Weekend Roundup

So what’s been going on while I was away in the real world?

  • Calvin Hunt, who released his late work with sg producer Wayne Haun in recent years (and earned two Dove Award nominations for his 2008 album with Haun’s Vine Records), died the day after Christmas.  RIP.
  • Mark Trammell Trio announced it will become a quartet. The reconfiguration will no doubt bring a few rubbernecking fans out a few times when they might have otherwise stayed home.  But in most respects it’s an odd choice, since the problem with the group has never really been about the vocals or the configuration (sg needs another ho-hum male quartet singing with accompaniment tapes about as badly as it needed a middle-tier male trio back when MTT first launched) but rather a prolonged identity crisis (that weird Steve Hurst phase, anyone?) and a chronic poverty of decent material and showmanship.
  • The Return of Josh Cobb  gave me occasion to return to this clip of his singing “I Stand Redeemed” back in the day with L5. In addition to noticing how Cobb as a young ‘un struggled with his solo lines but blended decently in the ensemble (the exact opposite issue he seems to have had in that first outing with GC recently), I also noticed for the first time that glam-rock guitar track that kicks in on the last big chorus (around the 2:20 mark). Party on, Garth.
  • And finally a friendly reminder, this time from Gene Weingarten at the Washington Post, to please refrain from SHOUTING in electronic communications (h/t, M).
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  1. Shellye1206 wrote:

    One more thing that happened while you were away: Young Harmony has “reformed”. Jonathan Bond with Noel Walters & Darlene Chapman. His “Special Anniversary Sale” in his online store: Everything is just $5 Each!

  2. Daniel J. Mount wrote:

    “a chronic poverty of decent material and showmanship.”

    When was the last time you saw a full concert by the Mark Trammell Trio?

  3. Alan wrote:

    I agree with Daniel. All things music will always be subjective, but that was pretty harsh. The sound of the MTT has gelled to a wonderful degree, their personnel is firm and good guys. Mark himself is a legend, with a range we’d all covet if we were allowed to covet. :-) He’s also just a rock solid man. I’d say that it’s time that you took another listen to them. They’re far more than a mid-tier trio. MT has shared the stage for many years with George Younce and Tim Riley, as well as Ray Reese. He will not hire “just anyone”, simply to become a quartet. I think it’s a smart move, and it undoubtedly comes at the time when he feels he can afford to do it. I think we should be celebrating this in advance, rather than judging rather harshly prior to a name even being announced.

  4. Brian wrote:

    No need to worry…I would take this sort of unwarranted attack as an indicator that Mark is doing something right. The tremendous Christian example displayed by Mark and his group is a sure-fire way to get the author of this blog to try to somehow bring it down. The focus here is always to try to tear down.

  5. christy wrote:

    I’m still waiting for the Mike Bowling/group/trio, or whatever it is now, to send out the new cd. It was suppose to be mailed out in November. Any info anyone?

  6. QwertyJuan wrote:

    “No need to worry…I would take this sort of unwarranted attack as an indicator that Mark is doing something right. The tremendous Christian example displayed by Mark and his group is a sure-fire way to get the author of this blog to try to somehow bring it down. The focus here is always to try to tear down.”

    So THAT’S why he like the McKamey’s so well…. ;)

  7. BUICK wrote:

    In Wilburn’s commercial, he talks about the financing that is available from “over fourteen” different lenders. I wonder, if it is fifteen, why didn’t he say fifteen? Or sixteen if that’s what it is. “Over fourteen” seems like a very odd quantifier. (Kind of like, “We had over 237 in attendance last Sunday.”

  8. NonInsider wrote:

    Hmm well maybe the MTT is not DH’s cup of tea… There is nothing wrong with stating your opinion on a given group… I will say that sometimes, a given blogger can go to far with their criticism, and also go to far with their praise of a given group… But I don’t really think DH was out of line by stating what he stated… It is HIS OPINION… You can either agree with it or disagree… I don’t honestly have a opinion one way or another on this subject. I have never honestly saw the group perform so I will withhold opinions…

  9. Ruth wrote:

    I pre-ordered and am waiting for the Shine CD from Bowling Family as well. I was at a concert in October and Mike and Terah along with Katy Peach (Kelly was sick) did one of the songs and it was great. Heavy steel guitar on the track as I recall. Anyone I liked it enough to go to the website and pre-order.

    I was wondering what happened at it was supposed to be available November 24th and then I stumbled across this, posted on their website under “Store”:

    **November Update: Mike, Kelly & Terah are putting the finishing touches on their brand new album, Shine. It will ship just as soon as the album has been completed and manufactured. Thank you for your patience. The Bowling Family

    Apparently it is still not finished because on Twitter this past week they wrote, ”
    Can’t wait for you all to hear “Shine.” Its so close!”

  10. Brian wrote:

    I know it’s Doug’s opinion and it’s certainly his prerogative to post what he posts. I’m not saying he shouldn’t be allowed to post it. I just want to help make sure any fans and artists that may have come across his post and my comment aren’t discouraged by his consistent attempts to tear down people.

  11. Tim wrote:

    I wonder if the God on the Mountain documentary will include anything about the Song Masters who were the first group to chart the song in the 70’s

  12. DMP wrote:

    So what are we to make of Guy Penrod’s album being re-released under Spring House Music? Sounds as if they may have buried the hatchet, so to speak. I wonder if he will be making the rounds on the Homecoming circuit in the coming days?

  13. Joe wrote:

    I would heartily agree with Alan, and others who have called Doug out on his off-the-wall comments about the Mark Trammell trio.

    Doug- have you ever listened to “Loving the Lamb”? Listen just to this one song, then make a comment.

    Mark is more than a legend. He is one of the most respected men, ever, in this business. There is no one else who has been part of the Kingsmen, the Cathedrals, and Gold City, all in their prime, and oh by the way, one of the founding members of Greater Vision.

    His voice is incredible. His Christian character is impeccable. Those of us who know him personally, can attest to this.

    His trios have been, since 2003, some of the very best in SGM. I have no doubt his quartet will be as well.

    Yep- Doug is entitled to his opinion. Even when he is dead wrong.

  14. Oldie wrote:

    I agree with Daniel, Alan and Joe. Maybe Doug should take off some more time and spend it listening to MTT and rethinking the off-the-wall commnts.

  15. John wrote:

    There have been times that I have felt as if Doug says what others simply don’t or won’t. Then there are times that he talks about a group, such as his comments about MTT, that turns all of that around and makes wonder … just what is Doug’s heart? You can dislike a group and still see that group’s heart for ministry.

    Come on Doug, please, if you dislike a group don’t spend your time just making comments simply because you have a blog. Anyone can listen to MTT and know their heart.

    Even if you don’t understand why a trio is going quartet … in a quartet saturated market … look at their heart. You can read Mark’s news release and see that he has been thinking about this for a long time - and he is responding to his fan base. There are times in a ministry that you simply have to decide to go all the way for the Lord or go to the house.

  16. rr wrote:

    Let’s face it, for the most part Doug’s least favorite groups are those that care about ministry. Just sayin’ . . .

  17. Harriet wrote:

    I agree with all y’all MTT fans…the richness and smoothness of Mark’s voice, at least in my opinion, are unsurpassed.

    Joe, you really voiced my feelings best. “Loving the Lamb” is also one of my favorites (as is “Once Upon A Cross”). Doug, give that one a listen too.

    I agree. Mark is indeed beyond a legend. We’re not insiders, just fans, but my husband has always said if we ever had to choose one person to represent SG music…an “Ambassador” if you will, Mark Trammell would be the man.

    When I heard about MTT’s future as a foursome the very first thing that came to my mind was George proclaiming Mark to be the best “quartet man” he’s ever seen.

    There are a lot of personnel changes coming our way but one of the things I’m MOST excited about what’s coming down the road for the soon-to-be MTQ.

  18. DeeAnnBailey wrote:

    I’d just like to add my 2 cents in with most of those already posted, Mark Trammell is the picture beside the word class in the dictionary! He has class, he has talent, he loves God, he love people and he loves music he is singing and WHO he is singing about.

    Comments like those about Mark makes Doug (IMHO) the opposite of the words used to describe Mark.

  19. Just Thinking wrote:

    I think any trio can be improved by adding a bass! I’m looking forward to hearing them!

  20. Bryce wrote:


    I fail to see where Doug’s post contained any comments against the man Mark Trammell. Hypothetically, I could easily agree with your comments on his character and again affirm Doug’s opinion on the Trio itself.

  21. gina wrote:

    I agree with you 100% Bryce! This is an example of someone trying to defend something that isn’t even under attack, for whatever reason…

  22. Irishlad wrote:

    Re:electonic shouting….i’m in no doubt that Daune Allen of ORBs is a very nice man, however on his facebook page he’s always SHOUTING.I’m quite sure he doesn’t mean it.

  23. Joe wrote:

    Bryce and gina-

    You are both mistaken. Bluntly saying that Mark Trammell would leave arguably the best-ever Gold City lineup, to form a “ho-hum middle tier male trio”, is actually an attack on his credentials, his character, and his wisdom.

    To accuse this trio of having a “chronic poverty of decent material”, says that either Mark has no clue what decent songs to sing, or else, that Doug has no clue what decent spiritual songs really are, and cannot recognize one when (if) he hears one.

    To accuse the trio of also having a “chronic poverty of showmanship”, is to further display Doug’s character, and not Mark’s. The trio never, ever set out, to be “showmen”. I know every member he has had, and they are not in this business to be “showmen”. This comment reproaches Doug, and not Mark.

    The entire commentary is off-the-wall.

  24. quartet-man wrote:

    Loving the Lamb is an awesome song. I about had a spell the first time I heard it. Mark in particular does a fabulous job on it, but the other two do as well of course. Mark is also THE baritone and a great guy. I just wanted to say that regardless of what Doug meant or his intentions. :-)

  25. QwertyJuan wrote:

    I’m no expert… but after listening to this, I think Gold City may be back….. reminds me a bit of the GC of the early ’90s(which is a compliment) ;)


  26. RF wrote:

    Totally agree, QwertyJaun. Now they need to back it up with a good CD. I understand one is coming!

  27. GD wrote:

    Amen, #25. I’m Rich is good too! I’m really excited about the potential of this version of Gold City. They’ve always been one of my favorites. Hope they’ll be visiting North Carolina soon!

  28. gina wrote:

    Joe, there can be lots of reasons for flaws within a group. DeeAnn implied Doug felt Mark had “no class, no talent, did not love God”, etc., which if you read his post, he obviously didn’t say. The telling thing is that DeeAnn immediately turned around and attacked Doug, calling him all the things he didn’t say about Mark.

  29. Bryce wrote:

    Joe, I respectfully request that you read Doug’s post again. I did.

    RE: “ho-hum middle tier male trio”

    Not so. The post actually reads:

    “ho-hum male quartet,” i.e. the configuration we, admittedly, have not yet heard, and not the “middle-tier male trio,” as Doug opined.

    Your credibility in discerning the blogger’s intent is compromised by your inability to quote him accurately.

  30. DeeAnnBailey wrote:

    Gina, my post read that Doug’s attack showed the exact opposite from Doug as what we see from Mark. Why when that is said is it an attack but when Doug says something negative it is just a comment or an opinion?

    I don’t get your logic on that one.

  31. cynical one wrote:

    I think some of MTT’s potential image issues might be related to the fact that Mark has chosen to go the ministry route, rather than primarily the concert circuit. Mark stated from the beginning he wanted the opportunity to preach. That’s why he tends to do more churches, revivals, etc.

    I remember a few decades back, the Speers felt they had done so many church gigs, revivals, and campmeetings, they had become known more as a “church” attraction than a “concert” attraction. That greatly affected their income. They found they were not ASKED to do the concert circuit as much. So they had to rethink their strategy in song selection, looking for more songs that were “concert doorbusters”, so to speak.

    I don’t know if it worked for them, but I understand their thinking. I hope this made sense to the rest of you.

  32. Joe wrote:

    Bryce- what I wrote, may not have been overtly stated by Doug. But it WAS very loudly inferred.

    A “ho-hum male quartet” arising from a “middle-tier male trio”, is essentially, saying that 3/4 of the first, has been spawned by the latter. It is an A=B=C scenario, and NONE of it is complementary in the least. And, at least one part of it is inherently untrue.

    For anyone considered a SGM “expert” to state that the MTT of the past 5 years is “middle-tier”, and has “a chronic poverty of decent material”…not only are they totally mistaken, but they are making derogatory comments about the class act who owns the trio, who picks the songs, and who will manage the upcoming quartet.

    It’s one thing to be wrong. It’s another thing to be unkindly wrong.

  33. Bryce wrote:

    Joe, I definitely see your point.

    I do maintain that it is possible to enjoy Mark… Mark’s singing, Mark’s preaching, Mark’s songwriting, Mark’s bass guitar playing, etc., all the while not enjoying the group he’s assembled or is assembling. And I don’t think any of Doug’s stated opinions were out of line (if that were even possible, given his understanding of the industry and his connections). There is an undeniable business element to putting a group on the road, and decisions made relative to this element are fair game for armchair quarterbacking. The subjective interpretive part of all this, of which I doubt either of us will convince the other, is the intent of the author.

  34. gina wrote:

    DeeAnn, number one, because Doug never said the things you imply he’s accusing Mark of being (and that you later state about Doug). This wording might be confusing but the logic sure isn’t.

  35. matt wrote:


    Here’s a link to some MTQ….hope it hasn’t been posted yet.

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