NQC 08: Tuesday open thread

I’m listening to the NQC Solid Gospel feed and Gerald Wolfe is doing his best to create for the new tenor, Jacob Kitson, a signature narrative like the one that Waldroup had (you know the one … how Wolfe auditioned Jason in that little concrete box of a stairwell over there in Freedom Hall etc). Kitson’s crucible will, evidently, be that he sang “Little is Much” on command in the studio one day not too long before Wolfe gave him the job. More interesting than the song is that Greg Goodman on Solid Gospel is trying to convince us that Kitson got “caught off guard” by Wolfe calling for “Little is Much” just now on the NQC stage, even though Kitson’s been flogging that song for the last two months all over the GV circuit.

For all of you who have something to say about NQC Tuesday, you know what to do.

Update: I only caught about an hour and a half total of tonight’s performances on Solid Gospel, and I was only half-listening much of the time while trying to get some work done. But I sure hope it sounds better in Freedom Hall than it does on the radio. I know nobody sings perfectly live, and the live experience can distract from a multitude of vocal inflecities. On top of that, maybe it was just bad levels on the radio feed. In any case, though, 9/10s of what I heard tonight ranged from mediocre to execrable.  Susan Jackson wasn’t the only supporting vocalist to have her mic amped way too high, but listening to her drone over the top of Karen Peck and Devin McGlamery (who just really is a fine singer) was one of the more difficult things to endure. I say “one of the more,” because the Lesters letting those kids screech on and on was simply unacceptable. One song for the kids, ok. Fine. But send ‘em back to their seats to mug for the camera. Letting them stay on stage and yell their way through “Throw the Clay Away” was a travesty (and speaking of screeching, were the screaming Speers coming from a video feed or on stage? Solid Gospel’s man on the scene left it very unclear). The tenor for Doyle Lawson was nowhere near his pitch on that last tune, and am I the only person who wishes that Lauren Talley could just do the Talleys stands by herself? Or maybe that’s just the feeling I came away with after listening to Roger Talley shear the tops off nearly all his pitches. My point here is not to complain b/c people aren’t perfect singers, but to point out that the mix was really amplifying aspects of the sound that I don’t think normally would have stood out as much or grated on the nerves quite so badly. At least I hope that’s it. Can we hear from anyone who was in the hall on this? How was the house mix? Did anybody have a good solid stand?

Later Update: This is not encouraging.

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  1. AG wrote:

    I really enjoyed the Talley Trio this evening and I was impressed with GV’s set. More importantly though, I’m glad they got the audio and the video under control. Last night it was like it was being broadcast over a camera phone.

  2. SGFan wrote:

    I’ve watched the Pfeifers for years but I must say that tonight was a horrible night for them.

  3. Jessica Black wrote:

    AG Are you kidding? The Talleys could not have paid for a pitch if they wanted to. Gerald sounded like an old worn out Quartet and Karen struggled but not as much as the others only very hoarse sounding. They should really turn Susan dooowwnnn. I am listening via internet so maybe it was better in person. I am glad I didn’t have to pay for a ticket as I was very unhappy with what I heard.

  4. jgurnett wrote:

    Some thoughts, at least so far, on a night where many of the groups were under par:

    Reggie Sadler needs to tone it down a notch. The constant chatter during his daughter’s solo(s) was annoying.

    I was surprised how sloppy the Hoppers sounded. Connie was certainly not in great voice tonight.

    Paid in Full’s tenor had some definite pitch problems.

  5. gc wrote:

    Has anything good happened?

  6. AG wrote:

    gc(#5) nothing jumps out really.

    Jessica(#3) I don’t recall too many pitch issues with the Talleys but you might be right and likely listened closer than I did. Still liked the GV sound though.

    Does it surprise anyone at the groups that bring their kids on during their mainstage performances?

  7. volscot wrote:

    I’m far from being a musician (I played drums in the school band into college), but I noticed the Talleys’ pitch issues pretty obviously on the videocast. My wife, who has no musical training, noticed it too. She mentioned that we have made the same comment each of the last few years.

    We didn’t notice more than an occassional issue with GV or KP&NR. As a matter of fact, we rather enjoyed them.

    Due to other responsibilities, I could only listen during the Saddler/Pfeifers/Hoppers/Lesters timeframe.

    The Saddler family was stacked to high heaven. Seriously, “I’ve Got Me A Home” probably has the hottest stacks I’ve ever heard. At least he didn’t do his “oldies” schtick again tonight.

    Jeff & Sheri did okay. Jeff hit the high notes on “Goin’ Away Party” without shaving the pitch. I still like that song.

    The Whisnants sounded good tonight. BF&A sound fine into their second song.

  8. Eric Melton wrote:

    Then my guess why listen if you don’t like it? Just turn it off. I didn’t have the chance to go in the arena much tonight just talked with people at our booth.

    I am still proud to be a part of this music even if people don’t agree with the way its done.

  9. DRL wrote:

    Ya, the mix was pretty bad on a lot of the radio stuff, but it seemed to get better as the nite went on. BF & A didn’t have too bad a mix, relatively speaking. I shut it off at the first note of the Lester’s kids. Seriously, who thinks that is even “cute”? It was horrible!

    Was great to hear Jeff & Sheri! So glad she seems to have come out of this ordeal.

  10. Jessica Black wrote:

    I listened closely to lauren tonight and her pitches were not any better than her parents and she does not have a pretty voice, but a manly voice with a lot of goat vibrato. I am surprised she is merited as a great singer. I really am not trying to be mean, but fact is fact. Debbie is the singer and the sound of the group.

  11. Sissey wrote:

    Tonight was ok for me. I did enjoy hearing from Sherri Easter. I think it is wonderful how she is still singing while taking chemo treatments. My thoughts and prayers are with her.

  12. bethanee wrote:

    i have heard a lot of singers talking about being sick with allergies and about how dry the air is in freedom hall. no wonder their allergies are bad, there is horse stables and horse walks, so with all that it would be enough to make your allergies act up. then on top of all of that the singers are talking non-stop before they sing at their booths. that’s gotta make it hard to sing. that maybe why karen peck, libbi perry and others sounded sick or hoarse.

  13. Charles Brady wrote:

    2 thoughts after listening last night to solid gospel. ( And I love all these folks & the music. )

    NQC really needs to question the benefit of providing live unmixed/poorly mixed feeds for solid gospel to broadcast. (What I heard last night sounded like the little kids may have been singing and doing the mixing. ) If you can’t get it mixed correctly most people just can’t handle the raw unmixed vocals.. These really bad mixes being broadcast live are not helping the genre… If Solid Gospel “really” reaches 500,000 then you’d think men with above average thinking abilities would realize the importance of providing properly mixed feeds for those 500,000 listeners instead of just focusing on what those 10-20 thousand are hearing live. Fans got to hear what the “producer/engineer in the recording studio get to hear. Raw vocals with no effects… not pretty.. at all..

    Second, artists should throw those ear monitor systems in the trash. Place both hands over your ears and then record something sometime… They are not helping your performances and in fact are contributing to what the fans are hearing in these really bad mixes that solid gospel is broadcasting.

    I just hope someone will record them and play them back to the artists and the NQC folks to hear.

    This isn’t just complaining or nit picking. This is a real problem that must be addressed in our genre and fast. Until NQC/Solid Gospel can learn how to get a proper mix to radio please stop broadcasting these horrible sounding mixes and destroying the hopes and admiration of over 500,000 fans for their favorite artists.

  14. jbb wrote:

    Well, I guess I’ll get on the band wagon too. Why oh why can the sound man not have the mics on….He has to know they are gonna be talkin or singin when their feet hit the stage. This is a problem every year. I was happy to see the Hayes family. I have been wondering about them. THe blonde headed girl looked really thin. I know she had had health problems in the past, but, I actually enjoyed them.
    How do the Pfeifers get main stage every year. I thought it was “horrible”,
    however, I do enjoy their playing the instruments. Why does she sing out of her range every year????
    With the Talleys and the Hoppers, I thought there was a lot of ego and I am getting to where I don’t enjoy them as much. Connie always is classy.
    I thought Paid in Full was good.
    What’s up with Bryan FRee’s sons hair?????
    I enjoy the Lester kids. I think Emma Grace is precious and she is gonna follow in her mommas steps. I am looking forward to tonight.
    If anyone has access to a projector, you can hook your computer through it and project it on your wall. With our surround sound, it’s like we are in Freedom Hall.

  15. Brett wrote:

    I think Devin is also underated. I really miss him with Dixie Melody Boys. At least with them he was able to sing lead.

  16. Bryce wrote:

    Mr. Brady:

    Here ya go.


  17. J wrote:

    Emma Grace Revelle - the little Lester - didn’t sing with the Family on “He Didn’t Throw the Clary Away.” She did screech her way through two other songs. Otherwise, the Lester’s were fabulous IMO.
    The Whisnants tore it up, as usual. Susan only sounded a little worn, but gave it her all.
    The Hoppers should have stayed on the bus. The whole family sounded rough and worn. Roy Webb did nicely filling in on piano.
    GV did extremely well. Jacob was/appeared to be incredibly nervous… the may just have been to make him look cute and innocent, instead of a finger wagging screamer from his previous Tribute QT days. Stan Whitmire on piano was dazzling. Standing ovations don’t lie. However, I still think that Gerald and Rodney could come out and urinate on the stage and STILL get a standing O.
    When I saw The McKamey’s headed to the stage, I ran for my life.
    The Speer’s tribute video was cute, but the production was horrible. The video was recorded at NQC some number of years ago. I was surprised to see Tim Parton singing with them. I can’t get enough of him.
    The PuhFifers were stacked out the wazzoo. I was walking up the ramp when I heard a not-so-heavenly chorus filling the hall. I RAN to the nearest open doorway and saw an ugly sight. When will the learn that falsetto/head tones only sound impressive when it is on pitch?

    Did anyone else notice a huge surge in the amount of vendors in the exhibition hall? I felt like everywhere I turned, I was surrounded by tacky-Christian-shirts, afghans, SG-BlingBling, and flashing rings, etc.

    There seems to be another new idea in the exhibition hall. Groups are combining together with their respective music groups, such as Paradigm Music. Instead of groups have individual booths scattered here and there, within 10 booth spaces you will find 15 groups. Interesting if nothing else….

  18. Lauren wrote:

    pretty bad feed right-o!!!! Thanks Bryce

  19. Charles Brady wrote:

    Thanks Bryce!

  20. IWasThere wrote:

    I thought Jeff & Sheri sounded great. It was good to see Sheri doing much better physically after her ordeal with the cancer. BFA was phenomenal as usual. I do have to add that the exhibit hall does seem more like a cheap flea market than it normally does…..

  21. Mike McIlwain wrote:

    Thanks for the audio clip, Bryce. I could only make it to the 1:28 point in the clip before I had to turn it off. It was horrible!!! The mix was so out of balance. I can’t believe that folks are having to pay money to receive this. I have a feeling that the performance sounded better in the auditorium than it did to those who heard it on the Solid Gospel feed.

  22. sgfan wrote:

    from “J”
    “However, I still think that Gerald and Rodney could come out and urinate on the stage and STILL get a standing O.”


  23. Faith wrote:

    A standing O for peeing…classic!

    I also liked the description of Lauren as having a man’s voice with a goat vibrato…I like Lauren’s voice most of the time (when she sings on key), but funny, I know exactly what you mean.

  24. american wrote:

    # 10, Jessica Black, I’m so glad that you posted this about Lauren Talley, I have felt exactly the same way for a long time.

  25. Jim E. Davis wrote:

    To each his own. The first time I heard Lauren’s voice I loved it! It is instantly recognizable and she has amazing control. She also has the talent to sing in most any other genre of gospel music but chooses southern and I think that is commendable - so go buy yourself a waffle cone while we enjoy!

    NQC performances are in no way a fair judge of talent. Singing in the round has a hundred variable to deal with that are beyond the artist’s control. I’ve heard major gaffes from major groups on that stage but it doesn’t lessen my appreciation because many of them I’ve been able to hear individually and they were flawless.

    Nevertheless, I do get a kick out of hearing you people speak what is on your heart…in love, of course!

  26. jjsj wrote:


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