The Original Greater Vision Revisited

A couple of videos have surfaced of rehearsals by the original lineup of Greater Vision for the reunion concert that was recently held.  (h/t, DJM)  I can’t stop watching the clip of “Sailing Away”, it’s just that good.  I love Pat Barker’s reaction in the background when Gerald, Mark, and Chris just effortlessly nail the cascading harmonies to the inversion on the second chorus.  These videos reinforce my belief that the combination of Chris Allman, Mark Trammell, and Gerald Wolfe was the greatest male trio SG has ever seen.  Wow.  The scary thing is they sound just as good, if not better, as they did 20 years ago.

Sailing Away

Jesus Is Here

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Greater Vision Re-Releasing “You Can Have A Song”

Greater Vision has announced in their latest e-newsletter that they will be re-releasing their You Can Have A Song project on CD.  This was one of the first two albums the group recorded with Chris Allman, Gerald Wolfe, and Mark Trammell.  Previously this project was only available on cassette.  They also state that this will be a limited edition release of signed and numbered CDs.  Details are promised to be forthcoming.  Keep a watch out!

SG Coffee???

While reading this thread over at SG Forums, I found discussion of the following website:  Southern Gospel Mugs.  It’s an interesting marketing idea for sure, we’ll see how well it catches on.  If you’re a coffee drinker, or just in need of a laugh this morning, check out the site and the featured singers!  Lord help us when they move to tenors and do one of these for Michael Booth….

Gerald Wolfe on Piracy

Check out Gerald Wolfe’s blog for an interesting take on music piracy from an artist’s perspective, then check out DBM’s take and the accompanying comment by Mickey Gamble.  They are all interesting reading, to be sure!

Classics Corner: Various Artists – Indiana Live

indiana-liveIt’s 1990, and The Kingsmen and Gold City (along with the Cathedrals) are ruling the roost in SG, so to speak.  Benson brought those two groups together, along with the hottest trio at the time in Heaven Bound, and Gerald Wolfe, who hadn’t been gone from the Cathedrals long, for a live concert recording in Indianapolis, and fittingly, they called it Indiana Live.

Tracks:

  1. Looking For The Lights Of That City (Heaven Bound) – Nice mid to uptempo hand clapper that is Heaven Bound at their best.  Great song with a nice key change in the middle of the last chorus.  This was a great way to start the disc.
  2. It’s The King (Heaven Bound) – Powerful ballad featuring Rick Busby.  Busby really knocks this one out of the park.  The key changes after the first verse and goes immediately into the second verse, then another key change and the tempo slows and broadens for the third verse.  The key changes again before the chorus.  Another key change leads to the tag.  Great ballad from Heaven Bound.
  3. I Feel His Promise (Heaven Bound) – Uptempo song featuring Lawrence Taylor on lead.  This one really got the crowd going.
  4. Because He Lives (Gold City) – Ivan Parker takes the lead on the greatest version of this song I’ve ever heard.  It’s similar to the Singing Americans version, but Parker pus a little more flair into this version.  Nearly flawless vocals, including a key change between the first and second verses.  Try not to be blown away.
  5. Oh What A Day (Gold City) – This one is interesting.  Midtempo album cut from Portrait.  What was a decent, but nothing special, album cut becomes a great in concert tune.  Parker sings the fire out of the second verse, and the key change with Brian Free taking the lead is awesome.
  6. Movin’ Up To Gloryland (Gold City) – The classic LeeRoy Abernathy barn burner is performed expertly here by Gold City.  This was a very popular song for Free, and he doesn’t disappoint.  The piano work on this version is incredible as well.  Gold City was just on fire here.
  7. I’m On My Way (The Kingsmen) – Midtempo tune that starts out kinda soft and smooth (at least by Kingsmen standards at the time).  Tim Surrett keeps lead until the last chorus when Garry Shepherd takes the lead and the harmony inverts up.  This is classic Kingsmen and the crowd loves every minute of it.
  8. No Man Can Stop This Army (The Kingsmen) – This ballad features Parker Jonathan in one of his early Kingsmen recordings.  This hints at what was to come on songs like “The Cross Has Won Again.”  Once again the crowd eats it up.
  9. I’m Standing On The Solid Rock (The Kingsmen) – Parker keeps the lead for a chorus of this song, the key changes and Ray Reese sings the first verse, then Hamill takes the lead on the chorus.  The key changes again and Sheppard takes the lead.  This is typical “three chords and a cloud of dust” Kingsmen, complete with the screaming high ending.
  10. Champion Of Love (Gerald Wolfe) – Wolfe sings this with the original Cathedrals track, which is noteworthy because everything else had been done with a live band.  His vocals are absolutely spot-on, and the crowd is clearly enthused, but I miss the power harmony of the Cathedrals surrounding him on the chorus.  Still, Wolfe’s performance is excellent.  What a voice.
  11. I’ll Fly Away – Everyone comes on stage for this sing-along that features Gerald Wolfe doing his impressions of Jerry Goff (which is really, REALLY good) and Peg McKamey Bean.  It’s a fun little novelty track.  It’s funny, on the first verse, half the people sing “to a LAND on God’s celestial shore” and the others sing “to a HOME”.
  12. Where The Soul Never Dies – A more serious “sing along” tune that is a bit of a precursor to what would occur a couple years later with the KingsGold concerts.  Busby, Free, and Sheppard are featured on the chorus with a couple of key changes.  Money quote in the intro from Hamill:  “Keep clapping and they’ll keep taking it up until they can’t go any higher or one of ’em dies.”  Classic.

What a tremendous album.  Give three of the hottest groups 3 songs each, plus a smash song from the guy that made it famous with the Cathedrals, then get everyone on stage for a couple of numbers.  It’s a simple concept, but my how it worked.  Gold City in particular was really strong that night, and the enthusiasm from both the performers and the audience is evident from Heaven Bound’s first few notes and doesn’t stop until the end of “Where The Soul Never Dies.”  Long out of print, this is worth scouring yard sales, used CD stores, and ebay to try and find a copy.  This CD is full of thrilling performances from groups who were at their peak.

Gerald Wolfe’s “Solo” Album Now Available

Gerald Wolfe’s new “solo” album, Until Now, that commemorates his 28 year tenure in SG music is now available at Greater Vision’s website.  Check it out!

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