NQC 10: Friday night

There are basically two types of NQC fans: the True Believers, a varietal of the Joyful Noisers, for whom the music matters to the degree that it affirms bedrock beliefs about gospel music’s religious superiority and cultural uniqueness (and for whom technical or artistic proficiency matters less than celebrating the tried and true), and what I’ll call the Arts and Crafts Types, who place emphasis on form, style, skill and execution. In short, the art and craft of the music. The former far outnumber the latter, and though there are a few artists who can satisfy both groups, most measure success by how happy the True Believers are at the end of the night.

As a card-carrying member of the Arts and Crafts crowd, I’ve always known that for me and my kind, enjoyment comes in moments fleeting and tenuous, rare and precious, but powerful and longlasting. We store these moments up, and then live off them during long droughts of musical mediocrity that the True Believer noisily applauds.

But tonight, dear readers, your humble correspondent nearly starved to death. The night’s music was a thin gruel that left me woefully malnourished in the face of Screaming Kingsmen (didn’t Harold Reed used to be able to sing?) and any group that has “boys” in the name (I had to invent a new term – “serrated tones” – to even come close to capturing the ordeal of Down East’s tenor). MNP insists this is worst single night at NQC that she can recall. That seems pretty bold, given that she and I have been coming pretty consistently for nigh onto two decades now. But sadly, I’m not sure she’s wrong.

One operative principle of this whole enterprise of listening and responding publicly to NQC is that honest engagement with the music and an open embrace of competing perspectives (that’s you) encourages a more meaningful appreciation of gospel music’s value when it’s good. But this evening’s experience may have broken the back of that ethos.

So tonight’s report will look a little different. Specifically, I’ve scrapped the normal three-tired structure of categories I use to organize my thoughts because … well, frankly, they don’t apply to what I heard tonight. Instead, I’ll highlight a few things that stood out up in the nosebleeds and then remark on a few trends embedded within some of the more problematic moments.

Stuff That Didn’t Really SuckJanet Paschal: She brought three friends with her tonight – Cheri (sp?) Parker, Joy Gardner, and Katy Peach – and it was by far the most musically accomplished and compelling ensemble of the evening. The set opened with “God Rides on Wings of Love,” her newest single, and it’s frankly a dog of a tune, but that really doesn’t matter because the set ended with “I am Not Ashamed of the Gospel.” A friend joined MNP and me up in the bitter barn near the top of Freedom Hall and turned to me when the song was over and said: They should take that on the road. ME: where can I get tickets? The sound was rich and warm, full yet harmonically focused, big and encompassing (despite the fact that Paschal’s slider in the house mix was way too low), yet unforced and naturally fluent. It was impossible not to fall in love with this rewarding sound, and given that so many male quartets stink so badly, it’s easy to wish for a quartet convention along these lines.

Cody McVeigh is the Kingsmen pianist, but don’t hold that against him. While Harold Reed was hacking his way through “He’s All I Need,” McVeigh’s light, tasteful touch provided a welcome and classy respite from the lashing vocals. But it was also an impressive display in its own right, made all the more so for his lack of self-involvement at the keyboard. He reminded me of Wayne Haun during Sig Sound’s set.

Speaking of Signature Sound, I’m going to wait to reserve judgment on their Cats’ Reunion until I see and hear the full album, but tonight it was interesting to get a glimpse of that material in a live setting. I’ll say this for the group tonight, they certainly can’t be accused of over-stacking their set. It was very alive and warmblooded, full of nostalgic enthusiasm made more human by the noticeable rough patches in a few places.

The verses of Triumphant’s “Love Came Calling,” their new single, are melodically lovely, and Scott Inman treated them with very pleasant care and nuance (I hope you see that I’m really, really trying here to make a purse out of this dumbo-sized sow’s ear).

Everything Else

  • To start with, there’s just a lot crummy, overlong, unfocused and uninteresting material out there. I’m not talking about people having a bad tune here or there in their mix. I mean, entire groups have built not just NQC sets but their whole identity around songs of Amazonian length, set at a funereal pace, with  no lyrical or emotional core, and musically uncentered. The Freemans (last night), the Talleys, Crists, Melody Boys tonight (at least what I heard before I walked out) … the list goes on and on. For a lot of people, NQC is the only time to hear most of these groups. If you’ve got a captive audience and there’s a premium on time, why call a downbeat, dirgy soulsucker  or a downbeat and dirgily arranged evergreen (Talleys again!) that takes up more than half your allotted time? This is a risky proposition in general, given the size of the performance space, but if you do this after, say, 9 p.m., you’re just begging to be ignored. Material and judgment are both in far too short supply.
  • Tears may be the language God understands, but judging by the choice of tunes they call, most artists speak primarily in large, loud, bursts of sonic bombast. The Gaither Vocal Band was the primest illustration of this maxim. Their set resembled nothing so much as finger painting with boxing gloves.

  • I realize that there’s never been a golden age when all the men were good looking, all the women strong, and all the kids were above average in southern gospel, but it’s pretty undeniable that southern gospel is currently enthrall as never before to massively overproduced tracks, backed up with vocal stacks of Mormon Tabernacle Choir proportions, to achieve effects historically created primarily by vocal talent (this is also true for piano soloists like Kim Collingsworth and Jeff Stice – Tim Parton is a notable exception; though he used a big backing track, he had some really originally conceived passages, most especially a segment near the middle of his rendition of “Wonderful Grace of Jesus” that arranged the tune in the style of a Chopin Etude). In addition to making singers lazy (see below), this approach also makes it almost impossible for singers to not violate Harrison’s First Law of Tracks and Stacks: don’t draw attention to them. Tonight the GVB sang as bad as I’ve ever heard them, or maybe not. Maybe they just had the tracks backed way down more often than usual. Sure, David Phelps sang an A-flat in full voice. And Wes Hampton, who is probably the group’s most comprehensively gifted singer, had some really pleasing passages on a regular basis. But these moments were far outweighed by sloppy endings, showy harmonies riddled with pitchiness, and a general sense of apathy (David Phelps didn’t even bother to try to act like he wasn’t less than bored by all moments when he wasn’t stealing the show). In some cases these kinds of errors can be humanizing. But when you’re always singing with pitch perfect stacks, glimpses of humanity become conspicuous gaffes. 
  •  Out of shape, sloppy, lazy, or otherwise serially unmusical singing. I’ve already mentioned the Harold Reed fiasco. But I’d hate to leave the impression that he stood out in anyway. This phenomenon is the great common bond of southern gospel, reaching from the Skyline Boys to Michael English to David Sutton (he gave McCray Dove a run for his money in the Incomprehensible Diction Department).
  • Lazy showmanship: it’s not an unpardonable offense to sing the same big song this year that you relied on last year, but if you’re, say, Michael English, and you set up your rendition of “Please Forgive Me” last year with how great it felt to be back home and accepted after a long journey in the barren land of an inconstant faith, and the crowd roared – last year  … well, it’s probably not really necessary to ask forgiveness again and tell everybody how great it feels to be back home and accepted after a blah blah blah. You’re forgiven already.
  • The real shame of all this is that it makes the Arts and Crafts Type less likely to give a singer the benefit of the doubt because there’s so much accumulating evidence that mediocre is the new must-have of the season industry. I don’t, for instance, dislike the Easters and I really wish Morgan Easter well as she grows into her part in the group, but by midnight of an evening like this, all I could think during the Easters set was, I miss Charlotte, who provided a civilizing counterbalance to the intensely vernacular texture of the Easter family vocal style. Ditto the Perrys. Troy Peach seems like a super nice guy and he’s got the right onstage mojo for an emotional group, but I simply walked out and headed for the car when he started singing the first verse of … whatever it was he was singing. Masticated vowels and pitch shaving galore … it was like being inside a snow cone machine. Maybe earlier in the evening his folksy charm would have won out, but you can’t follow a night full of suckiness and get by on charm at 1230 a.m.

Yeah, sure, I know, I’m in the minority here, just as I know I’m among the minority that thinks that the Foxification of NQC is a thing to mourn (tonight we were treated to the unexpected “surprise” of Fox News/CBS talking head Rita Cosby hyping her new book about the flag, and fathers and faith). Just like I know I’m probably among a minority who believes if children are starving, that fact, all by itself, is the first, best and only reason Christians need to feed the hungry (a fact I had nearly 15 minutes to mull over while Gerald Wolfe assured us he really wasn’t putting the hard sell on for Compassion International).

I suspect these minorities aren’t as small as the majority likes to imagine when it’s clapping for marriage, mom, and apple pie Fox News. But even if I’m wrong, I can’t imagine I’m the only one who’s noticing the steady erosion of the event’s focus on music as it slides in a swampy soup of profit-taking preachers, politics, and predigested pap. Which is to say: Not only does there seem to be less and less live music. There’s a marked deterioration in the quality of the music that’s left. And that’s bad news for everybody.PS: as always, it’s late, I’m tired and there are doubtless errors of fact or spelling here. Please let me know via email and I’ll fix asap.

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  1. Harold Reed wrote:

    hey thanks for mentioning me twice in your usual useless banter. i will never defend my singing nor should i have to but if you were a real man, my wish would be for you to come find me and give me your critique to my face as id like to meet you. personally i think itd be fun for you to sing in my place Saturday night, i would greatly enjoy it. ill jus end with this..the day i leave the kingsmen, ill never miss folks like you who i dont even think Jesus could please. btw, you will only have to miss the first 20-25 minutes of the night and we will be sure not to assault your ears.
    Harold Reed

  2. Harold Reed wrote:

    hey thanks for mentioning me 3 times…also drop by and meet me, thatd be a hoot. i cant wait to hear you up on stage tomorrow so i can write about your singing ability…oh wait you bought a ticket to sit in a seat jus to write about us..how rude of me to forget

  3. Irishlad wrote:

    I think what happens when you go to the NQC year after year (i nearly said KFC there,some weird sort of Freudian slip to do with the food stands no doubt)one suffers from the “law of diminishing returns”.In other words your experience becomes increasing diluted with every return visit until a numbness of the senses sets in and a cynical overly critical attitude ensues rendering one with a “seen that done that wore the tee-shirt” mindset.Indeed after 20 odd years the novelty well and truly wears off,well perhaps not for the Joyful Noisers.I think i’ll start a new group called the Joyless Noisome.

  4. Bvilleguy wrote:

    You need to be prayed for, if you don’t like the NQTC dont go, dont listen,

    They are singing for the Lord, and you need the LORD

  5. Irishlad wrote:

    First Jeremy then Harold…you’re the boy Avery :)

  6. Eric wrote:

    Hey Harold. It’s “just” not “jus”. Also, are you implying that you are somehow more talented or better than Mr. Harrison because you are an actual performer on the mainstage. That’s pretty arrogant. You should take the critique lightly and use it to improve your game.

    Doug, I think this monologue from Mr. Reed absolutely perpetuates the “True Believer” myth.

  7. Eric wrote:

    I also agree about the Michael English comments. He’s always been one to experiment with his voice but, man he’s channeling Vestal way to much lately. Also, everybody knows his testimony so he should just be brief with it and SING.

  8. Amy Reed wrote:

    Thanks for your commentary on Harold and The Kingsmen. I am so thankful to folks like you who sit in the audience and yet still feel they have the right to criticize those on stage. I would agree with Harold in that perhaps you should go by and make your comments to his face, but you are like so many others, you speak your mind here and you are not man enough to say such things to Harold or for that matter most likely anyone else you criticized faces. Over the years I have met many like you….you know the ones who are so critical of SGM artists because they themselves do not have the talent to be on stage but want to be and so to make up for their own inadequacies they criticize those who are. What I find most amusing is that I would say that you even consider yourself a true Christian. Well in that case I guess I should say…..God help the church and I will be praying for you.

  9. Amy Reed wrote:

    “Out of shape, sloppy, lazy, or otherwise serially unmusical singing. ”

    Well where is your picture showing your oh so perfect self??????? Again you arrogance s very annoying!!! I would hope that you would be man enough to address my comments and that one day we may even meet in person just so I can say to your face all that I ghave said here. Because unlike you I AM a woman and an adult and do not hide behind an internet blog but rather would speak directly to your face…..too bad I was not at NQC this year as I would have made it a point to found you and spoken directly to your face. What a shame that the world is so full of cowardly critics who hide from the words they have written about others.

  10. Alan Kendall wrote:

    Doug…why do you even go to NQC? From reading all these posts, sounds like you waste a lotta money.

  11. Butch wrote:

    Dude, you got to be a miserable sob to live with. I can’t figure out why you stay with this music. It appears to be the infatuation with the tenor sings.

  12. Brian wrote:

    I guess count me as a “True Believer”, although I don’t understand how that is an insult. Hopefully everyone that sings and attends the NQC is a true believer.

    Harold, don’t let the devil get you discouraged reading what is written here. The author of this blog hates God, and he will attack anything you do in service for Him. Take his criticisms as a sign you are doing something right. We can only pray that one day he will hear something at NQC that will open his heart to his need for Jesus Christ.

    I admit I probably should stay away from here, but I am just a fan. It especially bothers me when I see that gospel music artists are reading what is here. What they need more than anything is encouragement and prayer, not to be torn down. Doug will have to answer to God for every word he has said here that has caused discouragement to one of His servants, or discord among brethren. I know that this is his purpose, but there will come a day when it won’t be fun and games anymore for him. But the Blood of Jesus is able to cleanse, if he will let it.

  13. Auke wrote:

    Oh lawdy,lawdy,…whenever we agree together…lol.
    Michael is a fine singer…and uses his testimony….we are called to testify…not to be original in the delivery! The things he went thru impacted him deeply…and he shares it! And if only one person should be touched by it…it served it’s purpose!

    Personally i hate the same lame comedy routines a lot of groups do much more…that’s a field where you can/shud be original/creative. A personal testimony is what it is…no creative freedom with that….otherwise people will call you a fake, when they bust your ass telling a inconsistecy.
    Also bare in mind that some performers aren’t really comfortable talking from a stage (i am one of those)…maybe Michael is one of em…so if he’s asked to say something or to share something…this is what he feels most comfortable with…since he told it countless times already (no pun intented). Where ever the guy goes people bring up the issues of his past.
    Maybe he really is sick of the folk who bring it up time after time..and just decided to beat them to it!!!
    As you can see the things you guys write about singers are hurtful and quite rude at times.
    Communicating your concerns/critque on SGM and it’s artists is a real craft too…(craft comes from the german word ‘kraft’ which means ‘power’ ).
    You would be much more powerful if you tried to be more constructive in your critiques….if you master that, you’ve mastered an Art…and are a true Arts and Crafts man!

  14. Eugene McCammmon wrote:

    I told a friend earlier in the week that I was in the Temple of Mediocrity. Seems you are in the same place.

  15. Auke wrote:

    Michael English, and you set up your rendition of “Please Forgive Me” last year with how great it felt to be back home and accepted after a long journey in the barren land of an inconstant faith, and the crowd roared – last year … well, it’s probably not really necessary to ask forgiveness again and tell everybody how great it feels to be back home and accepted after a blah blah blah. You’re forgiven already.

    Just this about Michael….maybe the guy is genuinly grateful and humbled that he can share the stage again with his favorite group…and isn’t complacent or to arrogant to show it! And btw if you’re sharing a testimony you are not asking forgiveness again…he is forgiven and knows it! Like you wrote it seems as if Michael is looking for a approval from the crowd….if he does, he shouldn’t!
    Mike if you’re reading this you owe us nothing….you got the stamp of approval already…wear it proudly!

  16. Soli Deo Gloria wrote:

    When did we make the leap that God is automatically pleased by any performance, good or bad, simply because it occurs at NQC?

    And don’t take it so personally, Harold…the Kingsmen have always sucked.

  17. Brady wrote:

    So, I’ve read all this thread with interest. And what amazes me is that this blog boils down to one non-professional’s personal opinion. Yes, it’s often stated spiritedly and even at times with a dose of venom, it seems, but the bottom line is that this is one fan’s opinoin. This is not a professional singer or musician talking here. Why does everyone get so bent out of shape? It’s one man’s opinion. That said, he’s right a lot of the time, but people get so bent out of shape over how it’s expressed, they’re too thick-headed to actually take what he says as legitimate and artists are too sensitive to try to learn from what is said and improve themselves or their group from his comments.

    If you are in professional music, you obviously have enough self-esteem and pride to think you are good enough to be there. That said, if you place yourself in the public eye, you get to deal with….the public! It’s funny how that works. Egos, wearing feelings on your shoulder, and holding grudges are not valuable characteristics of being a professional artist. Get over it. And maybe if you took the comment as constructive, even if it was said in a nasty way, maybe you could get to the issue of why that comment was made and try to improve upon your performance. That would help both you and those who are gracious enough to buy tickets to come see you and by CDs that pay your bills–you know, those of us who make your living for you.

    Trust me, I seldom to rarely agree with Doug on how he presents his opinion, but after listening to the radio and some Youtube performances, I’m glad I didn’t waste my time on going to NQC and what has been some of the sorriest singing I’ve ever heard from our industry. I know I’ve not heard every group, but of the ones I have, I’d say the Bowlings and Tribute have been the closest to actually doing some great singing. Tribute has a great blend and I did not notice them oversinging, as several other groups have done this week, even the most awareded ones. And I sat watching the Youtube of the Bowlings sing “A Miracle Today,” and I thought, bless Kelly Bowling, there she is in a body brace singing better than most of the able-bodied performers that I’ve heard this week. And I’d give her an off night or a sour note or a sloppy performance for what they’ve been through, but they did a fine job.

    And before anyone starts tearing into me for what I’ve said, let me say this. I have always been a champion for this industry. I think we have the best singers of any genre. Very few country artists sound as good in person as they do on their records, and we have an industry full of incredible singers and groups. This convention has definitely not been the norm for such sorry singing. What is going on? It seems like people are trying to oversing. Who are we wanting to impress? Just go sing the song from your heart, people. And if you had an off night and stunk, don’t get all bent out of shape if someone caught it. Not all of us are ignorant to sour notes and sloppy vocal work. I think the days of passing off sloppy singing are over, so if those artists cannot handle the truth, maybe they need to step aside and allow some people who can sing it better and are willing to take criticism and use it to their advantage to take over.

  18. art wrote:

    Thanks for being there, Avery. I always enjoy your comments. I’ll point out that Avery leaves himself open to backlash all the time. I’ll also point out that in a previous post, Avery had some very nice posts about Jason Crabb and Taranda Greene. And he’s also had some mostly nice but nuanced comments about other artists. Contrary to Avery’s critics, he does not ONLY tear people down.

    Seems to me the performers who are aware of the value of nuance on stage would be aware of the existence of nuance in commentary.

    It also seems to me that performers ought to review their own performances — gasp! — critically.

  19. Ben S wrote:

    I could be wrong, but I believe the phrase “Specifically, I’ve scrapped the normal three-tired structure of categories” was intended to mean “three-tiered structure”. Forgive me if I’m wrong, and disregard this comment.

    Also, is that really Harold Reed on here defending himself? LoL if so

    Have a blessed day

  20. Nobody wrote:

    I agree with #17.

    I realize that it’s hard to hear someone say that you didn’t sound good, especially when singing might pay your bills, but the trainwreck that was the Kingsmen the night in question was a royal trainwreck. We wave the white flag of surrender. Now please stop screaming at us.

    As a consumer, I’ve paid for the right to an opinion about your performance, and so has Doug, like it or not.

    Mr. Reed, (and really everybody else), we’re only asking for some blending here. Some listening to each other. Some actual “group” singing. No one is trying to assault your mother or judge your character. We’re just asking for our groups to get back to singing.

  21. The Gospel Stache wrote:

    It’s too bad that the all too common, Southern Gospel fan treats the “fallen” and others who have had their weaknesses and sins exposed. There is a line, of course, but the simple fact that many have not fully accepted Michael English back after 17 years or so, or still look upon him as if some cloud hangs over him…is quite sad. The man’s musical “home” is the SG variety. He has been broken…which has led to humility, forgiveness, and restoration. God could totally redeem a man or woman that may never be accepted back, and of course in our humanity, we would not forget so quickly…but 17 years? It’s not always God & Gaither. I think i may go listen to some liberal grunge rock now aka Pearl Jam.

  22. Brady wrote:

    #20–Mr. Reed’s mother is deceased. I am sure you did not know that.

    The problem is that too many people cannot separate the people from the problems. If what you do us review or critiqe, I don’t think it is mean-spirited to say someone’s music was sub-par on a given day. I can’t think of too many people in gospel music whom I don’t like personally. But just because I like them, it doesn’t mean that they all get a free pass musically. An honest critique done constructively should benefit both the artist and the critic–the artist can learn and improve from it and the critic can establish himself as a fair assessor of the music.

  23. Alan wrote:

    Mr. Reed, we don’t know each other, only a few handshake meetings at concerts. I wasn’t there last night, so I have no idea if you had an off-night, couldn’t hear your voice in the monitor mix, whatever. We all have better days than others, and few who comment here will ever know just how vulnerable it is to stand in front of many, on an evening when no matter how hard you try, you don’t have your A-game.

    Doug’s review, and your responses, are the stuff of PR nightmares - the kind so vivid that even after you wake up, you still have lingering effects from it! You faced a choice; ignore what he wrote, or respond. And, in response, the choice of how to. It brought to mind the old saw “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach. Those who can’t do or teach become critics.” This is Doug’s blog, and thanks to the internet and a reasonable domain fee, he can write whatever he wants to. I just wanted to say this, Mr. Reed: You have carried Gospel music to more stages, recorded and sold more product, and endured more of the “Twenty hours of sheer boredom for 4 hours of pure magic” days, than 95% (or more) of those who write or comment on this site. When I visit this site, like most, I’ll occasionally be annoyed, even angry, as some of the writing, and many of the comments, are written from a decidedly non-Christian mindset and bias. Still, I come back to read it every so often, as there’s some transcendent writing, the piece on Shannon Childress being a case in point.

    Mr. Reed, allow your life and the body of your work to speak for itself? After all, at the end of the day, none of us will stand and give account of ourselves in front of any mere critics. We’ll face the ultimate Judge Himself, and the only thing that will matter is gaining His “Well Done”. So, in the grand scheme of things, this doesn’t really count for much, does it? Blessings to you, Sir.

  24. The Gospel Stache wrote:

    If you can do what you love to do and pay the bills, keep on dude. But I guess like any job, criticism is expected. If it’s also about genuine ministry, (and i think this may hold true for you b/c i’ve seen you guys in concert and the Gospel message was presented) then praise the Lord and ignore the critics. Guys like Billy Graham and Jerry Falwell and Joel Osteen (ok Osteen is a joke), were really not great preachers, but they had something, vision or charisma, or whatever and God clearly used it for His glory(maybe not in God’s political agenda).
    However I’m guilty of reading this blog and enjoying most of it for whatever reason. A lot of the times he says things alot of us were thinking already. I just don’t think we would think the things that we do if most artists were not artists, but ministers. It’s sad this genre has come to that point in many regards.

  25. Faith wrote:

    Sorry, Harold and Amy. Doug’s comments were pretty nasty, and I don’t blame you for being upset.

    But speaking of out-of-shape people…I watched the Youtube video of Kelly Bowling, and all I could think was…WOW, those are some fat kids!

    I mean, seriously, people…those kids travel on the bus with their parents…couldn’t / shouldn’t Mom and Dad encourage the kids to live a healthier lifestyle? Hey…perhaps they could start, and the kids would follow?

  26. Amill wrote:

    It was Sherri Parker Miller who performed with Janet Paschal and Katy Peach. She is the wife of former Kingsmen member Randy Miller.

  27. irishlad wrote:

    I could be wrong but the respondents on this blog who are the most vemonously opposed and diametrically opposite to avery and his thoughts are the ones whom display the most spectacular and startling grammatical errors.Sincere as they may be I can’t help visualize Doug smirking behind his laptop.

  28. rr wrote:

    I’d say Avery was a little over the edge in his critique of Harold. I don’t even know Harold, but I felt very bad for what was said. Thank goodness Avery and his laptop and perfect pitch ears were not critiquing groups back when I rode a quartet bus night after night.

  29. DRL wrote:

    A card carrying member of the Arts and Crafts crowd??? That club seriously still comprises a “crowd”? I think you missed the mass-exodus of anyone who truly understands sg music as a craft by about 15 years.
    And you wonder why Phelps looks a little bored, huh?

  30. Amy Reed wrote:

    “No one is trying to assault your mother or judge your character.” These words were written by Nobody, post #20.

    How dare you make a reference to our mother! She passed away over 17 years ago though I do wish she were here for she would pray for all those who feel the need to say hurtful words. Not simply because they are about Harold but because our mother was a true Christian and never spoke badly of anyone. Too bad there are not more like her here. Now if you care to mention our mother again it is not Harold you will need to be concerned about but rather me for I am not like my brother and I do not even pretend to be!!! He may get upset by the words spoken by ignorant fools but he will forgive and forget I on the other hand will not!!!! As for judging Harold’s character….I know surely there is something in that book you keep lying around your house that you carry around on Sundays about judging others……just sayin……

  31. Amy Reed wrote:

    **Irishlad** the key words in your statement are “smirking behind his laptop” You only further prove what a low life coward this Doug is!!!!! Come out from behind the laptop you coward and be a real man for just once in your life!!!!

  32. Amy Reed wrote:

    “If those artists cannot handle the truth, maybe they need to step aside and allow some people who can sing it better and are willing to take criticism and use it to their advantage to take over.”

    Oh brady I am still ROFLMAO over this one and wondering if you are yet another person who bought their ticket to NQC??? I would say that answer would be a definite YES!!!!!
    Bring on the one you think can “sing it beter” for surely I feel your name will be included somewhere in the conversation even if it is only in the words pertaining to whom you think is better….OMG I just cant stop laughing at your ignorant comments…..HAHAHA

  33. Amy Reed wrote:

    Post #22 Brady we do not need you to defend our mother but thanks anyway…..

  34. Wade wrote:

    What Dr. DH wrote matches with reports I am getting from people both pure observers and performers.

    Yeah go check out some youtube stuff and it should not be hard to believe the things said.

    Don’t kid yourself, everybody in the biz reads this blog.

    How great is it when a performer gets on here to huff & puff.

    But I do not recall a WIFE jumping in too!! That’s some good drama!!! ;-) I know I would be THRILLED if my wife had to get on some place to DEFEND me!! I just knew any second they were gonna threaten to have their Dad beat you up!!

    Too Funny!!

  35. Soli Deo Gloria wrote:

    Paul was beaten, stoned, mocked, ridiculed, almost murdered several times, but he never stopped. He never responded to critics except when they attacked the gospel itself.

    The Reeds, however, made fools of themselves responding to criticism which, by comparison, us pretty light. They went as far as to threaten to never forgive or forget.

    Talent, or lack thereof, aside, perhaps the Reeds should seriously reconsider whether they’re cut out for professional ministry altogether…

  36. The Hoff wrote:

    #34 #35??????????? Hey guys I don’t want to sound rude but are you both to stupid to realize amy is harolds sister not his wife. If you are going to be B??L S??T artists at least be professional ?UL? ?HI? artists.

    #34 Also just to let you know there father has also passed away, would you like me to give you a egg or do you have some laying around with your ???? ????.

    #35 “”They went as far as to threaten to never forgive or forget.”" I don’t remember Harold saying anything like that, could this be more ???? ????.

  37. Amy Reed wrote:

    Wade you are an idiot and you prove it when you open your mouth here….you are like so many who follow SGM and you want everyone to think you know so much about the Artists well obviously in this case you just yet again proved my point. I AM NOT Harold’s wife but I AM Harold’s sister! And you ignorant ass our father is dead but make no mistake there are still those who may one day beat up someone like you up….to be clear I am not threatening you in any way simply saying that a person can only be an idiot for so long and verbally make smart remarks to others before they run up on the one person who may not take to kindly to the words and express their feelings with anger and physical violence.

    SolideGloria “They went as far as to threaten to never forgive or forget. ” Just so everyone is clear on this my brother is a forgiving person and he will forget I on the other hand do not!!! This has nothing to do with Harold! But hey thanks for showing everyone your lack of understand of the English language….

    “the Reeds should seriously reconsider whether they’re cut out for professional ministry altogether…” Perhaps you would be so kind as to tell me where I said anything about being in a “professional ministry”????? I NEVER said that and I am in a ministry but rather I prefer to speak the words that I feel to be my truth and not have to worry about the hypocrites, I mean Christians who flood churches and SGM events. As for Harold….again more proof that you do not know much of anything about him, Harold has een traveling and singing full time SGM since he was 18 years old with some of the best in the SGM industry. I think he knows where he belongs, sadly it would seem that it is you that does not know your place

    The Hoff….thank you for trying to be the voice of reason in this senseless babble of ignorance and misinformation. At least you had your facts correct before you started….
    My words ARE NOT those of my brother and therefore if there is an issue with my comments be an adult and address me and not Harold as he is not the one addressing you but rather I AM!!!!!

  38. Faith wrote:

    Irishlad, you are TOTALLY right! Some of the comments on here are so poorly-written that they make me laugh out loud. And these people honestly wonder why we can’t see their side of things? Maybe we just can’t dumb down that far.

  39. Wade wrote:

    Ahhh Hoff… I don’t have Harold’s Family Tree hanging around. Amy sounded like an out of control, angry, over reacting wife so that is what I went with… the fact that she is Harold Sister makes it even funnier… thanks for letting me know!!

  40. The Hoff wrote:

    #39 Dude you can’t get off that easy, I think all this is funny but face it you just got smacked in the face with 2 eggs.

    “”I don’t have Harold’s Family Tree hanging around. Amy sounded like an out of control, angry, over reacting wife so that is what I went with”"

    I guess I don’t need to say what happens when you ASSume.

  41. Wade wrote:


    The Singing Echoes from Cleveland, Tn have been singing Gospel Music a lot longer than Harold, but that does not make them good!!

    God Bless Your Heart!!!

  42. Kim Chanwack wrote:

    Did anyone hear The new Young Harmony Tuesday? They sounded so much better than the duet in the past!!! I am a new Young Harmony fan now.

  43. Grace wrote:

    On the upside, guys, the writer of this blog has very finely developed categorizing skills.

  44. Wade wrote:

    Well Hoff you and Amy would be the first 2 to throw eggs. I would have had to really worry about it to be bothered my mistakenly IDing Amy as his wife. I am not a diesel fume sniffer so I do not keep up with Family Trees or who died and who hasn’t!!!

    Being smacked by you 2 girls would be an honor!!

    You must be assuming I give a shit!!

  45. The Hoff wrote:

    Wade, apparently you do you are still trying to defend your stupidity.

    If you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen /TRANSLATION/ If you can’t stand the heat do not comment.

    “”I would have had to really worry about it to be bothered my mistakenly IDing Amy”"

    How is anybody supposed to read that.

    “”I am not a diesel fume sniffer so I do not keep up with Family Trees or who died and who hasn’t!!! Being smacked by you 2 girls would be an honor!!

    Again, the best you could come up with.

  46. DMP wrote:

    I’m conflicted. Artists need to realize that they are under scrutiny every time they get on stage. Everything from their hair, to their voice, and even their personal life is fair game. I’m not defending it, I’m just stating a fact. On the other hand, I too think Wade is an idiot. I guess I am a man with no home. Yes Wade, I am a man. So please stop calling me “honey.”

  47. The Hoff wrote:

    I would like to also say I am grateful that we live in a country where we can express our opinions freely (both positive and negative).

    I was at NQC on and off all week, yes I heard the good and bad, my favorite group only sang twice but I think every one that sang on the main stage put 100 percent effort into there performance.

    About this whole Harold Reed thing I saw the Kingsmen and they did fine as did others (some did not) but the opinion the author of this blog stated was his and in a good response Harold stated his, end of story.

    I have looked over the past couple of topics and found only the first two responses to be from Harold other than that he has not said a word.

    Here on out said topic is a dead horse.

    For a fair and balanced report does anyone think the Kingsmen did a good job on Tuesday and Saturday.

  48. Nobody wrote:

    I wouldn’t recognize a single Reed on the street if they slapped me, and at this point I would fully expect it. I literally know nothing about any of the Reed family other than one of them turned in a rough performance last week. I definitely wasn’t trying to actually assault a deceased person whom I know nothing of and, frankly, actually assume was a lovely person. It’s just a phrase we use–not trying to assault your mother. In other words, it’s not a personal attack. My sincere apologies if there was a true misunderstanding.
    Sincere apologies.
    Please don’t give this any more time, Ms. Reed. It’s doesn’t matter in the scheme of things.

  49. Wade wrote:

    Hoff & DMP…

    Honeys I just don’t feel any heat. All I have to go by when determining genders is how the ppl present themselves. If you are very emotional and don’t make very much sense while being that way what am I to think??? ;-)

    If I am an idiot cause I do not know a singers sister name or because I do not know their folks are still alive well ok. But I just think it shows you should get a life.

    I catch more heat every day before 12 than you folks feel in a year!!!

    But seriously if you did not know Amy was his sister and you read the comments not many ppl’s sibilings would become that emotionally invested. I bet I was not the only one that presumed it was his wife.

    There is a difference between presuming & assuming…look it up before you ladies make a bigger ass of your selves. Least I have the sack to reveal WHO I AM!!! Sack up and join us if you aren’t women.

  50. justafan wrote:

    Seems to me as if Reed - who posted within a couple of hours of Doug putting the evening concert critique on the web site - might have been on here to read what Doug had to say about Friday’s goings-on. I don’t know if Reed expected to read something specifically regarding the Kingsmen or not, but he certain didn’t take too kindly to what Doug had to say. There wasn’t even enough time for the word of mouth to circulate in regard to what Doug had posted. It was the middle of the night. If you put yourself out there on public display, yes, people are going to form an opinion of you. I’m not an individual on the same wide-spread level and am not a professional singer, but in other ways, I’ve been there. People are always watching you and forming opinions. So, if you’re thin-skinned, you had better walk the line, conduct yourself in a proper fashion and perform at a tip-top level consistently. Or else, you should just not worry about what people have to say. Nobody is forcing Harold to get on here and read the comments. He’s falling into the trap. If he is confident that he is doing his best and is following the will of God, that should be good enough to give him all of the self-assurance that he needs - and he should be able to check those insecurities at the door and handle criticism. He shouldn’t worry what people have to say. Usually, when people become upset about something that has been said about them, it’s usually because it really hits home and there’s possibly a measure of truth to what is being said. It’s hard for us to cope with the truth sometimes. Living in a world of honesty (even when it doesn’t make us feel good) keeps life in perspective for us and allows us to better ourselves…because we are able to realize and understand our own inadequacies. We all have our own issues.

  51. The Hoff wrote:

    Please read 3/4 of the way down on post #47.

    Have a good day at work on monday.

  52. Byron Kinard wrote:

    I agree with a lot that you say, but since I just got home a few hours ago I might have missed some of the things you wrote. I do have my list of negative items from NQC. First thing though, I really enjoy my time at NQC. My complaints are as follow. 1. why is NQC going the route of Palin and so much about Fox Noise. 2. Why do people go to NQC if all they are going to do is talk during the concert. (wow the talking was bad) 3. When are they going to fix the sound. Thur night you could not hear. Than Fri and Sat Sound like someone trying to shoot someone all night. 4 Would like to ask a question. I am I the only christian that is also a dem. Fox news and Palin is not my Bible.

  53. copperhill wrote:

    # 52 Well that makes two of us–Christians who are also Democrats and have no taste for Sarah Palin or Fox News. For an interesting read on Ms. Palin, check out the current online issue of Vanity Fair.

    If I had to venture a guess i would say Democrats comprise about 3% of the SG auidence, if that.

    (But maybe we’re like Elijah, thinking he was the only one, and God telling him there were far more than he thought).

  54. The Hoff wrote:

    Doug in regards to your comment about Harold and the song he massacred (He’s All I Need) there is a youtube video of the performance now online, if you don’t mind could you embed that video on your blog like you did earlier with (I Stand Redeemed) and let us all witness first hand this massacre.

    People like wade are going to look it up anyway and I know I said this was beating a dead horse but in light of this new evidence??

  55. Amy Reed wrote:

    Wade wrote “not many ppl’s sibilings would become that emotionally invested” Obviously YOU do not know the meaning of the word FAMILY!!!!!

    Wade wrote “the fact that she is Harold Sister makes it even funnier… ” Glad I could provide your simple mind with humor.

    Wade wrote “Being smacked by you 2 girls would be an honor!!” If I had the chance to meet you in person that is exactly what I would do just to give you the honor!!!! And BTW no one is assuming you “give a shit” I would say you are just a piece of shit!!!!!

    Justafan….you really do not have a clue do you?????

    Nobody…..our parents are an issue with which I do not always deal well….while I do understand that you r statement about our mother was simply that I am sure that you can also understand why this was upsetting. I do see your apologies. Thank you

    To those who have their opinions about Harold that is all it is at this time….YOUR opinion

    To those who have their opinions about me….I DO NOT need nor do I seek your approval. Simply I am who I am and if you dont like it I DO NOT CARE!!!!

  56. Alan wrote:

    Thanks for the mention of the YouTube video of the Kingsmen’s “He’s All I Need”. I was honestly surprised that it was posted so quickly. Like many who have been following this raging debate, I’d imagine, I watched it. I have no idea about Doug’s “True Believer” versus “Arts and Crafts” designations, but I hope I recognize good music from bad. And, I enjoyed Harold’s performance of the song. It was different than Gary Shepherd’s version, which is to be expected, but in no way did I consider it to be “slashing” or a “massacre”. I wasn’t at the NQC and didn’t hear it live, so I have no idea if the sound in the room hurt it live. But, I liked what I heard on YouTube. Music is a highly subjective thing, and we’ll all have our opinions. I think what upsets some of the artists who get critiqued on here is that Doug himself will say that he didn’t have the chops to play piano on the pro level, or to sing professionally either. And, their argument would be that this disqualifies him from being a critic who appears to wield more power than he deserves to. Art and food critics get the same from artists and chefs. So, Doug and a few others didn’t enjoy Harold’s singing on this song. I thought it was quite nice. That doesn’t make any of us wrong, in and of itself. I must stress that words have consequences, and we sure see that here. My inner question has been this: Has any of this helped the body of Christ? Name calling, some profanity, etc. Didn’t Paul tell the Romans to “Mark those who cause division among you.”? Words can divide, and they sure have here.

    But Amy, please…There’s a part of all of us, likely, that admires a sibling for standing up for their brother. But at this point, you really are harming Harold a lot more than you’re helping. You’ve said your piece. Please back down now? And I ask that as one who likes his voice, and actually enjoyed the video.

  57. Auke wrote:

    The last poster makes sense on all he said….i too watched the video….and in the opening verse Harold was off-key more than he was on it. But in the chorus he did just fine…so in no way did he slaughter the song….maybe he couldn’t hear himself sing on stage….it sounds like that was the case. But there’s really no need for fighting over this….

  58. cynical one wrote:

    What? No need for fighting? But this is s/g. Don’t we know that anyone who sings off-key, whether it’s because of health issues, environmental issues, or whatever, has no place on any NQC stage, and is probably not saved.

    Kill em, and send em back to their bus.

  59. Bones wrote:

    Someone needs to tell the truth. Secrets were kept for too many years. Swept under the rug. Don’t speak ill of the beloved singers.

  60. Lynn Brady wrote:

    #42 - I heard the new young harmony at both the showcase and the main stage. YES!! better than ever before. I too am a renewed young harmony fan.

  61. KDM wrote:

    While I am not a professional SG performer, I am a trained vocalist who enjoys SG. There was a time in my life where I was pretty sure I wanted to pursue a career as a professional SG performer, but God led me down another path. That said, I can tell you that, were I to read a rough critique of my performance on a blog like this, my feelings would definitely be hurt. But I would also be trying very hard to figure out what went wrong with my performance to make someone so unhappy with it. If the peeps who are paying money to hear me sing are less than impressed with my performance, then I obviously have some work to do. It doesn’t do me any favors, or honor God, to get up on my high horse and get offended by poor reviews instead of focusing on how I can improve.

    If you plan to sing for God, you need to make sure you’re bringing the best you have, every night, every song. And if it’s just not up to snuff, you need to go back into rehearsals and fix your issues, or park the bus and find a career for which you are more gifted. Just hurling crap out there and expecting God to bless the mess is not very effective for witnessing.

    Why aren’t professional SG singers held to the same standard as performers in other genres? Since we’re singing for GOD and not for man, our music should be BETTER, not WORSE, than those who perform for money and fame. Don’tcha think??

  62. Priscilla wrote:

    #42 & #60: The “New Young Harmony”…Really? They are as awful as ever! …and still as crooked. Beware!

  63. savannah wrote:

    I am glad to know I am not the only Christian Democrat in the world. ;)

  64. Mrs.Noah wrote:

    I have not read nearly all the topics, but the comments re: Ms. Palin and Fox News (rah rah rah stuffs) make me wonder why Mr. Beasley did not also mention Rita Cosby now works at CNN - he only mentioned she “was” at Fox. She has been hosting Nancy Grace’s Show on HLN all week - again, selective political innuendo at NQC…..I hope I am not repeating what someone else may have observed - I just have only read a portion of all this and just felt “led” lol to make this lowly comment….

  65. DMP wrote:

    Anyone have the link to that video?

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