Last year’s American Idol recently paid a guest visit to this year’s stage. This is the first time I got a really good listen to her voice, and I have to say: wow. Her new album just dropped at the end of last month. Candice Glover, everyone! It’s just too bad she’s going into R&B and not gospel. What a voice. One wonders if the judges were thinking, “Shoot, do we have any finalists this year who even come close?” Try to ignore the dumb graphics on song two. (My preferred solution is to focus intently on Keith Urban’s head-bobbing.)
Category Archives: Singers
I know I said at the beginning of my 12 Essential Tracks of Christmas that I would provide a list of 12 more tracks that missed the cut. But since the series didn’t generate that many views, I thought I would dive right back into our regular programming instead, because I suspect y’all are ready to rotate Christmas music out of your mixes right about now. I have to admit that I am too. But feel free to e-mail if you would like to see the list.
I wanted to take a moment to pay tribute to a young trio that recently disbanded after nearly four years in the business. That group is Promise Trio. The pressures of personality, life on the road, and making a profit in a rocky economy doubtless all contributed to the various group changes and the final decision to dissolve. I thought Promise had great potential from day one and remained consistently excellent for the group’s brief lifespan. It was originally founded as Statement of Faith by Jacob Kitson, who stepped down from Greater Vision at Chris Allman’s return. He, brother Joe and baritone Jon Epley (who just had a fantastic year with the Inspirations and now sings bass for them), recorded just one CD in 2010 before Epley was snapped up by the legendary group. However, the song “Masterpiece of Mercy” would later land on a Booth Brothers recording. Youtuber cbcacs has some good footage of a concert by this lineup. Continue reading
This little post started as a longish “Recently Added” entry about a young Irish folk band called The High Kings. But it quickly blossomed into something more. As I traced the evolution and growth of the band, I began noticing a lot of similarities between this group and our own Signature Sound in southern gospel. Both groups play a very similar role in their respective genres, bringing old music to a younger generation while trying to retain their own artistic identity. Before I knew it, I was writing a mini-dissertation on marketing, musical artistry, and the heritage of traditional music. So, come along with me for the ride, and discover some great new music at the same time! I’ll leave you to savor it for a little bit while I spend the next week cramming for finals and going to Christmas parties.
When I first heard Gus Gaches’s voice, he vaulted into my personal top five southern gospel tenors practically overnight. It was instant fanhood. Some tenor singers take a little time to grow on you, but it’s hard not to be quickly won over by Gus’s pure, smooth tones. He’s very steady and clean, and he retains a full sound even in his upper register (though he wisely chooses not to push himself past a high D or so, to preserve tone quality). He may not be the most rangy or powerful tenor, but he has the complete package. Check out this performance of “Holy Is Thy Name”:
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.
I started this series a while [read, two years] ago. For those who can’t remember when or why I started it up, I started it to honor those tenors who measure up to my pretty strict standards of what a great tenor should sound like. When done right, the tenor is my favorite part. In this series, I choose a performance where I can’t think of ANYTHING I would change—not one little nit-pick. And that’s saying a lot.
Previous installments have featured Brian Free, Terry Franklin, and David Phelps. For today’s installment, here is, in my opinion, one of the most naturally gifted and pleasing tenors in SG right now—ladies and gentlemen give it up for CHRIS ALLMAN!
Here are some clips from the most recent Gaither DVD, the GVB’s Pure and Simple, live. I’ve been really enjoying these sneak peeks. I was especially glad to see “Road to Emmaus,” since I had not heard that song in the version of the album that I listened to:
Here’s one of my favorites, “Winds of This World”:
Here’s “The Love of God”:
Here’s “Cup of Sorrow,” for which I especially enjoyed seeing the live instrumentation:
I just uploaded some Signature Sound videos to Godtube for your viewing pleasure, captured from the livestream at FCC on Saturday. These are shared by permission from Ernie Haase. Happy viewing!
[Update: FCC has asked me to remove the videos from Godtube. I believe there's a misunderstanding about the arrangement I had with Ernie's team, but I've honored the request. FCC itself has uploaded "Glory to God in the Highest" on their channel.]
Lauren at View From the Pew has posted a call for Perrys fans to send her any letters, e-mails, or encouraging notes that they would like to share with the Perrys. She will then put them together in a book for the family. This is a sweet idea. Please check out her post and share if you know any other Perrys fans. If you’d like to send an e-mail message, she has provided her address.
Libbi’s latest update was marked “urgent.” Tracy has a fever, and they are trying to diagnose the source of the temperature. Doctors think there is an infection, but their highest antibiotics have been ineffective. That was this morning. Future updates will be posted here.
Update from Libbi, Saturday morning, January 26th:
Tracy done good through the night. Was off the blood pressure medicine all night! And his blood pressure stayed in area of 117 / 64. They turned it back on just now because it went up while they were changing his sheets and bathing him. Temp is 101. Praise God, Praise God, Thank You Jesus!!!
Waiting on blood culture results to come back on infection. Chest X-ray showed chest congestion & fluid. Gave him lasiks to remove fluid. They have him almost fully sedated in order to let his body and brain rest from yesterday morning being so bad.
And I was able to sleep 4 hrs!!! Plan on slipping in some cat naps through out the day!!!
Thank you to TaRanda Greene for being there for me yesterday!!
Please know I cherish every prayer you pray for us!!!!!!!!!!
Almost three years ago, southern gospel fans were introduced to a young tenor named Riley Harrison Clark, who took Brian Alvey’s place in Tribute Quartet. A few things have changed since then. (For one thing, Brian married Lauren Talley and joined the Talleys!) But something else has changed—Riley’s voice. As a teenager, he already showed great promise. But he’s only gotten better since then. His technique has been polished. His range has expanded. At this time, I would say he legitimately deserves a place among the best tenor singers in the business.
As we wave goodbye to the Christmas season, let’s look at two performances of “Mary Did You Know?” by Riley—one from when he was 17, one from a recent concert. To watch his first performance on Godtube, click here. Here is the second. Thanks to Lynn’s Chronicles for posting it and to Josh at MN SG Fan for bringing it to my attention:
Notice that while he was singing the first cover in a baritone range (echoing Mark Lowry), this performance is more like a David Phelps key. I think that’s a high C he’s hitting. Somebody correct me if they think I’m wrong.