This past Saturday night, I made the hour-long trip to Buena Vista, VA for the last night of the VA Southern Gospel Jubilee, an outdoor three-day event held every July. I had been out of town all week and had just gotten back home that day, but since I’d never seen The Perrys outside of NQC and they don’t come to the area that often, I decided it was too good to pass up.
The concert started at 5:00, with close to an hour of musical groups affiliated with the local church that puts on the event. I took this opportunity to chat with some of the singers, and enjoyed talking with Troy Peach, Joseph Habedank, and Tracy and Libbi Stuffle.
At about 5:30, the first headliner group, Greater Love, took the stage. Subscribers to the Singing News may remember this Orange, VA based group getting a feature article in the May 2010 edition. I couldn’t name any of the songs they did, as this was my first time ever hearing them, but I was told that most of their songs were from their newest release. The group has a good sound and blend. One particular interesting note is that their bass singer, Don Leake, had open-heart surgery months ago, and it had not looked like he would be able to make the event. However, he was in good health, and did very well in the group’s set.
After an offering being taken up, The Perrys launched into their set. They started off with “I Love To Tell Of His Love,” “I Know It Was The Blood,” and “Still Blessed,” one right after the other. Other songs of the night included “Prior To A Prayer,” “This Old Sinner Testifies,” “Did I Mention?” “I Wish I Could Have Been There,” and “If You Knew Him.” Bryan Elliot did a remarkably fast piano solo, and Tracy Stuffle also did his chainsaw impersonation.
This particular lineup has really gelled well. The voices play really well off of each other, and an A Capella encore of “Did I Mention” really highlighted that fact. Tracy Stuffle’s style of MC work connects with the audience really well. He injects a good dose of humor throughout the program, but also builds up to songs very well, as he did with the closer, “If You Knew Him.” That particular song led into an altar call that had many going forward, and was twice encored with just piano.
If you have the chance to see either of these groups, this blogger highly recommends them. Although the sets were not as long as a regular event might be, I was still impressed with both.