If you’re not already reading Fuson’s Findings, let me encourage you to check it out. It’s a regular new blog by a new blogger who loves the music and has good insights. He recently started a column called “It’s Just My Opinion,” in which he shares candid IMHOs about southern gospel-related things he’d rather were done differently.
I decided to give him a little support for his most recent one, which is an honest (though very courteous) complaint about the projected track listing for this year’s NQC collection. After looking it over, I have to agree with Brian that it could have been much better. While some of the selections are great and deserve to be on there, many major artists were left off, and a few that were included were featured with songs that didn’t stand out.
Here is the list as it’s shaping up now:
Kingdom Heirs – No Bones About It
Ivan Parker – Twenty-Four Hours A Day
Collingsworth Family – The Resurrection Morn
Kingsmen – He’s Everything I Need – That’s All I Need
Crist Family – I Love Lovin’ Jesus
Jeff & Sheri Easter – Hear My Heart
Tribute Quartet – Homecoming Day
Dove Brothers – I Recall
Talleys – The Broken Ones
Hoppers – All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name
Mark Bishop – My Name Is Jesus
Greater Vision – You Were Faithful Yesterday
Legacy Five – Thankful for the Change
Triumphant Quartet – Almost Home
The Dixie Melody Boys Celebrate 50 Years
Antioch Church House Choir
Greater Vision – Looking for a Tenor (aka Looking for a City)
The Perry’s Birthday Surprise! I Wish I Could Have Been There
Laughin’ With The Swan
This is NQC!
Right away you notice that Crossroads artists make up a huge percentage of the featured names. Is this a bad thing? It needn’t be… if they were legitimate highlights of the whole convention. The problem is that not all of them were.
Let’s go down the list in order, starting with the Kingdom Heirs. Why not include “We Will Stand Our Ground” instead of “No Bones About It?” It could have been sound or mix issues, but in that case I would say the Kingdom Heirs should maybe be replaced with another artist, because that song was the main highlight of their appearance. But I’ll assume “We Will Stand Our Ground” was doable and say that song should have been included instead.
Right away, the Crist Family and Ivan Parker selections jump out at me as huge head-scratchers. (I know, this is jumping out of order, sorry). They didn’t stand out in any way. I would cut them both and replace with them with, say, the Booth Brothers’ “She Still Remembers Jesus’ Name” and the Gaither Vocal Band’s “He is Here.”
Collingsworth Family: I’d definitely leave this one on.
The Kingsmen’s new single is a solid song. It’s not one I’m dying to cross out, but I’d be inclined to replace it with Gold City’s “I’m Rich,” because it was Craig West’s first and last appearance on NQC mainstage, and he nailed it.
The Easters, “Hear My Heart”: I’d probably leave this one. However, I’d be more inclined to feature James Easter’s guest appearance on “Thank You Lord For Blessing Me.”
Tribute Quartet, “Homecoming Day”: Yeah, keep this. Great moment, great showcase of young talent.
Dove Brothers, “I Recall”: Well, since this featured Burman Porter upon his return, one might be inclined to keep this, but I’m sure something better could have taken its place (plus there’s the Jonathan Price situation). What about something by the Mark Trammell Quartet, like “That’s Enough For Me To Know,” or “Echoes From the Burning Bush” or “Statue of Liberty?”
The Talleys’ “The Broken Ones” was of course a good performance of a hit song, but it didn’t particularly stand out as a memorable moment of NQC 2011, even though the Talleys were debuting a new lineup. I’d replace it with the Dixie Echoes’ “I Am a Pilgrim.” They also had a new lineup, and that particular number doubles as great comedy because Stewart Varnado was doing funny stuff with nothing to do as the pianist.
The Hoppers, “All Hail the Power”: Again, good music sung well, but I’d replace it with something else. How about “Well Done, Well Done,” Kim’s tribute to Tony Greene? That was a great moment.
Mark Bishop, “My Name is Jesus”: You know, even though I personally would probably replace this with something else, it was a significant moment at NQC and featured a good lineup of artists (even though the mix was terrible—I bet there was a lot of over-dubbing on this one).
Greater Vision, “You Were Faithful Yesterday”: I don’t get this at all. Replace this with “I Know a Man Who Can!”
Legacy Five, “Thankful for the Change”: Well, okay, I’ve loaded this up with ballads, so I might keep this fast-paced number. But personally, I’d lean towards featuring Gus’s performance of “For What Earthly Reason.” He was a little hoarse, but it was a really good performance of a great song.
Triumphant Quartet, “Almost Home”: Can’t argue with this selection. Great new song and great performance.
Bonus Features: Cut the Swan and replace him. With what or how much I’m not sure, since I don’t know how long the segment is, but I’d go for a few choice picks from the GVB Reunion showcase, or maybe Squire Parsons and friends singing “Beulah Land,” the whole thing (as opposed to the snippet featured in the montage).
What do you think? Would you be more inclined to buy an NQC 2011 compilation with this lineup of songs? Here it is in more graphic form:
Kingdom Heirs – No Bones About It [Replace with "We Will Stand Our Ground"] Ivan Parker – Twenty-Four Hours A Day [Replace with Booth Brothers, "She Still Remembers Jesus' Name"]
*Collingsworth Family – The Resurrection Morn
Kingsmen – He’s Everything I Need (That’s All I Need) [Tentative cross-out. Possibly replace with Gold City, "I'm Rich?"]
Crist Family – I Love Lovin’ Jesus [Replace with Gaither Vocal Band, "He is Here"]
*Jeff & Sheri Easter – Hear My Heart [Tentative cross-out, possibly replace with "Thank You Lord?"]
*Tribute Quartet – Homecoming Day
*Dove Brothers – I Recall [Replace with something by the Mark Trammell Quartet.] Talleys – The Broken Ones [Replace with the Dixie Echoes, "I Am a Pilgrim"]
Hoppers – All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name [Replace with "Well Done, Well Done"]
*Mark Bishop – My Name Is Jesus
Greater Vision – You Were Faithful Yesterday [Replace with "I Know a Man Who Can"]
*Legacy Five – Thankful for the Change
*Triumphant Quartet – Almost Home
The Dixie Melody Boys Celebrate 50 Years [I didn't watch this showcase. Was it any good?]
Antioch Church House Choir [I think this is the choir Wilburn & Wilburn sang with. Am I wrong? A bonus feature about them might be really neat.]
*Greater Vision – Looking for a Tenor (aka Looking for a City) [An obvious keeper.]
*The Perry’s Birthday Surprise! I Wish I Could Have Been There [Ditto.]
Laughin’ With The Swan Dennis Swanberg [Replace with something, anything. Maybe a choice pick or so from the GVB Reunion Showcase, or perhaps "Beulah Land" with Squire Parsons and friends.]
This is NQC! [Well, this montage is about the only way we're getting to see even snippets of some of NQC's actual highlights, so we need it!]