Shane and Denise Jeter

MGM

Creekside Gospel Music Convention

IVAN PARKER IS CHRISTMAS DREAMING OCTOBER 5

Written by Staff on September 12, 2018 – 9:53 am -

IVAN PARKER IS CHRISTMAS DREAMING OCTOBER 5

IVAN PARKER IS CHRISTMAS DREAMING OCTOBER 5

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Difference Media recording artist and one of Southern Gospel’s most lauded soloists, Ivan Parker, is set to release Christmas Dreaming October 5. Produced by Garry Jones (Canton Junction, Brian Free), the collection offers a nostalgic take on six timeless holiday favorites and four beloved carols.  
 
Parker’s signature vocals are showcased atop big band horns, jazz piano riffs and lush orchestrations as he seamlessly delivers a range of Christmas classics, from “There’s No Place Like Home For The Holidays” and “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” to “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and “What Child Is This,” among others. 

“It’s my hope that this collection presents the spirit of Christmas morning—the peace that brings us closer together at the holidays,” said Parker. “‘It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year’ and ‘There’s No Place Like Home For The Holidays’ take me right back to my childhood and Christmas with my family. And the newer classic, ‘My Grown Up Christmas List,’ is so fitting for the times we live in now. With much confusion and division in the world, it was important for me to have a song about love, peace and the restoration of joy. Forget the problems and the things that divide us and let’s go back to what the season is all about.” 
 
“Most of all, I want people to understand the real reason for Christmas,” Parker emphasizes. “Carols like ‘What Child Is This’ and ‘It Came Upon A Midnight Clear’ point us back to the manger—these are the songs that present Jesus, the true Hope of Christmas.” 
 

IVAN PARKER DEBUTS DEEPLY PERSONAL ‘MAMA’S ROCKING CHAIR’ AT SOUTHERN GOSPEL RADIO

IVAN PARKER

Serving as lead vocalist for the iconic quartet Gold City from 1983-1993—where he recorded his signature #1 hit, “Midnight Cry”— Ivan Parker’s acclaimed solo career now spans more than 20 years. He has garnered 31 Singing News Fan Awards, highlighted by 12 Favorite Male Vocalist honors, while his #1 Southern Gospel radio singles include “Hit The Ground Running” and “I Choose.” As a solo artist, Parker has released 16 recordings, five DVDs and has been featured in 32 best-selling Gaither Homecoming videos. His critically-acclaimed Difference Media debut, Dancing in the Rain, released in 2016.  
 
Difference Media is a division of John Hagee Ministries, founded by John Hagee. Along with Ivan Parker, the San Antonio-based label features some of the leading names in Gospel music, including Canton Junction, Ricardo Sanchez, Matt Hagee, The Hagees, Tim Duncan, Aaron & Amanda Crabb, The Cornerstone Sanctuary Choir and John Hagee.
 
Christmas Dreaming, a Difference Media release, will be distributed by Capitol Christian Music Group. 
 
For further information, visit ivanparker.com,turningpointpr.com or differencemedia.org. Follow Parker on Facebook,Instagram and Twitter.

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Chrisagis Brothers Christmas Concerts include Adam Crabb, Russ Taff, more

Written by Staff on November 8, 2017 – 1:45 pm -

Chrisagis Brothers Christmas Concerts include Adam Crabb, Russ Taff, more

Chrisagis Brothers Christmas Concerts include Adam Crabb, Russ Taff, more

The award-winning duo, the Chrisagis Brothers, have certainly made a name for themselves in quality entertainment, in  Christian churches and arenas everywhere. Shawn and Brian Chrisagis have traveled throughout the U.S. with their powerful music ministry. They have a radio show heard on two different channels plus internet and youtube. The Brothers have gotten to be well loved and respected by top legends in CCM and Southern Gospel Music. They have two explosive Christmas Concerts starting this month.

Nov. 26 at 6:30 p.m., at the Faith Fellowship Church, in Bellaire, Ohio, the Chrisagis Brothers bring in the season with their “Wise Men Still Seek Him” concert, featuring two dynamic men from the Gaither Homecomings. Seven-time Grammy and 18-time

Dove Award Winner, plus CCM Hall of Famer, Russ Taff, who has become a dear friend of the Brothers, will be joining them once again for the third year. This year, the brothers have added the amazing vocalist of the Gaither Vocal Band, Adam Crabb, to the concert. The Chrisagises will be doing the title song with Taff and Crabb. You don’t want to miss these four talented and anointed men together on one stage.

The following weekend, Dec. 2 at 6:30 p.m., the Brothers will be working with one of their best friends in the business, the sweetheart of Gaither Homecomings, Angela Primm, along with the incredible Bonnie Keen from First Call. These ladies will be doing duets with the Brothers. This will be a concert of love songs, Christmas ballads new and old,

Chrisagis Brothers Christmas Concerts include Adam Crabb, Russ Taff, more

Chrisagis Brothers Christmas Concerts include Russ Taff, Angela Primm, Adam Crabb, more

and wonderful traditional memories. Bring your family and friends to worship and celebrate the Christ in Christmas at Faith Fellowship Church in Bellaire, Ohio, at 6:30pm.

The Chrisagis Brothers are then headed to Branson, Miss., to perform on the Jim Bakker show, and for some meetings to bring their award-nominated “Legends Concerts” to a theater in Missouri. As you can see, the Brothers are busy until the new year. In 2018, the Chrisagis Brothers are in charge of a Women’s Conference called “All that Glitters,” for actress Jennifer

O’Neill, who the Brothers have known and worked with for the last 27 years. The Conference will feature Angela Primm and Nancy Stafford from Matlock tv series fame. Plus, they will be going to the Holy Land in April for a 10-day ministry tour.

Chrisagis Brothers Christmas Concerts include Adam Crabb, Russ Taff, more

Bonnie Keen

The concerts overseas will be televised and will be a powerful witnessing tool for the Jewish nation. Legendary CCM artists will join them, like Paul Clark, and Chuck Girard from Love Song.

Chrisagis Brothers Christmas Concerts include Adam Crabb, Russ Taff, more

Brian and Shawn Chrisagis

For more info on the Chrisagis Brothers ministry or events, or to book them, please check out their website

Chrisagis Brothers Christmas Concerts include Adam Crabb, Russ Taff, more

Russ Taff

Chrisagis Brothers Christmas Concerts include Adam Crabb, Russ Taff, more

Angela Primm

here. 

For the latest issue of SGNScoops magazine click here
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POINT OF GRACE SERENADES THE SEASON WITH SING NOËL

Written by Staff on November 7, 2017 – 5:25 am -

POINT OF GRACE SERENADES THE SEASON WITH SING NOËL OCTOBER 20

POINT OF GRACE SERENADES THE SEASON WITH SING NOËL 

Iconic Group Partners With LifeWay Worship For New Christmas Set

NASHVILLE, Tenn.— Sing Noël, the highly-anticipated, new recording from Platinum-selling, GRAMMY®-nominated Point of Grace, was released October 20. Heralded for multiple classic Christmas recordings spanning a storied career, Sing Noël is Point of Grace’s fifth seasonal set and their LifeWay Worship debut.

Featuring 10 new arrangements of beloved carols and Christmas favorites, the project was produced by Kent Hooper and Phillip Keveren. Opening with a bright, modern rendition of “Angels From the Realms of Glory,” which showcases the group’s signature harmonies, additional highlights of Sing Noël include a “Mary Did You Know?” and “What Child Is This?” medley; the bluegrass-tinged hymn “See Amid the Winter’s Snow;” and the worshipful “Fear Not,” among others.

“It has been several years since we have recorded a Christmas project, and this one is really special,” said Point of Grace’s Shelley Breen. “It has a central focus on the carols of Christmas. It was so fun to sit around together in the beginning stages of the record with our old Baptist hymnals and realize just how many classic carols we had not recorded. Our producers and LifeWay Worship were amazing in helping us find our own ‘spin’ on these songs. I feel like the spirit of the season was captured perfectly! Now, we can’t wait for our amazingly loyal fans to share in our excitement.”

“Sing Noël has been a wonderful Christmas journey for all of us at LifeWay Worship,” said Mike Harland, Director of LifeWay Worship. “As fans, we love it. As friends, we are so proud of who they are and what they have created here. And as ministry partners, we are blessed beyond description to share in the creation of this Kingdom project with true servants of the Church in song.”

Point of Grace last Christmas album was released 2008

Point of Grace last Christmas album was released 2008

For more than 20 years, Point of Grace’s soaring melodies and rich harmonies have helped define the sound of contemporary Christian music. The seminal group has sold more than 8 million units; garnered two Platinum records; three GRAMMY® nominations; 27 #1 singles and numerous Dove Awards. With a discography including 10 best-selling studio recordings and four beloved Christmas albums, Point of Grace is known for such Christian radio standards as “I’ll Be Believing,” “Keep the Candle Burning,” “Circle of Friends” and “Jesus Will Still Be There.” Comprised of Shelley Breen, Denise Jones and Leigh Cappillino, the group founded the groundbreaking Girls of Grace conference and have authored multiple books. Point of Grace regularly appears on the historic Grand Ole Opry stage, and they have been featured on “The View,” as well as in the pages of TIME and Ladies’ Home Journal, among other top media.

LifeWay Worship is a division of LifeWay Christian Resources and represents the music, worship and church supplies ministries of LifeWay Christian Resources, a not-for-profit company. We exist to help churches in their mission of making disciples.

LifeWay Christian Stores are owned and operated by LifeWay Christian Resources with headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee. With more than 170 stores across the nation, LifeWay is the largest Christian bookstore chain in the U.S. The nonprofit publishing and retail company is known for publishing best-selling author Beth Moore, the New York Times best-seller The Love Dare, the Christian Standard Bible translation under the B&H Publishing Group imprint, and other Christian resources.

Sing Noël will be available exclusively at LifeWay Christian Stores around the country, as well as on LifeWay.com and iTunes.

For further information visit pointofgrace.net, lifeway.com or turningpointpr.com. Follow Point of Grace on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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Chrisagis Brothers’ Busy Schedule with Russ Taff, Radio, TV, Awards and Tour

Written by Staff on November 24, 2016 – 5:14 pm -

Chrisagis Brothers, Russ Taff and Angela Primm

Chrisagis Brothers, Russ Taff and Angela Primm

Contact: Lynda Sullivan, 740-859-2344

YORKVILLE, Ohio, Oct. 27, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ — This years Extraordinary People Award for Christian Duo of the Year went to the Chrisagis Brothers, who are becoming known world-wide. The awards were voted on by 200 countries and the Brothers are in great demand, within the past few weeks they have been scheduled to do concerts in Florida, Texas, New York, and even Pakistan (which had to be done through Skype). They are also booked before the year is over in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio.

On November 12th the Chrisagis Brothers will be at the Heritage Awards. Their Christmas CD called I Believe In Christmas, is up for two awards, and the Brothers are up for four, such as: Best CD, Song of the Year, Duo of the Year, and Event of the Year (for The Legends Concert, which featured Scott Wesley Brown, Chuck Girard, Steve Archer, David Meece, etc.).

Chrisagis Brothers, Angela Primm and Russ Taff

Chrisagis Brothers

For Christmas the Chrisagis Brothers will be in concert Dec. 3rd with Russ Taff, the iconic legendary male vocalist who won six Grammy Awards, 11 Dove Awards, and has been inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame. Also scheduled to minister in song is the acclaimed Gaither vocalist Angela Primm, who is one of Christian music’s most popular females of the era. Angela is the most explosive, energetic, spirited artist you will ever find. Putting the four together in one concert will be a blessing for all. The Dec. 3rd concert is at Journey By Grace Church at 4803 PA 51 Belle Vernon, PA 15012 AT 6:30 p.m.

The Brothers are also excited that they will be traveling Dec. 12-14th with one of their greatest inspirations in ministry the legendary Christian music pioneer Scott Wesley Brown. The Brothers call Scott one of the most anointed generals in God’s Army. They will be guests on Watchmen Broadcasting TV Network on Dec. 12-13th with Brown. Then on Dec. 14th they will be on the Dove Network TV series Nite Line.

If that wasn’t enough they have teamed up with Prison Fellowship International to help

Chrisagis Brothers, Angela Primm and Russ Taff

Russ Taff

Chrisagis Brothers, Angela Primm and Russ Taff

Angela Primm

children world-wide. The Brothers also have been doing a Christian Radio Show every week for Wilkins Radio, called It’s A God Thing. They have interviewed famous guests such as Christian Music’s Sweetheart Evie Tornquist, actress Jo Ann Pflug, director Kevin Mcafee, and iconic TV and film star Corbin Bernsen, among others. The Brothers say in the new year they have some major super stars lined up from iconic TV shows and award winning films.

For more info Click on the Chrisagis Brothers website here.

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Dusty Wells: It Really Is Okay!

Written by Staff on December 23, 2015 – 2:16 pm -

Dusty Wells headshot mainCan you believe it’s December??? So friends, that means it’s almost Christmas! That incredible season where people from almost every part of the world have some kind of celebration no matter what they believe.
It’s also that special time where so many of us decorate to the utmost, listen to beautiful Christmas carols and songs, and share cards with one another. We send and share Christmas pictures, gifts and special Christmas-New Year letters detailing all that has taken place in the past year.
There are gorgeous trees with all kinds of twinkling lights and decorations galore, with presents in all kinds of gorgeous wrapping paper and bows, placed strategically under the tree. There are outside lights in every color and giant blow-up figurines of all shapes and sizes, making even the dullest of homes gleam with personality. The kitchens are filled with way too much candy, baked goodies and delicious treats. Brightly adorned Christmas sweaters make many of us smile and want to take pictures of them, and even secretly wish we were brave enough to wear them.
Dusty Wells Christmas imageWe attend Christmas concerts, programs, musicals and events where many of us cheer on those special “kids of all ages” in our lives. Some of us even love the fairytale story of “Santa Claus,” making it a fun time of laughter and joy to those around us. There are Christmas parties, get-togethers and dinners all begging us to join in the feasts and festivities and usually adding a few extra pounds to each of us. And the list of all that takes place in this month goes on and on and on.
It all leads up to that special day, December 25th where we will celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, JESUS CHRIST.
Yes, I am one of those crazy-wacky ones who absolutely loves, adores and makes the most of the “Christmas Season.” I do almost all of the above-mentioned things and even then maybe more. I tell every store clerk, restaurant worker, UPS and postal folks – actually almost every one I come in contact with – a loud and hearty MERRY CHRISTMAS. Yes, I celebrate the season of Christmas and I want others to know how special it is to me.
You know why???
If you could’ve seen where Jesus Christ picked me up from and found me… I was in the deepest, darkest pit and darkness was all around me. A life of abuse, junk, crud and debris filled so much of my life. But some very special people took time out of their own busy lives and schedules and introduced Jesus to me. My life has never been the same. Oh, yes, life has dealt me many blows and I’ve had my own share of struggle and heartache and yet in the midst of all I’ve walked in, I’ve always made certain that I take time to celebrate Christmas with all the traditions, fun, and merriment; always knowing that Jesus in all of His greatness and love is the Reason for the season. Nothing or no one will ever change that belief to me. I enjoy so much of the season, and I always celebrate Him.
Merry Christmas friends! Take time to slow down and savor the season, and know you are so loved and so valuable. And that it’s okay to enjoy the Christmas lights, Christmas sweaters and The Carpenters Christmas Portait CD. It really is!
Go share His love with someone.

By Dusty Wells.

First published by SGN Scoops December 2014

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BALL BROTHERS’ CHRISTMAS TOUR

Written by Staff on December 23, 2015 – 6:46 am -

Ball Brothers

Ball Brothers

ROBERT’S CONCERT RAMBLINGS – BALL BROTHERS’ CHRISTMAS TOUR

 
The Ball Brothers wrapped up their 20-concert, ten-state Christmas tour recently. Their last weekend included their home church in Rock Springs, GA and Columbus, OH. The group currently consists of brothers Daniel and Andrew Ball, brother-in-law Chad McCloskey and Jon Epley.
IMG_2797When the group stated back in Illinois, it was four brothers including Steven and Josh. They toured with their Dad who was an evangelist  from 2001 through 2005. Dad started pastoring a church in Chickamauga, Ga and they moved south. In 2006, the brothers started singing full-time and have appeared on main stage at NQC,  Gaither videos, Silver Dollar City and Dollywood.
They began doing a Christmas tour in 2007 and have continued each year since. Brother Steve had to leave the group because of a hearing loss and Josh later left the group for a Church staff position. They also had Cody McVay who was a brother-in-law as their pianist. Cody left the group when he was offered a position at Dr. Charles Stanley’s church in the music department.
 
IMG_2822I had the opportunity to attend the Ball Brothers’ Christmas concert in Rock Springs. This was a great evening with a good mixture of secular and religious Christmas music. They kicked off the evening with a video presentation of the Ball Kids, where the kids were asked questions, which turned out to be very funny at times. 
The Awana Childrens Choir sang a song, and the Ball Brothers then hit the stage with “Go Tell It On A Mountain.”  Some of the other songs they included were: ‘Joy To The World,” “O Holy Night,” “Jingle Bells,” The Grinch song and “Mary Did You Know.” Daniel brought Steven and Josh to the stage and introduced them, explaining about the health issues that both of them had, and thanked everyone for praying for them.
 
The group used a beautiful set with several types of lights and when they sang, “Let it Snow,” the snow machines worked full time, blowing snow all over the stage with Daniel kicking it and picking up some and wiping in on Andrew. As usual, Daniel and Andrew drew lots of laughs with their comedy during the program. They also had a game in the program called, Know It or Throw It. Participants  from the audience were invited to the stage and they drew balls with gift cards attached out of Santa’s bag and were asked a Christmas question.  If they knew the answer they got the gift card, if they didn’t know the answer the ball was pitched into the audience and the person that caught it got the gift certificate.
 
IMG_2820The Ball Brothers closed the program after a brief intermission with several Southern Gospel songs and then sang their signature song, “It’s About The Blood.”  You can keep in touch with The Ball Brothers on Facebook or their website www.theballbrothers.com.  If you are interested in having the group they are booked by The Harper Agency.
By Robert York
For more news visit SGN Scoops on Facebook. 

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New Music By Mitchel Jon

Written by scoopsnews on December 10, 2015 – 9:19 am -

"A Merry Little Christmas"

Mitchel Jon


 

A note from Mitchel:

Just a note to let you know my new Christmas CD
is now available!
Special download price is ONLY $7.95
for entire CD!!

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!
Please share link with your family and friends

Thank you!
Click Link to Listen to Songs and Download now!
http://www.AMERRYLITTLECHRISTMAS.info


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IMC Management Announces Plans For 2015 Christmas Jubilee Tour 

Written by Staff on August 20, 2015 – 1:52 pm -

Jubilee Christmas 2015

Jubilee Christmas 2015

Johnson City, TN – Following three straight years of tremendous success, IMC Management has announced plans for the 2015 Christmas Jubilee Tour. The Jubilee Tour features three of Southern Gospel Music’s most recognized artists, The Booth Brothers, Greater Vision and Legacy Five. The 2015 Christmas Jubilee Tour will begin November 30 and feature 15 concerts, with stops for the first time is such Canadian provinces as Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. It has been two years since the Jubilee Christmas Tour made stops along the West Coast, and this year the event will return to Idaho, Washington, Oregon and California.

What began as a light-hearted lunch conversation between three friends, has become one of the most popular concert tours in Gospel Music. Managed and promoted exclusively by IMC Management, The Jubilee Tour brings three of the most popular names in Southern Gospel Music together for a unique and unforgettable concert experience. The event has proven to be very popular in cities across the North America, with sell-out concert attendance in numerous cities in recent years.
The evening allows each group to be featured during the first half of the program, then the second half brings the three groups together for a Jubilee spectacular filled with Christmas classics.  The unscripted and spontaneous format is both entertaining and inspirational, providing audiences with a most enjoyable, must-see evening.
The Jubilee Christmas Tour concerts feature material from the multiple Christmas Jubilee recordings and have delighted crowds throughout the Holiday season. Since that first year in 2012 when the Tour first kicked off, The Booth Brothers, Greater Vision and Legacy Five have been uniting to bring Christmas cheer to Gospel music lovers throughout North America. This year promises to bring more Holiday cheer.
“We are very excited to take the Christmas Jubilee Tour into new territories and  back to the West Coast,” IMC President Landon Beene states. “In 2013, the Tour enjoyed multiple sold out events, which was a first for Southern Gospel Music in nearly a decade, so we know Gospel Music lovers on the West Coast will be excited that the Christmas Jubilee Tour is returning.”
IMC will partner with successful Canadian promoters, Wayne Dyck, Bill Griffin and Don Miller to bring the Christmas Jubilee Tour to Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia for the very first time.  “Western Canada’s Gospel Music fans are enjoying the growth of Quartet style, harmony driven music often referred to as Southern Gospel,” Canada’s Gospel Music Celebration, Inc President, Wayne Dyck, states. “Blooming Canadian groups and fans are encouraging full-time Gospel groups to come to Canada with their music, and we are delighted to play a part in bringing this very powerful Christmas presentation, featuring solid, traditional Christmas centered music to Western Canada. A full production presentation brings the rich meaning of Christmas with lighter moments and powerful traditional music, which is absolutely what this season of the year is all about. We are blessed and delighted to have this meaningful Christmas concert series come our way to give the Christmas season a strong presence in the Christians’ calendar.”
The Western Canadian Jubilee Christmas Tour will be featured on December 1 in Winnipeg, MB, December 2 in Regina SK, December 3 in Saskatoon SK, December 4in Edmonton, AB, December 5 in Calgary, AB and December 9 in Chilliwack, BC.
Tickets will go on sale for all US Dates beginning September 14, with a exclusive pre-sale to IMC and artists email subscribers on August 27.  Canadian dates are ON SALE NOW! Additional information, including the complete 2015 Christmas Jubilee Tour schedule is available at http://www.imcconcerts.com/tour.php?id=111
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T. Graham Brown To Release A New Christmas Album

Written by Staff on June 4, 2015 – 1:46 pm -

Pictured standing L to R: Jonathan Brown, Bryan Carter, Daniel Addison, Tony Griffith and John Mathis of Mansion Entertain. Seated: T. Graham Brown.

Pictured standing L to R: Jonathan Brown, Bryan Carter, Daniel Addison, Tony Griffith and John Mathis of Mansion Entertain. Seated: T. Graham Brown.

Franklin, TN / 6-4-2015 – GRAMMY Nominated artist, T. Graham Brown, was recently in Mansion Entertainment’s recording studio working on tracks for a new Christmas album. Tony Griffith of The Griffith Family is co-producing the new project with Brown and the project will contain many favorites that fans have been requesting such as, “Jingle Bell Rock”, “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree”, “Away In A Manger”, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” and others. The new project will also contain a few original Christmas songs.

T. Graham Brown

T. Graham Brown

T. Graham Brown is known for his many accolades and hit songs in Country Music, appearances on the Grand Ole Opry, Larry’s Country Diner and the Country’s Family Reunion series and recently received a 2015 GRAMMY Nomination for his ‘Forever Changed’ album, co-produced with Mark Carman. The new Christmas album be released later this year by Mansion Entertainment in time for the 2015 Christmas season.
Christian Country Expo

Christian Country Expo

T. Graham Brown will also be appearing at the Christian Country Expo, August 24-17 at the Smoky Mountain Convention Center, Pigeon Forge, TN. For more information check the Christian Country Expo Facebook page. 


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Home For The Holidays with the Mark Trammell Quartet and the Whisnants

Written by Staff on December 22, 2014 – 2:46 pm -

home

The Whisnants and the Mark Trammell Quartet

By Lynn Mills

Though the holiday season is quickly passing, the spirit of Christmas resides in the hearts of those who believe the wondrous story and live to share its joy. Looking back on the weeks leading up to the Christmas season there are numerous concerts each year where your favorite carols are sung by your favorite artists. Though it’s true that many groups reserve the majority of December for Christmas vacation; it is becoming more popular for a few groups to team up with their friends and hit the road at the beginning of the month for a special Christmas tour. For the winter of 2014, another pairing was added to the roster of SGM Christmas tours, hailing by the name of Home For Christmas; featuring the Mark Trammell Quartet and The Whisnants.

Home For Christmas was first introduced to fans in late October when the pre-sale for the Home For Christmas CD was put on the market. This project brought together The Whisnants and The Mark Trammell Quartet (MTQ) in a combination of 12 Christmas songs both old and new that showcased both groups on one recording. At the beginning of November, MTQ and the Whisnants hosted an online Launch Party over the course of 12 hours on Facebook where they shared Christmas memories, traditions and personal thoughts concerning the songs on the new Christmas project via videos, photos and posts from both group’s members. Shortly after Thanksgiving, they hit the road and performed their very first official tour together!

The Branson Belle

The Branson Belle

The inaugural concert occurred on the Showboat Branson Belle as a part of the Carols On The Belle Series. It was a balmy 70 degrees out in Branson, Missouri! But more than that, the folks that came on board filled the Showboat to capacity; the first Home For Christmas concert was sold out! When the Mark Trammell Quartet and Whisnants took the stage everyone gathered around for their opening tunes, “The Faithful Medley,” and “Unspeakable Joy.” After a few words from Susan, Jeff and Mark, the Whisnants sang a few of their contributions to the CD: “Without Christ There’s No Christmas,” and a ballad, “I Call Him Lord.” The Mark Trammell Quartet came up and gave the crowd a little variety in musical taste; they sang their hillbilly tune, “O Beautiful Star Of Bethlehem” and the more refined arrangement of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.”

_DSC2099

Susan Whisnant

The Whisnants, who had been listening to MTQ sing from where they were seated on black stools, returned to the spotlight to sing their new upbeat tune, “Jesus Brought Joy To The World.” Mark Trammell also explained to the audience why they sing.

It is worthy to note the diversity of the crowd on the Showboat – a bus from Michigan brought a good amount of Asian folk, many Indian couples were present and others who came for the classic Branson tour and sightseeing staples. The crowd, therefore, was not made of your typical Southern Gospel fans, so an explanation was due!

Mark also shared about being raised in a pastor’s home and how one would expect his mother’s favorite Christmas song to be a traditional carol…but it wasn’t. It was the classic “Christmas Song. Mark went on to croon the first few lines from this well-known song. While he was doing his best impression of Perry Como, the others were doing their best to steal the spotlight. This came about in the form of Santa hats, which were distributed in a quiet fashion to all the group members seated behind Mark. Susan decided to share and plopped her hat, complete with tiara, on Mark’s head. After a bit of waltzing and other comical antics from those who were obviously bored with Mark singing his solo, Trammell gave up and sang, “I’m gonna’ kill them when this is over…!”

Mark Trammell

Mark Trammell

From those humorous moments, the singers moved to a sincere reading of the Christmas story in Luke. Mark turned the pages of his black leather Bible to the second chapter and told of how the Savior came to be born in this world. “Silent Night,” followed this. Susan, the only lady on stage, sang this carol from the viewpoint of a mother. Afterwards, she asked the audience to sing “Away In A Manger,” with her. A sweet sound echoed through the boat.

As the evening came to a close, Mark Trammell had the crowd on the edge of their seat by a powerful arrangement of “O Holy Night.” An equally powerful message followed as Susan introduced her solo, “If You Could See What I See,” and the thought behind the message.

_DSC1923“People come up to me all the time,” Susan began, “They say, ‘I love Christmas, but it’s a lonely time for me; I lost my husband, I lost my wife, I lost my kid, I lost my mom…it’s lonely’.” She went on to say that in 2013 on December the 23rd her father-in-law went home to heaven. “A lot of people felt sorry for us,” she went on, “But we had a friend who wrote this song and sent it to us on Christmas Eve. If God gave us one glimpse into heaven, we would never wish them back.” Susan sang that comforting message and prayed. As the Showboat came back into dock MTQ and the Whisnants left everyone with this tune: “Christmas Time’s A Comin’!”

MTQ-Whisnants-LaunchThe next night, the Home For Christmas Tour went to Arkansas where they sang a full concert at Beryl Baptist Church. Though this wasn’t the last stop on the tour, this is where my ability to follow ended. The difference between the Showboat and this concert was that they had more time at the church and material was added. One of those additions was a fun performance of “The 12 Days of Christmas.” Susan and Mark beckoned 12 volunteers from the audience (the pastor, who is an accomplished bass vocalist, being one of them) and soon a line formed at the foot of the stage. Aaron Hise and Nick Trammell distributed cards with each part written on them and the fun began! It would be impossible to re-tell everything that made us laugh – but we had a great time! Another highlight of the evening was Austin Whisnant singing a song Susan originally recorded, called “Even Then,” and Ethan’s solo of “Strange Way To Save The World.”

“Home For Christmas” is a must see for fans who love Christmas music. It is impossible to miss the sincerity of those ministering on stage. Nothing is scripted – it’s all from the heart. Whether the moment is funny, reflective or serious, the heart behind it shines through. This is Christmas. This is the way we think of the holiday when we close our eyes and picture a homey, old-fashioned Christmas tree set in the midst of children at play and Christ where He ought to be: in the center of it all. Home For Christmas offers songs you want to hear, the new ones you’ll be humming after you hear them the first time, the singers you love and the sincerity of the Christmas story, all creating memories you won’t easily forget!

If you are interested in bringing the Home For Christmas Tour to your area in 2015, contact The Harper Agency for more info at: http://www.harperagency.com/ or call 615-851-4500.

 

For more artist features and concert reviews by Lynn Mills and others, view the latest SGN Scoops magazine at www.sgnscoops.com


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