Aaron Swain's blog about Southern Gospel Music, News, and other items of interest in the SG world.

NQC 2012 Thoughts: Wednesday

September 13, 2012 By: Aaron Category: NQC, SG Artists, SG Music

I arrived in Louisville this evening just in time to settle in for the first group at 6:00, and stayed the rest of the night. A few thoughts from the evening:

1. If one were making a case for the comeback of live bands in SG, they could point to several of tonight’s sets as positive examples. The LeFevre Quartet’s set kicked off the night, and while a whole set of brand new songs by itself would be great to listen to, it grabbed my attention more when they hit the stage with a live band.

I also enjoyed seeing the Dixie Melody Boys with a band once again; while the “All-Star Quartet” that was scheduled never made it to the stage, the DMB brought the “All-Star Band” on stage: pianist Stewart Varnado, bass guitarist Scoot Shelnut, guitarist Madison Easter, drummer Michael Booth, and Adam Crabb on harmonica. It felt like going back in time hearing “When I Cross To The Other Side of Jordan” and “Ride That Glory Cloud” with a live band, complete with encores!

2. It was a night of debuts, with several vocalists making a first time appearance on Main Stage. The Dixie Echoes brought two new faces in tenor Craig Thomas and bass Jordan James, and the crowd enjoyed James especially, giving applause before the first line of “How Big Is God” was even finished. The Kingsmen presented lead Bob Sellers and tenor Chris Jenkins for the first time at NQC tonight as well, and the group got several standing Os in their set. To tie this in with the first note of the night, I sure wish the Kingsmen had put together a band!

Though not his first time on Main Stage (I believe he performed there with The Anchormen at least once), Paul Harkey made his first appearance there as the LeFevre Quartet’s bass singer. His vocals added to an already solid three other parts make for the best sound the group has had in their existence, and I thoroughly enjoyed their set.

3. Gold City’s “let the fans pick the set” thing that they did tonight made for one of the strongest sets of the evening. No talk, just singing. “Midnight Cry” especially got a big response, with most of the crowd standing at the end. The Jerry Pelfrey-Ivan Parker comparison was very strong.

4. This is usually the note where I would give my annual complaint about how awful the sound was, but I’m pleasantly surprised to say that I have no notes to that effect. Were there hiccups? Sure. However, the sound tonight was mostly an improvement over recent years, and I hope that this trend will carry throughout the week.

Look for more thoughts tomorrow night, and feel free to leave your own in the comments section!

Bonus note: Soul’d Out Quartet is AWESOME! (Rankin, I accept cash, checks, food, etc.).

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6 Comments to “NQC 2012 Thoughts: Wednesday”

  1. Aaron Baker says:

    I heard most of the second half of the evening beginning with the Mark Trammell Quartet, and they nailed it all week!

    Gold City’s set was my favorite of the evening, and my wife and I remarked about the Ivan Parker sound of their new lead singer. Unfortunately, I’m not sure that’s a great thing…I think they need someone to have their own sound, and GC can’t be their very best if everyone is still thinking of their lead singer from 20 years ago.

    Legacy 5 is really growing on me. I don’t think there is a nicer group of guys out there, the Matt Fouch hire seems spot on, and for my money, Gus Gaches is as good as any tenor not named David Phelps. Great hires Scott Fowler!!!

  2. Joseph Norris says:

    Could you find out the name of the 13 year old piano player introduced during the Parade of Pianos? I knew I should have made a not, now I cannot find it anywhere. Any help is much appreciated.

  3. First off I will agree…Gold City by far had the strongest set of the night.. L5 did a nice job as usual. The Dixie Echoes were great with their traditional qt set. I was disappointed with the Lefevres. I was really expecting something better. They just didn’t seem on their A game.


    • Thanks for your comment, and for offering your opinion. I respect it, but I do have to say this:

      I’m all about free expression, but this was the first time I have ever had to moderate a comment here. There’s a fine line between critique and tearing down, and I felt that the content of the edited section of your comment crossed that line. I’ve seen and heard first-hand how words printed on the Internet can hurt an artist, so I hope you’ll forgive me for taking a bit of caution.

      Folks, I’m not going to be nearly as tight on moderating comments as other sites, but please, keep it respectful. Thank you!

      • This your blog Aaron and you have the right to do what ever you feel appropriate. I enjoy reading and commenting on blogs because you get a true grasp on what people are thinking. You get the good the bad and the ugly but you really have a great fountain of information. I am just wired in a way to speak the things that other people are thinking about but they want to be “nice” so they just smile. I will admit it can be a curse at times. It is great to see young people like yourself enjoying SG Music. I applaud you and wish there were more like you. I apologize if you thought my critique was to strong, it was. I will work on giving an honest opinion without getting edited. I do stand by the meat of my critique of the un-named qt. How’s that??

        My devotions this morning, at 5:00am, was Proverbs 15:1-33. Going through”Soul Detox” plan on You Version, great Ipad ap. After reading the the scripture I read this little snippet by the author…”Our words are powerful..( I DID NOT WANT TO GO ANY FURTHER) They have the power to give life. Throughout Proverbs, Solomon often writes about the dangers and life giving abilities of words. Solomon encourages us all to be aware of the type of words we speak to others and the positive and negative affects they can have”. Then he asked…What type of words do you tend to speak most, toxic or life-giving?(ouch, that stung) I think the great thing is, that as I was typing my response on your blog God was just shaking His head knowing what my devotions were going to be this morning. It is amazing how he teaches us!

        Keep up the great work and always stay sensitive to the Holy Spirit!


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