1. After coming off the road from the Dove Brothers, pianist Joe Lane has teamed up with tenor Phil Barker to form a new trio. Fans may remember Barker from his Singing Americans days. The group’s name is Jordan’s Bridge, and it is comprised of tenor Barker, lead Rick Sheets, baritone/bass player Jamey Lane (Joe’s brother), and pianist Joe Lane.
I wasn’t all that familiar with Joe Lane’s piano work before hearing him with the Dove Brothers at NQC 2011, but after that, I made sure to go back and listen to everything I could. I was sad to see him leave the road, but am glad to see him return and bring a great tenor like Phil Barker with him. Barker still sounds as good as ever today, and the group as a whole already sounds like a cohesive unit.
Here’s a clip of their debut concert, featuring Phil Barker on an encore of “Glory Road:”
2. Brian Alvey, husband to Lauren Talley Alvey and member of The Talleys, is coming off the road. In Lauren’s words from the group’s newsletter:
My husband, Brian Alvey, has been attending college this past fall and is now going to be working full-time in the financial industry with Western and Southern Life providing insurance, investment and annuities services. We will miss him singing with us but we are excited about the new opportunity God has given him. He remains very supportive of his wife’s ministry, which I’m thankful for! Brian still writes music and records, so you will still enjoy his talents from time to time. Our latest single, “Make Way For the Master,” is one of Brian’s compositions and features him.If you haven’t heard it yet….just get ready, because it’s one of the greatest songs we’ve ever recorded.
No argument from me on their assessment of “Make Way For The Master,” and I hope that Brian will still occasionally contribute to the Talleys’ body of work.
3. It has been a personal thrill to watch the Dixie Melody Boys become a re-energized, renewed quartet. That trend continues, as this press release acknowledges, with numerous nominations in the Christian Voice Magazine awards:
With the announcement of the 2013 Southern Gospel Music Fan Awards Top Ten nominations yesterday by the Christian Voice Magazine, the Dixie Melody Boys showed that the groups recent rise back to the top of Southern Gospel continues to find new heights. The legendary group received eleven Top Ten nominations, the most the group has ever received in one year. In 2012, the Dixie Melody Boys received seven nominations and went on to win Favorite Male Quartet and Favorite Bass Singer. The group is again nominated for Favorite Male Quartet. Hall Of Fame member Ed O’Neal continues to be favorite to fans after fifty years with the group and was nominated again as favorite Bass Singer as well as the Living Legend Award. Tenor Matt Felts appears for the second year in a row in the Favorite Tenor category, solidifying his place as one of Gospel’s brightest young talents. The groups baritone, Steven Cooper makes his debut appearance, nominated for Favorite Baritone. Mike Rogers joined the group as their new lead singer earlier in 2012. He has made an instant impact and the fans have embraced him. Mike has been nominated for Favorite Lead Singer and Excelling Young Individual.
The group was also honored by having their recent album receive two nominations, Album Of The Year and Song Of The Year for “The Call Is Still The Same”. That is the second song from the historic 50th Anniversary project to receive Song Of The Year honors, Jesus In My Boat was nominated last year. The Dixie Melody released another historic project this year, Dixie Melody Boys Reunion: 50 Years Of Influence. The DVD recorded live at the National Quartet Convention has been nominated as Video Of The Year. Last but not least, the television show “Great American Gospel” hosted by Ed O’Neal and the Dixie Melody Boys was nominated for Favorite Television Show.
“We are honored to be selected by the fans. The lists include so many incredible people that we love and admire so to be included on this list and this is a blessing. We have several big things to announce in the coming weeks and this is a great start to our new year.” said Matt Felts.