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The Torchmen Quartet prove “Faithful” after almost 50 years

Written by Staff on March 30, 2018 – 8:40 am -

Canada's premiere quartet, the Torchmen

Canada’s premiere quartet, the Torchmen

 

The Torchmen Quartet: Faithful

Recorded at Crossroads Recording Studio, Grant Ave Studios

Producers: Chris Allman, Amy King, Jon Hisey

Label: Independent

Review by: Lorraine Walker

 

It was a pleasure to receive the latest album from the Torchmen Quartet, entitled “Faithful.” Appropriately named, this recording talks about being faithful to the Lord Jesus every day, through every difficulty, and in every circumstance. I have known the TQ’s members, Mike Moran, Jon Hisey, Sandy MacGregor and Jeff Tritton for a long time and can attest to the fact that these gentlemen have been faithful to their call and to the Lord.

 

From the very first play of the first cut on the project, this CD feels like the TQ you know and enjoy, but upscaled to an even better version of themselves. “It’s An Everyday Thing,” has the type of instrumentation and vocals that listeners of Torchmen projects are used to, with violin and steel guitar, and the melody line seems perfect for MacGregor, who handles the song with ease. Special note that the drums on this track were played by Michael Booth, who has an excellent touch on the toms. This tune was written by Rebecca J. Peck, who also wrote two more cuts on this album.

 

The Torchmen Quartet's latest release, Faithful

The Torchmen Quartet’s latest release, Faithful

“Faithful Father” is an easy-listening quartet song, written by Rodney Griffith and Chris Binion. It’s a good reminder that no matter what, our Heavenly Father is faithful; much more so than we can possibly be. I enjoy Tritton’s vocals regardless of what he sings, and he adds his smooth tones to this song which is polished and so comforting to the ear and the heart.

 

“Crown Him King,” a quartet favorite by Luther G. Presley and Wally Varner, is handled effortlessly by this seasoned group. So well, I’m almost positive they have recorded it before. The quartet has recorded over 30 projects and I don’t claim to have every project, so it could well be that they have. Regardless, it is an excellent track.

 

“What If Someone” is another smooth Tritton song, written by Lanny Wolfe. It will make you wonder what if you had never been told about Jesus…and who you should be telling about Him today that may not hear about the Lord in any other way.

 

“I Want to Live Like Jesus,” written by Ernie Haase and Dianne Wilkinson, has the flair and instrumentation of a Cathedral Quartet cut. I so enjoyed the precision and thought behind this tune.

 

The Torchmen Quartet's latest release, Faithful. Back Liner

The Torchmen Quartet’s latest release, Faithful. Back Liner

Torchmen listeners may not be overly surprised at some song choices by MacGregor, but I have to admit, when I heard the opening strains of this song and realized what it was, I couldn’t believe my ears. But what a treat! If you listened to Christian music in the ‘80s, you couldn’t help but hear Twila Paris sing, “The Warrior is a Child.” MacGregor takes this song to new places and it truly becomes a quartet song. Great job, gentlemen. Kudos to your producer, Chris Allman.

 

“Good Things” is another Rebecca Peck song, this time with David Jenkins. Another finger-snapping tune shows the men’s crisp timing and more great vocals by Tritton.

 

“Reunion with You” begins with a melancholy tone in both lyric and notes, but sadness changes to hope with the chorus which reminds us that there will be an eternal reunion with our loved ones someday. This song by Tim Lanier immediately reminded me of my mom who passed away almost 8 years ago; however, the pang of separation never seems to diminish. Mike Moran tells this story with finesse and the ability to communicate emotion, thought and lyric, that has made him a favorite with Canadian audiences.

 

“Wonder Working God” lists among its writers the husband/wife team of Zane and Donna King. I prefer to listen to a new project without reading the liner first, so I knew this was a special cut even before reading that Donna was a part of it. She is one of the most talented people in Christian music and it seems that anything she is a part of becomes touched with a special sparkle that is all her own. One of my favorite cuts.

 

“I’m Gonna Keep Praying,” another Rodney Griffith song, reminds us what a privilege it is to be able to talk to God any time, anywhere. Another easy-listening song that has powerful, understated lyrics. That may sound like an oxymoron but when you listen to the song, you will agree.

 

Torchmen

Torchmen

“What Kind of Man,” another Dianne Wilkinson song, helps us look at the humanity of Jesus, which is not a subject often addressed by preachers, let alone Christian music. Well done, Dianne and Janice Crow. Well sung as well, as the harmonies are lovely.

 

“When the Preacher Gets to Preaching,” written by Rebecca Peck and Christine Degazio, is a fun song that reminds me of the old-time pastors you hear about, the kind who preaches it so straight that the listeners’ hair is parted. Those of us who have been privileged to sit under that kind of sermon totally get this song. Jon Hisey, great vocals! Totally enjoyed this song.

 

“Oh, What a Price,” the last Peck/Jenkins song, is a beautiful ballad that should be picked up by those churches who present an Easter choir performance. Lyrically and melodically, this song catches the enormity and solemnity of the cost of salvation.

 

Chris Allman’s comments on the liner indicate that he understands this quartet and his work on this project confirms it. Amy King and Jon Hisey, your talents are also greatly appreciated. For the rest of the album information, the reader is encouraged to buy a copy for themselves.

 

If you are a fan of Southern gospel music, or just like well done music of any kind, please pick up this album. Thanks so much, Torchmen Quartet, for continuing to raise the bar on your recorded music. Here’s to another 50 years!

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Beyond The Ashes Impacts Canadian Audiences

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on July 17, 2014 – 8:21 am -

btaNashville, TN (July 16th, 2014) – Beyond The Ashes made their very first Canadian concert appearance last month.  The group, who has traveled and sung all across the United States, had yet to take their ministry across the border until now.  The trip proved to be an amazing success and the guys look forward to many more opportunities to visit and sing in the Great White North.
Concert promoter, Richard Daniel, of the Henley Christian Music Festival expressed,  “I have never seen a better first set by a Southern Gospel group. Their harmony was impeccable, their stage presence was welcoming, their instrumentation was spot-on, and their love for the Lord was truly sincere.  They blessed us with 55 minutes of music during their first set alone.”
But, the story gets more interesting.  Daniel continues, “As the first set was wrapping up we experienced a power outage and the alarms went off!  It’s never a dull moment at the Henley.  With the safety of those in attendance at hand, we were forced to evacuate the building until we could determine the root cause of the electrical outage and the reason the fire alarm sounded.  Turns out an electrical line had come down in the vicinity and affected quite a number of homes and buildings…one being ours.”
However, that didn’t stop Beyond The Ashes.  Everyone came back in and the concert continued.  Even with no power in the building, the group ministered with an intimate acoustic set around an antique piano.
Daniel concludes, “And the Lord was there.  I had someone approach me and shared they felt the second set was better than the first. I didn’t think that was possible!  Two sets, two completely different feels, one amazing God!  Thank you, Lord, for allowing us to host Beyond The Ashes and for allowing us to continue to steward this ministry for your Glory and Praise.”
Beyond The Ashes’ tenor singer and ministry leader, Anthony Facello, shared, “We had an absolutely fantastic first tour to Canada.  The scenery was beautiful and more than that the people greeted us with warm hearts and spirits of expectation.  We are already scheduled to return in 2015 and we can’t wait.”
Baritone, Tyler Vestal, adds “I loved going to Canada for the first time.  The people were so warm and friendly and loved the style music we did.  I cannot wait to go back next year.”
To learn more about Beyond The Ashes or to schedule them for your church or concert event, visit www.beyondtheashesonline.com.  Like them on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/beyondtheashes and follow them on Twitter at @beyondtheashes1.

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Thanksgiving in Canada

Written by Scoops Staff on November 26, 2010 – 8:56 pm -

Special feature by Lorraine Walker

The Canadian Thanksgiving holiday has traditionally been known as a Celebration of Harvest. Occurring earlier in the year than the United States’ holiday, the Canadian Thanksgiving has been celebrated in my country regularly since 1879. In 1957, it was instituted as a national holiday with the following declaration of Canadian Parliament: “A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed – to be observed on the 2nd Monday in October.”

The very first Canadian Thanksgiving was held in 1578, 43 years before the pilgrims gave thanks in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Martin Frobisher, an explorer trying to find the illusive Northwest Passage for trade, returned safely to Newfoundland and held a feast to celebrate his homecoming. Prior to this time, the First Nations of Canada held festivals of thanks, and later, French settlers began to share their Thanksgiving Festivals with the First Nations. Thanksgiving has historically been a time of thanks and rejoicing with friends and neighbours.

Traditionally, Canadians make the most of the entire weekend and often family gatherings occur on Saturday or Sunday as well as the statutory Monday holiday. Sunday morning services at churches across Canada are times of praise for the harvest and sanctuaries are often decorated with produce, grains and coloured leaves.

My early memories of Thanksgiving revolve around family, friends and of course, food. A turkey with all the trimmings is the most common meal and of course, pumpkin pie for dessert. For those of us who are not pumpkin-eaters, each family has their own alternatives, but our family usually serves cheesecake!

This year, I had the privilege of sharing a Thanksgiving meal held for the ladies and children at a Women’s Shelter. I was humbled once again by the sheer bounty of food, which mirrored the bounty of gifts given to us by our God. I ate with women who literally have nothing but were able to partake of a wonderful meal with their children because of the generosity of the donors of our Mission. We are so blessed in my Country. As we get more secularized, I pray that the basic traditions of this wonderful holiday are never lost and that somewhere at this time of year, God’s children will be thanking Him for every good and perfect gift.




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