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Creekside Gospel Music Convention

A Creekside Thanksgiving

Written by Staff on November 22, 2017 – 8:43 am -

 

The Nelons at Creekside With Diamond Award

The Nelons at Creekside

Creekside Gospel Music Convention 2017 ran from October 30 until November 2, with more than 40 artists performing during daytime showcases and evening concerts.

Held at the Smoky Mountain Convention Center in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., Creekside is growing larger with each year that passes. This year, some of the artists took time to tell us what they would be thankful for this year when Thanksgiving rolls around.

I’m thankful for so many things in my life. I wish I had time to list them all. I’m far more blessed than I deserve. I’m most thankful for God’s grace and mercy in my life. The Bible tells us that all good things come from Him. Whether it be our family, friends or earthly possessions. If I got what I deserved I would have nothing. It’s only by God’s grace, love, and mercy that I am able to be the husband and father that I get to be. It’s only by his grace that I am able to do what I love doing most for a living. Thank you, God, for Your grace. As the title track of our newest project says, I am truly “Beyond Amazed.” — Mike Rogers, Brian Free and Assurance

I’m most thankful for God’s unconditional love, my incredible family, the fact I get to do for a living what I love, and that I get to do it with some of the greatest guys ever — Eric Bennett, Triumphant

I am thankful for my husband, Sean Cook, and my mother, Judy Dittman, for all of their unconditional love. Also, I’m thankful for all of the new friends and fans that I’ve met. God has blessed me so abundantly. I love my home church and church family, I’ve learned that you don’t have to be blood to be family. With that I’m surrounded by the people that I love, and that is such a wonderful gift from God. — Dennise Nichole Dittman, soloist

Creekside Thanksgiving

The Williamsons’ daughters. The Williamsons performed at Creekside.

Today, I’m thankful for our two crazy little girls, Sadie and Olivia. These girls constantly keep us laughing. If there’s one thing I’ve learned after being in ministry for so many years, it’s that there’s a time and a season for everything. There are times to be serious and ministry-minded, and there are times to just act silly and have fun. I’ve got two constant reminders of that. Smile, people. It won’t crack your face … or maybe it will. I dare you to look at these pictures of our girls and not smile. Our girls are the fulfillment of my favorite scripture, James 1:17, “Every good and perfect gift is from above.” They’re precious to me every day, but today, I’m just glad they haven’t learned to take life too seriously. — Lisa Williamson, The Williamsons

I’m thankful for my family most of all, my friends, the Godly men I travel with and what God has done in my life when I didn’t deserve anything. I thank Him every day for all these blessings. — Brian Free, Brian Free and Assurance

Day Three is thankful for the call God placed in our hearts one year ago to form Day Three. Together, Amy Dunnam, Bo Sullivan and myself get to blaze a trail for His kingdom work. God is faithful. It’s been an amazing one-year journey, and we are looking forward to many, many more. –Scott Washam, Day Three

I am thankful for my wife, Amy, my three boys, and all of my singing buddies that travel this country sharing the message of Jesus. God bless, from The Riders. — Jason Oxenrider, the Riders

Gospel Truth Trio is thankful to God for me being one year and two months cancer-free. — Kelly Carter, Gospel Truth

I am thankful for being able to be thankful. — Dennis Cook, soloist

I’m thankful for all the people who support me in my ministry and for the songs God continues to give to me. On another scale, I’m thankful for the things we often take for granted – food, clothing, shelter, family, ability to walk, see, and hear – because, inevitably, nearly every day I’m reminded of all those who don’t. Be thankful for the opportunities you have to bless others. — Kristen A. Stanton, soloist

I am thankful to know I am a child of the King. That’s the most important thing in my life. Then, after God, family, etc. — Sheila A. Blackwell, Creekside volunteer administrator

I just want to say I am thankful that Jesus saved me and delivered me from the pit of bondage. I have to put Him first, because He won’t come second to anything or anybody. Also, I am thankful for my wife and daughter and also to my parents and all my supporters of my ministry who always encourage me to do my best and don’t let others get me down. This is the season to come together in unity as a family and friends and let Jesus be our everything in our lives. Happy Thanksgiving from the Madden family to yours. — Harley Madden, soloist

(I am) so thankful for you and the many friends who have shared this fabulous journey in gospel music. Let us keep on spreading the message of salvation in Jesus Christ. For my husband Howard, our son, daughter, and grandchildren, I am forever thankful and blessed. — Lou Hildreth, member of the Gospel Music Association (GMA) Hall of Fame

Above all, I am thankful to be a child of the King. I am also thankful and honored to be used by Him as a vessel to touch the hearts of many. I am thankful for the gifts He has bestowed on my life with the amazing family I was born into, my two amazing boys, and the gifts of singing and playing my saxophone. Last but not least, I am so thankful for the many amazing friends I have made along this journey over the last almost six years now. — Annette Wallender-Bingaman

(I am) so thankful for healing from third stage cancer. After that the chemotherapy and radiation cut the blood supply off from my hip sockets and they died – it’s called necrosis or something – I was in the wheelchair three years. They said I’d never walk again … but God. Then, during one major surgery, they paralyzed my vocal cords. I could only whisper. They said I’d never sing again … but God. — Sharon from Out of Ashes 

Creekside Thanksgiving

Donna Bledsoe Journey and Ben Journey at Creekside

(I am) so thankful for my salvation and for my 95-year-old mom who is still with us and mostly thankful for God allowing me to be Ben’s mom. Even though he is challenged in many ways with Autism, God has a plan. Ben is perfect in God’s eyes. — Donna Bledsoe Journey, the Journeys

I am thankful to be alive … having almost lost my life in 2011 … every day is a precious gift to me that I will never take for granted. — Debbie Seagraves, soloist

I am thankful that God has allowed me the opportunity to live my dream of singing gospel music full-time. I’m also thankful for the three men I get to travel and stand with every night and minister as God has called us to do – Larry Stewart, Wayne Shuford, and Ivory Luke. Thank you all for your love and support, and thank you God for your love and care for all your children. — Steven Craps, Pine Ridge Boys

I’m thankful for my family, my beautiful wife Christa and my 3 children – Kaleb, Kristen, and Aaron, as well as our granddaughter Adelyn. I’m also thankful for the opportunity to serve in the ministry with Mark209 and thankful for all of our supporters. — Jimmy Reno, Mark209

I am thankful for my Lord and Savior. I am also very thankful for my family, friends, church family and the group I sing with. I am also very thankful that the Lord is using my voice to reach the lost and encourage others. Most of all, I am thankful for the mercy that God showed towards me, that led to my salvation. We serve an awesome God. Happy Thanksgiving to all. God bless you. — Sandy Joyce, Jordan’s Crossroads

Creekside: Mark209 wins 2017 Diamond Award

Mark209 wins 2017 Diamond Award at Creekside

Every year, Thanksgiving is a horrible reminder of the loss of our two boys on Nov. 20, 2011. So not just this year but every year, I am thankful for Romans 8:28. I’m thankful that even when we cannot see why God allows things to happen in our lives that He always has a plan. If not for the loss of our boys back in 2011, Gail and I would not even know what SGNScoops is. We would have never met all of the amazing people that we have come to know in gospel music. We would not be ministering with Bobby and Amy Richardson. I could go on and on. But in summary, I am thankful for Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” — Rocky Smith, 4 the Right Reason

For the latest issue of SGNScoops Magazine click here.
For the latest Gospel music news click here.
For online Gospel music radio click here.


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2017 Diamond Awards honor Triumphant, Kelly Nelon

Written by Staff on November 2, 2017 – 9:37 am -

Eric Bennett receives Lifetime Achievement Award At Diamond Awards

Eric Bennett receives Lifetime Achievement Award. Photo by Craig Harris

Pigeon Forge, Tenn. (November 2, 2017) — The Creekside Gospel Music Convention honoured many national and regional Gospel artists on Tues. Oct. 31. The 2017 Diamond Awards were hosted by Dr. Jerry and Jan Goff. Guest artists appearing during the evening included the Hyssongs, Wilbanks and Williamsons. Jean and Ken Grady from Gospel Music Today worked with Rob Patz, owner of SGNScoops, to produce the 2017 Diamond Awards. WATC TV from Atlanta, Georgia, filmed the event for a future special.

with 2017 Diamond Award

Kelly Nelon Clark with 2017 Diamond Award

 

Triumphant Quartet accept 2017 Diamond Award

Triumphant Quartet accept 2017 Diamond Award

And the winners for the 2017 Diamond Awards are…

The J.D. Sumner Living Legend: Brian Free

Mixed Group of the Year: The Williamsons

Quartet of the Year: Triumphant Quartet

Trio of the Year: The Hyssongs

Duet of the Year: Broken Vessels

Female Vocalist of the Year: Kelly Nelon Clark

Male Vocalist of the Year: Jason Crabb

Sunrise Award: Matt Felts

Sunrise Trio of the Year: Sacred Harmony

Sunrise Quartet of the Year: Old time Preachers Quartet

Song of the Year: “Somebody’s Miracle” – Brian Free and Assurance

Album of the Year: “Nature’s Symphony in 432” – The Isaacs

Christian Country Group of the Year: Mark209

Anthony Burger Instrumentalist of the Year: Jeff Stice

The Williamsons with 2017 Diamond Award

The Williamsons with 2017 Diamond Award

 

Dottie Rambo Songwriter of the Year: Kenna West

Bluegrass Gospel Album of the Year: “This Ole’ House of Mine” – Heaven’s Mountain Band

Bluegrass Gospel Song of the Year: “I’ll Ride This Ship to Shore” – Heaven’s Mountain Band

Bluegrass Gospel Male Artist of the Year: Tim Maze

Bluegrass Gospel Female Artist of the Year: Debra Wilson

Bluegrass Gospel Group of the Year: Eagle’s Wings

The Nelons at Creekside With Diamond Award

The Nelons at Creekside

 

Gospel Music Today Video/DVD of the Year: “Live in Bessemer” – New Ground

Favorite Industry Website: WATC TV Channel 57

Paul Heil Award for Broadcasting: Mickey Bell – WXIC

Publisher’s Choice Award: John Whisnant

Hyssongs win at the 2017 Diamond

Hyssongs win at the 2017 Diamond

 

 

Congratulations to each of the Diamond Award winners and nominees. The 2018 Creekside Gospel Music Convention and Diamond Awardsill be held Oct. 28 to Nov. 1, 2018 at the Smoky Mountain Resort, Pigeon Forge, Tenn. For more information contact event convener and Coastal Media CEO, Rob Patz at 360-933-0741.

For the latest issue of SGNScoops magazine click here

Mark209 wins 2017 Diamond Award

Mark209 wins 2017 Diamond Award

For more Gospel music news click here.
For online Gospel music click here.

Rob Patz with Diamond Award winner Kenna West


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Children of the Promise News!

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on April 25, 2016 – 10:55 pm -

image

So excited for Children of the Promise!

Recently , they had a great time at Singing in the Sun.

Last week……. This Happened!

God is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING and His promises are true!!! He WILL meet our needs according to His riches in Glory!
We have been searching for something to travel in for several months but God, being God, laid it on someone’s heart to give us this! We are more than grateful and words can not convey what our hearts feel. Thank you Steve and Lanita Cagle for blessing our ministry. You will never know what it means to us.
#GodisfaithfulandHispromisesaretrue
#answeredprayer

Here’s a clip of Eli singing with Brian Free a few weeks back. Congratulations Children of the Promise.

From Abraham Productions: You loved the video of twelve year old Eli singing Wednesday night at Singing in the Sun with Greater Vision – are you ready for more? On Saturday night, Brian Free and Eli THRILLED the crowd by singing “Looking For A City.” If you enjoyed “I Know A Man Who Can,” you won’t want to miss this! Enjoy the clip below! ‪#‎SITS2016‬ ‪#‎SingingintheSun‬ ‪
#‎TerrificTenors‬


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BRIAN FREE & ASSURANCE ANNOUNCE DEPARTURE OF JEREMY LILE

Written by Staff on September 14, 2015 – 12:02 pm -

Brian Free and Assurance

Brian Free and Assurance

DOUGLASVILLE, GA, September 14, 2015 – Brian Free & Assurance (BFA) announced today the departure of Jeremy Lile after more than eight years of filling the position of bass singer. Many are aware Jeremy has been experiencing health issues the past several months. After taking time off from the road to focus on health matters, it became evident that he could not continue to tour with the group.

The BFA family offer their love and support and are thankful for his time with the group. Brian Free and Assurance will continue to perform as a trio until such a time as the right individual comes along to fill the bass position. Group owner Brian Free states, “We ask that you pray for us during this transition. We look to God to send just the right person to compliment this ministry.”

Those interested in applying for the position of bass singer with BFA can send a bio, photo and not more than two or three mp3s for consideration to: Brian Free and Assurance, P O Box 1909, Douglasville, GA 30133. Applicants can also email their bio to brianfreemusic@comcast.net.

About Brian Free & Assurance: Brian Free is undeniably the most awarded and recognizable southern gospel tenor of our generation. In 2014, BFA was chosen by BBC to represent Elvis Presley’s love of Gospel Music on That’s Alright Mama, a Tribute to Elvis Presley with his arrangement of Peace In The Valley. Peers responded to their music by honoring them in 2014 with another Dove Award, Southern Gospel Performance of the Year for their single “Say Amen.” While the guys all come from different backgrounds, they all agree on one thing, and that is to use their God-given abilities to take the message of Jesus Christ to everyone they can. To learn more about their ministry, visit them online at: www.brianfreeandassurance.com.


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Candi’s Catch-ups: Greenbrier Quartet Festival

Written by Staff on June 2, 2015 – 10:49 am -

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Greenbrier

By Candi Combs

Daywind Music Group Hosts Greenbrier Quartet Festival 2015

Amongst the snow-topped mountains of White Sulphar Springs,West Virginia, Daywind Music Group held the first Greenbrier Quartet Festival at the extraordinary Greenbrier Resort. The event drew attendees from New Jersey to Florida and even a few Canadians. This endeavor marked an inaugural attempt by Scott Godsey and Daywind to host a multi-day event at a luxury resort. This geographic location is very different from the typical Southern Gospel venues that fans are accustomed to attending.

Artists panel

Artists panel

The Greenbrier welcomed each person with a smile and a large sweet tea! From that point forward, everything was presented on a whole new level. Even the seats in the concert hall were velvet covered while multiple stations in the room held pitchers of ice-chilled water.

Tribute Quartet, led by Gary Casto, started off the first night with their usual flair and energetic music. The lively group performed many charting songs and favorites, including, “Homesick Angel” and “Good News From Jerusalem,” featuring Josh Singletary. Read more »


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Finding Their Voice: Stability has led to success for Brian Free and Assurance

Written by Staff on October 15, 2014 – 11:20 am -

Brian Free and AssuranceBy Craig Harris

Half of the male quartet Brian Free and Assurance didn’t grow up singing Southern Gospel Music. In fact, half of Brian Free and Assurance didn’t even grow up singing. However, the “quiet” guys have found their voice and now appear to be as extroverted as they come.

“I grew up very insecure,” lead singer Bill Shivers says. “I grew up with an inferiority complex. That’s something that God has really reached down and helped me with. I never dreamed in a million years that this is what my life would be.” Shivers didn’t sing until he was 20 years old.

“I guess the transformation for me was when I started with Heaven Bound,” Shivers explains. “I had never actually stood on stage. I had always played the guitar before that, with family groups, local groups. “I would have to introduce a song, and I had to let God use me and get out of the way. When I completely depended on Him, He showed up in my life. It gave me a confidence, on stage and off stage.”

Brian Free and Assurance-Group FormalThat confidence is evident in Shivers’ personable demeanor both on and off stage. “I never had a plan in my life,” Shivers notes. “God has opened the doors. He has made a work in me. Today, I am very much a people person. I love and try to meet as many people as I can. In my younger years, I was afraid to step up and meet people. That’s a God thing, not a me thing. I thank him for that.”

Shivers has been the lead singer since Free moved from being a soloist back into a group setting, in 2000. “Phillip Hughes called me and told me that Brian was putting the group back together,” Shivers remembers. “He told me that he had thrown my name in the hat. It was close to Convention (the National Quartet Convention). Me and Craig (Singletary, who Shivers sang with in Heaven Bound before he became the baritone for Brian Free and Assurance) sought Brian out and spoke with him at his booth (at NQC). We said that we’re interested in the position and said what’s the next step.

“We did a showcase at convention. When we walked in our showcase, we were about to walk on stage to do our three songs. Craig says, ‘Don’t look now, but Brian Free is back at the sound board.’ I said, ‘Thanks Craig for telling me.’ After the showcase, Brian approached Craig and I and said, ‘We need to have a conversation.’ We went down (to Atlanta), and he had the bass singer at the time there (Bill Lawrence). We sang three or four songs around the piano. We went on the bus, and he said, ‘The job is yours.’ I said, ‘Done deal.’”

brian freeShivers and Free have been inseparable ever since. “He understands his responsibilities and what his job is, and he does it,” Free says. Free himself broke into Southern Gospel Music as the tenor singer for the Gold City Quartet before departing the group at the end of 1993. “You can’t be on the road 13 ½ years without being close. After a couple of years, you start to know each other.   There’s a fine line there between being the boss and being a friend. There’s ups and downs in anything. It’s his dedication to what he does, my dedication to making sure everything works … it’s all of us together. Everybody chooses whether they want to be here or not. Any kind of music is one of those things where if you really love it, you’ll stick with it.”

Shivers adds, “I am a very loyal person. I just felt a kinsmanship with Brian. I knew we clicked. I knew our sound together meshed really well together. Our personalities just clicked. This is my calling, and I know it’s definitely his calling. I’m not one of those guys where the grass is greener on the other side.”

Forty-four-year-old Shivers admits to having learned a lot from Free. “He’s like my mentor,” Shivers explains. “He has taught me so much – about singing, about life in general. He is a man who is very firm and who stands firm on what he believes. He’s very serious about his convictions. He’s been a great example for me. We’re very tight.”

Brian Free and Assurance-Jeremy Lile CasualFans have understandably adhered to the veteran lead singer. “People love him,” bass singer Jeremy Lile says of Shivers. “People come just to see him. He’s good with people. In my opinion, his role is just to be the best lead singer out there. I think he is the best lead singer.” Lile adds, “He could be a tenor with any group.”

Shivers admits that it can be difficult singing the part below a man who is arguably Southern Gospel’s highest tenor singer. “To sing right under Brian night after night is a challenge,” Shivers admits. “Brian Free is a freak. I mean that in a positive, great way. He pushes me, but it’s a good push. It’s a drive to be better. It challenges me. I love a challenge.”

However, it’s not just the relationship between the elder statesmen that functions well. The whole group seems to click. “We’re brothers,” Lile points out. “We’ve never had a falling out. They’re hilarious. They’re always making me laugh.”

Brian Free and Assurance-Mike Rogers CasualFree adds, “We have a good time on the road together. We enjoy each other’s company. Truly, as much as you can enjoy being gone from home 190 days a year, we make the best of it, and we are close.”

Bus activity is what many might expect for an all-male contingent. “It can be routine at times, but we always make a joke that you have to be half-crazy to be out here on the road like we are,” Shivers shares. “We get along so well on the bus. Thank the Lord, we are like a big family on the bus. We just have a great time. We play the Wii (video game system). We play Mario Cart, but we have times of great discussion and debate. We complement each other very well. That’s what keeps it fresh. We’re friends. We’re family.”

Rogers has been with the group for slightly more than a year at this point. “They’re great guys,” Rogers says. “We’re pretty much cut from the same mold. It’s comfortable. It’s been good. I just jumped in there and went with it. Everything is smooth. It’s been different singing a different part. The baritone part was different, but I love it.”

Rogers walked in after Derrick Selph had spent nine-and-a-half years with the group, which came in two different stints. “He’s fitting in good,” Free notes. “He’s young, green, but he’s learning. He’s got an amazing voice. He’s good with the people. He has a good attitude. He’s a hard worker. It’s been a very good relationship.”

In some ways, (baritone singer) Mike Rogers can relate to what Shivers has experienced. “I didn’t start singing until I was 20,” Rogers points out. “I did some musical theatre stuff. I didn’t know Gospel Music existed until I heard a couple of voices. I heard Jason Crabb. When you hear Jason, you can’t help but to ease into a little Michael English. That’s right up my alley. I researched a little bit. If you listen to Michael English, you get into the Gaither Vocal Band. Then, you run into Wes Hampton, David Phelps and Mark Lowry. You run into Marshall Hall, who is a beast.”

Rogers eventually ran into the Southern Gospel industry himself, starting his career with the Dixie Melody Boys. “Brian Free is pretty progressive for our genre,” Rogers notes. “I was like, ‘hey, that’s pretty good music.’ I saw where the Dixie Melody Boys were looking for a lead singer and I thought I’d love to get into that. Then, this job came open.”

Rogers admits that he’s still learning about the genre. “Not even an ounce of me is Southern Gospel,” Rogers points out. “I had never listened to it. This fits me better stylistically. I am into more contemporary stuff, progressive. I listen to a ton of black gospel, like Smokie Norful. I dial it back to fit our genre. It’s been great. There’s no better quality than Southern Gospel music. To be blessed enough to have an opportunity to do it at 25 years old … people go their whole life and would give their right arm to be blessed enough to do what I am doing.”

Like Rogers, Shivers prefers a more progressive brand of music. “This is a little more my style,” Shivers says. “I’m definitely not traditional. I can sing that, but I love the soulful sound … and I love the more country stuff.”

Brian Free and Assurance-Bill Shivers CasualThe group’s sound is not something that the group made a concerted effort to move toward. “It’s my preference,” Free notes. “I like music that’s challenging. The simple stuff is not as challenging to me. Each album, I want it to be more challenging. That helps me. More than setting out for a style, it just happens. It’s not like we set out and say, ‘Let’s make this choice progressively.’ I choose songs lyrically, but you have to stay within certain parameters obviously.”

The style progression was initially a concern for Lile. “When I first joined, the stylistic part of it was going edgy,” Lile shares. “I’ve always been a fan of the old Statesmen stuff. I’ve always loved singing the old stuff. Through it all, I was afraid they were not going to utilize the bass singer as much, but they’ve always made it so that I was still doing my thing.”

The group’s current project is entitled Unashamed, which released in April. “It falls in the pattern of the last five or six albums,” Free explains. “I think our society today within the church needs a shock. They need a wake-up call. We need to remember the times we live in and remember how important it is that we do what we’re supposed to do. There are so many things that are trying to dilute our stand as a Christian and the word of God. There’s no compromise. Sometimes, we’re more interested in presenting a meek message. We want to do it with love, as Christ did. There’s also a line that you kind of cross when you compromise. If you dilute it in any way, you’re not taking on the message of the Lord. These songs are a wake-up … know where we stand, what we stand for and don’t back up an inch.”

Unashamed is the sixth project that Ricky Free – Brian’s son and the group’s former drummer – has produced for the group. “I like to sit back and watch him and let him go,” Brian says. “His creativity and the direction he takes and the ideas he comes up with are much better than any of mine. I may insert something here and there from time to time, but I kind of get out of the way. He knows how I think. I know how he thinks. There’s been a real release and peace in just handing him the reigns and letting him go.”

The first radio single from the project, “Say Amen,” has rocketed up the charts. In fact, the group filmed its second concept video for “Say Amen,” after having previously comprised one for “I Want To Be That Man.”

“I Want To Be That Man” was the first short-form music video to win the video of the year award at the National Quartet Convention Music Awards. “We did it on the Pedestrian Bridge in Nashville,” Free remembers. “We did it in February or March. We were frozen, but it was a lot of fun.”

“Say Amen” was filmed in the Gallatin and Hendersonville areas, just minutes north of Nashville, Tennessee, in June. It was completed and released in late July.

“This was my first album ever,” Rogers said. “It’s fun to be doing this with people who have been doing this for so long who are the best. I love being with a group where I just have to walk on stage and do my part. Everybody pulls their weight, off stage, on stage, vocally.”

While Rogers is the newest addition, the other three have been together for more than seven years. They all view that stability as instrumental to the group’s success. “I personally think it’s very important,” Free emphasizes. “It’s important to me and the other members of the group. The less turnover, the better. The better attitudes, the better. People like consistency and continuity. It means a lot.”

View More: http://mattandrewsphotography.pass.us/daywindLile believes that Free is the key to that stability. “I think it has a lot to do with Brian,” Lile says. “He’s been out here so long. He knows what he’s doing. He’s good to us. He’s always consistent on everything. We don’t have to worry if we’re going to get a paycheck. It really goes back to Brian being consistent and being a good person. He genuinely cares for us. Once I had been here a few years and I saw how things were … I got married once I had been here and had a child. Brian loves my wife and my child. I know we’re always going to be taken care of. It is hard to see myself in another group. I know I’m going to be taken care of here in every way. ”

Witnessing the stability that trio has developed has prompted Rogers think about his long-term future with the group. “I do feel like I could be (in it for the long term),” Rogers explains. “I’m a really big dreamer. I’m always looking to grow, to get better, to do better. I definitely see this being my career, music in general. It’s been very good. It’s been a very good step in the right direction for me. I’m just soaking it up. It’s been good, and I’m learning from the best. Brian knows this inside and out. If I plan to make this my career, the best thing I can do is just sponge it all up.”

daywind 2Shivers admits to being humbled at the number of notable settings that the group has been fortunate to sing, including three consecutive years that the group performed at the Dove Awards. Brian Free and Assurance won a Dove Award for the song “Long As I Got King Jesus.”

“The first song I sang with Brian Free, ‘For God So Loved,’ the first time we sang that together, I was like, ‘Wow,’” Shivers says. “Singing on the Dove Awards was a huge opportunity, singing on Gaither videos, singing on the Grand Ole Opry stage… We didn’t go out there and sing country music. We sang Gospel Music. It’s very humbling. I never dreamed in a million years this is what I would be doing. God is an amazing God. Every door that He’s opened for me has been just that much more grand. I couldn’t praise Him enough. I don’t deserve it. For some reason, I have favor in God’s eyes. I thank Him every day for it. The lives and the people we touch is what it’s all about. It’s not about me. It’s all about Christ. I can’t praise Him enough for allowing me and trusting me enough to do it.”

Rogers added, “Sometimes, I have to take a step back. You get used to it. You take a step back and look at the platform you have, and never in a million years would I have imagined singing Gospel music even four years ago. Sometimes, God does that. He put the desire in my heart and made it happen in about two years time.”

The 25-year-old Rogers admits that it can be tough at times, especially having five-year-old daughter Coraline and two-month-old daughter Everlee at home. “When you have a week-old baby girl who just made it home and you have to leave home, that’s difficult,” Rogers explains. “If it wasn’t for having family at home, you would be on cloud nine. You have to make it work the four days a week when you are not at home. Our families are just as big a part of this as we are.”

The 34-year-old Lile echoed those sentiments. “My wife (Nikki), when we were dating, she knew what she was getting into,” Lile says. “We got married and it was hard leaving her. I have a three-year-old son. His name is Logan. It’s 100 times harder leaving (now). He’ll hang on to my leg and cry and say, ‘take Lo with you.’ I’m home Monday through Wednesday. I can spend from seven in the morning until he goes to sleep. I can spend more time with him now than if I had a nine-to-five job.”

scoopsThe motivation for Lile is the life-changing message in the music the group conveys. “It’s seeing people saved,” Lile points out. “We’ve been seeing a lot of people saved. We did a trip to Texas. We were out three days and saw 20 people saved. That’s really what is keeping me out here.”

Shivers adds, “It’s really tough. With a family, I’ve been married 16 years (to his wife Michelle). I have a 14-year-old daughter (Brittany). I have a nine-year-old daughter (Sarah). She just got saved (in June). I have a three-and-half-month-old little boy (William Brent Shivers III). God gives me peace in knowing that He has everything under control, that His hand is upon my life and that this is my calling … not only my calling, but also my family’s calling as well. If that had not been the case, I would never have been out here all that time. My wife is my biggest fan. She is my biggest supporter.”

Both of Brian’s sons – Ricky and Bryce – are adults, forcing him to leave only his wife Pam each week. “It’s 33 years full time (singing),” the 51-year-old Free notes. “(The reasons for traveling to minister) it’s a lot of things. It’s the challenge of the music, the vocals. It’s presenting them on-stage, watching the response. It’s seeing how the songs change lives. Even more important than that is when people are saved, when the Holy Spirit uses them.   As far as the travel, I hate it. That’s just part of it.”

As for the future, Free’s hope is simple. “I just would love to see God use us in a greater capacity in the church,” Free says. “I’d like our music to be put in front of a lot more people.”

 

For more information on Brian Free and Assurance, please visit http://www.brianfreeandassurance.com/http://www.brianfreeandassurance.com/

http://www.brianfreeandassurance.com/

By Craig Harris

First Published by SGN  Scoops in August 2014

For current issues of SGN Scoops visit http://www.sgnscoops.com/


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SGN Scoops at NQC – Thursday

Written by Staff on September 26, 2014 – 9:21 am -

Singing News' Fan Awards Choir

Singing News’ Fan Awards Choir

Photographs by Craig Harris

Lauren Talley Alvey, Brian Free

Lauren Talley Alvey, Brian Free

The Isaacs

The Isaacs

Once again, SGN Scoops’ reporter Craig Harris gives us a look at the evening performances during the National Quartet Convention. Thursday’s events also included the Singing News’ Fan Awards.

Bill Shivers, Mike Rogers, Jeremy Lile-Brian Free and Assurance

Bill Shivers, Mike Rogers, Jeremy Lile-Brian Free and Assurance

The Taylors

The Taylors

 

Ed O'Neal of the Dixie Melody Boys

Ed O’Neal of the Dixie Melody Boys

 

Rodney Griffin of Greater Vision

Rodney Griffin of Greater Vision

Randy Shelnut Sr., George Shelton Jr. of the Dixie Echoes

Randy Shelnut Sr., George Shelton Jr. of the Dixie Echoes


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Brian Free and Assurance invites fans to “Say Amen”

Written by SGN Scoops on February 28, 2014 – 8:30 am -

brianfreeHendersonville, TN – February 28, 2014 In celebration of the release of the single “Say Amen” from their new album Unashamed and in anticipation of a music video to be produced on the song, Brian Free and Assurance presents a once-in-a-lifetime contest for fans. Fans can submit their “Say Amen” story about how God has worked a wonder in their life, and a winner will be chosen to have their story featured in the group’s new music video. The winner will also receive a free copy of the CD and the music video.

The contest entries will be accepted from February 28 through April 15, 2014. To submit a “Say Amen” story for consideration, fans can e-mail it to sayamen@daywind.com. Brian Free and Assurance and Daywind Music Group will select and announce the winner on Friday, April 18, 2014.

“We are excited to have fans involved with this song,” Brian Free and Assurance lead singer Bill Shivers explains. “’Say Amen’ is very personal and moving. It’s hard to make it through it when we sing it at concerts. I get very emotional, and the response of our crowd has been the same. We can all say AMEN to God’s overwhelming faithfulness and power in our lives. Everyone goes through seasons where they know God has brought them through a fire. It’s a song every single soul can relate to.” The album Unashamed is slated for an April 22, 2014, release date, and it will be available both online and in stores.

Daywind Records is home to a great roster of artists such as Brian Free and Assurance, Karen Peck and New River, the Tribute Quartet, and Legacy Five. Daywind is distributed to retail through New Day Christian Distributors. For more information and contest rules, visit DaywindRecords.com or contact Amanda Martin at publicity@daywind.com.

For more information on Brian Free and Assurance, please visit BrianFreeandAssurance.com.

*The basic storyline from the winning entry will be included in a music video featuring Brian Free and Assurance to release in 2014. This is the only consideration to be received by the entrant. No compensation shall be paid for the use of the storyline. Daywind reserves the right to add or omit parts of the storyline for creative effect and/or due to time considerations


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Dixie Melody Boys Claim Numerous Top Honors At SGM Fan Awards

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on May 3, 2013 – 11:37 am -

DMBSongGardn Music artists, The Dixie Melody Boys solidified their rise back to the top of Southern Gospel at last nights Southern Gospel Fan Awards held in Pigeon Forge, TN. The SGM Fan Awards are presented by the Christian Voice Magazine and honor the best in Southern Gospel music as chosen by the fans. The night was filled with great performances by the Dixie Melody Boys, Palmetto State Quartet, the Hemphills, Phil Cross, the Diplomats and many more.
The Dixie Melody Boys received the most Top 5 Nominations of any group with eleven nominations including Favorite Album, Song and Video. Hall of fame member Ed O’Neal took home the Favorite Bass Singer award for the second year in a row. Steven Cooper won the Favorite Baritone award. “We are so happy for Steven. As many know, he will be stepping down soon so to have the fans honor him and his five years with us this way is wonderful.” said Ed O’Neal. Mike Rogers, who has been with the group just under a year was also honored by being nominated in the Top 5 for Favorite Lead Singer and Young Excelling Artist. Matt Felts won the Favorite Tenor Award having made the Top 5 two years in a row. “Just to be on the list with men like Michael Booth, David Phelps, Brian Free and Jeff Hawes is a huge honor. These men are my heroes. I am so grateful that God has allowed me to sing for him.” said Matt Felts. Ending the night on a high note, the Dixie Melody Boys won Favorite Male Quartet for the second year in a row.
The last two years have shown the Dixie Melody Boys are riding high again with no signs of slowing down. To learn more check them out at http://www.dixiemelodyboys.com/


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A Sneak Peek At Brian Free & Assurance’s upcoming record release, “Nothing But Love.” Available on July 17th.

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on June 22, 2012 – 9:16 am -


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