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Music and Madness Review: Jason Crabb, Mark Lowry, The Martins and Stan Whitmire

Written by Staff on August 15, 2014 – 8:34 am -

cover for madnesscover for madness cover for madnessBy Candace Combs

Music and Madness, Fall 2014 edition is a ball! Dozens of balls! Autographed beach balls flying around the room while the Martins are driving the “Gospel Train”.

In the fabulous Tivoli Theater in downtown Chattanooga, the reinvented tour was launched with fun from start to finish. The tour features Mark Lowry, The Martins, Stan Whitmire and this latest edition brings Jason Crabb.   Along with Crabb comes one of music’s most talented bands rounding out the stage.

2014-07-31 20.30.49The crowd settled in with Stan Whitmire bringing attention to center stage as he serenaded on a full sized grand piano. The Martins took the stage reminding everyone to “Count Your Blessings” with their radio hit of the same title. The Martins then broke into an a cappella medley of hymns from their latest project.

As the Martins had directed the audience toward a spirit of worship, Mark Lowry entered the stage with “Our Lord Is Laughing” as the Martins moved to provide background vocals. When Lowry finished, he informed the audience that he was the “Bill Gaither of this program”. With his unique style of moving everyone to chuckle, Lowry then broke into a series of songs from his Love Songs project with cuts featuring the sounds of Nat King Cole. Many of those in attendance remembered fondly the songs Lowry sang, “Fly Me to the Moon” and “Our Love is Here to Stay”.

Mark Lowry

Mark Lowry

This type of program lends itself to getting to know the artists. The stage was set with chairs which gave the feeling that everyone in attendance was engaged in an evening of getting to know one another better as well. Lowry led Judy Martin to tell of the first time the Martins had an opportunity to sing for Bill Gaither. This first meeting was in Indiana at a Gaither Music Group video taping. As the video of the younger Martins rolled, the present day Martins took over with the live rendition of the much loved hymn, “He Leadeth Me”.

2014-07-31 21.38.02

The Martins

Lowry continued to share his gospel music memories with stories of Vestal Goodman. The crowd was led to remember things like Goodman’s beautiful gowns and tall coiffures. Whitmire began an introduction to one of Goodmans’ most beloved presentations of “What a Lovely Name”. Lowry and Jonathan Martin sang the first verse in duet, then were joined with Joyce and Judy Martin who carried the parts that the Goodmans sang many years ago.

The Martins continued the program with scripture from Philippians 4:6 which

Jason Crabb

Jason Crabb

reminds us that Christians should make their requests known to God. These words were the introduction to their song entitled, “The Promise”. In 2004, this song was the Southern Gospel Song of the Year as awarded by the Gospel Music Association Dove Awards.

Taking the stage to roaring applause, Jason Crabb entered to perform “I’d Rather Have Jesus” with his band in full accompaniment. Crabb continued his presentation with a hymn medley from the project The Song Lives On. There was full audience

Stan Whitmire

Stan Whitmire

participation as Crabb directed the house to ‘lean’ on cue to “The Everlasting Arms”. From the familiar music, Crabb moved to the title cut of his latest project, Love is Stronger.

The second portion of the Music and Madness show opened with the Martins singing with the full band, including Crabb on guitar. The Martins brought the house to their feet with “Love is Gonna Drive this Train” while the autographed beach balls went flying! The balls were batted around the entire Tivoli Theater bringing the energy to fever pitch.

2014-07-31 21.44.12Just then, Crabb took center stage while the standing crowd listened to a Crabb classic, “Through the Fire”. Crabb and Lowry in casual conversation reminded that God takes Christians, through the fire…not around, not over, but through the trials in life.

This part of the program was the right time to request songs from the audience; tunes which Whitmire played and Lowry led. The congregational sing along comprised a medley of the classics, “Blessed Assurance”, three verses of, “Amazing Grace,” “Victory in Jesus” and concluded appropriately with the chorus of, “How Great Thou Art.”

Bringing the program full circle, the Martins went a capella, (not to Acapulco as Lowry quipped) with a tightly harmonized, “You’ll Never Walk Alone”.   Listening to the nearly perfect harmony of the three Martins, the music conveyed a sense of confidence and peace to all.

Crabb continued to minister when he quietly came forward to sing, “Sometimes Alone I Cry.” This award winning song is just one in Crabb’s repertoire that was composed by Gerald Crabb, who is Jason’s father. Crabb filled the room with emotion once again as he delivered this poignant song.

2014-07-31 23.44.34Joyce Martin continued the worship-filled moment with a transparent conversation about the goodness of God. Martin passionately shared that tears of God’s people are precious to Him. Jonathan and Judy joined beside their sister to sing, “Except for Grace.”

Lowry took the opportunity to follow up with sharing, “God is crazy about you! God only uses broken people. Be thankful for your brokenness and remember the Bible points out that it came to pass…it didn’t come to stay! Find a reason to be thankful.”

At this point, Lowry began to tell of how he came to pen his classic song of Mary.   With the Martins singing background vocals, Crabb joining on guitar and with the full band, “Mary Did You Know” brought a climax to the program.

With a diverse lineup and attraction to a broad base of fans, the current Music and Madness program is a well-balanced opportunity for each artist to bring forth their best. The performance order offers something for everyone in a fast paced way to bring encouragement as well as a clear message of the Gospel of Jesus.

The Music and Madness Tour is scheduled to continue well into 2015 over a wide geographical area. Watch for an opportunity to catch this show for an evening that is pure fun for all.   And, take anyone of any age along, the fun of Music and Madness is contagious! For more information visit https://www.facebook.com/events/614905468576510

Written by and all pictures by Candace Combs


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Michael English Concert Review

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on July 24, 2014 – 10:17 am -

Michael English in concert

Michael English in concert

July 11, 2014: A few hundred lucky people were in the presence of a gospel music legend. Mr. Michael English blessed our socks off in St. Joseph, Missouri as part of a series of upcoming concerts at Brookdale Presbyterian Church.

20140711_191254A local quartet, Soul Harvest, opened the concert with some great four-part harmony. Songs such as “I’ve Never Been This Homesick Before,” “I Believe in a Hill Called Mt. Calvary,” and “The Lighthouse” fed our desire for the classic Southern Gospel songs of yesteryear. Their rendition of a favorite by the Hoppers, “Jerusalem,” brought the crowd to their feet. And I’m sure somewhere up above, George Younce and Glen Payne were singing along with Soul Harvest as they performed the acapella version of “Wonderful Grace of Jesus.” These guys were wonderful and I personally am looking forward to hearing them at the next exciting concert in this series on August 23!

Steve Ladd

Steve Ladd

Next, the incredibly talented Steve Ladd took the stage. What a privilege to hear this talented artist belt out tunes such as “Everlasting God,” “One More River To Cross,” “Through It All,” and “We Shall See the King.” He also sang one of my favorite songs previously recorded by Michael English, “That’s What Heaven Will Be Like.” Steve’s enthusiasm is contagious, and if he ever comes to your area, I would highly encourage you to get yourself to one of his concerts!

Michael English….what can I say. There are no words. He is an amazingly blessed vocalist and I don’t feel like that description even remotely does justice to his talent. He started off with “I Don’t Want To Get Adjusted,” “Waking Up The Dawn,” “Let’s Make A Baby King,” and “Great Day.” Steve joined him in singing a toe-tapping, hand-clapping crowd favorite, “I’ll Fly Away.”

Michael talked about his father who recently passed away, and sang “Go Rest High On That Mountain” in his honor. He then went into an acapella version of “What A Day That Will Be,” and I’m not sure there was a dry eye in the place. “Blessed Assurance,” “In Christ Alone,” “Molecule of Faith”….I know I’m missing some of the songs that were shared because I think we all were caught up in the moment. He ended the concert with what I like to call his “signature” song, “I Bowed On My Knees.”

michael-english-twoMichael shared his heart and he shared his testimony; he’s been through trials that most of us cannot fathom. Yet, there he stood, still amazed by God’s grace, still loving his Master, still praising God for bringing him through each circumstance, still professing his faith and his reliance on God to take him through each day. Michael is a living, breathing picture of God’s grace. And Michael, if you are reading this, know that there are a bunch of people in this old town of St. Joseph, Missouri who love you, love your heart, and pray for you continually. You will always be welcomed back with open arms. What an impact this man has made on my life and the lives of hundreds of thousands of people around the world.

Have you attended any of concerts that have been offered the past couple of years in St. Joseph, Missouri yet? If you have, you can testify to the blessing you received each and every time you walked through the door. If you haven’t, you’re missing out big time, to put it bluntly. For this next upcoming concert (and believe me, you will not want to miss it!) you can check the Brookdale Presbyterian Church’s website at www.brookdalechurch.com, and scroll down to News and Events. A very special thanks to Scott Peek, of Speek Ministries, for organizing and promoting these wonderful southern gospel concerts in Northwest Missouri.

Until next time, keep on keeping on!

By Sheri Witt

For more concert reviews and artist features, see the current SGN Scoops digital magazine on http://www.sgnscoops.com/

 


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Mississippi State Quartet Convention

Written by Staff on July 1, 2014 – 5:40 am -

miss 1By Missy Kinchen, MSQC history provided by Jason Oxenrider

Many regional groups gather with anticipation to the annual Mississippi State Quartet Convention (MSQC), in a friendly little town called Purvis, Mississippi at the Lamar County Community Shelter Building. The idea of a Convention started when Jason and Pam Oxenrider, after going to the National Quartet Convention, thought it would be nice to have something like this closer to home. They dreamed of a Convention where groups, friends and those eager to hear gospel music could come and bless others with their God given talents.

miss 2Jason and Pam, who are siblings, prayed about this idea and talked with their father and mother, Barry and Beverly Oxenrider about what they desired to make happen. The excited parents were in agreement with them, and after years of prayer and preparation, held the first MSQC in 2000. The mission statement for MSQC is: “Win the lost and encourage the discouraged, with the atmosphere of praise and fellowship”.

miss 3The first MSQC was at The Lamar County Rodeo Arena in Purvis, MS., starting as a one-day event held on a Saturday in October. Over the next two years, a day was added, so by the third year, the Convention was a three-day event. After three years of holding the convention in a dirt floor rodeo arena, the decision was made to move the convention to central Mississippi, an indoor venue.  The convention would then be held over the next six years at The Neshoba Co. Coliseum.

It was during this time that the decision was made to move the Convention from the Fall to the Summer, making it easier for families with kids in school to attend a three-day Convention. After six years in Philadelphia, Ms., with most of the groups being from Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama, a decision was made to move closer to the Hattiesburg, Ms. area. Finally MSQC would move to its current location, The Lamar County Community Shelter Building in Purvis, Ms. After 15 consecutive years, many now look forward to this annual June event.

miss 4Approximately 30 groups attend each year. Some groups have had chart success in both Christian Voice Magazine and Singing News Magazine.  In years past, national artists such as Triumphant Quartet, The Bowling Family, The Talley Trio, Mark Trammell Quartet, The Perrys, The Dove Brothers Band, The Anchorman, and others have participated. This year the MSQC welcomed artists such as The Omega Quartet, The Paul Family, One More Road, Chronicle and Southern Heritage.

miss 5Starting on Thursday, groups perform in a Gaither-Style Homecoming sing-along, with a live band and choir. In the past this time was themed to give tribute to groups such as The Kingsmen and others. This year MSQC honored The Hinsons. Envision a large choir, along with a live band, playing and singing the greatest hits from these gospel legends. The audience is quick to recognize these familiar gospel tunes.

Friday morning at MSQC, starts with a devotional time for any of the ladies desiring to be involved. Mrs. Beverly Oxenrider conducts this study time. Meanwhile, the men go for a time of fellowship and golf. On Friday afternoon, there is an awards ceremony, in which artists and supporters of the convention have selected their favorites, along the lines of The Singing News Fan Awards and NQC Awards. After the ceremony, all of the groups will sing until around midnight.

miss 6Saturdays at MSQC, the festivities begin with morning showcases. The first showcase is a Bluegrass Pickin’ session, followed by The MSQC Band Jam. MSQC is blessed with several great musicians from Bluegrass to Southern Gospel. The last morning showcase is known as Battle of The Quartets, a fan favorite.  All of the quartet group members come on stage and sing the great quartet songs.  There is a mix and match ofmembers from different groups to sing songs and you just never know what to expect during this showcase. This adds excitement, from singers to the audience. By early afternoon on Saturday, the concerts begin and all groups perform until late that night. MSQC ends on Saturday night with the grand finale, where all the groups meet on stage to sing the last song or hymn of the night, then ending with a prayer.

Afterwards, sad that it must come to an end, the groups begin to pack up. They say their goodbyes and reminisce about the last three fun filled days of gospel music, fellowship, and most importantly, praise to The Lord. Groups and audiences leave the convention saying that “their cup is filled” and groups are encouraged to keep on doing what they do.

Next year’s Mississippi State Quartet Convention is scheduled for June 11-13, 2015, in Purvis, MS. at The Lamar County Community Shelter. RV sites are available onsite. For more information visit: www.msqca.com  or call 601-466-4343.  See updates for MSQC on Facebook also, at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mississippi-Quartet-Convention/112756678740409 . (Article written by Melissa Kinchen, MSQC history provided by Jason Oxenrider.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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The Bowling Family In Concert This Week

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on June 23, 2014 – 12:32 pm -

BowlingsFind Out More Here


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It’s Gonna Be A Great Day with Legacy 5

Written by Staff on June 18, 2014 – 11:06 am -

Legacy 5 with Big John Hall

Legacy 5 with Big John Hall

Legacy Five Quartet Concert Review

By Vivian Belknap 

Calvary Baptist Church in Grand Prairie, Texas was the location for great southern gospel music featuring Legacy Five Quartet on May 31, 2014.   The first song they did was “Great Day,” followed by “Blood Washed Band,” Scott Fowler reaching back to his days with The Cathedral Quartet, and finished that set with “Feelin’ Fine.”

Legacy 5 In Concert

Legacy 5 In Concert

Scott Fowler said they were happy to be in Texas, and said to baritone Scott Howard, “there’s just something about Texas; you can eat barbeque outside of Texas…” and they looked at each other and said, “but it’s not Texas barbeque.”

Scott introduced their ‘monster bass’ singer, Matthew Fouch, 31 years old, and told him the older he gets the more monster bass he will become. Then Scott introduced Bob Wills and legendary bass singer Big John Hall who were in the audience, and told Matthew to not be nervous, even though John Hall was sitting on the front row. The next set of songs featured Matthew, and he said they specifically chose John Hall classics, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”, “How Big Is God” and “How Great Thou Art”, which were all included in the “Great Medley”, off their Great Day album.

Gus Gaches, tenor, was introduced from Santa Rosa, California, and it’s been reported that he owns a suit that matches his surfboard; a comment that the audience really loved. Gus was featured on “I Stand Redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb.”

Trey Ivey, the piano player and youngest member of Legacy Five was introduced. Trey was conservatory educated and loves classical music. We were treated to a wonderful sonata, followed by “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.” Both songs received rousing applause from the audience.

Scott then pulled out The Red Back Hymnal, turned to page 28, and they sang “A Grand and Glorious Feeling”, with piano accompaniment only.   “After Awhile” was the next song and was also accompanied with piano only. The sound was incredible and loved by the audience.

The next song selection off their latest album, Great Day, was “He Is To Me”, followed by “There’s Just Something About That Name”, and Scott asked the audience to sing along as we experienced a great time of worship. Scott said, “I’m going to be politically incorrect, but when we are around people who are not believers, we should ask the following questions: ‘Do you know anyone born under the circumstances in which Jesus was born?’ ‘Do you know anyone who lived a sinless life?’ ‘ Do you know anyone raised from the dead after three days?’” He opened the Bible to Luke 24 and began reading verse one through verse 12. The group followed this by singing “Christ Is Still the King,” receiving a standing ovation.

Legacy 5oneThe night was complete with, “What A Happy Day”, a medley of songs that includes, “What A Happy Day,” “Everybody Will Be Happy Over There,” “I’ll Live In Glory By and By,” “When We All Get To Heaven,” “I’ll Have a New Body,” and “Everybody’s Gonna Have A Wonderful Time Up There,” from their album, Great Day.

It was a fantastic way to end a wonderful concert of worship and laughter, with encouraging words from these songs about the New Life we as Christians see now by faith but one day we will see with our own eyes.

When Legacy Five is in your area, you will be so blessed to see them in person not only for their fantastic music, but their colorful personalities. Visit them at www.legacyfive.com.

For more concert reviews, see the latest edition of SGN Scoops digital magazine at http://www.sgnscoops.com/2014/06/14/june-2014-sgnscoops-magazine/

 


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North Louisiana Quartet Convention

Written by Staff on May 29, 2014 – 9:00 am -

Southern Revelation

Southern Revelation

The North Louisiana Quartet Convention, nestled in beautiful North Louisiana and as some would say “Duck Dynasty Country,” started with a vision from Brother David Estep. He envisioned an annual event where groups would gather and sing Southern Gospel music lifting up the name of Jesus. Since then, his vision has become reality as groups gather every year, this year making six consecutive years, becoming an event that groups look forward to with anticipation.

 

The Convention has been held at First Baptist Church of Swartz in Swartz,

Chronicle

Chronicle

Louisiana, since 2009. FBC of Swartz has been the kind lenders of their facility since the event began. The NLQC starts on Friday night at 6:00 pm, then after all groups are finished performing they go into the reception hall to eat food that has been prepared by many church members. Brother David’s father and mother and David’s wife Carol Estep contribute much to the preparation of the food. On Saturday, the groups sing again at 2:00 pm. Following this, groups go to the reception hall for the largest meal of the event, Louisiana cuisine; usually Red Beans and Rice prepared by David’s parents, Chicken and Sausage Gumbo prepared by Mr. Al Drummond, and Crawfish. As some Louisianan’s would say “bon appetite” meaning “I wish you a hearty appetite”.

New Liberty Quartet

New Liberty Quartet

The convention ends with a grand finale on Saturday evening. The groups wait anxiously knowing this will be their last set of the event. This year’s groups were Heaven Bound from Sikes, La., The Camerons from Sumrall, Misissippi, The Riders from Lumberton, Ms.- theridersministries.com, Majesty III from Crossett, Arkansas – majestyIII.com, Southern Revelation from Monroe, La.- southernrevelationgospel.com, Sanctuary Quartet from Delhi, La.- sanctuaryquartet.com, Brothers In Christ from Monroe, La.- bncministries.com, Chronicle from Holden, La.-chroniclegospelgroup.com and host group New Liberty Quartet from Swartz, La.- newlibertyquartet.com.

Heaven Bound

Heaven Bound

The groups display their product, giving listeners an opportunity to purchase their music if so desired. David Estep, Bass Singer for host group “New Liberty Quartet” and the originator of NLQC loves this event and desires for it to be the best that it can be. He will listen to demos and consider new groups for this event. For group consideration, please contact David Estep (318) 366-5252. There are no admission fees to the event, thanks to many sponsors who contribute. A love offering is taken.

Article written by Missy Kinchen of Chronicle


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