Pre-NQC open thread

A week and counting to NQC!

Several of you are itching to talk about personnel changes in the context of NQC, so here is your chance. And of course you can talk about other things, too (person trying to post about Jonathan Pierce’s decorating stint on HGTV, here is your chance!).

Have the floor.

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Comments

  1. cathy wrote:

    Did anyone who is an HGTV fan see Jonathan Pierce’s new show “Interiors, INC,”? His crew decorated a room for Danny Gokey. I was hoping they may sing together but Jonathan’s role was all desighn.

  2. Karen S. wrote:

    I can’t wait for NQC, so excited to see Ivan Parker, he has a great new song, also Sheri Easter and ofcourse, The Perrys, and Triumphant. This will be an awesome year for NQC!

  3. Fan in Bristol wrote:

    What I have dubbed southern gospel’s silly season (personnel changes leading up and following NQC) is going on strong this year. I have confirmation that bass vocalist Brandon Barry is no longer with The Old Paths. I’ve heard that Brandon will be sharing the stage with Mike and Jordan LeFevre in a reworked LeFevre Quartet (minus David Staton?), and that their Tenor, Jeremy Easley is leaving as well, as he is on a tv contest show.

    As always with an up and coming group, you wonder if a top tier group is going to swoop down and snatch up a member of a group, stalling (and sometimes stopping) a group’s climb in the industry. In this case however, I don’t even think the move is a lateral one for Brandon. It is definitely not an upward move. The LeFevre Quartet’s future looked brightest a couple of years ago with the release of Nothin’ But Good on the restarted Canaan Label. They had a fresh, modern sound that grabbed a lot of people’s attention. Following the departure of Gus Gaches to Legacy Five, the group has released a much more traditional sounding table project of classics. However, I’ve not heard much talk about them over the last year.

    I admit that I’m biased… The Old Paths are my favorite current group. However, I honestly feel that they are “this close” to breaking through and taking big strides in the industry. They are making appearances with many of the leading pastors across the country. As I mentioned in a recent concert review, they stole the show at a packed concert with the Hoppers and Gold City. But I also have conformation that the Old Paths have made an amazing hire that will make them a solid quartet from top to bottom!

  4. Tom wrote:

    In light of the problems My Chemical Romance experienced (http://new.music.yahoo.com/blogs/amplifier/89776/my-chemical-romance-fire-drummer-with-sticky-fingers/ ), I wonder if any sg groups have had similar problems.

  5. ode wrote:

    Not a peep or lil tribute to Freddie Mercury’s birthday? No link to rich Gospel choir sound of “Somebody to Love” with obligatory little shpiel “that how you do it,son” addressed to struggling SG groups, and similar Avery’s signature acid wisdom ?

    I specifically looked in, being sure Av said something :/ Sunday our choir director couldn’t coherently avise me on my hair, Avery misses musical milestones.. They just don’t make gay people as they used to. :D

  6. Aaron Swain wrote:

    #3 was correct about David Staton being out. A press release was sent today. The lead spot is being filled by Mike LeFevre’s son, Jordan. More about it here:

    http://swainsmusings.com/blog/2011/09/06/david-staton-departs-lefevre-quartet/

  7. More wrote:

    Honestly, with Mike and Jordan, they have a chance to re-enter the scene with a better sound. With a good tenor yet to the mix, it is likely they will surpass their previous lineups.

  8. yankeegospelgirl wrote:

    #3 also ripped off a blog post by Brandon Coomer:

    http://coomercove.wordpress.com/2011/09/05/bass-brandon-barry-departs-the-old-paths/

  9. noninsider wrote:

    6. It will be hard for them to surpass the sound they had with Gus Gaches, David Staton and Mike Lefevre, those top three voices had a very tight blend… Specifically Gus and David… Now their bass at the time left a little to be desired…

  10. Aaron Swain wrote:

    #9: If Jeremy Easley is still there after all, I believe this lineup has the potential to match that sound, and possibly win out over it.

  11. NG wrote:

    Never thought I’d see yankeegospelgirl posting on this site which is known to have a few liberals lurking. Welcome. It was most observant of you to spot that rip off post. Hope you’ll be back and maybe even create a few fireworks here.

  12. Greg wrote:

    just FYI expect yet ANOTHER change in the Gold City line-up after NQC!!! They should just shut the doors!!!!!

  13. Deron wrote:

    12 whole posts before we came back to Gold City’s personnel changes. New record, anyone?

  14. Aaron Swain wrote:

    #12: Making a tongue-in-cheek comment about lineup instability? Or is there something you know?

  15. Wade wrote:

    A personel change at Tenor my not hurt Gold City!!!

  16. WB wrote:

    I received an e-mail from Soul’d Out Quartet last night. It included the statements, “Though we will not be performing on the main stage, or going to have a booth set up this year, we will be stopping by to see everyone on Saturday morning to sing a couple of songs on the NQC Saturday showcase.”

    Much has been discussed over the years of the financial commitment made by groups to keep their booth open over the weekend and miss out on singing dates, but this? Not even showing up (with a booth)? I don’t know if that’s a wise business decision.

  17. yankeegospelgirl wrote:

    NG, I rarely do, but I loathe plagiarism on even a small scale and felt compelled to point it out. I have better ways to spend my time than getting into arguments here, so don’t be holding your breath.

  18. Tony Watson wrote:

    #16 WB - On the contrary, I think if a group is not singing on main stage (i.e. getting any paycheck at all during the week), they have to see what really is the cost of doing business vs. what they will gain. When I first started promoting 20 years ago, promoters like me would go to NQC and fill our promotion schedule at NQC. Now with e-mail, Facebook, internet, cell phones, etc., NQC is a non-essential for most in doing business. Spending nights in motels or on the bus having to spend, spend spend while making absolutely nothing - I applaud this way of them trying to get by there and see folks and such without having to spend a couple of months re-couping the cost. It’s just not the end-all, be-all for business anymore for groups.

  19. Soli Deo Gloria wrote:

    Look who’s slumming it over here at averyfineline.

    Yankeegospelgirl, we’re all stocked up at the moment on smug, self-righteous, egotistical commenters who erroneously believe they are brilliant, but thanks for stopping by.

  20. Me wrote:

    WB, groups often create a sale buzz when they perform on mainstage. To just stand around with their hands in their pockets all week long, while footing the bill for all their personnel, and the cost of a booth, and the cost of bus diesel running all week in the parking lot…they might think their time is better spent performing real dates to people who will buy their product.

    Don’t blame Soul’d Out. Blame NQC for cutting a ton of groups this year, including this 2010 Horizon Group of the Year. Does anyone else sense a protectionist attitude among the board elites to prevent the new guys from getting too popular?

  21. Patriot wrote:

    #12 if you are such in the know then share if not then you are just starting rumors. I think you are just trying to stir the rumor mill.

  22. Robert wrote:

    The information from the horses mouth I received is that Jeremy Easley is not leving The LeFevre Quartet. I think with the new line-up you will see great thinks happening. With Jordon taking over as lead and Mike on baritone they are locking down the LeFerve name with two members of the family there. Of course Jordon has been with the group for seven years playing drums and then sound man. Now he is taking the front line. Brandon will add a lot on the bass end of the line up also. Maybe they can get a new cd out soon with the new group.

  23. Janet B wrote:

    Soli…thank you so much. Bravo! :)

  24. noninsider wrote:

    19. Yankee IS brilliant. You could learn a thing or two from her.

  25. irishlad wrote:

    19 Thank-you Soli, that was a beautiful heartfelt compliment,but i haven’t posted in ages. :)

  26. Magnolia wrote:

    I have a question about Jonathan Pierce. I didn’t know where Jonathan went after he left the Gaithers, and I was surprised when I saw him on HGTV. Just out of sheer curiosity….is he in business with a partner? And is he good friends with someone at HGTV? I know that Landy Gardner has an Interior Design business, but didn’t realize that Jonathan was into Interior Design. I would have thought that Landy Gardner would have a show before Jonathan. Just curious……

  27. Wade wrote:

    Soli…SLUMMING at averyfineline!!! Now that is FUNNY!!!

    That’s all I am going to say…RIGHT NOW!!!

  28. yankeegospelgirl wrote:

    #19: Yep.

    #24: Thanks.

  29. Hector Luna wrote:

    YGG wouldn’t bother anyone if she wasn’t always right… Right? It is more fun when she’s around, though.

    Wade, can’t wait to hear the new Gold City lineup. So album production is being pushed back after the latest change?

    Personally, I’m most excited to see that Tim Lovelace has had the microphone taken away from him. We’ll have to wait a few more years before the Swan moves out. I feel a little guilt though…they’re both super nice guys, even if they are always in character.

  30. quartet-man wrote:

    Jonathan Pierce (Hildreth) was with the Imperials, Christ Church choir, then the Vocal Band and then some solo stuff.

    YGG and I disagree on some things (at least in SG, and possibly other things), but she is smart and her posting here was for a noble reason. She defended someone from theft.

  31. Greg wrote:

    #12 and #21 there IS a change in line-up coming from GC after NQC so I wouldnt expect that new record to be coming anytime soon! If we’ve waited 3 years for it surely we can wait 4 huh?

  32. Greg wrote:

    sorry should have said #14 and #21

  33. Hector Luna wrote:

    Hadn’t Dan Keeton suddenly become the next David Phelps? And West had become the next Michael English/Ivan Parker hybrid?

    Tim’s been singing full time for 35-40 years. His heart ain’t in it anymore. He still sounds great, but watch him on stage. He’s almost lifeless. He doesn’t care. Just helping his boy out. I will admit, from here on out, D Riley might need to consider doing background checks on guys he potentially may hire.

    I believe I had forecasted another year’s delay on another Gold City thread in reference to this project.

  34. yankeegospelgirl wrote:

    Quartet-man, so far any serious disagreements between us that I’ve encountered relate to subjective preferences only. ;) Thanks for the comment. You’re right that that really was the only reason I made a post here at all. I even debated doing that.

  35. GAbulldog wrote:

    Why don’t you just tell us what the change in Gold City is going to be.

  36. Ron F wrote:

    Just Curious how much does a group make for singing on Mainstage at NQC ?

  37. j-mo wrote:

    GAbulldog…West is stepping down as GC’s lead.

    Hector…If Keeton/West are the new Phelps/English then Miley Cyrus is the next Aretha Franklin. West has no defining characteristics as an SG singer other than pitch problems. And the tone on the top part of Keeton’s range, which he insists on using in most songs, is laughable. Not to mention his rhythm ineptitudes that regularly keep him out of the pocket (find any Youtube of O What a Savior for examples of both Keeton’s glaring issues).

    GC has screwed the pooch. They’re a caricature of their former selves, like a slightly above average regional group driving a bus they can’t afford and doing their best to get the crowd going by singing lesser versions of Gold City classics. They had their shot at a resurgence with the Cobb lineup and they blew it. It’s going to take a miracle now.

  38. Pentecost Man wrote:

    #35. Cause there won’t be any change in GC. They sound better than they have in years.

  39. Hector Luna wrote:

    Sarcasm, J-Mo. Glad you spoke up though. West never looked greatly interested in what he was doing either.

  40. Nate Stainbrook wrote:

    For anyone that is interested (and I doubt very many will be) I have co-written a CD review of L5’s latest with the aforementioned Yankee Gospel Girl.
    http://natessoutherngospelblog.wordpress.com/2011/09/09/joint-cd-review-legacy-five-a-wonderful-life/

  41. j-mo wrote:

    Pentecost Man, like it or not there is going to be change.

    You can’t really believe they sound better than they have in years, can you? When you say sound, are you actually referring just to the way they sound or are you factoring in emotion, personal feelings about the guys, and blind support of the Gold City name? I’m guessing the latter. No discerning ear could honestly say that this is their best line-up in years.

  42. yankeegospelgirl wrote:

    West is a fine singer but never got the stage presence thing down. Still, he’s become an important member of the group.
    It will be very interesting to see what happens once Tim Riley finally does retire.

  43. Greg wrote:

    #38 don’t you feel like a moron now? GC changes ahead at the lead position!!!!! and agreed j-mo, they sound worse now than they have in YEARS!!!!!

  44. Bones wrote:

    #36 not much. Not their normal rate.

  45. irishlad wrote:

    37.. You certainly nailed it there j-mo, when I first heard DK butchering a couple of songs with the MBQ I thought to myself…. Well I’ll just leave it at that

  46. Pentecost Man wrote:

    #41–I do think they sound better now than they have since the Wilburn/Parrack/Trammell/Riley line-up (which in my opinion, was THE best GC line-up ever).

    They had Steve Ladd (who was a great tenor), some other dude singing tenor (who couldn’t cut it), then the tenor that everyone thought could “Save” Gold City, and his tenor singing had an annoying cry at the end of everything, then the Brent dude, who didn’t have the range. Dan Keeton may not be everyone’s favorite tenor, but give him his props, the dude can sing. I didn’t say he was perfect, I just said, compared to the tenors since Steve Ladd, he’s the real deal.

    Blind support of the Gold City name? No, not really. I didn’t care for them when it was the “Boy Band + Riley” line- up of Parker (never have been a fan), Free (I always thought a little nasally and just under pitch live, especially early on) LeFever (eh, he’s ok. Not a Mark Trammell). Riley has always been the man. Best bass singer in the history of SGM….BAR NONE.

    So I, like Texas Governor and next President of the United States Rick Perry, stand by my statement that I believe this is the best Gold City line-up in a while.

    West may go, but I believe you’ll see Keeton there for a while.

    See everyone at the convention next week!

  47. dd wrote:

    # 37 GC has screwed the pooch. They’re a caricature of their former selves, like a slightly above average regional group driving a bus they can’t afford and doing their best to get the crowd going by singing lesser versions of Gold City classics.

    What a great description of the majority of the headliners in the SG industry. With the constant turnover in the groups and the “next big thing” being those exiting members starting a group trying to live off their previous success, and everyone annointing them as such. Result is those groups rarely have anymore quality than top regional groups or less and wind up singing to the same crowds the regional artist do. That is a tough way to hold on to singers and pay expenses. So the senarion starts over when those members leave again to form another group. To me this is what is creating a watered down genre of music. As a industry leader NQC shot themselves in the foot by not allowing those groups that are developing to remain on main stage and in showcases instead of putting their protective arms around a couple dozen groups you hear every year and usually the same songs they sang the previous year. Groups and members of the groups need tenure to create a quality sound

  48. Nashville Phil wrote:

    dd, You are spot on regarding the dwindling SG market. I respect the progress the older “stars” have made. It’s gonna take entertaining performers that connect with the younger demographic. Maw Maw & Paw Paw cain’t get out like they use too.
    Today’s senior bunch need to embrace the up and comers, just like Hovie, James and Jake did them.
    Stop making this genre boring!

  49. tommy wrote:

    Where there is smoke there is normally fire. I cant say I’m a fan of Keeton. He is sloppy and his voice gets annoying quick. Gold City has gone down hill but they have a chance to rebuild if they do it right. Replacing Keeton would be a great start. They’re are several good tenors out there. They need someone who can come in and rebuild them. They need someone who can help Danny in more ways than just singing.

  50. irishlad wrote:

    Thinking of you all across the “pond” on this 10th anniversary of 9/11.

  51. Patriot wrote:

    So who will be the new lead? New CD is cominig Oct.4. Is the new lead already on board behind the scene?

  52. Beth wrote:

    The other side of the pond thanks you, Irish. Really nice of you to share that sentiment. :-)

  53. yankeegospelgirl wrote:

    Ding dong, Osama’s dead. Rub your eyes, get out of bed. But never forget.

  54. Friday Night Revival wrote:

    Looking forward to the Kentucky BBQ and maybe a Rick Pitino sighting.

  55. Curious... wrote:

    Hmm…from the looks of it, NQC is stepping up their social media this year promising updates on Facebook and Twitter! I am following them on twitter @nqconline and on facebook. We’ll see!

  56. Jamie wrote:

    This is my first year since 1995 that I’ve missed. I will be depending solely on averyfineline.com and swainsmusings.com to be my eyes and ears. Thanks For what you do and I pray all have a great week at NQC 2011.

  57. Mixer wrote:

    Despite the line up Gold City has, they need to take the less is more approach to touring. As do many other SG groups. Less dates, higher flats, consistent performance equals higher demand. Look at Ernie’s group. They ‘re not stacked with “blow you away” quality singers either. You don’t have to be like them, but they write a show, perfect it and perform it every night. It’s scary to start but you have to make yourself a little less accessible.

  58. justafan wrote:

    Has the NQC nightly order of performance schedule been posted anywhere?

  59. clay wrote:

    Where can i get a nqc schedule with exact times for each group for the evening concerts.

  60. Chuck Stevens wrote:

    I tuned to Solid Gospel this evening. I heard Doyle Lawson on stage and then they went to the news and never came back to the stage. I assume they are only cevering the first couple of hours of the Convention? Why would they go to the trouble to be there and not Broadcast the whole thing? I miss the days when they carried the whole night. And on top of everything else, it was probably the best clean quality signal I have ever heard in the years they have been there, go figure!

  61. L. Dilbeck wrote:

    I was at NQC this morning and heard Rick Alan King sing his new song with Katy and Troy Peach on stage singing with him.

    Then this afternoon, Katy, Troy, and Jeff Snyder sang as “First Love.” What’s up with that?

    A great job by all!

  62. irishlad wrote:

    Thanks Beth :)

  63. Dave M wrote:

    # 58,59 It appears the schedule is available only to the webcast subscribers.

  64. wanderer wrote:

    61. All I know is on The Gospel Greats this past weekend Paul announced that First Love was back together doing limited appearances. Troy is still working full time for Sisters.

  65. quartet-man wrote:

    #60 Probably because there would be less need for people to shell out $60. for the webcast.

  66. WB wrote:

    #58, #59. Found this on another site.
    Mainstage Schedule - http://solutions.316networks.com/simulcasts/nqc/nqc-schedule.pdf

  67. SteveSmith wrote:

    Katy and Troy sang the bgv on Rick’s project, so they sang it with him at NQC. First Love has a FB page, so maybe they will start traveling again, with Jeff this time.

  68. Andrew S. wrote:

    Clay & justafan- Here is the schedule:

    Tuesday
    Hosts: Dean & Kim Hopper

    5:35- Fan Cam with Tim Lovelace
    5:45- Showcase Performance
    5:51- Booth Brothers
    5:55- Congregational Singing with Dean Hopper
    5:59- Dove Brothers Quartet
    6:18- Blazing Piano with Channing Eleton
    6:22- Jeff & Sheri Easter
    6:46- Legacy Five
    7:08- “All in the Family” -Jason Crabb & the Bowling Family
    7:44- Showcase Performance
    7:48- “Classic Gospel” -Inspirations & McKameys
    8:36- Hinson Reunion
    8:57- King’s Heralds
    9:01- Showcase Performances
    9:09- Mark Trammell Quartet
    9:28- Showcase Performance
    9:33- Dennis Swanberg
    9:38- Whisnants
    10:02- Booth Brothers
    10:27- An NQC Christmas in September

    Wednesday
    Hosts: Jason Crabb & the Sisters

    5:35- Fan Cam with Tim Lovelace
    5:45- Showcase Performance
    5:52- Welcome by Jason Crabb & Sisters
    5:56- Congregational Singing
    6:00- Freemans
    6:19- Instrumental- the Browns
    6:23- Tribute Quartet
    6:46- Perrys
    7:05- Blazing Piano with Stewart Varnado
    7:09- Showcase Performance
    7:13- Ernie Haase & Signature Sound
    7:32- Showcase Performance
    7:36- Rambo McGuire (Remembering the Rambos)
    7:55- Greater Vision
    8:14- King’s Heralds
    8:18- Dailey & Vincent
    8:37- Compassion International
    8:51- Janet Paschal
    9:06- Former Attorney General John Ashcroft
    9:11- “It’s a Family Kind of Thing” -Crist Family & Hoppers
    9:56- Showcase Performance
    10:01- Jason Crabb & the Sisters
    10:13- “The Gold Standard” -Gold City & the Kingsmen

    I’ll post the other 3 days when I have the time. :)

    I will say that the Pfeifers & Browns do not get full sets. They are doing instrumentals only (~1 song). The Browns perform Wednesday, and the Pfeifers perform the last 3 nights.

  69. Chris wrote:

    Chuck (#60), I was involved with the Solid Gospel broadcasts for a few years and back then we ran a snake from the stage to the booth from which we broadcast and did our own mix. The late John Campbell was an absolute master at it. I don’t know what their method is now, but I can just about guarantee they don’t go to as much trouble as we did back then. Also, I heard somewhere that the Board won’t let Solid Gospel, Enlighten, et al broadcast everything from the main stage, probably so they can sell more subs for the online feed.

  70. Josh wrote:

    Schedule: http://solutions.316networks.com/simulcasts/nqc/nqc-schedule.pdf

  71. payingattention wrote:

    A lot of times, we don’t understand why things happen, such as financial problems or health issues. And sometimes, we can’t understand why things don’t happen, such as why children have serious health issues. Sometimes, those “non-understandings” can resulted in extreme thoughts/feelings. They can be “personal” to each of us, or they may be “personal” because they pertain to someone we deeply care for. Therefore, we feel strongly in regard to them, and we may have an outpouring of emotion in regard to the matter at hand. Well, none of that was the case on Monday night when Brian Free and Assurance stepped to the stage. Sometimes, you get a lot of clarity about something even when it has little – if any – impact on you. I had a question that I seemed to rationalize through and get a clear answer to. Honestly though, it’s all common-sense rationalization. I probably should have figured this out many moons ago. However, I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Brian Free and Assurance was the final artist to hit the stage on a ho-hum, relatively-lifeless opening night of the 2011 National Quartet Convention. Is Brian Free and Assurance a favorite of mine…not necessarily. I both respect and enjoy BF&A and have heard them in concert numerous times. They are without question a quality group. They are a Daywind artist, and let’s be honest, short of a “Gaither artist,” it has been solely Daywind artists who have sat atop the Southern Gospel universe over the last 12-13 years…nobody else. It was Greater Vision from the late 90s through the early 2000s. Then, the Perrys rose to the top for a 3-4-year period. The Booth Brothers took over from around 2007-2009 and are still on the tail end of their reign at the peak. Most recently, Triumphant had a half cup as the man of the house. Now, be patient and follow me here…for the last long while, Brian Free and Assurance has been a Daywind artist, and I believe that Daywind has poured as much of itself into BF&A as any of its other artists. So, then why has BF&A not been a part one of those Daywind artists that has risen to the top? Well, the common denominator in the first three groups’ rise to the top seems to simply be this…the emcee work. I watched Tracy Stuffle walk off the stage on Monday evening after the Perrys’ solid – though not great – set and witnessed numerous people in the crowd shake his hand and hug his neck (even two of the female ushers who were working the event). Tracy Stuffle even talked about it from the stage…about his role being “to be funny and set up the other vocalists in the group to shine vocally.” And he often successfully holds people in the palm of his hand when he’s addressing an audience. Gerald Wolfe is the master of it, even gets by with a few cutting jabs because of his intense likeability. Michael Booth, he has a different schtick in his emcee work with the goofiness, but the blue-hairs eat it up like a Cracker Barrel dumplin. They hang on his every word. He knows it. He’s tried to use the fact that he has them eating out of the palm of his hand to his advantage, to get God’s word across the audience (has gone over the top in attempting to do just that at times over the last couple of years…has become very educatedly “preachy” at times). Did Triumphant get there…barely…but they did ascend to the top. Is Eric Bennett an elite emcee? Not at all. He’s a very melodic bass singer and does fine with his emcee work, but he doesn’t “win” an audience with his communicative skills. Now, Triumphant has changed record labels (going to Mansion Entertainment), and I may be wrong…but it sort of seems like it was a short stay as the resident elite. Brian Free and Assurance is missing just that. BF&A has a slightly different style than those other groups and are slightly more progressive, but I believe that has very little to do with why BF&A hasn’t reached the top. I think it has to do with Brian Free’s emcee work. Free is adequate, but his marveling quality is the fact that he can freakishly outsing any tenor out there, and his voice hasn’t shown many signs of wear. I don’t care for his tone at times, and I often don’t care for his stage demeanor…and I’m not sure why that is to be honest. He’s just not someone that many people seem to draw themselves to. He may be a stand-up guy. Regardless, he is the standard for Southern Gospel tenor singers. But he’s not “that” emcee. And here’s the kicker…ya know what, the same could be said about Legacy Five. They have built an enormous fan base and are obviously at the elite of the Southern Gospel world as far as generating revenue goes. Scott Fowler is an outstanding businessman. He’s not an outstanding emcee. Legacy Five’s fan base is as big as anybody’s, including Greater Vision and the Booth Brothers. So, who is the next to rise to the top…or will it linger for a while with the recent-reigning top dogs sorts of just sharing the crown of the elite (Triumphant, Booth Brothers, Perrys and Greater Vision)? It’s almost like the timing of it all has to come together perfectly along with the emcee theory. Groups have to rise in terms of their vocal performance (and all of the aforementioned groups have progressed vocally); they have to be marketed well; they have to find/get good songs; and they have to have a leader that we as fickle Southern Gospel music fans will attach to like a cross-eyed magnet. However, it still seems as if all of that collectively takes a back seat to having that one magnetic personality that serves as the figurehead of the groups the fans give a boost to the top. It’s almost as if the fickle Southern Gospel fan base is looking for somebody to identify with and to unhealthily like more than they’re looking to be entertained, ministered to or – maybe what should be most important when you’re talking about any form of music – be presented a quality product. So, is anybody up next…or is the game over for the moment?

    Off the topic at hand, I heard one elderly lady in the parking lot at the conclusion of Tuesday night’s concert say to her friend… “I think Dean and Kim (who were Tuesday evening’s hosts) need to stick to singing.” Classic.

    Jason Crabb’s musicians create a feel…I knew they were talented (especially the silly-good pianist), but I realized that their worth goes beyond simply talent. They are able to create a feel collectively. They know their role, get out of the way when needed and wear it out when the time arises. Jason Crabb may be even smarter than I give him credit for. He has improved his craft and made so many smart moves while still remaining “good ole – aw shucks – Jason.”

    Gus Gaches is very good, as evidenced in his performance of “For What Earthly Reason” on Tuesday evening.

    Here is to hoping the excitement level and performances pick up as the week moves along. Enjoy all.

  72. wanderer wrote:

    71. You may have something there. I’m surprised you didn’t mention Gaither. Some would say not a great emcee, but he does have the ability to make everyone like him. He comes across as an everyday person. George Younce was warm, friendly and funny from the stage. Jim Hammil came across as loud, totally in control and funny (he appealed to a lot of people with that persona).
    I remember someone saying in an interview many years ago that Glen Campbell was not only a good singer and guitarist, but a very good speaker.
    So yeah, you could definately have something there.

  73. Aaron Swain wrote:

    No nightly commentary this year, Doug? I have to say it feels kinda empty this year without it.

  74. noninsider wrote:

    Here is the scoop on Craig West. It looks like Nate Stainbrook got it straight from him yesterday. http://natessoutherngospelblog.wordpress.com/2011/09/14/craig-west-leaving-gold-city/

  75. noninsider wrote:

    Is it just me or is it the most quiet it has ever been on here for NQC? Nothing from Harrison for a week and counting…

  76. art wrote:

    #71: I appreciated the various points you made, but it would help me if you could divide up some of your massive paragraphs. Thanks and have a good time.

  77. oldtimer wrote:

    So the word is now out and official - Jerry Pelfrey is the new lead singer for Gold City. Jerry is a great guy and great singer. It is interesting that like tenor singer Dan Keeton , Jerry (who is known as “Punkin” to all his friends and family) spent a but of time on the road with the 90’s version of the Impacts (though he and Keeton were not there at the same time.) Jerry has lost around 250 pounds and looks great. He has always been an amazing singer and I am sure that he will sound even better now that he is in “fighting shape.” I am sure that many of you will wail and howl and throw rocks because Danny has gone out of the box with this pick - but if you will just wait and hear Jerry and get to know him I think that you will find he is the right guy for he job. GC has a strong line-up. If they can maintain a consistent lineup and allow them the 2 years or so necessary to really gel then I think that great days are ahead.

  78. Pentecost Man wrote:

    My opinion of Monday’s NQC. It was just ok at best.

    Standouts: Collingsworth Family. Great performance. Appear to be a genuinely nice family.

    Perrys, they owned it. In this “dog and pony show” they would have received the ribbon for “Best in Show” on Monday.

    Karen Peck (not New River). When she sang the National Anthem, I thought, “Hmmm. she’s starting in a really, really, high key and range. She KILLED it! After all these years, she still has IT.

    Squire Parsons tribute. What an awesome way for artists to say thank you to a man who has contributed so many great songs to this world!

    Food Court. Always enjoy the rib-eye sandwiches, fried snickers, Ehrler’s Ice Cream, and of course, the HOT CARMEL CORN and and a Coke Zero.

    Just so so Performances? Gold City. But to their defense, I didn’t care for the mix, but who am I? Also, someone boogered their track on the last song. Probably honest mistake from engineer….or is there an international Gold City Conspiracy? By the way, Tim Riley is still da man, and the others will be fine. They just need some longevity to get back on top!

    Brian Free and Insurance (?) . Just ok. After all this time, I’m glad to know that a long as “they got King Jesus” that everything will be ok. Come on guys, could you sing it a couple of more times? (sarcasm)

    Hoppers. Sell the bus. It’s time to go to the house.

    The thing that I noticed the most was the lack of vendors in the exhibit area. Many booths empty…selah.

    Could only attend one night. Will go next year as well, but someone better prop some legs underneath this thing.

  79. cdguy wrote:

    #71 — The biggest thing that has bothered me with BF&A over the years is their overall stage appearance. Two guys put their entire whole bodies into their presentation, while the other two just stand there, moving only their mouths.

  80. Me wrote:

    Payingattention, somehow you missed the 60+ award-winning Gold City during the last “12-13 years,” but it’s all good.

    At the turn of the 2000’s, they were IT. Jay Parrack, Jon Wilburn and “God Handled It All.” Need I say more? You can think what you want about Brian, but I have found him to be the nicest, most humble artist I have ever talked to.

    And as far as stage presence goes. I find Gold City to be the greatest quartet of all time. Not because of their emcee work (which has never been that great), but because of their sheer vocal ability. No other quartet in history has had the BEST at every position like Gold City has had - twice.

    Lineup 1:
    Tim Riley (best bass vocalist, bar none)
    Brian Free (the record-holding tenor by which other tenors were/are measured) Ivan Parker (at his prime, the best)
    Mike Lefevre (one of the best)

    Lineup 2:
    Tim Riley (he just keeps getting better)
    Jay Parrack (one of the best ever)
    Jonathan Wilburn (arguably the best ever)
    Mark Trammell (one the best ever)

    Add to those lineups a stellar band, and you just can’t match it.

    The Cathedrals and Greater Vision had/have great emcees, but at the end of the day, I measure the best by their vocal ability. Same goes for Brian Free & Assurance. By the way, they are too “young and hip” for most old people - which is why I LOVE them. ;)

  81. Me wrote:

    Note: By Gold City being the best “of all-time” I mean in the past. (The years under Tim Riley’s management). I hope the current craziness doesn’t diminish their legendary status. I liked Mixer’s idea above.

  82. Ode wrote:

    40, Nate,brother, you doubt right.

    As conventional wisdom has it… CD, bar and restaurant reviews are fun mainly for their writers. Only some concrete info is valuable to all (name, location, style, price range, genre,on key, no mice running on the floor) the rest is subjective, reflects personal tastes, therefore is mostly useless and usually boring when written by fellow amateurs,not professional writers.

    So for the lowerclass fans, or rather “sympathizers” of sg like me, who likes vocals,knows half a dozen groups’ names, seeks folksy dance pieces and won’t read the review past the first sentence you did a big favor by mentioning CD existence to us, thank you. They are good band.I am all for artist support!

  83. BackwoodsPhilosopher wrote:

    To #71:

    Yes, you have paid attention! :-) I might be able to answer a few questions about BF & A.

    1. Have you ever heard BF & A take an offering? Have you heard the famous “Beggar on the Bus” routine? That might be one of the reasons that they haven’t “risen to the top”, so to speak…..even though I completely agree, that Brian Free is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to a tenor voice.

    2. One of the last times we went to see them at a local Baptist Church, my husband had let us out at the door to go and secure a seat. (or…..to be honest, to get the seat that we wanted before someone else did! LOL LOL) When he was walking into the church, he came almost eye to eye with Brian and several members of the group.

    Now, first of all, we were all very well-dressed, well-groomed, had brushed our teeth, had taken a bath that week HA HA…..and we are professionals. (Just wanted to get that out of the way) Plus, when we get around the SGM “celebrities”, we don’t behave like silly, screaming girls who have just seen Elvis. (I guess we’re not good fans……)

    When my husband came basically eye to eye with BF & A as they walked into the front door, they completely ignored him and everyone else around him. It was as though they were out there all by themselves. There was absolutely no recognition of the surrounding church folks going into the front door of the church. They ignored everyone. They spoke to no one. (Nice example for a Gospel group)

    I’ve also seen rude behavior out of other artists as well. There’s nothing like pulling out your credit card to purchase about $50.00 worth of CD’s, only to watch the patriarch of the group stand behind the table with a scowl on his face. Who knows? Maybe he was in pain and needed some Icy Hot, but at least he could have gone to the bus.

    Now……..to answer the rest of your post - as I’ve posted before on other blogs, there is probably a 99.999% chance that it’s politics as usual when it comes to who gets the top spots. Someone rubbed shoulders with the right person. Someone connected with the right person. Southern Gospel Music has politics written all over it…..just like everything else.

    And now, the NQC is actually bringing politicians into the line-up. How disgusting. Can we not escape the constant onslaught of D. C. politics for just 5 minutes? I’ve just about decided that the best way to hear SGM is by listening to a CD in my car.

  84. yankeegospelgirl wrote:

    Brian Free is a classy guy, and he’s surrounded by other great guys. Please, don’t start. So for whatever reason you didn’t see them actively engaging with people before a concert. Whoop-de-do.

  85. Bones wrote:

    John Ashcroft is not new to SGM. He has sang at the Lester’s concerts. If you don’t like someone don’t buy their product.

  86. More wrote:

    #83, thank you, please do. (listen in your car).

  87. BackwoodsPhilosopher wrote:

    I think that #84 and #86 missed my point altogether. Whether you want to hear this or not, there are some SGM singers with attitudes. It’s amazing to me how people who sing Gospel music…….and I emphasize GOSPEL……are many times excused from behavior that is not in line with Biblical, New Testament kindness and gratitude.

    I understand that folks can have a bad day or even be distracted, but when someone commits to singing Christian music (no matter the style), then they are obviously held to a higher standard than if they were singing rock, jazz or country. Again, the key words are Christian and Gospel.

    These same singers who sometimes won’t speak or even acknowledge people in the congregation are the same folks who expect you to put a nice, sizable offering in the plate and then come by the table to purchase their CD 4-pack, songbook and t-shirt. So, what are we to do? Just ignore it and pretend it’s okay because we just “luv to hear thim sang”…….or confront the issue?

    SGM sings need to remember that, unlike Reba McEntire or Rascal Flatts, who have major record companies backing their efforts, most of the SGM groups depend upon the churches and the church folks. Therefore, attitude and arrogance needs to be left on the bus.

  88. payingattention wrote:

    After watching Triumphant sing on Wednesday night, I may be as wrong as wrong can be. They may be perched at the top for more than a half cup…they may get refills out of a large pot. They were the final artist to perform on Wednesday, and the crowd was as into their set as any I’ve seen all week. I was amazed at how many people were standing, clapping, singing along (even when it was slower to mid-tempo songs), etc. Triumphant has “it” … whatever it is. I’m still trying to figure out what “it” is other than a collective quality and an outstanding soloist in Scotty Inman. His tone, phrasing, timing, etc. is so impressive. His voice isn’t as impressively big as a Guy Penrod, Daniel Riley, etc., but he’s just a great “singer” who doesn’t try to do too much (not any more than his vocal ability will allow him to do). He sings everything right in the pocket. But more importantly, they all - other than some unnecessary busy-ness on the ivories at times (which may just come from a lifetime of having watched others need to be seen from the piano bench) - seem to really buy into the whole being more important than each individual part. Kudos. The other thing that stands out is that they have had great material as of late. Every song they’ve released over the last couple of years has gone to the top of the charts it seems like. They’re quality and entertaining.

    Jason Crabb…really good.

    Sisters…really, really good.

    Janet Paschal…your cup of tea or not, really good.

    What is missing from the Crist Family? Is it just the fact that you don’t feel like you really connect with them (or maybe I should say that they’re not connecting with you from the stage). They’re likeable, but something is amiss. Maybe it’s just the detached choir effect. Opinions please.

  89. noninsider wrote:

    Ashcroft is speaking in a side “hall” that only holds about 2500 people so don’t get your panties all up in a wad. If you don’t like it stay in your car… Oh yeah you already are, good luck with that.

  90. DarrellInIndiana wrote:

    #71 I realize that you are mainly talking about current groups, but I think that one of the most effective emcees was Hovie Lister. In his day he could have the crowd laughing, crying and shouting almost all at the same time no matter the venue (you know I don’t think they played many churches).

  91. yankeegospelgirl wrote:

    paying attention: About the Crist family. It may be a combination of personality and songs. The group as a whole has a pretty generic stage presence, with no stand-out character or personality to grab an audience’s attention. And the larger the group, the more you really need something like that. Compare with a group like the Collingsworth family, who’s a much smaller group with the added appeal that most of its members are very young and talented beyond their years.

    The other factor, as I mentioned, is songs. Nothing I’ve heard from them really sticks with you. About the closest was something they did last night called (I think) “He Knows What I Can Stand.” That was a good song, although I admit that at the moment I’m having trouble remembering how it goes.

  92. cdguy wrote:

    #90 — DarrellInIndiana — I don’t know how often Hovie & The Statesmen played in churches, but I remember they played our church (in Indiana) more than once. You are right about his MC work.

  93. LarryS wrote:

    In response to #83… I don’t know if you caught them when they were really tired, put out about something, or what, but that’s not the BF&A I know.

    I spent a weekend on the road with them a while back, and I watched them time after time make the effort to touch and engage their fans, from the stage and while off the stage. And trust me - they weren’t on their best behavior because I was with them. I know these guys - and while I don’t doubt what you may have experience, what you described AIN’T them. Apologies to English teachers everywhere…

  94. LarryS wrote:

    Sorry - *experienceD*

  95. Wade wrote:

    Backswood Phil… Enjoy reading your opinions & am smart enough to take them as just that… your opinion. While I have seen the BF you describe and the one yankeegirl tells of… but I would like for you to know this and to take it into consideration…

    Have told many people that doing Stand Up Comedy is VERY SIMILAR to being a SGM singer. We are both NEED to SELL Merch, need to understand that ppl may not be coming to see us but the Headliner, so deal with it in a positive way & BOTH are THROWN in to our audiences both before & after the show!!

    That being thrown together OFTEN causes BIG misunderstanding and ppl getting their feelings hurt. Like SGM there is no secured place you can go and prep before a show once you are in the venue.

    It is not as easy as we make it look most times but ESPECIALLY PRE SHOW as a performer you have such a narrow focus that you are often said to be stuck up, arrogant or other even less friendly terms.

    It is tough to stand around and chat with ppl while you are getting to a place in your head you need to so you can PERFORM/ Minister to ALL the People not just the ones that happen to be wondering in at the same time.

    You NEVER KNOW what that person has ALL going on in their minds at those moment before you go on. Gonna tell you many performers no matter how many years they perform still go to the bath room and puke before show time.

    So while, like I have said seen BOTH BF’s as described above please give any performer ESPECIALLY Pre Show the benefit of the doubt!!

  96. pinetreepreacher wrote:

    Yo, Wade. Is that you up there in front of that Budweiser sign?

    “It is not as easy as we make it look …”

    I like that self-congratulatory line. If nobody ain’t clapping for you, best clap for yourself. Right?

    Wade, Dude. You wouldn’t be throw’en all up in here fishing for work, would you? Naw. Not Wade.

    Good luck on gettin’ in your head and away from those pesky paying customers.

  97. Wade wrote:

    pinetreepreacher… that is me infront of the bud sign.

    But do not understand the rest of your post.

    Do not know what kinda work I would be fishing for here?!?!?

    Stopped promoting SG concerts cause nobody comes and the ones that do bitch about everything… maybe your post is a good example!! But the way you write think you might be the one into the BUD!!!

    Least I have the GUTS to reveal who I Am and you can go to my facebook page and see who I am instead of hiding and NO one knowing like you buddy!!

    Easy to bitch in HIDING!!

  98. Dean Henson wrote:

    Had a pastor once that BEGGED the congregation to NEVER bring him issues to deal with immediately before preaching. Said it was very hard to stay where you needed to be to effectively preach when folks did that.

  99. pinetreepreacher wrote:

    To: #97 - Wade

    To bootleg part of a line from Bill Shakespeare, I think you “… protest too much.”

    Wade, you are way too easy. Conventional wisdom holds that comedians do their stuff out of their anger. If that assumption holds in your case, you must peg a ten on the hilarious meter.

    This is a blog, not HGTV. There will be no reveal in my case.

  100. Wade wrote:

    Dean you will soon find out there are some here you do not OVERWHELM with Common Sense & Facts… they like to complain to hear their voice rattle their brain!!!

  101. Michael S. Moore wrote:

    #46….I have to strongly diagree with you about your comments regarding Brian Free! He is probaby the best tenor and vocolist to ever step on the stage in any kind of music.Yet you say that live he is a little under pitch? I have never heard BF shade a note,miss a note or have a bad night.Everyone gets sick..has colds and flu and yet he is always great.I ask him one night how he did it? His reply was that he could sing over everything but laryngitus..When I ask how he said..vocal training. So I say there is no one better than Brian Free in any kind of music!

  102. Michael S. Moore wrote:

    I am sorry #46…I meant #41 Pentacost mans comments regarding Brian Free!

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