NQC Catch-Up: Gaither Vocal Band Reunion

I see that in my NQC reporting I failed to make any mention of the GVB Reunion showcase. Others fortunately caught it live and provided a set list. I’ve finally finished watching it on-demand. Basically it felt very off-the-cuff and informal, which meant there were some mix-ups and goofs, but it was real. You could tell they hadn’t had much time to run through everything. I actually like that sense of making things up as you go along. The biggest problem was (surprise, surprise) sound. Members would pick up their mikes for key solos and find them turned off—just had to manage as best they could. The mix was also very uneven. Often parts would stand out over the melody. But again, I liked the real feeling, and there was some wonderful singing anyway. Mark Lowry was as crazy as ever and pulled out his old “Jesus On the Mainline” routine for a hilarious walk down memory lane, plus of course his classic “Mary Did You Know.”

Yes, like everyone else I am puzzled by the fact that Guy’s absence wasn’t even mentioned or explained in any way, but good singing was still done and good music still made. Larnelle Harris essentially stole the show, as others have said. Even when he wasn’t being featured and bringing the house down (“Amen,” “I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked”), he would time and again be chiming in with some bit of improv, waving the microphone about in that delightful way of his and just being generally brilliant. However, Wes Hampton also offered some wonderful moments (“The Love of God,” “I’m Free,” “Something About That Name,” “Daystar,” others I’m probably forgetting where his voice was heard… and I mustn’t forget to mention his little dance moves on “Build An Ark” — priceless). Also, Steve Green did a brilliant job with “No Other Name But Jesus,” setting it up with a great mini-sermon on how both the legalists and the relativists fail to grasp the gospel of salvation. It was his only feature, but it touched me deeply, like Michael Booth touched me on Saturday night with “Look For Me At Jesus’ Feet.” For some reason, those two moments both stand out in a special way for me out of all the great music that was performed last week. I think it’s because both Michael and Steve have a rare gift for communicating a song and sending the message straight to the heart, and when that gift is joined with a great lyric, you have something special. I realize that’s not an original thought, but it’s true.

There were others who did great too, like Jimmy Murray and Buddy Mullins (who had a much better haircut than he did a couple years ago on the reunion video set). Just a really enjoyable showcase. You could tell everyone had a great time. The song selection wasn’t as strong as it could have been, but they had to work around the fact that they didn’t have Guy with them so that may explain some of it. One thing I wish they would have done is have Steve Green and Wes Hampton sing their duet version of “It is Well.” It would have made perfect sense for many reasons, one of which is that Wes’s solo project, from which that arrangement comes, has just been released by the Gaither company. Anyway, it was still fun, still good, still worth watching. Don’t miss it if you got the webcast. No videos from it have surfaced on Youtube, but while we’re talking about the GVB, here’s a taste of Wes Hampton’s brilliant Friday night performance of “He is Here.” This isn’t the whole thing, but it’s still great:

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “NQC Catch-Up: Gaither Vocal Band Reunion

  1. This GVB reunion was awesome! Jesus On The Main Line was already one of my favorite Mark Lowry stunts! Even though its old I still laughed until I hurt. And the addition Gordon Mote to the routine was great!

    There were many good moments for the GVB fan in this reunion. My other favorite was When I Cry, Marshall was so good on that song.

    Odie
    http://www.boggsblogs.com

  2. Lydia McGrew

    Great bit of “He is Here” by Wes. I was trying to convey earlier this week to some Catholic friends (as part of my ongoing mission to increase Catholic-Protestant mutual understanding :-)) the way that the great Protestant preachers of the past taught that when we pray we must think of ourselves as being in the presence of God. The Latin is “coram deo”–before God. And of course there is a famous book by Bro. Lawrence called _The Practice of the Presence of God_. Christians who are disrespectful or who show off in prayer are not practicing that. Wes shows here that a more contemporary song (that is to say, more contemporary than those Baptist preachers of my childhood who urged us to come before the throne of grace) can encourage the same sense of God’s presence.

  3. Backwoods Philosopher

    That was a really good review of the NQC showcase. As you know, the sound issue is constantly brought up on different blogs. You would think, that with all of the money that the NQC is bringing in, that the sound problem could be resolved……..either by leasing or purchasing better equipment and/or by bringing in “top-of-the-line” sound technicians. (And, stopping the practice of allowing each group to individually control the sound) It’s an amazement to me, because who wants to pay a lot of money to hear a bad sound system?

    • Thanks Backwoods. Actually, while I saw a few people trying to make the case that perhaps it was really a problem with the artists’ own sound guys, it’s been happening for people who don’t even have sound guys. BFA for example. And that wouldn’t explain the mikes constantly not being on at all. That’s a communications problem.

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