The Williamsons

Carolina Reunion

Creekside Gospel Music Convention

Artist to Artist: Mark Bishop and Miles Pike

Written by Lorraine Walker on March 27, 2014 – 12:36 pm -

Mark Bishop headshot edit

Mark Bishop

 

Artist Miles Pike has many friends in the Christian music industry and shares his “Artist to Artist” interviews on SGM Radio website  http://www.sgmradio.com/  . In this feature, Miles talks to soloist Mark Bishop.

Over my years of road ministry I’ve worked with many popular artists and not very many have struck me as just good ole folks. Being a country boy myself, I love being able to sit down and talk with fellow singers about the Lord, music, hobbies, and just feel at home with them, like they are a long lost relative. Mark Bishop is one of those types of people. To know him is to love him and his sincerity shines out in his music, his concerts, and his Christian life toward others. 

Mark is a longtime fixture in Southern Gospel music and one of the most successful. I could list many accolades that the fans and industry have bestowed upon him through his years with The Bishops and now as a soloist, but you can go to his website and read his bio about that. I want you to have a minute to get to know the man behind the mic. I was honored to have a few minutes to have an interview with him recently and you can listen in below…

Miles: I am a big fan of your music and songwriting, but like many of those familiar with the Southern Gospel field, I first knew you with your family trio, The Bishops. I spent many an evening as a teenager sitting on the front row when the Bishops would come to town. Let us know how the family is doing and if you get together to sing occasionally.

Mark: Thanks Miles for the compliment. I’m glad that you enjoyed our music. We had a lot of fun when the group was out traveling; of course it was a lot of work too and many, many days away from our families. These days, my dad is pastoring a little country church here in east-central Kentucky and that’s where my family goes. Mostly my wife and daughters go because I am usually out singing somewhere. My brother Kenny works in the state capitol, involved in politics. He has always enjoyed that atmosphere. After the group disbanded in 2001, I kept our three-day festival in Berea, KY going and for a few years we would get together and sing for that, but we haven’t sung together now for a few years. Everyone has just gone their own direction.

Mark Bishop CD coverMiles: I’m sure you’ve written hundreds of songs since you began your musical journey. What are three of your favorites and why? And what song do you wish you would have written?

Mark: That’s always a tough one because I like them all depending on the mood that life and circumstances have put me in. A song to me is really just a snapshot of what the songwriter was experiencing at that moment of their life. But it’s true that some songs seem to become more timeless. Favorites? I guess I have always enjoyed singing “You Can’t Ask Too Much of My God” because it is such a wonderful realization that He is literally bigger than any problem I will ever have. It has a catchy tune and I felt as a songwriter that the first verse in that song was very clever and worked well as a hook to get you into the rest of the song.

I also enjoy singing “Can I Pray For You” just because I still have so many people come up and request it, saying that it had truly ministered to them in a time when they needed to be encouraged. What more could you ask of a song than that? Another song that I enjoy singing was from that same album. It is called “I Got Here As Fast As I Could” and it tells the story of a person’s entire lifetime in just a few short minutes. Yet still it somehow seems to convey the ups and downs of a life well lived and experienced. It has a certain amount of melancholy but a happy ending that promises us a wonderful reunion someday with the ones that we love. I guess every song has a story, but these are three that still resonate with my audiences today.

Miles: Obviously it is God that blesses us as we work for Him, but what do you consider your most noteworthy accomplishment in the time you’ve been on the road?

Mark: This will probably sound like I am trying to be clever or something, but I honestly have never focused on accomplishment in my music career, to the degree that I might have had more number one songs or more accolades if I had only been more ambitious. That’s not to say that the Lord hasn’t blessed me with a lot of things; by myself and with the group, I have had a lot of wonderful things happen in my career. But that was the Lord. It certainly wasn’t me. Maybe this is the introspective songwriter dude coming out, but when I think about myself at the end of this journey and I think about what were the important things, my answer will be: “Was I a good husband to my wife and was I a good dad to my daughters? Did I shower them with love and attention at every opportunity? Did I make them feel good about themselves?” Well, honestly, I’d take that over whatever my songs might do after I am gone. My love for my family runs achingly deep.

Miles Pike and Mark Bishop. Photo courtesy of Kimberly Pike

Miles Pike and Mark Bishop. Photo courtesy of Kimberly Pike

Miles: What are some interests or hobbies that you have that may be a surprise to the fans of your music?

Mark: Well, I don’t know if it would surprise anyone or not, but I love sports. I am a Kentucky basketball fan (of course) and a Cincinnati Reds fan. We love going and watching games when we can. It’s a relaxing evening when we are at the ballpark. My daughters have always played fast pitch softball so we spend a lot of evenings at the ballpark watching them. When I am home, I serve as the announcer at the high school home games. I love to hunt and fish when I have the time. I love to work in the yard, believe it or not, doing landscaping and getting my hands dirty. I guess I got that from my dad.

Miles: What do you think about when you are singing? What is a Scripture verse that has helped mold your thoughts and actions toward an audience and toward what you do as a minister?

Mark: Well, I try to be in the moment when I am singing so I just totally immerse myself in the lyrics and the melody. The lyrics most of all because as anyone who has seen me can attest, I am really up there just telling stories. It just so happens that I am telling them with a song. As far as scriptures go, they are as unique and specialized as songs so that really depends upon the situation. If I feel like I am facing an uphill battle, I might think of Philippians 4:13… or there have been times when Corinthians 4:16 through 18 have given me comfort. I really find myself enamored with all that the Apostle Paul had to say to the church. It’s some of my favorite reading in the Bible.

Miles: What else is going on in your ministry that you would like to share with the readers?

Mark: Of course I am always writing songs and I am already working on new material for my next album, though we don’t have a date set for its release. My current album I Can Rejoice is doing well and praise the Lord that the radio stations are playing the songs. I am excited about a few upcoming concerts that I think folks will really enjoy. At the end of June, I will be joining some of my songwriter friends and peers, including Phil Cross, Gerald Crabb and Squire Parsons, for a special Song of A Lifetime concert in northern Georgia. That is a concert that folks won’t want to miss and will be worth the drive from about anywhere. Folks can learn about that at my website or at our Facebook page. Just search for Mark Bishop Music and you’ll find us. We are also looking forward to next year’s Singing at Sea cruise. Come join us for that. If folks would like to keep up with our music ministry, they can subscribe for free to our email newsletter that comes out about once a month. They can do that on the main page of our website.

mark nqcMiles: Give me a Twitter sized thought that you would like the readers to take to heart.

Mark: I don’t tweet or twitter but by that I guess you mean something succinct? I’ll just say, “Be true to your heart and your beliefs, don’t sell yourself short. You’re stronger than you think.”

Be sure to visit Mark’s website at www.MarkBishopMusic.com and read more about him and see where he’ll be in concert near you! You won’t regret taking an evening to go sit and listen to what he has to offer.

Thanks for reading and if you would like to suggest someone to me for a future interview, email me at miles@milespikemusic.com.

For more “Artist to Artist” editions as well as other artist features and devotionals, click on to http://www.sgmradio.com/

Written by Miles Pike

Written by Miles Pike

 


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Spotlight On The Gaskills

Written by Lorraine Walker on March 11, 2014 – 1:57 pm -

tv photoIf you like Bluegrass, you have to hear The Gaskills. Four brothers from Oklahoma pick their instruments like seasoned professionals twice their age. Mom and Dad Gaskill look after travel and booking arrangements. Little sister Andrea is waiting in the wings for her chance to sing backup. But James, Peter, Timothy and Joshua currently front the group and will pick and play their way into your heart, even if you aren’t a Bluegrass lover.

The Gaskills originally traveled with all eight children, back in 2004, with parents Bob and Brenda looking after their schooling offstage and their real-life experiences onstage. Then Christy, John and Shelley left the road. Today’s Gaskill sound is tight and sweet with James, 22, playing the mandolin and singing lead and harmony; Peter, 20, playing banjo and guitar and singing lead/baritone; Timothy, 17, playing guitar and dobro and singing lead; and Joshua, 15, playing ‘double’ bass and singing tenor. Their most recent recording is Some Sweet Day, and as they play across the country they find that many of their songs touch their listeners the way only Gospel Bluegrass can pluck heartstrings. gaskills-four-300x267

These talented gentlemen not only perform all their own instrumentation and arrangements on their recordings, they also write many of the songs they perform. On Some Sweet Day, Timothy and Peter Gaskill wrote the “Battle of Amalek”, “Live Forever More” and “Some Sweet Day.” “Grassride” is an instrumental written by Peter. Three of these songs are sampled and available for listening on their website, listed below.

James Gaskill says his favorite song to perform is “Gone Away.” “It’s a song we played when we were very young and won the International Bluegrass Festival Competition in Guthrie, Oklahoma,” says James. “We pulled this song out again at Mom’s request. This song has a great grove and speaks to the audience of their position in Christ. The lyrics are: “Gone away, gone away, all the troubles in my soul are gone away. I was lost out in the night, but Praise God I saw the light, all the troubles in my soul are gone away.”1 This makes everyone get the right perspective on their troubles and gets them rejoicing in who they are in Christ.”

gaskills-three-300x122Peter enjoys performing the old Gospel standard, “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow.” “This is a really touching song,” Peter shares. “I can see it really reaches the people and speaks to their hearts. Our arrangement and instrumentation of the song is very unique, making it a blessing to all.”

“Daybreak in Dixie” is Timothy’s favorite, as he says the song “…is an exciting fast paced instrumental which really gets the crowd smiling and laughing. Read more »


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Giving The Gift – Steve Ladd

Written by Lorraine Walker on March 4, 2014 – 2:03 pm -

On My Own CoverFrom the Anchormen to Gold City, Steve Ladd’s career in Southern Gospel carried him across the country and across the airwaves as one of the top Gospel tenors in the late 1990’s through to 2009. Since that time, Ladd has recorded three solo albums, with his latest CD On My Own containing a mix of songs that showcase his vocal range, evolving musical style and deep passion for the lost. In this season of giving, he shares how he has also expanded his ministry to giving to those who can’t give back, through assisting with Compassion International and also The Bridge Ministry in Nashville, Tennessee.

Steve Ladd recently spoke with Scoops about his new album. “I’m so proud of On My Own,” said Ladd. “I had a lot of help making it from the fans getting behind it and supporting the project, to the people involved in making it a reality. My friends and legends Michael Sykes and Michael English, along with myself, produced the album. These songs are exactly what I wanted to say in this time of my life, and I’m getting reports of how some of the songs are having life changing results!”

Gospel artist Michael English says he’s a fan of this versatile soloist. “Steve Ladd is one of the best singers I’ve had the privilege of knowing and producing. He’s also one of my best friends. I’ve never known a more humble and giving man. I’m honored to have worked with him on this new project. You will not be disappointed when you hear it.”

Michael English, Michael Sykes, Joyce Martin, Steve Ladd

Michael English, Michael Sykes, Joyce Martin, Steve Ladd

Ladd had some well-known artists assist with background vocals on the CD, including Joyce Martin and Michael English. Another vocalist is immediately recognizable on her trademark song, which Ladd competently covers on this project. “Master Of The Wind has always been a favorite of mine and to do a duet with Candy Christmas just made it that much more special,” said Ladd. “Candy is a great friend and she’s full of the love and compassion of Jesus. I became involved with her Bridge Ministry when we moved to the Nashville area a few years ago. It has changed my outlook on true ministry and I’m honored to be a small part of what she’s doing under that bridge every Tuesday night!

The Bridge team

The Bridge team

The Jefferson Street Bridge in Nashville, Tennessee is home to many homeless, poor and food-insecure, or those who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Candy Hemphill Christmas began The Bridge Ministry in 2004 by taking hot meals to those living beneath the bridge. Today The Bridge Ministry is a non-profit organization that provides food and clothing every Tuesday night, as well as encompassing a warehouse that acts a food bank for other organizations. The Ministry also provides education, skills training and raises awareness of inner-city issues.

Each week the Bridge Ministry also provides music and preaching along with food and clothing, and this outreach has become very special to Steve Ladd. “I try to be there every single Tuesday unless I’m on the road or my children have a school function,” says Ladd. “Whether it’s two degrees or 102 degrees outside, the homeless and poverty stricken are still there needing our help and we are called to be Jesus’ hands Read more »


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In Depth With: Bob Sellers of The Kingsmen

Written by Lorraine Walker on February 6, 2014 – 2:36 pm -

[Editor's note: First published April 2013 on SGM Radio website. Written by Lorraine Walker. See information below.]

 

The Kingsmen

The Kingsmen

Gospel Music Association’s Hall of Fame members. Dove award winners. Grammy nominated artists. After over five decades of quartet singing, The Kingsmen seem indefatigable, regardless of health issues and personnel changes. Their strong traditional harmonies, powerhouse ballads and convention-style upbeat songs engage their audiences from coast to coast, with each Kingsmen vocalist giving it their all night after night. Member Bob Sellers talks to SGM Radio about his Kingmen adventure, going ‘in-depth’ as we discuss his co-workers, his family and his personal walk with the Lord.

 

Bob Sellers is one of the most positive, optimistic quartet men in Southern Gospel. From Facebook to Twitter, his conversations with fans are personal, funny and transparent. Sellers is obviously a people-person and this overflows into his workplace, the bus and the stage of a full-time gospel group. He talks about the latest news from the Kingsmen.

Bob Sellers

Bob Sellers

“Well, the best news is that Ray Dean Reese is doing great after having had his prostrate removed almost a year and a half ago due to cancer,” Sellers begins. “The current lineup will have soon been together for a complete year. The environment on the bus is great.  We really are best friends on and off stage. Musically, we have really jelled as a group.  By that, I mean we have learned each others’ nuances as far as phrasing, who’s going where and when vocally, how to feed off each other on stage, etc., and since those things are instinctive now and we no longer have to constantly focus on them, we are better able to minister and present our music as a single unit.”

The Kingsmen’s latest recording, Once Again, is a compilation of past Kingsmen songs. With so many great hits in the group archives, Sellers finds it hard to name his favorite. “God has blessed this group through this years with some of the greatest songs in all of gospel music,” says Sellers. “We still perform many of the classic hits like ‘Glory Road,’ ‘Saints Will Rise,’ ‘I Will Rise Up From My Grave,’ ‘Old Ship of Zion,’ and so many more. That’s the music I grew up listening to and those songs and the voices behind them are what hooked me on what I believe is the greatest music on earth. To now be performing those songs with my favorite group is just an honor and a dream come true.”

“It is really hard to pinpoint one favorite but ‘Look For Me At Jesus’ Feet’ is definitely high on the list, because it was one of my grandfather’s favorite songs and those who know anything about me know how great of an impact he had on my life, not only as a role model but as my pastor,” Sellers shares. “Granddaddy has gone on to Heaven now and my grandmother joined him there just this past year, so every time I sing that song I think of them both. I envision the two of them experiencing the message in that song every time we sing it, and I think of myself falling at Jesus’ feet one day. What a reunion that will be for all of God’s children! What an awesome promise we have! That should put a smile on all our faces, no matter what else is going on in our lives.” Read more »


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Ivan Parker Flying Solo

Written by Lorraine Walker on January 16, 2014 – 1:28 pm -

By Craig Harris

Ivan Parker

Ivan Parker

Before he was a well-known fixture in Southern Gospel music, Ivan Parker was an advertising executive. “I enjoyed that, but nothing rings the bell like when you jump into your calling,” Parker said.

After more than 30 years in the industry, Parker’s calling still brings him excitement. “I live this statement … an old gentleman told me a few years ago, he said, ‘Ivan, if you really enjoy what you’re doing, you never work a day in your life,’” Parker said. “There is a passion that I have for ministry, gospel music, and there’s a passion for those people that is really even hard to put it into words how you actually feel. It’s so rooted into your heart and fiber. I wouldn’t be good at anything else.”

Parker has been successful in each avenue of his journey through Southern Gospel music. He joined the Singing Americans in 1982, remaining with the North Carolina-based group for one year before embarking on what turned into an 11-year tenure with Gold City. While with Gold City, the male quartet won seven awards for favorite group, had 19 top-ten songs and won a Dove Award in 1993 for the Southern Gospel Song of the Year “There Rose a Lamb.” He has now performed as a solo artist for the last 20 years. 

“It was very odd,” Parker said. “We went from nine people on stage to one. The transition was IP twovery different. When you walk out on stage by yourself, something inside you makes it seem a lot easier and simpler, but when I went solo, I realized it’s probably the hardest work I’ve ever done. That’s when the rubber meets the road (when you’re on stage alone). It’s so normal now. It’s like in anything you do in life … you learn how to survive. You learn how to push forward even when there’s obstacles that says you can’t. You learn how to go around obstacles. You learn how to do your program to where it’s going to be a lot easier for you.”

Once launching his solo ministry, Parker began to carve out a new niche. He has often received favorite soloist awards, and in 2007, he became the first soloist to perform on the main stage at the National Quartet Convention. “I am a soloist,” Parker said. “I am one man in a quartet world. When I first went solo, soloists weren’t cool. You had to be a group in order to be accepted.With what God did in my life, He placed me in a very strategic place. What it proved was that we all have a message to sing. Regardless of what your style – whether it be a group, quartet or soloist – we all have a message. It’s about the message. It’s about Jesus. It’s not about us. We’re not the stars. It’s about the Lord. It’s because of him that any of us are here doing what we do.”

Parker makes approximately 175 appearances each year, and his on-stage dynamic has now changed somewhat as the youngest of his two sons – 25-year-old Josh – has been playing electric guitar with Ivan for the last 10 months. 

“That has been one of the most fun things that I have ever done,” Parker said. “All of my career, I’ve never traveled with my family. It’s always been other people. Now that I have my son here, it’s a great piece of home away from home. He’s young, and he’s really doing a great job as far as winning the young people. I think our industry has gotten to the place to where a lot of the audience is getting older. We’re not seeing the young people take an interest.  That’s part of my process of having him on board, to let the young people know that it’s cool to love Southern Gospel. He plays in a manner to where it should draw and attract the young people.” 

Josh Parker

Parker admits that being away from family has been the most difficult aspect in his 30-year career. “The hardest part in what I do even after all of these years is leaving,” Parker – who resides in Lebanon, TN – said.

“That’s always the hardest part. Walking out the door and going to get on the bus seems like it can be a 10 or 12-hour trip (just getting) out there. You have to focus on why you do what you do. There has to be something spiritual and emotional that keeps you in that place. I have thought often times, if I ever want to see God in my life, look where I’ve come from and the places he’s brought me through, and I’ll see the fingerprints of God in my life. I know every time I perform, there’s somebody that’s hurting, somebody who is searching who needs to hear the truth. That keeps me motivated. When you chance a life for eternity, that’s a pretty big deal.”

It’s the audience that Parker is singing to that helps to make the journey enjoyable. “We get a lot of e-mails in every week,” Parker said. “In every concert, I’m a very hands-on artist. I take time with the people, whether it be during intermission or after the concert. I’m never in a hurry. The reason I do is because I humbly accept the position I’m in. I’m not on a call to do it. It’s because of those fans that I’m able to do what I do. It’s very important that if they spend their money to buy a ticket and take time out of their busy, crazy life to give me two hours for a concert, I think they deserve it.”

Parker’s latest project is Timeless Treasurers, which includes songs such as “It Is No Secret,” “Tell Me the Story of Jesus” and “Sweeter As the Days Go By.” 

“I have recorded all of these years and there’s a lot of songs I never got to,” Parker – who had a No. 1 song in 2008 with “I Choose” – said. “So I got some songs from when I grew up that I have loved for years.” IPfour

In addition to all of his success as a member of Gold City and as a soloist, Parker has also been a fixture on the Gaither Homecoming Series. “I think I’m one of the most blessed singers in Gospel Music, because I have been able to not only be a part of one of the greatest quartets to ever walk on stage but to also be with the Gaither Homecoming Video family,” Parker said. “That whole deal will go down in history. That space in time of what we did will go down in history. It’s already historical to the point to that it was the longest-running tour in music history. It’s a great feeling to have been a part of the great caravan that stretched all the way from Gold City to the Homecoming years and intermingled in all of that to have the solo career sitting in the middle of that. For God to have blessed me personally with the ability and opportunity to communicate one on one, that’s been a blessing. That’s been huge.

 

 

Written By Craig Harris

First Published in October 2013 in SGN Scoops Magazine.


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The Talleys – A Family Affair

Written by Lorraine Walker on January 9, 2014 – 2:04 pm -

The Talleys

The Talleys

The Talleys unmistakable sound, progressive southern gospel style, and ministering hearts have made them a fan favorite and one of the most respected groups in the gospel music industry. Their accolades include ten number one singles, Dove Award nominations, Singing News Fan Awards, the Southern Gospel Music Guild Harmony Honors, the BMI Awards, SGN Music Awards and the honors aren’t stopping. They keep rolling in. Although the group is noted for their powerful vocals, tight harmonies, smooth blend, and dynamic arrangements, colleagues insist The Talleys’ hearts are just as pure as their sound.

The group believes in giving back and pouring into the lives of others. Every year Debra and Lauren are heavily involved in teaching at Steve Hurst School of Music (SHS). Students come from across the United States to study under them. Gary Casto, lead singer and manager of Tribute Quartet, tells us, “Debra and Lauren are incredible teachers and have been instrumental in making SHS very successful.  Their knowledge of vocal performance has benefited the students, as well as our industry.”

lauren t edit

Lauren Talley

Casto considers it an honor to know this incredible family. “They have set the bar high for many years and have paved a solid road for other artists to follow.”  Casto has also enjoyed working with Roger in the studio on numerous occasions. “He demands musical excellence and at times it can be quite challenging. He will always push artists to work their hardest. He insists they come up a level, but when he is finished, they always have a product they are proud of.”

Lauren has periodically provided vocal and performance coaching for groups and individuals.  She is proud that many of her students have developed into amazing performers and communicators. “When I am coaching, my purpose is to take the artist’s gifts and help them tap into their hidden potential. They hit notes they never dreamed they were capable of and learn the art of communicating a song. I never get tired of seeing the newfound confidence on their faces. It is the greatest feeling in the world.” Lauren’s clientele include: Susan Whisnant, The Browns, The Beene Family, Jody Brown Indian Family and most recently she coached 11th Hour in preparation for their first NQC performance. “I am extremely proud of them all!”

When a student at SHS heard The Talleys sing in concert for the first time, she was deeply moved by their heartfelt performance and humility. She remarked, “Few gospel groups have left their mark and reached the pinnacle of success The Talleys have, yet they maintain lives of integrity and humility. It’s evident they believe what they sing.”

Debra Talley

Debra Talley

Sheri Thrower has been a teacher at Steve Hurst School of Music for ten years. She has worked closely with Debra and Lauren. “I don’t consider them just co-workers, but genuine friends. If I could use two words to describe Debra, it would be “World Class.” She always carries herself with grace and dignity, and is a great encouragement not only to the SHS students, but to our staff, as well. She portrays beauty from the inside, out. I love her like family.”

Thrower considers the mega-talented group a beacon for all artists involved in gospel music. “Their tenacity, love, and heart for people is evident in everything they sing and do. They are stellar musicians. In a world where families are falling apart, they remain strong and secure, pointing others to the Good News of Jesus Christ.”

Read more »


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Martins Storm Back On To The Scene By Craig Harris

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on December 17, 2013 – 2:13 pm -

Martins 1The Martins can attest to absence making the heart grow fonder. The siblings are currently more
active than they’ve been since the group returned to the Southern Gospel Music scene and during their
four-year absence from 2002-2006, they may have learned more about ministering to people than they
knew before their hiatus.

“It meant more when we came back,” Joyce Martin Sanders said. “It was renewed and refreshed.
We realized how much we missed it.”

The group has considerably more concert appearances than it has since its return, and its fan base
has welcomed the trio back with open arms.“It’s a natural process in some ways,” Judy Martin Hess
said. “By the time we were starting to get back on the road, some people were just realizing we were
off the road. Getting that big wheel turning again has just taken time.”

Sanders added, “It was scary. We didn’t know people would care. We knew the joy in our hearts,
of what God had done in our family … it was something we wanted to sing about, but we didn’t know
people would care. It’s been refreshing. We feel like it has encouraged people.”

Those blessings came about after what the group members call a successful step back.“I found
myself for the first 10 months working with my in-laws, preparing rental properties in the Des Moines
(Iowa) area,” Jonathan Martin said. “It was somewhat depressing. I began to look at the families living in those homes. When I left there, their refrigerator worked, but they really just needed somebody to come in and smile and say, ‘I’m so sorry it broke.’ You realize they’re going to eat a warm meal tonight, because we fixed those things up. I realized that God was smiling on me, because I hadn’t sung a note. I realized that God didn’t love me because I sang with my sisters.”

Sanders can relate to her brother’s revelation.“I found out personally how much I depended on what
I did for a living and my ministry to be my Christianity,” Sanders said. “I had to find a way to love God and please God without having that in my life.”

The layoff had its benefit from a performance standpoint as well.“The biggest thing for me looking
back, for me, it helped me to find confidence as a singer, as a performer and as an individual too,” Hess said. “I mainly viewed myself as the harmony singer and a back-up singer. Us coming off the road kind of forced my hand. Joyce already had that. For Jonathan and I both, it made us stronger individually, which made us stronger as a group.”

Both Hess and Martin made solo appearances during the group’s time off of the road. The siblings have considerable distance between them now though as Hess resides in Columbus, Ga., with her five
children. Sanders has two children and lives in Nashville, Tenn., and Martin resides in Des Moines
with his wife and six children.

“It’s like a family reunion every night,” Sanders said. “The travel is difficult. Jonathan’s wife (Dara) takes care of our travel arrangements.“The moms and dads who stay at home with kids are unsung
heroes, as are the extended family members. God called us to do it, and He called our spouses and the
people who surround our children to do that also.” Hess added, “Thankfully, we have families who are like that.”

Despite their understanding and willingness, that doesn’t make leaving home in order to go perform
easy at times. “For the most part, my children never cry and say, ‘please don’t leave,’” Martin said.
“(Recently), my seven-year-old (Emilia) said, ‘I don’t want to let go’ (before he was leaving for a
concert appearance the next morning). That’s hard. Yet, she never cried. I said, ‘I have to go. I have to pack.’ She went to bed, and she was fine.“But it lets you realize that it’s hard on them. It makes it hard on me.”

Sanders added, “We are conscious of the need for family time.”

While the group is enjoying what it is experiencing in the present, they also are quick to highlight
some memorable moments from years past.“The most surreal moment was when we sang at the Billy
Graham Crusade,” Sanders said. “It was in Nashville, but we sang one with Vestal (Goodman). You
see it on television your entire life, but it wasn’t the part of me singing there. It was being a part of that program and seeing with my own eyes people coming to the altar. That’s still one of the most amazing moments of my life.”

Martin added, “The first (memorable moment) would be those first few years in the Gaither thing, to
have such surreal moments of realizing who you were singing with on a nightly basis. The second one
is the period of time we’ve had the last three or four years back on the road. The family relationship and singing relationship is better than it’s ever been.”

The group performs at almost all of the Gaither-affiliated events, and Brian Hudson of Showcase
Management is responsible for the group’s calendar being increasingly occupied. The Martins will
make more than 50 appearances this year, the most since its return to the scene.

“We depend on him (Hudson) so much,” Sanders said. “He has beautifully seized the opportunities
that God has placed in front of us.” Read more »


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Canaan’s Crossing on Heartland TV

Written by Lorraine Walker on December 11, 2013 – 4:18 pm -

Canaan's Crossing 2013 hi-res editDecember 11, 2013 (Arab, AL) Song Garden Music Group artist Canaan’s Crossing will be the featured artist on this week’s Duggar Mountain Music Hall aired each Sunday at 10AM Central Time on Heartland TV (formerly known as TNN).  Group member Tim Maze stated “We had so much fun filming this TV show.  The live audience and relaxed setting made for a great experience for all of us”. 

 

Heartland officially launched on October 9, 2013 with programming comprised of syndicated and first run shows.  The program lineup includes The Rick and Bubba Show, Gaither Gospel Hour, Harmony Road, Larry’s Country Diner and classic episodes of Crook and Chase.  For a complete list of programs, visit www.watchheartlandtv.com .

 


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New Brad Davis Concept Video To Debut On Nashville Country Revival

Written by Lorraine Walker on November 7, 2013 – 10:26 am -

brad davisThe new concept video and current single “Never Give The Devil A Ride” by Brad Davis was made available Tuesday afternoon, October 22nd, via social media and will make its television debut on the popular show, Nashville Country Revival, airing weekly on several national networks including Daystar and TNN.
Nashville Country Revival has become a hit among viewers with his concept video oriented presentation of Country and Bluegrass flavored songs ranging from Gospel, Country and Bluegrass artists. The episode featuring “Never Give The Devil A Ride” will air on the Daystar Television NetworkSaturday October, 26th at 3:30pm CST. Daystar will air the episode again the following Friday.

“Never Give The Devil A Ride” is set to debut on a Nashville Country Revival episode airing on The Nashville Network (TNN) in approximately 3 weeks. NCR airs every Sunday morning at 7:30am CSTon TNN. For more information about Nashville Country Revival and air times visit NashvilleCountryRevival.com.
“Never Give The Devil A Ride” by Brad Davis was shot on location near Lewisburg, TN featuring a rare, historic 1948 Diamond T truck and cameo appearances by ordinary everyday people giving their endorsement to the theme of the song. The song is currently charting across multiple genres and formats including Bluegrass, Southern Gospel and Country including airplay on The Legendary WSM 650 in Nashville. The video can be viewed on YouTube at: Brad Davis – “Never Give The Devil A Ride” – Official Video For Current Single


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SUNDAY DRIVE RECEIVES ICM VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR AWARD IN NASHVILLE

Written by Lorraine Walker on November 4, 2013 – 7:57 am -

sunday driveThursday evening (Oct. 24), the 19th Annual ICM Faith, Family & Country Awards took place at The Fellowship at Two Rivers, honoring artists, songwriters, radio personalities and others associated with the Christian and inspirational country music scene.

Sunday Drive, a multi-award winning family group from Knoxville, TN, received the 2013 ICM Vocal Group of the Year Award.

The award was presented by Stella Parton, long time friend of the group. Sunday Drive performed on the show along with other entertainers and presenters including Guy Penrod, Canton Junction, Jim Ed Brown, Doyle Lawson and Melinda Dolittle from American Idol.

Rascal Flatts, Martina McBride and Scotty McCreery were winners in the mainstream categories.

For more information on Sunday Drive, visit www.sundaydriveband.com or call 615-598-7098.


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