Hidden Gems: Cathedrals – “Evergreen”

While the Cathedrals remain one of SG’s most popular and enduring groups, even now some 14 years after their retirement, there remains a lot of the group’s catalog that is fairly undiscovered by most fans of this music, especially in the pre-Danny Funderburk years.  This song comes from their 1981 album Colors Of His Love featuring Kirk Talley, Glen Payne, Mark Trammell, George Younce, and Roger Bennett.

This mellow sounding ballad starts with some swirling strings that put the listener in mind of wind whirling through the evergreen trees to which the title of the song refers.  It’s an interesting lyric that refers to evergreen trees standing through the storms that come up and blow.  The chorus is a prayer for God to make the believer as strong as the evergreen that stands in the forest.  It’s a very well crafted lyric that is accecntuated with some beautiful singing from Kirk Talley and some gorgeous harmonies from the quartet.  Adding to the creativity is the fact that Talley sings his step out lines on the second chorus an octave higher than on the previous chorus, swooping up from the quartet harmonies to the higher melody.  The tag includes the swirling strings, though a bit more subdued than the intro, but features a swirling round vocal tag that features the Cathedrals first, with the repeat done by female studio vocalists, again hearkening the listener to winds whipping through a forest of evergreen trees in winter.

There’s not a whole lot of flash here, but it’s a gorgeous, very well crafted song.  Someone needs to bring this one back.  If you have the album (or like me, the LP AND the 8-track!), spin it up and give it another listen!

NQC Final Round Ballot

Here are my votes for the final round, with necessary changes listed.  I had a hard time choosing a soprano last round, so I switched votes on that category so that I have voted for each of my choices once.  I know the results don’t work that way, but it eases my troubled mind.  I honestly couldn’t just choose one or the other, I think both are deserving. 🙂

  • Bass – Tim Riley
  • Baritone – Mark Trammell
  • Lead – Joseph Habedank (Bill Shivers not in the list)
  • Tenor – Brian Free (Gus Gaches not in the list)
  • Soprano – Brooklyn Collingsworth Blair
  • Alto – Libbi Stuffle (Courtney C. Metz not in the list)
  • Soloist – TaRanda Greene (Steve Ladd not in the list)
  • Male Group – Booth Brothers (Gold City not in the list)
  • Mixed Group – Collingsworth Family
  • Musician – Jeff Stice
  • Album – Let It Be Known, Booth Brothers
  • Song – “Blue Skies Coming”, Perrys (“On The Banks… not in the list)

There you have it!  Mileage may vary….

NQC Awards Ballot: First Round

Since several others have posted their ballots in the first round of the NQC awards voting, I will do the same.

  • Bass: Tim Riley
  • Baritone: Mark Trammell
  • Lead: Bill Shivers
  • Tenor: Gus Gaches
  • Soprano: Karen Peck Gooch
  • Alto: Courtney Collingsworth Metz
  • Soloist: Steve Ladd
  • Male Group: Gold City
  • Mixed Group: Collingsworth Family
  • Musician: Jeff Stice
  • Album: Let It Be Known – Booth Brothers
  • Song: “On The Banks Of The Promised Land” – Karen Peck and New River

Nick Trammell Joins Mark Trammell Quartet

Clayton and Scott Inman.  Randy and Scoot Shelnut.  Rick and David Fair.  Tim and Daniel Riley.  Add one more father/son combo to the list.  It was announced last night via Facebook that Nick and Jessica Trammell are departing Jessica’s family group, The Browns.  The couple recently celebrated the birth of their first child, and Jessica is coming off the road to take care of baby Tessa.  Nick Trammell is joining his father’s quartet as lead singer replacing Dustin Sweatman, who has accepted a job as the Renaissance Program Director of Choirs at Bethel University here in West Tennessee.  These changes will all take place after NQC, though the new lineup will debut a new recording during the convention.

In this instance, I’m very much interested in the sound of the group.  The other father/son duos mentioned above all have fairly distinctive sounding voices.  Nick Trammell has a voice and style that is very close to his father’s, especially when compared to his father’s voice at the same age.  It will almost sound like Mark is singing with his younger self!  The press release from Mark, available here, also hints at the group hiring a full time pianist after NQC.

Best wishes to Dustin in his new duties, and to Nick and Jessica as they have welcomed a new baby at home, and to Nick as he stands beside his father to share the good news of the gospel!

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

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!

A Must Read Interview

Daniel Mount has posted a very heartfelt interview that he conducted at NQC with Mark Trammell.  It is a must read for any SG fan.  Kudos to Daniel, and to Mark for sharing some great insights.  I had the tremendous privilege of becoming acquainted with Mark when I was doing Gold City’s website years ago, and he remains one of my absolute favorite people in Southern Gospel.  His heart really comes through in the thoughts he shared with Daniel.

YouTube Clip #30 – Cathedral Quartet with Talley & Trammell

Since last week was the 10th anniversary of Glen Payne’s passing, here’s a nice clip of the Cathedrals during the Talley/Trammell years in tribute to Glen’s memory.  This is a great clip that really captures the essence of the Cathedrals of that era.

Recording old music with new personnel

Turnover in groups occurs often in Southern Gospel Music.  Some groups go back and record previously released material with the current lineups.   This morning I had newsletters in my inbox from both The Dove Brothers and Greater Vision announcing new projects that fall along these lines.  The one by The Dove Brothers is coming out in the Spring to mark their 10th Anniversary.   Greater Vision’s is now available online and has songs they have recorded with previous members (Chris Allman, Mark Trammell, and Jason Waldroup) and also has a few songs they’ve never had available before.

I’ve seen this done by Gold City, The Perrys, and The Kingdom Heirs after having major changes to their group.  Greater Vision also did one before called “Sing It Again!”  What are some other groups you have seen do this?  Is there anyone you’d like to see record one?

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