Concert Review: Triumphant Quartet

My church recently hosted a concert by Triumphant Quartet.  Attendance was fairly strong, especially for the Thursday night after Thanksgiving.  I would place the crowd somewhere between 250-300.  With the timing of the concert being the beginning of the Christmas season, the guys took the opportunity to “practice” quite a bit of their Christmas material on us with several exclusively Christmas concerts coming up.  The entire first half, save the last song before intermission was Christmas themed music.

Set List:

  • Hallelujah
  • Medley: Hark The Herald Angels Sing/O Little Town of Bethlehem/Children Go Where I Send Thee/Do You Hear What I Hear/Go Tell It On The Mountain/Joy To The World
  • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (acappella)
  • Jesus, Oh What A Wonderful Child
  • Jesus Is Lord For All Time
  • Jesus Is Born Today
  • Angels We Have Heard On High ( piano instrumental)
  • Deck The Halls ( piano instrumental)
  • Tennessee Christmas (piano and harmonica)
  • It Is Well

Intermission

  • Saved By Grace
  • Love Came Calling
  • Mary Did You Know?
  • The Old White Flag
  • The Great I Am Still Is
  • How Great Thou Art
  • Almost Home

Triumphant is currently celebrating their 10th anniversary as a group, and they are a bit of a rarity in SG in that they have had no personnel changes in the 10 years of the group’s existence.  Their opening song, “Hallelujah”, was a great choice to start the concert as it got things started off with a great intensity.  The medley that followed was fantastic, and the crowd really seemed to enjoy the fast, energetic arrangement of “Children Go Where I Send Thee”, and the ending of “Joy To The World” was great.  The group’s rendition of the Cathedrals’ classic acappella arrangement of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” was absolutely note perfect and highlighted the incredible blend of the four voices.  David Sutton can really carry a tenor ballad, and he did an outstanding job on one called “Jesus Is Lord For All Time.”  He has one of the most expressive tenor voices in the genre, and I enjoy the fullness of his tones.  I’ve always liked the song “Jesus Is Born Today”, which was originally recorded by the Oak Ridge Boys on their 1982 album, Christmas, and Triumphant did a great job bringing it back.  As with their recent cover of the Oaks’ “Everyday”, Triumphant really does well bringing back classic songs from the Oak Ridge Boys, that style really is the strength of Triumphant.  Jeff Stice played his fantastic arrangement of “Angels We Have Heard On High” that he recorded with Perfect Heart on their CD Live At The Forum.  He then shared that he had a request from his mom to record a piano Christmas CD that had no other instrumental backing, just Jeff and his piano.  He played a thrilling arrangement of “Deck The Halls” from that CD before David Sutton joined him on stage for a piano/harmonica duet on “Tennessee Christmas.”  The one non-Christmas song of the first half, “It Is Well”, left the crowd on their feet as they left for intermission.

Let me just say that it is quite a daunting task to play a piano solo offertory after hearing 3 instrumentals featuring Jeff Stice, one of the best piano players we’ve ever had in SG.  After the intermission, the group absolutely wowed the audience with their two recent #1 songs, “Saved By Grace” and “Love Came Calling.”  Both songs are most deserving of their chart topping positions.  Triumphant’s version of “Saved By Grace” exceeds the original Florida Boys rendition, in this blogger’s opinion.  Eric Bennett may be the best bass singer in Southern Gospel at communicating a lyric and carrying a bass solo, and I’ve long enjoyed his rendition of “Mary, Did You Know?”.  Clayton had easily 2/3 of the audience waving white handkerchiefs on “The Old White Flag.”  That song has been part of their stage show for a long time now, and it’s amazing to see how the crowd enthusiasm has kept up over the years, and doesn’t seem to show any signs of waning at all.  Scotty Inman shared a very moving testimony about the medical challenges that surrounded the birth of his daughter, with a poignant challenge by a friend that he’d spent all this time practicing his faith, and that this trial was a challenge for him to “use it.”  That lead into a very powerful performance of “The Great I Am Still Is.”  This is still likely the strongest lyric the group has recorded in their 10 years, and it is completely obvious why this song has staying power in their repertoire.  Ending with “Almost Home” had them leaving the stage with the crowd once again on their feet.

As I mentioned earlier, Triumphant is celebrating 10 years as a group, and with a stable lineup over that entire time, you can easily understand why the group displays such an incredible sense of unity.  From a perfection of their vocal blend, to an uncanny ability to pick material that fits each member like a glove, to the ability to anticipate each other’s stage presence and vocal embellishments in a live performance, Triumphant operates like a well-oiled machine.  Eric Bennett is a very capable and comfortable MC who reads the spirit of an audience very well, and is one of the best bass singers in the genre, hands down.  Scotty Inman has basically grown up in the group, and not only possesses infallible tones as a baritone vocalist, but he has become a fantastic writer as well.  He is easily one of the top young vocalists in Southern Gospel.  Clayton Inman has been one of SG’s best lead vocalists for years now, and he completely commands a stage.  Young, aspiring lead singers need to spend some time observing Clayton Inman, as there is no better example of what a Southern Gospel lead singer should be.  David Sutton has an unmistakeable tenor voice that draws you in immediately.  His ability to carry a tenor ballad puts him in the top tier of tenor vocalists in SG, and he has a full, rich tone that is a rare find.  I’ve long enjoyed listening to David sing.

Triumphant is riding high in SG right now, having won quartet of the year for several years running now.  It’s no surprise with the stability in their lineup that they’ve hit such a stride.  Quite simply, they are one of the best we have to offer.  If you can catch them during the Christmas season, please go see them, their Christmas material is a great blend of traditional songs with some nice originals as well.  If not, catch them the next time they are in your area, you’d look long and hard to find a quartet that puts on a better concert or service.

Photos (courtesy of our church’s Ministry Assistant, Donna Harris):

Concert Reminder: Triumphant Quartet

A friendly reminder to my Memphis area readers that Triumphant Quartet will be in concert tonight at Faith Baptist Church in Atoka, TN.  The concert starts at 7:00, and there is no admission charge, but a love offering will be taken.  As always, expect a full concert report most likely next week, and I will be live tweeting from the concert tonight as well on the Burke’s Brainwork Twitter account.  Come out and enjoy a great night of gospel music!

Upcoming Concert: Triumphant Quartet

Believe it or not, I’m still here!  Real life has been insanely busy (not unexpectedly, and will likely continue for at least another couple of weeks), so my blogging time has been nil.  However, I did want to share for my Memphis area readers that Triumphant Quartet is coming to Faith Baptist Church in Atoka on Thursday night, Nov. 29.  The concert starts at 7:00, there is no admission, but a love offering will be taken as always.  Triumphant hasn’t been to our church in a couple of years now, and since that time they’ve really hit their stride.  Come out and enjoy a night of Southern Gospel music on the Thursday after Thanksgiving.  Who knows, you might even hear a Christmas song or two!

SG Quartets: Walking In Memphis

As was announced on Daniel Mount’s blog today, plans are moving along for an all male quartet event called the “J.D. Sumner Quartet Show” in Memphis, TN to be held June 19-22, 2013.  This is the brainchild of several quartet leaders and concert promoters, and is being held in conjunction with the 15 year anniversary of Sumner’s death, in the city where he and James Blackwood started the National Quartet Convention in 1957.  James’ son Jimmy is one of the organizers of this event, along with Stewart Varnado of the Dixie Echoes.

I was just in the auditorium of the Cook Convention Center, known as the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts, for a business meeting a couple of weeks ago and it’s a beautiful facility that seats about 2,100 people, give or take.  There is also an exhibit hall attached to the facility that should rival Freedom Hall’s in Louisville.  The facility sits on the north side of Downtown Memphis with entrances on both Main St., and Front St. overlooking the Mississippi River.

The event has a website here, and a Facebook page here.  The initial lineup of groups already committed is extremely strong, with names like Brian Free and Assurance, Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, Gold City, The Kingsmen, The Dixie Echoes, and Triumphant Quartet, among others.  Also, there are plans underway to add more “up and coming” type quartets to the lineup as well.

If you can’t tell, I’m very excited about the possibilities of this event coming to my hometown, and I’ll see you all there!

2011 Dove Nominees Announced

The nominees for the 2011 Dove Awards were announced today.  Below is a run down of relevant SG nominations (SG nominees italicized).

Male Vocalist of the Year
Doug Anderson
Chris August
Jason Crabb
Brandon Heath
Israel Houghton
Marvin Sapp
Chris Tomlin
Female Vocalist of the Year
Audrey Assad
Francesca Battistelli
Natalie Grant
Britt Nicole
Janet Paschal
Kerrie Roberts
Laura Story
Group of the Year
Ernie Haase & Signature Sound
Gaither Vocal Band
Sidewalk Prophets
Tenth Avenue North
MercyMe
MIKESCHAIR
NEEDTOBREATHE
Artist of the Year
Francesca Battistelli
Jason Crabb
Ernie Haase & Signature Sound
Natalie Grant
Marvin Sapp
tobyMac
Chris Tomlin
Song of the Year:
- “All of Creation”; MercyMe; Bart Millard, Robby Shaffer, Jim Bryson, Mike Scheuchzer, Barry Graul; Brown Bannister, Dan Muckala, Simpleville Music/Wet As A Fish Music/Wintergone Music/Banistuci Music (ASCAP)
- “Beautiful, Beautiful”; Francesca Battistelli; Francesca Battistelli, Ian Eskelin, Andrew Fromm; Word Music LLC (ASCAP), Designer Music, Inc./Honest and Popular Songs (SESAC), Universal Music/Z Songs/ Ocean at Night Music (BMI)
- “Get Back Up”; tobyMac; Toby McKeehan, Cary Barlowe, Jamie Moore, Aaron Rice; Achtober Songs (BMI), Emack Music/Rizzle Music/Jamnu Music (ASCAP), Castle Bound Music, Inc./Bummerman Music, Inc. (SESAC)
- “Hold My Heart”; Tenth Avenue North; Mike Donehey, Jason Ingram, Phillip LaRue; Formerly Music/Peertunes Ltd./Sony/ATV Timber Publishing/Windsor Way Music (SESAC)
“Lead Me”; Sanctus Real; Matt Hammitt, Jason Ingram, Chris Rohman; Birdwing Music/Toledo Tomorrow Music/1012 Rosedale Music (ASCAP), Windsor Hill Music/So Essential Tunes/West Main Music (SESAC)
- “Let The Waters Rise”; MIKESCHAIR; Sam Tinnesz, Mike Grayson, Ben Glover; Screaming Norman Music/WB Music Corp (ASCAP),
Curb Congregation Songs/Strength to Shout Publishing /Wave and Romi Publishing (SESAC)
– “Love Came Calling”; Triumphant Quartet; Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey; PsalmSinger Music/Bridge Building Music/Hefton Hill Music (BMI)
- “Our God”; Chris Tomlin; Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman, Jesse Reeves, Chris Tomlin; Thankyou Music (PRS), sixsteps Music/worshiptogether.com Songs/Said And Done Music/Vamos Publishing/SHOUT! Publishing (ASCAP)
– “Sometimes I Cry”; Jason Crabb; Gerald Crabb; Christian Taylor Music (BMI)
- “Starry Night”; Chris August; Chris August, Ed Cash; Word Music LLC (ASCAP), Alletrop Music (BMI)
Long Form Music Video of the Year
- A Beautiful Exchange; Hillsong Live; Joel Houston; Andrew Crawford, Joel Houston, Reuben Morgan, etc; N/A; Hillsong Church T/A Hillsong Music AU/Sparrow
– A Tribute to the Cathedral Quartet; Ernie Haase & Signature Sound; Doug Stuckey; Bill Gaither, Ernie Haase; Gaither Television Productions; Gaither Music Group
– An Inconvenient Christmas; The Oak Ridge Boys; Jim Halsey; Warren G. Stitt, David Forman, Duane Allen; Halsey DVD; Spring Hill Music Group
– Count Your Blessings; Bill and Gloria Gaither and Homecoming Friends; Doug Stuckey; Bill Gaither, Barry Jennings, Bill Carter; Gaither Television Productions; Gaither Music Group
- Until the Whole World Hears…Live; Casting Crowns; The Erwin Brothers; Dan Atchison; Alabama Production Company; Beachstreet/Reunion
I’ve yet to see the nominations online for the Southern/Country song and album, so I will update with those as soon as I can find them.  It’s great to see some SG talent being recognized in the multi-genre categories, such as Jason Crabb and Doug Anderson up in the male vocalist category, Janet Paschal in the female vocalist, and Triumphant Quartet in Song of the Year.  Best of luck to all the SG nominees.

Triumphant Quartet Spreading Christmas Cheer

Via Twitter:

ScottyInman: Christmas caroling in local Nursing Homes today with the guys.  Always fun!

I had to give TQ a shout-out and some props when I saw this.  I think it’s a fantastic thing that the guys would take the time to share their talents with folks that don’t have the opportunity to see them in a normal concert setting.  Incredibly classy.  Kudos to the Triumphant guys!

Hidden Gems: Triumphant Quartet – “I’d Tell You About Jesus”

From the 2005 self-titled CD by Triumphant comes this beautiful ballad.  Well written by Patti Hawkins, a piano and string intro leads into David Sutton singing the first verse solo.  Sutton is one of our genre’s absolute best at the tender tenor ballad style songs, and this song serves as strong evidence of that fact.  The rest of the quartet enters on the chorus, and it’s some of the smoothest singing you’ll ever hear from the ensemble.  There are some nice chord progressions in the chorus and the first chorus ends with a nice two part line.  The intensity builds a little on the second verse and chorus.  The key changes and intensity goes up for the first part of the tag, but immediately comes down to a soft, pretty tag that starts in the stratosphere and gently comes back down to the last chord.  Quite simply, this is a beautiful song that David Sutton and the rest of the quartet sing impeccably.  Pull your CD out and spin up the last track.

Triumphant Signs With Mansion Entertainment

Well, Bill Traylor and Mansion Entertainment are certainly making a big splash in the SG world right now.  Kyle and Daniel have the scoop that Mansion has just signed Triumphant to a long term recording deal.  You will recall, no doubt, that Mansion also recently signed the Hoppers to their label.  That’s two major artists to sign with Mansion in the last few months.  The Hoppers were indie since the demise of Canaan, but Triumphant is a bit more newsworthy as they had a long standing relationship with Daywind.  It’s seemingly quite a coup for Mansion to lure Triumphant away.  SG would be well served to have another major label to compete with Daywind and Crossroads, and it looks like Traylor and Mansion are aiming for just that type of goal.  I personally think that can’t be anything but good for the industry.

The Top 10 Songs Of 2009

I did this last year as well, but since I’ll be out of pocket next week visiting family in Florida, I thought I’d go ahead and do this now.  This is a list of the top 10 songs that I have personally heard/reviewed (some with reviews upcoming) that were released in 2009.  This is NOT a reflection of chart action, but these are the 10 songs that really blew me away when I heard them.  I have probably 10-15 more that could be listed here, but at some point I just have to come up with 10 and go with it.  So without further adieu, here are the top 10 songs of the year:

  1. “Almost Morning” – The Perrys
  2. “Die Another Day” – Brian Free & Assurance
  3. “Fear Not Tomorrow” – The Collingsworth Family
  4. “There Is No Other Name” – The Crist Family
  5. “You Must Have Met Him” – Brian Free & Assurance
  6. “Everyday” – Triumphant Quartet
  7. “If You Knew Him” – The Perrys
  8. “It’s About The Cross” – The Ball Brothers
  9. “God Saw A Cross” – The Kingsmen
  10. “Worthy The Lamb” – Gaither Vocal Band

Triumphant Quartet, EH&SS, Jason Crabb Receive Grammy Nominations

Triumphant Quartet’s Everyday, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound’s Dream On, and Jason Crabb’s self-titled solo CD were all honored with Grammy nominations that were released last night in the Best Southern/Bluegrass/Country Gospel album category.  Congratulations to all 3 artists on such an honor.  For the record, I’m pulling for Triumphant.  :-)

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