Thoughts On The Tracy Stuffle Benefit

I watched the large majority of the benefit concert for Tracy and Libbi Stuffle online last night. What a tremendous outpouring of love and support by our fellow SG artists. I thought Jason Crabb and Joseph Habedank did marvelous jobs hosting the concert, and there were a lot of highlights. Former Palmetto State tenor Robert Fulton was singing with Gold City, and they sounded pretty solid.

There was quite a unique lineup of The Hoppers last night as well. Kim is very ill with sinus problems, and may even be facing surgery, sloshed and Dean were at home. Taranda Greene filled in for Kim, and Jason and Joseph alternated filling in Dean’s part. “I’ve Come Too Far” was fantastic, Connie and Taranda both nailed their parts of the song, and on the encore, Tim Riley supplied some incredible bass vocals.

The Booth Brothers did their two songs with only piano accompaniment from Nick Bruno, and it showcased their amazing blend and harmonies. The Collingsworth Family did an exquisite version of “Fear Not Tomorrow”, with Olivia joining what was a trio of her mom and sisters. I’ll disagree with my esteemed colleague Daniel Mount, as to my ears it sounded like Olivia was doubling Courtney, not Brooklyn. Mark Lowry was hilarious, and Paul Harkey was impressive with EHSS. The Oak Ridge Boys also sang with only piano accompaniment as well, and they were very genuine in their love and support for Tracy and Libbi.

More important and significant than all of this, though, came with The Perrys set, and the surprise appearance by Libbi, who sang a heart wrenching performance of “ThroughThe Night.”. After the set, Dr. Phil Hoskins took the stage and had a time of anointing and prayer for Libbi and Tracy. Seeing all of the artists in attendance gathered at the altar with their arms outstretched toward Libbi in prayer was the single most powerful moment I’ve witnessed at a concert. After several minutes of prayer, Libbi began singing “‘Tis So Sweet” from the midst of the group, and the rest of the artists and congregation joined in singing acappella. It was an incredibly sweet moment.

I have no idea how much money was raised last night, but judging from the crowd it had to have been a significant amount. Even,ore important though, 25 or so people rededicated their livestock Christ, and 8 or 9 were saved when Dr. Hoskins gave an altar call. This is what Southern Gospel is all about, and it made me proud to be even peripherally involved with this industry. All in all, a great night, and I was thankful to be able to watch the online stream.

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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….

TaRanda Greene Launches Solo Ministry

TaRanda Greene announced her plans going forward on Facebook and Twitter earlier in the week.  She will be performing as a soloist going forward and has launched a new website, www.tarandamusic.com.  It will be interesting to see with her involvement with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir how her solo style contrasts from her previous solo and group recordings while a member of The Greenes.  The site is very well done and very professional.  TaRanda certainly has the chops musically to become an elite soloist, here’s hoping that she reaches her full potential.  We are fortunate to have a talent of her caliber in SG.

Revisiting The All-Star Quartets

Yesterday’s Hidden Gem post got me to thinking about the unrealized potential in the All-Star Quartets series.  I’m not sure how sales were of those CDs, but I’d guess not as strong as they could have been.  For instance, how many of you would like to hear David Phelps in a quartet setting outside of the GVB?  How about Phelps and Daniel Riley in a quartet together?  You could on that album.  One song (which appeared minus the bass vocal on Lordsong’s debut CD) featured Phelps, Michael Lord, Daniel Riley, and Bill Lawrence.  For completeness’ sake, the song is “Trial Of The Heart” and is probably the best song on the disc.

I’d think that doing more of these type of discs would be a great thing today.  The “Hymns” side is actually a little less appealing to me than the current material.  Let’s take Daywind as an example.  They’ve got quite a stable of songwriters.  Names like Lindsey, Peck, Funderburk, Habedank, Haun…these folks are constantly churning out songs.  Some probably never get recorded that are incredibly strong.  Why not take a bunch of these great songs that haven’t had any exposure yet and put some all star groups together to record them?  I’d also like to see the groups expanded to include some mixed groups as well.

How would you like to hear these four together?  Katy Peach, Kim Ruppe Lord, Paul Lancaster, and Glenn Dustin.

No thanks?  Well how bout this?  TaRanda Greene, David Phelps, Scott Inman, and Chris West.

I’d tend to think that this would be a win for all involved.  The writers and publishers get more great songs out, and marketed well, I’d have to think folks would eat them up.

Crossroads, Daywind, Mansion, Gaither Music Group, New Haven, I’m looking at you guys.  Make it happen!

Open Letter From TaRanda Greene

Singing News, among several outlets, has an open letter from TaRanda Greene.  Future plans will be officially announced later, but TaRanda says she plans to keep singing, however the Greenes appear to be disbanding.  She mentions John Jeffrey will continue as her pianist, and that Jeff Snyder has already made his plans as well.  Read the entire letter here.

Pray For Tony and TaRanda Greene

According to TaRanda Greene’s Twitter, Tony is back in the hospital with signs of rejection of the kidney that TaRanda donated to him not too terribly long ago.  Please pray for the Greenes as Tony undergoes testing to determine the best course of treatment, and for TaRanda’s strength to deal with this latest setback.

NQC ’10: Thursday Recap

There’s quite a bit more to talk about today.  So, continuing our bullet point format, here we go:

  • First, Sarah Palin.  Several artists tweeted that they were given the opportunity to meet her and have their pictures taken together before Palin made her keynote speech.  Her speech itself seems to have been well received, even if the only artists she mentioned were the Nelons and Amy Grant (?).  By most accounts, she came across as having a very genuine faith.
  • The Ball Brothers made their debut mainstage appearance to mainly positive reviews.  Good to see them get the exposure they deserve.  I really think these guys have quite a future ahead of them as pacesetters in SG.
  • The reviews have been mixed on the “cheesiness” of the song, but either way the Booth Brothers and Sisters collaboration called “Brothers and Sisters” was very much notable, and nothing but positive about the performance of the groups.
  • Several commentators have noticed that song selections on the whole last night just seemed to be disjointed.  Not that the songs were bad in and of themselves, but the sets just didn’t seem to flow very well.
  • Chris Allman continues to impress with his tenor vocals for Greater Vision.  To start their set, a YouTube clip was played of them singing “Too Near Home” from 1995, and at the conclusion of the clip, Stan Whitmire kicked in the piano intro and away they went with the full song.  Allman truly seems to have stepped out of a time machine vocally.
  • The Perrys sang a couple of new tunes from their Blue Skies CD, the title track and “His Love Lights the Way”.  Tracy Stuffle again joined them for two songs, and it’s good to hear that his health is holding up so well during such a stressful week.
  • The Greenes, and specifically TaRanda Greene, also had a quite impressive and notable set based on several accounts.  TaRanda continues to cement her place as an elite vocalist in SG.
  • Buzz of the Night Award:  The Collingsworth Family.  Again.  The Collingsworths have really seemed to be the buzz of the convention, and their set last night was apparently no less impressive, especially their acappella rendition of the classic hymn “Take Time To Be Holy.”  This group may just come out of the convention with the biggest jump in esteem and popularity, as people have been gushing over their performances this week.
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