Southern Gospel Perspective

My thoughts and opinions about Southern Gospel Music, both past and present. Feel free to comment and criticize...

Location: United States


Good thoughts on AGM

David Murray over at MusicScribe has some good thoughts posted about the American Gospel Music proposal that has been in the SG news lately.

Like he says in his article and I've said time and again here, SG radio is in dire need of a "fix". Nothing else will ever work as long as radio still plays poor quality groups and basically doesn't know (or worse care) anything about SG music. It's a good read, check it out.

...corrected for accuracy in the acronym (AGM not AMG)


Top Ten List

To the right, I've added what is my current "top 10" favorites. This list will change periodically due to personal preferences, group changes, and new material recorded/released by the artists.


NQC 2006: Saturday Night

Much better seats tonight (6th row on the floor). I could literally see the sweat flying from McCray's face.

I came in the middle of the Reggie Saddler mess. His tracks weren't right so he had to improv for a bit with Eric Ollis on piano and Greg Fox on drums. They sounded ok, but MC Goff stopped them and told them to go get their music and come back later.

Next up was The Pfeifers. I left to use the restrooms. Came back too early though. Suffered thru the rest of it.

By then Reggie and Family was back and so they did three of their songs. They were entertaining as usual.

Gold City was up next after a wonderful introduction by Reggie Saddler. The boys from Gadsden really rocked the house again tonight. They were even better than Friday. This line-up will soon be recognized as the best in SG if they can keep these members.

The Talley Trio followed with a very good performance. They had a few vocal problems on the first song (Total Praise), but overall it was so good, no one probably even cared. His Life For Mine was a highlight of the night. Lauren is a star and only gonna get better.

The Booth Brothers were sensational. They put on one of the most exciting and entertaining sets of the weekend. They are also extremely strong vocally. My only disappointment was the lack of "He Saw It All", which they later sang in the closing program.

Mercy's Mark came next. I had very high expectations for this group and they came really close, really. The tenor is perhaps still getting his NQC legs, but should probably lay off Danny Funderburk classics for a while. If you perform Somebody Touched Me, you had better be close to flawless. Danny is still recent enough that there will be (unfavorable) comparisons. I thought that Christian Davis sounded very good.

Karen Peck and New River: Dinner time. Sorry Karen.

The Perrys were entertaining. Joseph is still transitioning from baritone to lead, but will work out fine. Nick Trammell sounds a good bit like his father and has that same kind of power. His voice is very clear also. He can be a great one.

The Florida Boys: Just like last night, they were solid. Featured Les on one song, and that was enough (sorry Les, but there is a reason you hired Josh). Did I say Gene was awesome yet? Josh Garner is working very hard to become my favorite lead singer.

Legacy Five: I'll be bluntly honest here. I had somewhat low expectations for this group. They easily exceeded these, however. Frank Seamons sounded the best I've ever heard him. I Found Grace was performed exceptionally. Glenn Dustin is an exceptional bass singer. In a genre that has many good young bass singers, he is one of the very best.

The Kingdom Heirs: I could hear them tonight! (See my last nights comments here.) What I heard was an extremely polished sound. They are obviously comfortable with each other and the audience. Billy Hodges is a fine young tenor. I hope he stays with them a long time. Jeff Chapman was probably the lowest, most powerful bass I heard this weekend. He is awesome. Arthur Rice did a great job singing the lead, as he always does. Steve is good at singing the baritone part and finding exceptional talent to sing around him.

The Dove Brothers program tonight was much better than last night. There was still not a lot of singing, but it was entertainment at its finest. Jerry Martin showed more power and range combined than any other tenor this weekend. He is great. David Hester is another of the exceptional crop of young, extremely talented bass singers.

The Crabb Family: Like last night, I decided to give them one song to hold me in the audience. This time they came thru with "The Cross", a very nice performance. This and "Through The Fire" were the highlights of their set. The other stuff could've been left off (for me anyway).

The Kingsmen were next and I had recently heard them and was expecting a great performance. They suffered from what I consider poor song selection and a baritone who forgot some words (Better luck next time, Tony). Their lead singer still seems timid to me, or perhaps he's just not the power lead that we've come to expect from The Kingsmen.

The Inspirations: Coffee break.

The McKameys: They are not some of my favorites even though they have good songs. The song by The Fortners was the highlight of their set.

The Martins were the final group on the schedule. They mostly sounded like a group that shouldn't have been there. They seemed like they were off most everywhere. The one highlight was their a capella number.

The big finale was mostly fizzle. They really should NOT build this thing up if they cannot get the groups to come back and participate. Goff billed it as "all" the number one songs of the year. Well we heard one by The Kingdom Heirs and two by Lauren and The Talleys. Like I said, a big, over-advertised disappointment.

NQC 2006: Friday Night

I had some of the worst seats I've ever had for Friday night, but all in all, it wasn't a bad view.

I didn't get there on time to hear the Specks. (on purpose I might add, not my cup o' tea)

Palmetto State did a good job, I thought the new tenor was still sounding a little tentative (understandable). This used to be one of my favorite groups, but they have some work to do to get back to major status. Burman sounded really good though.

The Dixie Echoes were very solid. Their tenor (new to me) sounded great. Randy Shelnut is still one of the great lead singers in SG. This group should go far with this lineup.

Primitives: bathroom break, dinner break, (hey you gotta eat! ) What I could hear from the hall sounded good though. I'm just not a big fan of their style.

Chuck Wagon Gang: Again not a big fan of this style, but they sang all classics and did them well. They were very "listenable". Lulu Roman was a nice guest appearance.

BF & Assurance was one of my highlight groups of the night. They sounded very good and really sang a nice set of songs. Lowlight was the "overboard" intro's of each member.

The Lesters are always good at NQC. This year was no different. Tricia Cisneros is worth the price of admission by herself.

The Kingdom Heirs: I'm a huge KH's fan. Unfortunately, the family behind me didn't feel the same way and talked (loudly) thru the whole set. What I could hear sounded good.

The Hoppers were their usual Hopper selves. What time is it Louisville? Time to retire that song, I'd say. The new Ronnie Hinson song very underwhelmed me, too gimmicky...

Greater Vision was great as usual. Highlight was Gerald's version of O Holy Night.

The Florida Boys. Well, Gene is simply put the best bass singer going today. Josh Garner is also a favorite and they all sounded good. A standard FB's set.

The Dove Brothers really disappointed tonight. Too much talking and not enough singing. Also, song selection was poor, to me. (Sat. night was much better, see my comments here).

Mark Trammel Trio: I keep expecting great things from this team and end up just getting "pretty good". They need a real boost in song selection. Their vocal ability is unmatched in other trios.

The Inspirations: Booth time. Nuff said.

The McKameys: See Inspirations.

The Dixie Melody Boys sounded good in their set. Dan Keeton is doing a fine job at tenor. Their new"ish" lead singer is sounding really good too. Ed still sounds the same as always (that's a good thing in this instance).

Gold City. They are my second "highlight" group of the night. Aaron McCune is really stepping up to the plate at bass. He sounded flat out awesome. The smoothest bass voice of either (fri or sat) night. Jon and Danny complement each other nicely and Steve is one of the 2 or 3 best tenors singing right now. They put on a high quality set that really was unmatched tonight.

The Crabb Family: I really intended to give them a chance tonight, but when they started off with heavy metal, I was one of the folks hitting the exits. Let me tell you, people (young and old) were literally running to get away from that.