right now.

  48. Bill Armstrong wrote:

    I’m not sure what you are listening to when you talk about Joseph’s “spottiness in his vocal work”. He has a strong lead voice. I have seen the Perry’s on several occasions and he is as strong if not stronger than Lauren Harris.

    But here’s my real concern:

    Lev 19:16 Do not spread slanderous gossip among your people. “Do not try to get ahead at the cost of your neighbor’s life, for I am the LORD.

    Why do you sow discord among God’s people?

  49. Youngbass wrote:

    Why do you read it, if you don’t like it?

    Get a life and pass judgment on someone who cares.

  50. Rod wrote:

    Would you people quit quoting scripture…This is a blog not a church.

  51. Little Miss wrote:

    To Gramps in post #28: What do you mean by your grandson is a “Gody” young man?

    Mr. Allen in #44: “Pentacost” is spelled “Pentecost.”

    Mr. Bill in post #48: His name is Loren, not Lauren.

    I love southern gospel music as much as anyone; however though many will beg to differ, I do not consider it a ministry as so many people do. When attending a concert I don’t go expecting “a blessing” (as the Pentecostal church calls it) nor do I go to be strengthened in my spiritual walk. I simply go to be entertained. And yes, I have reasons for embracing this crazy notion. For a true Christian, there is one and only one who should be exalted during a worship service and His name is Jesus Christ. While attending a southern gospel concert we often endure the agony of listening to all of the various fan awards this one has won…all the number one songs that one has written… etc., etc. In my opinion, if an individual is receiving honor and awards for all of the great deeds and accomplished talents he has, he is denying himself of receiving the rewards our Lord has promised. After all, it is the Pharisees who loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. Henceforth, I have come to the honest and fair conclusion that on the broad scale southern gospel music is merely entertainment. If a man wants to win fan awards and be at the top in this industry, he is an entertainer and needs to learn how to keep a stiff upper lip while being picked to pieces. After all, that’s the price one must pay for being a star.

  52. RobertM wrote:

    Hi Rod,

    It will always be appropriate to quote God’s Word in any situation. Your responsibility — and mine — is to listen, determine if it was quoted accurately, and then carefully consider our response.

    The Christian worldview insists that God’s Word inform our very thoughts and deeds. We may disagree as to the application and interpretation of the Bible — but we should always welcome it.

    As the weeks go by, I am becoming more impressed with averyfineline’s unwillingness to delete comments that reflect Scripture. Either he welcomes it or he is simply not offended by it.

  53. RobertM wrote:

    Rod,

    I’m guilty of belaboring the point, but it just occurred to me that we’re both posting comments on a blog focused upon a certain genre of music. Lest ’southerngospel’ roll too blithely off our tongues, remember that “sg” is Southern GOSPEL. Gospel. Since that is an exclusively scriptural concept, let’s accept the fact that quoting Scripture is going to come naturally for many, if not most, participants in a Southern GOSPEL blog!

    Best wishes.

  54. IamPam wrote:

    When avery praised one sister and wrongfully insulted the other, I quit reading. However, my daughter is an avid reader and fills me in from time to time. On this issue, I have an opinion..

    The last time I saw the Perrys was on a Sunday morning in a church that was crumbling from pastor’s infidelity, church dissention, etc. etc. I sat and listened to compliment after compliment from the Perrys about the church, the pastor, and so on. Of course, the favor was returned and the praise of the Perrys followed. An elderly lady told me that she always wants to do the “jitterbug” when she hears sg music. Not being familiar with the jitterbug, I think I saw it a few times that morning. I guess you could say, “A good time was had by all.” And along with it, the misconception that spiritual things were accomplished. Far from it. “Unto him be glory in the church…” Eph. 3:21a

  55. Woody wrote:

    Pam, for someone who was smugly correcting spelling left and right up in post # 51, it’s quite funny to see your spelling in this sentence in post # 54

    “The last time I saw the Perrys was on a Sunday morning in a church that was crumbling from pastor’s infidelity, church dissention, etc. etc.”

  56. IamPam wrote:

    Woody,

    FYI, ‘Little Miss’ is my daughter, my informant that I referred to in my post, and the speller in the family. Her pet peave is “Pentecostals” who misspell it - happens all the time. That was, BTW, my first post and my next to last.

  57. Beth wrote:

    Can’t resist, Pam….

    My “pet peave” [sic] is people who can’t spell “peeve” correctly. :-)

  58. Rod wrote:

    RobertM: It’s not that I am offended by the scripture…My point was these guys ramble on with scripture that doesn’t even fit the circumstances the majority of the time. Bunch of self righteous pharisees most of them. And guys (including Doug) please speak a little more rednck for some the more uneducated of us…RobertM…Roll “Blithely” off the tongue….GEEZE. :)

  59. IamPam wrote:

    Too funny! Just one more … I cautioned her about the spelling criticism. It took the attention away from what she really had to say which was probably worth hearing. You have proven my point beautifully ;)

  60. RobertM wrote:

    Pam,

    I understand your frustration with seeing a visiting artist “played like a fiddle” by the church staff. Often, a struggling church relies upon a well-known guest to help buttress needed support (often, undeserved).

    Hopefully, the Perrys were not aware of the situations you mentioned.

    In any case, to presume that “spiritual things” were not accomplished is perhaps short-sighted. While you may not have seen the value, you will never know the hidden things being done by the Lord whose music and message were in play. …And having followed the Perrys, I’m sure that they did everything in their ability to lift up the name of Jesus.

    The results of their ministry is in God’s hands. You may have been seated behind an individual who came one step closer to God’s plan for his life through the Perrys’ encouraging, hopeful, and evangelistic message.

  61. Woody wrote:

    Proven what point exactly, Pam? That when someone you don’t agree with posts, we are supposed to overlook every good point made while you pick apart the spelling, but when your family posts, we are supposed to overlook the errors and search for the deeper meanings? That’s not very consistent.

  62. RaM wrote:

    It is behond me how any one who calls himself a Christain can possibly be so mean and heartless! Joseph is one of the NICEST and most HUMBLE young man out there. To so cruely insult such a God- fearing man is sickening!!! You really should go read the love chapter in the Bible. (Corinthians 13) as Christians we are commaned to love others that includes people you are jealous of. (such as Joseph) His humble and Christ-like attitude lead me to believe that he will be ten times the man you will ever be. Being that this is the first time I have ever read one of your blogs, I can’t help but worry that maybe all your blogs are this rude and pathetic. I really have no desire to read any more of your disgusting and cruel (wrong) views. As for the song “He Forgot” the message coundn’t be simpler. I find it hard to believe that a grown man such as your self is not smart enough to figure the meaning out. Watching the Perrys perform is wonderful and touching! So what if Joseph holds a hankie. I fail to see how that is an issue. Who cares? Let him carry a quilt up there if it makes him happy. The point is WHO CARES what he is holding as long as he is ministering to God’s people and letting God use him to touch people’s hearts. (Which he is)

  63. Kala wrote:

    Honesty!!!! I love it! Don’t get me wrong, I love the Perry’s and Joe really is an outstanding baritone but a mediocre lead. He’s way too cocky, but an over all nice guy. He’s just got some growing up to do.

  64. Kristi wrote:

    First off I want to say I love Joseph and all the Perrys like family. Next, I have known Joe for almost 2 years and see no sign of this ego problem yall talk about. He is a awesome guy and he lives what he sings.

  65. BA wrote:

    Maybe you all are mistaking cocky for confident- to make it in the business you have to sing walk off the platform and without anyone falling at your feet say “o you did so good” you just know- it’s part of practice- JOSEPH is one of the NICEST HUMBLE and BEST guys in southern gospel music today- and I believe he will be tomorrow- and as for the critics on He Forgot- you best hope he forgets these cut downs at the pearly gates!

  66. someone concerned wrote:

    You never cease to amaze me. I really wish that you would realize how stupid you sound. Do you have any idea that the folks in the industry think that you have totally lost it!??

    Maybe you should focus more on your salvation ( that I have to question) instead of getting your kicks out of dogging the men and women that God has called to spread his word through SG music!

    Joseph Habedank happens to be a very dear friend and we are SICK of you running him in the ground!!!!!

  67. Herb McCarty wrote:

    It is really sad to read things like you wrote about this fine young christian man, Joseph. I am 50 yrs old and have been following southern gospel music all of my life. I was at the NQC last week. Joseph sounded great and was as nice as always.
    Evidently you, whatever your name is, have some major jealosy problems. Please contact me at herbmccarty@aol.com. I will be happy to counsel you. I apologize to Joseph and all of his family for your ridiculous statements.
    Herb Mccarty

  68. Laurabelle wrote:

    Joseph Habedank and Nick Trammell are two fine young men who have FANTASTIC voices. Do you have a jealousy problem or something? The things you said about Joseph are rude, unthoughtful, and so not true. I was raised listening to sgm, and in my opinion, Joseph is one of the best Lead singers in southern gospel music.
    You need to repent to Joseph and the Lord. I don’t believe the Lord is very happy with you right now.

  69. Josh Blankenship wrote:

    Obviously you have never met Joe. I have known him for over 10 years and you couldn’t be more off base. I went to school, church, and actually had the priviledge to sing with him in the past. None of his “movements” are staged. Anything he does on stage is something from his heart and God, not practice. I’m glad there is some people on here who appreciate what he has done in the past 5 years with the group instead of worrying whether he clinches his fist or not. His songs have touched lives all across the country. He’ll be the first one to give God all the glory and to thank Him for the talent He has given him. So don’t be so critical about someone before you ever meet them.

  70. Hannah R wrote:

    I met Joseph last weekend….he’s awesome, handsome, nice, and has a wonderful lead voice. How would you feel if people were sayings things about you? Put yourself in his shoes…you wouldn’t like that. He’s great. (I even got my photo with him!!) Who cares about the white hanky?! By the way, I love his energetic hops….it makes the group more interesting. Who wants to see flat-footed singers that don’t get excited about their songs? Try the Dove Brothers “Didn’t It Rain.” They do some hops and moves!!!! I love them too.

  71. Hannah R wrote:

    On second thought, I wanted to Thank everyone on here that stuck up for Joseph amongst the mean comments. God Bless you all. And for the ones who made the mean comments……I’m praying for you!

  72. Little J wrote:

    Wow. i give up. there is no way i am reading the rest of the comments bc you ppl are making my soul hurt. i would assume that every single comment on here is from a “Christian” given we are all at a “Christian” music critic blog. and thats why you all make me wonder. where did “Christianity” go? what is this?

    i honestly enjoyed the entire critic here. i remember seeing the Perry’s last year at a concert, but cant remember who Joseph was. seriously. thats why i googled his name, bc i figured he was a new guy, but he wasnt. huh. i will be seeing them soon at my church in Feb, and was wondering what to expect.

    i was raised in the business. my dad sang professionally for a while, and thank God he is out of it now. i remember the days when Southern Gospel music was something to be proud of. i had my Gold City posters from every concert hanging on the wall next to my bed. each one, having a signature from Jay Parrack, and no one else. =]. what can i say? i knew what talent was.

    my point is, i enjoyed the music bc it was good music. i gave up Gold City after he left, bc there really was nothing left. sure, there is some talent, but i didnt care for it, it fell too far. now, i rarely listen to any Southern Gospel. bc there are a few things that actually matter to me.

  73. Little J wrote:

    oops. i totally hit the wrong button. =]

    anyways, to finish

    what i find important is a level of talent in the vocal area. not just that, but as a writer, it is very important to me that the writing be respectable.

    i thought that after hearing this critic, that FINALLY someone is telling the Southern Gospel industry and ministry, that there is something to song writing. thank you. we need to hear this stuff. everyone wants to write a song, but it is more than just words on a page, lyrics can move someone like nothing else i can think of. if Joseph wants to grow as a writer, he HAS to hear things like this. he NEEDS to grow. and the way you do that, is all the Simon’s in this world. (there is a specific reason that Simon is everyone’s fav judge…bc you know he is giving it to you straight)

    bravo. for remaining a secret. thank you for telling things the way you see them. thank you, for being man enough to say what you think. sure, its going to be offensive if taken wrong. but thats the risk every one takes when they try to help someone.

    give Joseph a few years, hes going to look back on this and say that this was it. this blog was right. and hes going to thank God that someone was able to say something constructive, instead of patting his back repeatedly, telling him he was amazing, when he really had room for plenty of growth.

    anyways, theres my two cents, free of charge. i am currently adding this to my fav blogs, finally someone is going to tell me which groups are actually worth seeing. you will save me plenty of time. thanks again. =]

    ~little j

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