I remember noticing Mike Rogers as a solid young lead with the Dixie Melody Boys at last year’s NQC. His contributions helped make their set one of the highlights of the convention for me. Now he’s taken a step up, filling BFA’s recently vacated baritone position. I had trouble finding videos that really showcased Mike’s voice, but here’s a nice video of him singing “Daystar” with DMB. Note that he’s also accompanying himself on guitar—very rare to see in a southern gospel quartet. Maybe he can bring his guitar skills to BFA and freshen up their tracks-only program a bit.
Mike is a young artist to watch, and I hope he sticks around for a while! Although I liked Derrick Selph, it seems from this clip alone that Mike’s voice has greater range and flexibility. Here’s what Brian had to say about the hire (revealing in the process that yes, ladies, he is married):
When I received the audition info for Mike I was very impressed with his vocal ability and the gift to deliver a song. After spending some time with him, his wife Bekki and daughter Coraline at my home, I knew he was the one God had sent to be a member of our family. I love his heart and the love he has for people. He will be a wonderful addition to BFA.
Having over 300 people apply for the job, it was a hard decision due to all the talent I heard. I want to thank each person who took their time and effort to apply for the position. I am truly honored that so many wanted to be a part of our ministry. I know God has a place and time for you to use your talent for him.
Greater Vision has just announced a special radio broadcast to be aired tonight. Tune in to hear interviews and clips from their new album! Here’s the press release:
Tonight at 10pm (Eastern) and again on Saturday at Noon (Eastern), you can listen to a special edition of “Daniel Britt & Friends” featuring interviews with Chris, Gerald, and Rodney, and songs from the new “For All He’s Done” CD!
“Daniel Britt & Friends” can be heard on the Enlighten Channel on Sirius/XM Radio (Channel 65) and on Dish Network Satellite receivers (Channel 6065).
Brian Free & Assurance is one of my favorite quartets. Baritone Derrick Selph has been a solid vocal presence who helped give the group that slight pop flavor they’re known for. But with a second baby, he’s decided to step down. He left for a while three years ago to go to electric school but then returned. I suspect that his growing family may keep him busy for a little longer now.
I’ll be very interested to see whom BFA goes for next. One singer I think would be a fantastic addition is Andrew Goldman. But Andrew is an essential member of Ryan Seaton’s young group Union Street right now, so he may be content there for a while. Also, most of BFA’s really huge songs showcase the powerhouse vocals of Brian or Bill (who, for pure technique, gets my vote as the best lead singer in the genre right now). So Andrew’s own gifts might get hid under a bushel to some extent as baritone.
Are there some die-hard fans out there with any thoughts? Meanwhile, I found a tribute video from the last concert before his first departure, which seems appropriate to feature here:
I was inspired to go look up this video when I heard of the passing of country legend George Jones. It tells the unforgettable story of how Vestal Goodman, in her words, “ran the devil off” at George’s place when he was deep in depression but asked for Vestal to visit him.
I don’t know whether the lonely old Possum ever trusted his life completely to Jesus before he died. If this article is any indication, it seems that he at least had a desire for the gospel. Hopefully he’s up there with Vestal singing in that angel band right now.
For the first time ever, ALL currently touring ex-Cathedrals are going to reunite in a November concert. This includes Danny Funderburk, Gerald Wolfe, Scott Fowler, Ernie Haase, and Mark Trammell. Get all the goods in this press conference:
There’s already been a DVD featuring former Cathedrals, but it did not feature Ernie. This concert brings everyone together. Gerald seemed to be implying that it will not be captured on DVD, which I’m sad about because I don’t travel, so I’ll never make it to Fort Worth to see this in action.
What about you? You planning to make it?
Thanks to quartet-man for alerting SG fans to this news item. Jordan Wilburn, son of the rising father-son duo Jonathan and Jordan Wilburn, posted on his facebook yesterday that their car was broken into at a Cracker Barrel. Items taken included the weekend’s earnings, Jordan’s laptop, and some valuable recording equipment. “Pretty much everything” was how Jordan summed it up.
Although nobody was injured (it sounds like the car was robbed while Jonathan and Jordan were inside the store), this is still a tough loss. Pray that the thieves will be caught, and I’m sure the Wilburns would appreciate any donations at this time to help cover the loss. This is the address from their Contact page:
Wilburn & Wilburn
100 Fambrough Dr.
Gadsden, AL 35901
There are only a few seats left for the 2013 installment of the Gaither Songwriting Workshop. Further details are here. What struck me about this year’s lineup of writers is that it includes two CCM tunesmiths: Andrew Peterson and Nicole Nordeman. Most people wouldn’t think “Gaither” when you think of these two artists, but my guess is that Peterson was invited this year because the Isaacs recorded his song “Labor of Love” for their Christmas album the other year. I hope this makes some fans of southern gospel notice him a little more, because honestly, if you want to know how a great lyric is crafted, you can learn a lot from Andrew Peterson. And apparently Gloria Gaither thinks so too. As for Nordeman, I confess that I’ve really heard only a handful of her radio singles, and they struck me as a mixed bag. I really like a few of her songs, but some of her most popular hits don’t impress me that much. Are any of my readers familiar with her, and if so, what album(s) would you recommend for someone who’d like to go beyond the radio hits?
I got this somewhat shocking bit of news in my inbox from Greater Vision the other day:
Our Record Company recently announced they would be discontinuing some of our most popular CD Titles from their inventory So… we went to Nashville and picked up all they had, and we’re making them available to you! Once these are gone, they’re gone!
This Clearance Special includes these CDs…”Faces”, “Quartets”, and “Live At First Baptist Atlanta”. These CDs include some of our most-popular songs, like “He’d Still Been God”, “Faces”, “With All The Many Miracles”, “It Is Well With My Soul”, “He Is To Me”, “A Pile Of Crowns”, “Just Ask”, “Soon We Will See”, and MORE! 37 Songs in all! A $45 Value.
This is very puzzling to me. Why on earth would the record company discontinue the albums containing Greater Vision’s most popular songs? Quite frankly, this is disgraceful. Our best southern gospel artists deserve better than to have their best-loved music pulled off the shelf.
As a bonus, GV is throwing in the Live at Oak Tree DVD/CD combo. All CDs and the DVD are being packaged together for only $20. That sounds like a pretty good deal to me. Get it here while supplies last. Once they’re gone, they’re gone.
Is anyone else ticked off about this? Because I’m pretty ticked off. It’s one thing to pull an old album with songs nobody knows. This is another thing altogether. [Update: Brian has pointed out that these albums are probably still available digitally, and in fact Amazon mp3 is still offering them. This does mitigate my ticked-offedness, because I had assumed they were not available digitally.]
Readers who missed the Fayettville Community Church livestream should be glad to know that if you pre-order EHSS’s new project Glorious Day (which you won’t regret buying), to be released April 2nd, 2013, you will get a private link to the full concert in HQ. This package comes together with some other goodies as well. Details here.
After an elaborate buildup on David Bruce Murray’s site, the long-expected “change” has finally been announced: Murray, together with colleague Kyle Boreing, Phil from North Ireland, concert-reporter Diana Brantley, and Steve Eaton (aka “the world’s most indefatigable southern gospel blogger”) are joining forces to create a new super-site. Congrats to all the bloggers involved. Once it’s launched, the new site is going to be your one-stop place for all things southern gospel—revisiting classic music, reviewing new music, concert reviews and clips, and even an international perspective with our friend Phil. All archives will be ported over I’ve heard, which is obviously vital. In the meantime, further contributions from all the bloggers will be posted on Steve Eaton’s site Southern Gospel Back Row.
What exactly the new site is to be named is yet to be decided. The band of bloggers is looking for ideas, from YOU. Daniel Mount has pointed out that Musicscribe is the oldest southern gospel blogging brand and would encompass all the other bloggers under its umbrella. I can see the logic in that. Still, it seems like the phrase “southern gospel” should be worked into the title somehow.
So how about “Southern Gospel Musicscribe”?