Swapping Parts

With the return of Perfect Heart, I was reminded of a routine they did when I saw them in concert once.  The personnel was tenor Garry Sheppard, lead Dale Shipley, baritone Darren (?), bass Mike Presnell, and pianist Jeff Stice.  Garry starts out saying he always wanted to be a bass singer or how singing bass was easy and he wanted to do it so they all swapped around.  Garry moved to bass, Presnell moved to lead, Dale moved to baritone, Darren moved to piano (had a funny joke asking if the sustain pedal was a gas pedal) and Stice moved to tenor.  They sang “Have a Little Talk with Jesus.”  Instead of singing the low bass notes, Shep would blow a raspberry.  It was pretty hilarious!

The Perrys did something similar when they first went to the 3 male/1 female lineup.  They did a male quartet where their lead singer Loren Harris went to bass, bass singer Tracy Stuffle went to tenor, baritone Curt Davis went to the piano, pianist Dennis Horton sang lead, and the bass player Jamie Bramlett sang baritone and played bass.

I’ve seen on some Statesmen videos where Doy Ott would go to the piano and Hovie would join the other vocalists mid song.

Does anyone else have any examples?

Top 10 Songs Of 2008

I’ve taken the opportunity to revisit the albums that I’ve personally heard and/or reviewed this year, and compiled a list of the top 10 songs that were released on albums this year.  This list has NOTHING to do with chart action, or albums recorded in 2007 or earlier, but is solely a list of the 10 best songs I’ve heard on albums this year.  I’d dare say this list makes a pretty decent compilation.

  1. “When God Ran” – Kingsmen
  2. “Glorious” – Mike Lefevre Quartet
  3. “Holy Of Holies” – The Dills
  4. “Hallelujah Praise The Lamb” – Talley Trio
  5. “He Loves Me” – N’Harmony
  6. “Welcome To Heaven” – Triumphant
  7. “I Cast My Bread Upon The Water” – Gold City
  8. “The Blood On My Hands” – Skyline Boys
  9. “I Will Sing Of My Redeemer” – Talley Trio
  10. “Love Like The Sun” – Prophets

It’s hard to narrow down these songs, but these 10 have all stood out to me as songs that have knocked my socks off when I heard them.  I could very easily come up with another 5-6 that are probably just as deserving to be in this list, but this is my personal top 10 at this point in time.

Top 5 Albums of 2008

I’ve gone back over reviews and drafts that didn’t see daylight (yet) and have come up with my list of the top 5 albums released in 2008. So without further adieu:

2008′s Top 5 Albums

  1. Mike Lefevre Quartet – Nothin’ But Good
  2. Kingsmen – When God Ran
  3. Talley Trio – Life Goes On
  4. Triumphant – Intermission
  5. Gold City – Moment Of Truth

These are 5 excellent albums, and each has its own merit. You can’t go wrong with any of these projects.

Perfect Heart Is Back!

According to Aaron Swain’s blog, Mike Presnell is bringing back Perfect Heart. The group already has a website, and personnel are Wesley Anders – tenor, Jimmy Dunn – lead, and Tommy Smith – baritone. Smith is a former member of Cross4Crowns. Based on the clips that are on the website, these guys have a really nice sound, and the lead singer is a bit reminiscent of Dale Shipley. Count me in as one glad to see the name Perfect Heart back!

Merry Christmas!

Both Nate and I are going to be out for the rest of the week, so let me wish every one of you readers a very Merry Christmas.  Take a few minutes to read the Christmas story either tomorrow or Thursday.  I’ll be reading it to my kids before bed tomorrow night.  Don’t lose sight of the Christ child amid the hustle, bustle, and Santa Claus commercialism of the next couple of days.  I’ll be back on Monday.

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas!

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Blackwood Quartet Hits The Road

As reported by several SG media outlets and blogs, Ron Blackwood has decided to leave the theater performances and hit the road with his own quartet. John Rulapaugh is singing tenor, Josh Garner is the lead, Tracy Trent will sing baritone, Trent Adams is the bass, and Joe Cox is the pianist. Ron will serve as the MC and occasional vocalist. Adams and Cox join the group from The Old Paths. I personally am glad to see Rulapaugh back on the quartet circuit. He’s way too good of a tenor to not be out on the road. Time will tell what comes of this group, but the potential is certainly there for a fine sounding quartet!

Free David Phelps Download

Susan Unthank over at SGN has provided a link to a free David Phelps download from Amazon.com.

UPDATE: Don’t get too excited, I downloaded the track, and it is actually an audience sing-along of “Silent Night”.  While it is very pretty, I wouldn’t exactly call it a representative sample of Phelps’ CD, as you barely hear David on it at all.  Amazon could have picked a MUCH more representative song to give away.  You know, one that actually features David Phelps SINGING would have been nice, but since it’s free, beggars can’t be choosers.  Still, you have to wonder who made the decision to offer this particular cut.  I dare say it wasn’t the smartest decision they ever made.  Someone unfamiliar with Phelps’ music who stumbled onto the free download would come away with no better idea of who David Phelps is as a singer than they had before they started.

Continuous SG Christmas Music on enLighten

According to this article at SGN, enLighten will be programming 80 hours of continuous SG Christmas music beginning at 9 AM Eastern on December 23, and ending at 5 PM Eastern on Friday, December 26. That should provide a nice soundtrack to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day celebrations. I know we’ll be turning it on our Dish pretty frequently!

NQC 2009 Schedule Released

The NQC has released their schedule of main stage appearances for next year.  Monday night appears to have gone back to “quartet night”, which is a good thing.  While the NQC has grown far beyond just quartets, and every year someone makes a push to rename the event accordingly, it is entirely appropriate to reserve one night at a “quartets-only” night.  It’s good to see the Collingsworth Family and Ricky Atkinson and Compassion get slots on the main stage.  I’m also glad to see the Couriers get some recognition as well for their rich history with a slot.  I would have liked to have seen the Ball Brothers get a set, but their time is coming very quickly, especially if the new album that they will begin working on after the first of the year is as good as their initial indication.  What suprises do you see either in appearing or not appearing?  (hat tip, DJM)

Brian Wilson’s “Lucky Old Sun” Live Performance Available On NPR.org

NPR has made available the audio from a live performance by Brian Wilson of his newest album, “That Lucky Old Sun”, which was named one of the year’s top 50 albums by Rolling Stone.  You can find it here.  Pardon the obvious pun, but, ahem, “wouldn’t it be nice” if SG did this too?  The closest I have seen is SGN making entire studio recordings available via their site mp3 player, which is great, don’t get me wrong.  But how incredible would it be to see the Singing News make a live recording of the Kingsmen performing When God Ran, or see SolidGospel.com have a link to a live performance of Life Goes On by The Talley Trio?  Alas, one can wish….

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