God on the Mountain, redux

A while back, I mentioned having wished for some time for an effective remake of “God on the Mountain.” I think, via Adam Edwards, I may have found it.

The audio is crap (sorry, Adam), and the quality is what you get when Uncle Bob or whomever at the family gathering does the video work, but this is really the kind of natural musical goodness that somehow seems to almost benefit from the grungy quality of the recording … it’s the effect that people strive for when they use sepia tones on photoshop or make their recordings sound like old phonographs. Age as a proxy for authenticity. Skip all that. Here’s the real deal:

Those of you who prefer to feel this sort of thing sans commentary, stop reading now.

The rest of us will talk for a minute about how this could be a tutorial in gospel music style, rightly understood. Allman doesn’t sing out of his range. He seems to intuitively understand that tasteful augmentation of certain notes and phrases can convey a greater sense of power and more forceful effect (both musically and psychospiritually) than would vocally crossing a wide range of registers or contorting the diaphragm in faulty flights of head tones and dog whistles.

Plus, he’s just, you know, sitting on a couch … with a guitar (and frankly he kinda looks like someone who’s lived and learned alot about living since we last saw him with Greater Vision, in his focus on the family hair and those reverential suits … maybe I’m just likin the song alot, but it’s almost as if you can hear the wisdom of experience in the song).

At any rate, you want to tell the people chatting and bustling about and talking over the music, hey … STFU be quiet, can’t you tell there’s glory coming down on the other side of the room over there. But then I guess that’s the way grace usually arrives, when Uncle Bob forgets his tripod and somebody’s brother-in-law is about to nod off from too much turkey.

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  1. NonInsider wrote:

    Allman has a great voice… the Background noise was distracting… sounded like my family reunion… :)

  2. Adam Edwards wrote:

    No apologies necessary (not my video)….concentrating to hear Allman sing through all of the background noise is worth the effort. I wish he would make another solo project (or while I’m wishing, make a comeback to SG music!).

  3. William wrote:

    Yeah, it would be nice to see Mark Trammell give him a call.

  4. Adam Edwards wrote:

    I don’t really see him giving up the church he was called to start several years back.

  5. Markp wrote:

    You need to post his version of I Can Only Imagine. It’s done in the same setting and can be found on YouTube. In my opinion it’s the best version of the song I have ever heard and the last run through the chorus will make you have a holy moment - even with the poor quality, background noise and constant jeering from those in the room.

    In short- it’s a superb piece!

  6. RF wrote:

    Greater Vision with Greg Allman was simply wonderful. Since, not so much. I recall watching that anniversary/reunion video a couple of years back and just marveled at what the old GV, sans Jason and Rodney was like.

    These days, the most popular trio tends to put out music that all sounds the same, but then that’s what people like. I laughed at their reader’s poll of favorite songs. It all seemed to end as far as creativity is concerned after the Atlanta First Baptist taping. From then on, we’ve suffered through a lot of fluff. Bring him back, Gerald. And while you’re at it, see if Mark Trammel is available.

  7. observant dude wrote:

    This video should be titled “Singing 101.” Why can’t everybody at least try to sing like him?

  8. Robert wrote:

    A lot of that talking and such in the background are those that haven’t got a clue about good music and/or don’t want to listen to something that convicts them. As for singing 101, this is the way you should sing, or whatever else, not to lessen Allman’s talent because he certainly has it. It’s a whole lot easier for most vocalist to sing easy and in range when it is just them and a guitar in a room where the acoustics are good.

  9. SGFAN65 wrote:

    There’s none better than Chris Allman. Just viewing other videos of him on youtube - Check out - “Blessed Assurance” - Clear Quality !! Now the “hair peace” is another story ! ha ! ha !
    Thankfully he decided to lose that ! Pure enjoyment in listening to him. Sure wish he would have returned to Greater Vision.

  10. GD wrote:

    #6 Can’t resist correcting you. It’s Chris Allman not Greg. Greg was married to Cher. Somehow can’t see him fitting in with Gerald and Rodney. Too much hair. I know it was a simple mistake. Couldn’t resist!

  11. quartet-man wrote:

    6 um, it’s Chris. :) When Greater Vision came out, I wasn’t a huge Chris fan. However, when I saw him on the anniversary thing, man what a difference. Not just in Greater Vision, but Chris himself has really grown as a vocalist.

  12. SGFAN65 wrote:

    Off topic - but thought it might be of interest to someone. I have been subsribing to Singing News since the late 80’s and I have every magazine that I have ever received. It’s quite a collection and I am ready to part with it. I have to move and no longer have room for it. Is there a Gospel Music Historian out there that might be interested in all of these issues and live in Georgia - or could make arrangements to pick them up in the Atlanta area ?

    I sure hate to just dispose of them if there is a chance someone would want them and can appreciate the history behind them all.

    If anyone expresses interest - I will provide you a way to contact me.

  13. BenLinus wrote:

    The thing that gets me about this video is how rare a performance like this is in SG today. How often do we see someone sit down with a guitar, or just at a piano and sing with such conviction?

    Maybe I’m not looking in the right places, but I rarely see that. It’s the fact that I watch this, and I believe him. I strive myself to make sure people believe anything that I sing. Getting a southern gospel crowd to sit and listen to a set done like this would be nearly impossible. It’s why I generally stay out of it.

    But if I saw more stuff like this, I think my interest would return.

  14. JulieBelle wrote:

    A tutorial in making a familiar song your own…and believable.

  15. RF wrote:

    Yes, Chris. Sometimes the fingers do strange things :-).

    Anyway, I stand by what I said. I doubt Chris would leave his church, but what a loss to the sg community.

  16. Yeah... wrote:

    Despite the audio issues, great stuff. Allman sounds better than ever, and the point of the essay is very well-taken. BenLinus, #13, what you stated is also true; something like that is rare today in sgm - except for some soloists who play for themselves. As for quartets, note all of the positive comments on the Dixie Echoes on a recent post. I can’t help but believe that if more artists lost the tracks and stacks, and presented music as honest as this performance was, we might just salvage this genre of music.

  17. Montana Man wrote:

    Hey Doug, what’s your need/recent fascination w/the F word? As in STFU atop this thread, and a WTF in another one?

    I remember an old coach who said “Cursing is the crutch of conversational cripples.”

    And you’re a college prof w/a need for proficiency in writing?

    I’m surprised no one else has complained — that’s the right word — about your F approach.

  18. Wade wrote:

    Montana Man… ahhh several ppl have VOTED not to have the F- Word. It is on a couple of the other threads. But if you have been around long you might know Dr. DH never answers these types of questions. He has several Pseudonyms.

    As far as this video. I would like to know WTF was going on in the room that was better than the sangin’???

    I wish they would have STFU!!!

  19. Montana Man wrote:

    wade, I know he never ANSWERS. But he does read…

    The deterioration continues…

  20. Wade wrote:

    Montana Man…

    Ppl have been saying the site was going to deteriorate for YEARS!!!

    Next thing I know you will be on here saying like dr joe that you are going to go away… he’s been telling that lie for YEARS and he is still on here being right & swerving scripture to meet his needs!!

    See ya next year.

  21. jeff wrote:

    i have followed chris and his singing since the beginning of GV and i have to say “he is one of the most original, gifted, tenor singers in america. thank you for posting this…..man i would love to hear him record that song with that style!!

  22. Robert wrote:

    I don’t want to condone cursing. I was taught that those whose vocabulary consisted of a lot of it did not have a broad enough vocabulary to think of any other words to put in place of the bad ones. As I got older I started to realize that sometimes (less often than more) in certain situations clean words just don’t make the same impact as the dirty ones. I’m thinking maybe someone with the education and vocabulary of Doug may feel the same way.

  23. 1 old fan wrote:

    Robert #22 wrote: “I was taught that those whose vocabulary consisted of a lot of [cursing] did not have a broad enough vocabulary to think of any other words to put in place of the bad ones.”

    I was taught the same thing, and I too thought in my younger years that there were “certain situations clean words just don’t make the same impact as the dirty ones.” As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found thoses situations fewer and farther between. To the point, in fact, where they may be now non-existant.

  24. GreatStacheofIvan wrote:

    this is great stuff. you should hear it live. more unbelievable.

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