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

Archive for the ‘The Inspirations’

NQC 2009: Monday Night

September 14, 2009 By: Aaron Category: Gold City, NQC 2009, SG Artists, SG Legends, SG Music, The Dixie Echoes, The Inspirations

Tonight’s lineup of concerts was “Quartet Night,” meaning that every group on mainstage was a male quartet. Let’s take a look at memorable events and happenings that transpired during this first night of NQC 2009.

1. Tim Riley is back! And hasn’t lost a thing; in fact, some might say he’s even better now. Not a word had been spoken by Gold City when they hit the stage, but once Tim stepped on, the place erupted. They were the only group of the night to have such a response. The sound was powerful and crisp, like the GC of the 80s and 90s. Great performance.

2. Speaking of Gold City, anybody who’s doubted about Chris Cooper’s fit at tenor should have heard him tonight. Close your eyes and you would have sworn it was a lineup with Jay Parrack. Gold City as a whole is bringing it so far. I’d like to hear them do “For The Sake Of My Heart” some time this week.

3. Sound issues abound, but that’s almost the norm nowadays. It just seems like it would be common sense for, when the singer is lifting his or her mic, to TURN THE THING ON. Groups that had decent sets were hindered by mediocre operating of the mic levels. Even when the mics were tested beforehand (example, The Dixie Echoes), the mics were still somehow off when the singing started. Hopefully as the week progresses the sound problems will decrease.

4. The comparisons between old and new lineups of the groups is a good idea. The way it worked was, a vintage clip of the group would play, which would segue into the group’s set as a “then-and-now” statement. It was quite fascinating, especially with groups like The Inspirations, whose vintage lineup and current lineup sounded almost identical.

Anything else? Chat away.

Archie Watkins Resigns From The Inspirations

February 18, 2009 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG History, SG Industry News, SG Legends, SG Music, The Inspirations

Daniel Mount got it partly right; Archie is leaving The Inspirations.

However, he is not retiring completely. Check out this press release from the Singing News:

Archie Watkins Resigns From Inspirations Quartet

Long-time tenor and founding member of the Inspirations Quartet, Archie Watkins, has announced his resignation after 45 years on the road with the group.

Watkins informed Singing News, “I will be continuing my ministry as a solo artist.” His last appearance with the Inspirations will be Feb. 28 at New Hope Church (formerly the Lee Greenwood Theater) in Sevierville, Tennessee.

Anyone wishing to contact Archie can call (828)497-9798, send an email to info@archiewatkins.com or visit his website at www.archiewatkins.com.

I can see where this move makes sense; Archie could work at his own pace and not have to keep a full road schedule all the time. However, I wonder how big his fanbase will be. Sure, the 45 years of Southern Gospel Music history will certainly be a draw, but not everyone is a fan of Watkins’ Appalachian tenor style.

I can only imagine the conversation that will take place once Averyfineline gets wind that Archie is embarking on a solo ministry.

With all of that said, I am eager to hear the new Inspirations lineup in concert. Dallas Rogers (the new tenor) has such a similar style to Watkins that the group will sound essentially the same. I hear tell the young new lead, David Ragan, is very good as well.

News Roundup

July 13, 2008 By: Aaron Category: Naomi and The Segos, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, The Inspirations, The Skyline Boys

In my absence, here’s some things that have happened:

1. Naomi Sego Hires New Group– This is a somewhat shocking development, what with all the talk surrounding the group’s “final project” and Naomi’s retirement and all, but I am glad to still see her singing. Sego is hiring two former members of the group: Jerry Gill and Scott Spangler.

2. Skyline Boys sign with Crossroads Entertainment – And once again, Mickey Gamble brings a great group into the fold. Being from my homestate of VA, I have heard the Skyline Boys before. The group sounds great, especially with Jodi Hosterman on tenor. Can’t wait to hear future stuff from these guys.

3.SGConcerts.com Launched A project that’s been in the works for some time now has finally come to fruition. Fellow SG blogger Daniel Mount launched the site this past week, and I am proud to be part of the writing team. Check us out if you like a good concert review every now and then.

4. Matt Dibler’s Nephew Found
– And on a sad note, Brian Fouty’s body was discovered in Iraq. Fouty is The Inspirations lead Matt Dibler’s nephew. Please keep the family in your prayers.

Inspirations Name New Tenor

January 23, 2008 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG History, SG Industry News, SG Music, The Inspirations

If you’re an Inspirations fan, chances are you’ve noticed Archie Watkins’ vocals have been giving him some trouble over the past four years. They’ve had various tenors filling in during that time, but today, the group officially named their new tenor: Darren Osborne.
Not sure if this was the guy they had filling in at NQC this past year, but if it is, then he’s good! Be on the lookout for him at concerts at such; it’s a worthy “successor” of sorts to the great Archie Watkins.