Category Archives: Concert Reviews

Guest Concert Review: The Whisnants in Pottsville, AR

Lauren's Whisnants Concert Shot #1

[Editor's note: This is a guest post by Lauren of Lauren's Southern Gospel Views From the Pew.]

Saturday night I made my way north to a small church on top of a hill where the Whisnants were singing that night. They were scheduled to be in Pottsville, Ark. at Pottsville Freewill Baptist Church that night. Pottsville is a small town of about 3,000, so as you can imagine, the nightlife leaves something to be desired. And for a small town and a smaller church, thankfully many of the people of Pottsville chose to attend a gospel concert on Saturday night. Continue reading

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Guest Concert Review: Brian Free & Assurance in Wynne, AR

[Editor's Note: This concert review is a guest post by Lauren of Lauren's Southern Gospel Views From the Pew. It's shorter than she had planned it to be, but thereby hangs a tale...]

Sometimes things just don’t go as planned. We serve a God of all possibilities, but sometimes He chooses not to allow things to go the way you want them to. This was the case Saturday night. Brian Free and Assurance was in Wynne, Ark. I knew there was some construction on the interstate between there and where I live, so I wanted to leave early to ensure I would make it. I didn’t leave quite as early as I planned, but still I didn’t think I would have any problem making the concert.

I was only three miles from my exit off the interstate and about 15 miles from the church. I began to see the warning signs of possible delays, but it was only two more miles of interstate. Why take the detour and add five more miles when I was so close? Traffic showed no signs of stopping until I passed that last detour exit. That’s when I saw brake lights in front of me. Continue reading

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Concert Review: Mark Trammell Quartet (April 17th 2014), Kalamazoo, MI

I apologize for the lateness of this concert review, but so many other things conspired to keep me from actually sitting down and WRITING it. Now I offer it as a parting gift to Pat Barker, whom I now feel more fortunate than ever to have caught before his retirement! I wish I could provide pictures as well, but alas, all picture-taking was strictly verboten at the start of the event.

The Mark Trammell Quartet guys are arguably the best representatives of good old-fashioned traditional quartet singing on the road today, and this concert finally allowed me to see in person what “all the fuss is about” (and walk away with some merchandise, including all four signatures on their latest album, and no I don’t intend to sell!) Here is my attempt to capture some highlights of the experience. It will double as something of a review of Your Walk Talks, which I haven’t officially reviewed, but which I love, and many of whose songs they staged that night.

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Concert Review: Jubilee Christmas Tour (Booth Brothers, Greater Vision, Legacy Five)

I recently caught the Jubilee gang on their Christmas tour and wanted to share some highlights of the concert with you all. I did bring a camera, though the lighting wasn’t optimal. I put some snapshots, a few with clever captions, in the slideshow below. Click on for a full review. This is the first of several juicy posts I have in the can for you this week while I recuperate from a quadruple tooth extraction. (Christmas break, don’t you know?) Comment as the spirit leads and I will reply to the best of my cognitive abilities at the moment. Beware though—the next post is a wee bit controversial, so who knows what I might come out with in the comment thread!

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Concert Review: Christian Classic Tour (Steve Green, Twila Paris, Larnelle Harris, Wayne Watson), 9/29/13

The other Friday I had the wonderful opportunity to catch the Christian Classic (or God of All Glory) tour in Shipshewana, IN, with my dad. The only thing that made the evening less than perfect for us was some confusion caused by the fact that we arrived a quarter of an hour before showtime to find Twila Paris already singing! We scrambled for an explanation, even fearing for a few moments that there was some Daylight Savings Time confusion and we had missed half of the concert. (Later we figured out that didn’t make any sense, but we were a bit panicky!) After the concert, we found out that it was really the artists’ fault, because they wanted to start an hour earlier when they saw that there was already a good crowd. Fortunately the organizers got them to compromise to start only half an hour earlier, so turns out we only missed an opener and the first song or so of Twila’s set. Phew! And I DID get pictures, which are interspersed throughout the review below. I’ve broken it down into little sections by each artist’s set. Enjoy!

Twila Paris

Twila Paris singing God is In Control

Twila’s was arguably the overall strongest set of the night. Her performances were essentially flawless, and she picked several of her absolute best songs. I was impressed with how she and Dick Tunney worked together and around each other on various sets of keys. Continue reading

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Concert Review: Legacy Five and Greater Vision in Spring Arbor, MI

I apologize for taking so long to bring you this review! I decided to skip the pictures since I didn’t really get any good ones, and it takes time to upload them to a post, so why add more delay? This was a great concert, and it was especially interesting because Greater Vision chose to debut quite a few songs from their upcoming CD, For All He’s Done! It was awesome to hear what Rodney has been cooking up lately. I think he’s written some of his best work yet on this new CD. This was also special because it was the first time I’ve seen Legacy Five in concert. So without further ado, here’s a complete set list with comments Continue reading

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(Partial) Concert LiveBlog: Tracy Stuffle Benefit

After a rocky start, the server is finally stabilizing a bit for me, but it’s still not entirely reliable.

“We Need Each Other” — entire group. Step-outs from Jim Brady, Ernie Hase, Doug Anderson, Joseph Habedank and the Isaacs.

Joseph’s pastor Dan Scott — bluegrass acapella. I don’t know this song, but I love it! It’s got an “Oh Brother Where Art Thou” feel to it. Here are some of the lyrics: “Jesus tells me not to fear. For he can see beyond the grave. And whosoever will may come. Jesus Christ refuses none.” Then it went into a piano-based number called, “Something’s Got Ahold of Me.”

The Bowlings — “I’ve Touched Calvary”. There’s another male singer with the Bowlings whom I don’t recognize. [Update: This is Troy Peach! I had a funny feeling I recognized him. It's great to see him back on the road again.] They sound great!

Now they’re singing “Your Cries Have Awoken the Master.”

Unfortunately my stream is getting stuck at frequent intervals, so I don’t know how much more I’ll be able to report on. We’ll see if it gets unstuck.

Okay, I finally got the stream back and it’s Gold City singing “Cast My Bread On the Water.”

This is so sad… I can’t get a reliable stream going. Missed a big chunk and am back now, still with Gold City singing “I’m Not Giving Up.” Gold City is using a fill-in tenor. We’re trying to figure out who it was. Daniel Mount just said he hoped it was a fill-in giving the ending. Ouch.

I love it — Jason Crabb let out a whoop, and Joseph said, “He’s a Pentecostal, I’m a Baptist.” Now he’s recognizing all the Perrys alumni on stage with him. Classy.

Karen Peck and New River up now. Singing “Four Days Late.” Now a ballad called “My God Will Always Be Enough.” I’m remembering how pure and controlled Karen Peck’s singing is.

(Realizing that I’m not the only one having feed problems. Makes me feel better.)

Now the Hoppers are up, and Joseph just said that Kim is laid up with sinus issues! Oh no! But thankfully, we have Taranda Greene filling in for her.

“If I Can Help Somebody”

Okay, so it looks like I just missed a lot of awesome stuff, because I’m juggling this with my evening job. Whatever the Hoppers just finished, it was amazing. It caused Joseph to say, “I’m startin’ to feel Pentecostal!”

Jason Crabb just compared the Booth Brothers’ blend to milk chocolate. I couldn’t agree more! They’re up now singing “I Will Serve Thee.” No tracks, just a piano! Now “Every Cry is Heard.” Michael leading the audience in singalong.

Okay folks, big moment! Jason Crabb is welcoming LIBBI STUFFLE on stage! Standing-O! She is singing “Praise You Through the Night.” What a powerful, emotion-drenched performance.

That was the best moment of the night, and I don’t think anything that follows it is even going to come close! She just shared a beautiful update about Tracy—earlier today she asked him if he could kiss her after she kissed him, and he did!

I’m afraid I missed a lot because the stream got stuck. Now I’m back with “If You Knew Him,” and… I have to take the garbage out. BRB.

Libbi is now testifying about her declaration of war on the devil, and her experience fasting and praying for Tracy. I could listen to Libbi testify all day. She’s a little firecracker of Holy Ghost power. What a tough lady of God. Right now, she’s asking for prayer that Tracy will not need a permanent shunt in his brain. The procedure will be very risky if needed.

Phil Hoskins is down at the front with Libbi, and the congregation is stretching their hands toward her while they pray for Tracy. I encourage those of you watching via livestream to pray with them. Matthew Holt is playing “Be Still and Know That He is God” in the background—a great choice.

Now they are all singing “Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus,” and I seem to have something in my eye… everybody acapella, audience too, this is gorgeous.

Phil Hoskins prayed and gave an invitation. Nine or ten people stood up in a first profession of faith! Now everyone is singing “Amazing Grace.”

Jason Crabb is taking an offering now. Here is a link for fans who’d like to donate. Make checks payable to College Heights Baptist Church and write “Team Tracy” in the memo line. Matthew Holt is now playing “Great is Thy Faithfulness” while they roll a pictorial  tribute to Tracy.

Joseph is now announcing the Isaacs. Hey, I see Zak Shumate on the box! They opened with “Walk On,” and Becky shared a good word about the story of Bartimaeus to set up “Waiting in the Water.” Now a little classic acapella with “I Will Praise Him.” Standing ovation.

The Collingsworth Family is up now. Olivia is taller than both her older sisters now! The ladies are all singing “Fear Not Tomorrow,” including Olivia. Now “Just a Rainy Day.” Now they’re singing a song called “The Healer is Here.” I’m not sure if this new or from an old album of theirs, but I like it.

Joe is up now talking about how much he loves the Collingsworth kids. He then recognized Tracy’s parents and son.

Oh my gosh—it’s Dailey and Vincent AND Ricky Skaggs! Surprise! They’re singing “Noah Found Grace in the Eyes of the Lord.” I believe that’s Christian Davis on bass. There’s a gentleman with bushy beard and glasses singing tenor, and I don’t know who he is but he killed it! Now “I Believe He Gave His Life For Me.” I just love their sound, it’s so pure and simple.

Dailey and Vincent shared about Skaggs’s influence and impact on them, and now Skaggs is sharing a good word. Now he’s playing and singing “Work of Love.”

Last song, “The Fourth Man.” I read that Jeff Parker is normally their baritone, but tonight he’s the one hitting the high notes! I never would have guessed. He’s doing great.

Aaaaand… now Mark Lowry is up! With a cane. He’s joking now about his “bionic leg.”

Mark’s still on a roll, but I was kinda hoping they could bring back the music so I could go to bed… let’s hope he wraps it up soon. Ah, good, he’s singing “Mary Did You Know?” Nice performance from Mark! Except I don’t agree with Joseph’s saying he’s one of the “deepest thinkers” — still, he is entertaining and a good singer.

It’s getting very late, but Clarke Beasley is up saying a few words together with the president of the GMA (didn’t catch her name). It looks like EHSS is next group up. I’ll probably have to sign off here after their set, because it’s about 11:00 where I am!

EHSS is moving briskly through their set. I was hoping for a little new stuff, but they opened with “Someday,” now it’s “Glory to God in the Highest.” I expect they’ll probably close with “Scars in the Hands of Jesus.” We’ll see if I’m right. Memo to Ernie: I LIKE YOUR SUITS! Now if I can just persuade you to get rid of that flowered pink jacket…

Ah, I’m wrong, they’re closing with “Get Away Jordan.” They left it all on the stage with a burst of high energy, no small feat at this time of night.

Les Butler got up briefly and shared that several special guitars are going to be auctioned off by the Singing News on Thursday—signed by every artist at this concert, including Ricky Skaggs!

The Oak Ridge Boys are up now. Singing “Where the Soul of Man Never Dies.” Confession: I’m really just hanging around at this point to see if Jason Crabb is going to sing anything at the end. :D Now it’s “Farther Along.” Joe Bonsall shared a word, and now they’re leading the audience in an encore.

Oh no… we’re singing “Elvira” in church! Joe Habedank started it, and then it couldn’t be stopped. They were joined by EHSS. Now that was worth staying up for.

Joseph introduced Jason Crabb. He says, “When I grow up, I want to be like Jason Crabb!” Crabb is singing his latest single, called “That’s What the Blood is For.” Strong finish. Now Jason is sharing a testimony I’ve never heard before about his wife’s struggles with rheumatoid arthritis. He used it to set up the title track from his new album, “Love is Stronger.”

He is closing (?) with a stripped-down, piano only rendition of “Through the Fire.” I think I prefer it this way! Okay, now they’re kicking things up and everyone is coming down to join him. Awesome. Libbi came up too.

And that’s a wrap. I will definitely be looking for some of these performances on Youtube later this week. Now Libbi is sharing about the song “Through the Fire” comforted her in the hotel room while Tracy was ill. Jason closed with prayer. Goodnight folks!

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Live Blog: Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, Fayetville Community Church (LiveStream)

Ernie Haase announced on Facebook earlier today that the quartet would be streaming a live concert. I’m watching and live-blogging right now. You can watch with me here. Enjoy!

7:00 Choir is singing a couple songs to warm up.

7:10 Wesley Pritchard just gave away the specials and is now introducing the guys. He’s joked that they’re able to flip to a basketball game that’s going on right now, in case the concert isn’t going well. (They actually showed it on the livestream, so they’re not bluffing!)

1. When the Saints Go Marching In

This is fun! I haven’t heard them pull out this arrangement in… well, come to think of it, I’ve never seen them stage this one! All live-band. Wayne Haun provided some great piano improv.

2. Glory to God in the Highest

Nice. They ended “When the Saints” in the same key as this one begins. By the way, Ernie is wearing “that” jacket. The silver one with… leaves or something on it. And a pink shirt. No comment. ;)

In-between song banter. Ernie just joked that he made a New Year’s Resolution he could keep—eat more and exercise less!

3.I’m Gonna Live Forever

They put a cute twist on this by whistling over the piano intro.

Wesley just told Ernie that they have lots of people logging in from Argentina. Ernie says that somebody from Argentina had messaged him right before the concert asking them to sing “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” on the third song. When Ernie asked why the third song, the guy said, “Because I’m old, and it’s two hours later here in Argentina, so I might fall asleep after your third song.” So, for the fourth song, in hopes that our Argentinian friend is sometimes awake…

4. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

5. Reason Enough

Now Ernie is introducing Paul Harkey. “Scars In the Hands?” Yes, I think so.

6. Scars In the Hands

7. I Pledge Allegiance

Been a little while since they pulled this one out. I like this one pretty well. Standing ovation, very inspiring. Now they’re singing “God Bless America,” except Ernie wanted to change the word “bless” to “heal,” to make it more like a prayer. An interesting thought, but I think it doesn’t sing quite as well. Also, I’m not sure that the “divisiveness” Ernie referred to in the setup is something we need to be “healed” from, if “divisiveness” is another word for the incompatibility of good and evil. If so, then bring on the division.

Ernie just recognized the servicemen in the audience, a nice touch.

8. Moving Up to Gloryland

Our feed fell a little behind earlier, and fast-forwarded a little here. Now we’re back on track.

9. Everytime

I had my own private 60s prom in my bedroom! Paul Harkey did his own little dance in the middle of the stage at the end. :D I miss Kelly Vaughn’s guitar solo though. I noticed on twitter a while back that he was leaving the band, not sure why.

Ernie just recycled the “guy with the cellphone in a bathroom stall” joke from George Younce. Nice.

10. Sometimes I Wonder

They’ve slowed this down a bit from the studio. I like it. Zak Shumate is doing a little hand percussion. Oh, nice, they’re tacking on a tag of “How Beautiful Heaven Must Be.”

11. Then Came the Morning

Intermission.

12. Only Here For a Little While

Back now at 8:35, and Doug is out singing solo. Pre-recorded BGVs. (So far anyway.)

13. Our Debts Will Be Paid

Now this is kind of an oldie! Devin just held the long note. Paul Harkey doing great on bass. This is fun.

This provided a nice segue into…

14. Life Will Be Sweeter

Ernie just said they’ve had a lot of requests for this song, and he’s going to do it even though it wasn’t on the program, leaving the consequences to the Lord… and Wesley. And the song is…

15. Can’t Help Falling in Love

Ernie mopped his brow with his hankie and threw it at somebody! Too funny.

16. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Ernie announced that they were going to do a Christmas carol Wayne had arranged for five parts called “Wonderful Grace of Jesus.” Wayne gently “set him straight.” Zak is adding some well-placed drum beats for emphasis.

Now they are rocking the house with…

17. Any Other Man

This is the first time I’ve seen a high quality video performance of this song. I really enjoyed watching them in action up close, getting into this one.

18. You Are Welcome Here

Sorry for the delay in posting the rest. I took a break. My take on the rest of the concert as recorded by my RealDownloader will hopefully follow soon… if I can get my RealDownloader to work…

Update: Got it to work. Herewith, the rest of the concert… turns out it was just one more song.

19. Oh What a Savior

This was put into a medley with “Nothing But the Blood.” The audience sang along, but Doug and Devin also did some step-outs on the hymn. I enjoyed Wayne’s extra piano licks!

Here Ernie mentioned Tracy Stuffle and asked that the audience would keep him and his family in prayer. After closing in prayer, they left with another encore of “Glory to God in the Highest.”

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Concert Review: Greater Vision in Kalamazoo, MI

[Note: I know, I forgot to put up a humor clip this morning. See, my brain was on hold yesterday, so I scheduled this post instead without thinking. Sorry about that!]

I had the opportunity to see Greater Vision in concert for the first time a couple weeks ago. It was wonderful to meet all the guys and chat in between the songs. I made several purchases, including the Lari Goss Tribute DVD (which I’ll review if nobody else does, because it’s awesome), and their Hymns of the Ages album with Chris’s vocals. I also brought home some GV Christmas music in anticipation of December. No, in case you’re wondering, I haven’t started listening to it yet—not one of those day-after-Thanksgiving types when it comes to Christmas music, but probably somewhere around the beginning of next month I’ll start breaking it out. Only thing is I need to take other stuff off my ipod to make room, because I just have a lowly 7.5 gig affair. Anyway, enough rambling about my ipod. Here are some highlights from the concert, plus a slideshow. Even though we weren’t allowed to use flash, my seat was so fantastic I got some nice shots anyway. Continue reading

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Concert Review and Photo Gallery: The Booth Brothers in Hillsdale, Michigan

The Booth Brothers came to the Gospel Barn in Hillsdale, Michigan earlier this month, and I got to go and enjoy them. It was a great experience and a great concert with a mix of old favorites and material from their new Gaither project. Here are some of the highlights off the top of my head, in no particular order: Continue reading

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