By Erin Stevens [From the December 2016 issue of SGNScoops magazine]
A word from the writer…
Tis the season for yuletide cheer, fa la la la’s and Grandma’s famous cookies. But it’s also time to give a little more and be a little sweeter. There’s a young fellow I thought of when I was preparing for this Christmas edition. Not a kinder, sweeter, more down-to-earth guy came to mind than Logan Smith. You may already be a fan of his pipes, but perhaps there are some things you don’t know about him…quite yet. With that said, let’s jump right in!
Erin: For those that might not know your backstory, when did your love for music begin?
Logan: My parents and grandparents raised me on classic Southern Gospel groups such as The Happy Goodmans, The Hinsons, The Rambos and The Speers. I admired them all, but the Goodmans brought an excitement to the stage like I’d never seen before. They inspired me to start singing this incredible music that lifts and encourages. I’ve been hooked ever since!
Erin: It appears you have successfully bridged the gap from being “the boy who sings like Vestal” to the talented young man you are now who has come into his own. How have you accomplished this and was it a smooth transition?
Logan: It’s been very smooth. It’s an honor to carry on the legacy of such a dynamic vocalist. I’m enjoying mixing in new songs from such talented writers of our time today, and still throwing it back and singing Goodman classics every night! The music never gets old. The singers fade, but the message in these songs is timeless.
Tags: Erin Stevens, gospel music, Hinson Family, Logan Smith, The Stevens Family, Vestal Goodman
Posted in artists, sgn scoops magazine | Comments Off on Younger Perspective on Logan Smith
Younger Perspective on Kari Gooch: By Erin Stevens
A word from the writer…
I have kept you all waiting long enough for this exciting interview! I knew it was finally time to help you get to know the daughter of one of the most prestigious, highly awarded and well loved ladies of our Gospel music industry. Who else could I possibly be referring to other than Karen Peck Gooch? Today, let’s dive into her darling daughter’s life, the sweet Kari Gooch, and find out what roadie livin’ looks like through her eyes.
It’s your turn to take center stage, Kari…
Erin: What was it like growing up with your mom being such a prominent figure in Gospel music?
Kari: As I get older, I see how loved and respected my mom is in the industry. Honestly, she has just been mom to me. She has always been there for me, and has always tried to put my brother and me before anything else.
Erin: For those that may not know the backstory, share what your first night on stage was like.
Kari: About two years ago, my mom got sick and completely lost her voice. I have always been really shy, and the thought of going on stage and singing terrified me! However, when my mom lost her voice, my Aunt Susan came to me and asked if I would help her sing, and I’ve been on stage ever since. Sometimes I still get nervous when I have to sing, but I’m trying to work through that!
Erin: How would you describe what it’s like being raised on a bus? Feel free to share pros and cons.
Kari: Being raised on the bus has definitely kept my life interesting! I practically learned to walk on a bus, so I have great balance. I’m really blessed to get to go different places every week, and to see things that most people my age have never seen. One downside to being raised on a bus is the space. When I was little, my brother, cousin, and I would try to think of different games to play. It’s really hard to play hide and seek on a 45-foot bus.
Erin: If you could do a duet with anyone in the music industry (any genre) who would it be?
Kari: One of my favorite artists right now is Tori Kelly, so I’d love to do a duet with her.
Erin: Are there any good books you’re reading lately that you’d like to share?
Kari: I am currently trying to finish up my freshman year of college, so most of the reading I do is studying for my classes. However, the last book I read for fun was “Good or God” by John Bevere.
Tags: Erin Stevens, gospel music, karen peck and new river, Karen Peck Gooch, Kari Gooch, sgnscoops
Posted in artists, sgn scoops magazine | Comments Off on Kari Gooch: The “Quirky” Member of Karen Peck and New River
A word from the writer…
As the heritage of Gospel music lives on in our hearts, it’s the new faces answering the call that keep the dream alive. Such is the case with a newer group to many of us, the girls of HighRoad. I had the joy of meeting Sarah Davison, pianist and vocalist for the group back in April at Singing in the Sun. Sarah’s love for the Lord and bubbly personality were the two things I quickly noted, along with her incredible, God-given talents on stage. So here we are, turning our attention to a sweet, born and raised Iowa girl, who just so happens to share in the same dream, to see this great music continue on from generation to generation. Take it away, Sarah!
Erin: Share with the readers how HighRoad got its start.
Sarah: HighRoad started after we graduated from college in Nashville. It began with just two of us doing home concerts and churches on Sundays, traveling in a little Honda all over the South! We took every chance to do it more, and now, we really feel that we are doing what we are called to do.
Erin: What is the story behind the name of the group?
Sarah: We decided on the name HighRoad back in 2010 when we first began singing and playing together. We brainstormed for a time and came up with this name after reading some scripture that said to set our sights on things above; to be ‘heaven-minded and take the narrow path toward achieving the goal of seeing our Savior someday.’ So the name HighRoad was a perfect fit – it says it all!
Erin: What was it like for an Iowa girl to travel all the way to the city of Nashville, and to attend college at Belmont University?
Sarah: Well, when I moved to Nashville, I had never even driven on an interstate. There are 180 people in the town where I grew up and we lived 10 miles outside that town! I was excited, yet terrified, but I knew that God had me here for a reason. I couldn’t have done it without my supportive family back home and the care packages of cinnamon rolls from Mom! Attending Belmont was a huge blessing and opened many doors. Of course, that’s where I first met the girls of HighRoad! I also interned at Universal Music Group during my senior year and after graduating I began working for country artist George Strait, at his management office. I learned so many valuable lessons by the work and people I met through school. I’m very thankful.
Erin: What was it like working with the masterful Ben Isaacs in the studio on your latest recording?
Sarah: We absolutely loved working with Ben. He is one of the most superb human beings and talented musicians I’ve ever met. Just being around him makes you want to do a good job playing and singing. We got to play our own instruments on this album too – that was a real treat for us. We look forward to sharing a lot more future memories with Ben and Mark in the studio.
Erin: Any ‘roadie mishaps’ or embarrassing moments you’d like to share?
Sarah: Oh boy! We’ve had a few and could probably write a short book. Last year, we actually drove to the wrong church in the wrong town. We pulled up and walked in the door and said, “Hi! We made it!” And their reaction was just a blank stare and finally someone said, “Who are you all??” We barely made it to the correct church down the road in time for the concert. But the biggest mishap that I’ve experienced was being left at a rest stop in West Virginia in my pajamas at 6:00am. No phone. No wallet. I had gone in for a bottle of water and walked out to see the bus rolling down the road. I ended up having a kind lady call the highway patrol and they found the bus on the road and escorted me out to it…in my pajamas. I was mortified. Lessons learned the hard way you never have to learn again!
Erin: Who would be the top three musicians on your Bucket List to share the stage with someday?
Sarah: Patty Loveless, Sonya Isaacs and Vince Gill
Erin: On your days off, what is your ideal, picture perfect afternoon?
Sarah: I love to crochet and bake. I have always had this idea that someday I wanted to open a pie shop that had live 20’s Ragtime music and homemade pies!
Erin: A ‘Younger Perspective’ must-ask question… What is your can’t live without, favorite food?
Sarah: I can’t live without my mom’s cinnamon rolls. She makes them from scratch and it’s an old recipe from our family.
Erin: I’m sure the fans would love to hear about how you came to know Christ?
Sarah: Absolutely! I grew up playing a lot of music with my dad who leads a Cowboy Church back home. I was baptized when I was really young and my parents always raised me to think of it more as a dedication since I couldn’t remember it. They told me, “If the Lord lays it on your heart to go forward and be baptized, do it.” And I did, one day when I felt the Holy Spirit so heavily. I knew what the Lord was doing in me and it changed me. It was the greatest day of my life and always will be.
Erin: What has the Lord been speaking to your heart in your daily devotions recently?
Sarah: Recently, the Lord has really been teaching me to trust. I lost my Grandma two weeks ago. I came home to see her one afternoon and she was in heaven by the next morning. It was really tough because she was so special to me; we were buds. I’ve been learning that it’s ok to grieve the loss, but even better to celebrate the gain. God has taught me a lot just in the last couple weeks since losing her. He has shown me that His plan and will are perfect. I need to trust Him in everything. Not just the little things that don’t always matter, but also the big things that are near and dear to me.
As the song says, “You never know what someone’s going through.” You might be experiencing the same type of loss as Sarah is walking through, or you may be healing from a great loss that dates back years ago. From experience, I can assure you that over time, it becomes easier to cope, but especially when you love deeply, the hole left in your heart is one that never completely heals. I think that’s a real picture of Christ’s love for us. He went to the Cross, died for our sins, took our shame upon Himself, but one day when we see Him in heaven, He will still bear the physical scars where the nails were driven in. Through time and eternity, those wounds will be a constant reminder of His unending love for His own. May His peace pass all understanding no matter where you are coming from in your walk today. Thanks to Sarah for sharing with us. Until next month, Scoops fans…
And that’s my take on it.
(Connect with Erin, your Younger Perspective writer, on Twitter: @photosforkeeps & Instagram: @photos_for_keeps. Who would you like to see her interview next??)
By Erin Stevens
Younger Perspective by Erin Stevens can be seen monthly in SGNScoops digital magazine. For the September 2015 issue, click here.
For more on the great music of HighRoad, click here.
Tags: Erin Stevens, gospel music, HighRoad, Sarah Davison, sgnscoops
Posted in artists, christian entertainment, Christian interest, sgn scoops magazine | Comments Off on Erin Stevens’ Younger Perspective on Sarah Davison of HighRoad
I have the utmost joy of bringing this beloved article to you this month, on this particular day, at this precise moment. It’s an honor for me as a ‘Southern Gospel brat’ myself to write about and interview my peers in our Gospel Music world. While sailing on the Caribbean Sea a few months back, I beamed with happiness when Karlye Hopper accepted my interview offer. It’s my hope that you, as the reader, will catch a glimpse into the soul of the outrageously talented, tender hearted, incandescently brilliant and one-of-a-kind original that is Karlye Jade. It’s time to take center stage, Miss Hopper…
Erin: How have you been able to maintain your own identity while still being a part of the prestige that comes with the Hopper name?
Karlye: I don’t think it’s ever been a question whether or not I’m my own person. I know my place and that people know me as “the Hoppers’ daughter,” I’ll never not be that in this or any music industry. But, I have a pretty…um…“unique” sense of style and an outspoken personality. I’m also quite tall. That helps.
Erin: With the changes that have taken place as a family and as a group, when did you personally feel the call to join the ministry?
Karlye: Back in the summer of 2013, Connie (yes, I casually refer to my grandmother and the rest of the family by their first name-I like to keep from being presumptuous) completely lost her voice in the middle of a week-long tour. I got a phone call after the show that night… “You’re flying into Birmingham at noon tomorrow, bring a nice dress.” I sang alto––for the first time ever––the entire set that night, and the next night in front of 5,000 at the Mabee Center with the Homecoming Tour. (Yikes!) Since then, countless obstacles have been thrown at this group and caused more than one member to leave the road for extensive periods. Just filling in and helping out is why I started doing this, but the shy teenager on the back row is why I’ve continued. My youth and vulnerability (yeah, people can tell I’m not a pro and see my stage anxiety) have brought innumerable young girls to my side of the merchandise table; these beloved struggle with eating disorders, self-harm, abuse, etc.––the unmentionables of Christianity. I’ve been given a heritage, a platform and a privilege that allows me to, even if we don’t exchange a word, show these kids just like me, that God can put joy into a seemingly hopeless heart. Being young is hard, Erin, and we have to build each other up. I’m lucky enough to get the opportunity to do that to complete strangers in different cities each night.
Tags: Christian Music, Erin Stevens, gospel music, Karlye Hopper, sgn scoops, The Hoppers, The Stevens
Posted in announcements, artists, christian entertainment, Christian interest, sgn scoops magazine, special feature, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Younger Perspective on Karlye Hopper by Erin Stevens
By Erin Stevens
Here at Younger Perspective, my main goals are to A) Let you get to know your youthful favorites a little better in the gospel music world, and to B) Keep it ‘all in the family.’ Family groups continue to be the key ingredient that unites our industry. It’s the younger generation spreading the Message that adds that extra, special touch alongside their parents and siblings. Many of you will remember when the adorable Miss Katie Erwin dropped by to chat with us last year. This year, it’s time to focus on one of her talented young brothers that help lock the tight, family harmonies of The Erwins. Please make welcome the soon-to-be 19 year old Kristopher Erwin. You never know; he may just break out in the B-I-B-L-E while munching on some lo mein, all while capturing it on film. Kris, the floor’s yours…
Erin: Being surrounded by music all your life, at what point did you personally feel called into ministry?
Kris: Growing up in an evangelistic home, traveling from church to church every week has always been the norm for me. My dad has been an evangelist for over 41 years. The first time I was on stage, I was about three years old. While my dad was introducing me, I reached for the microphone. Dad, expecting me to sing, “Jesus Loves Me” or “The B-I-B-L-E,” handed me the mic and I sang “Tomorrow” from the musical Annie. So, that’s how my stage debut went down in history! In all honesty, singing has just been a natural part of growing up for our family. I suppose the best way to put it, is that I’ve somehow always ‘known’ I had a calling on my life.
Erin: Anyone who follows you on Instagram would know you love all things Polaroid. What started that vintage hobby?
Kris: A lifelong family friend from Beaumont, Texas (who we all call “Grandma”) gave me a box full of old Polaroid and Super 8 cameras; and of course, I started putting them to use. Now, I have no money, but instead a lot of neat Polaroid snaps that I enjoy sharing with everybody.
Erin: Out of all the cities and states you’ve traveled through, what is your favorite stop to make?
Kris: I have such a strong love for New York City. I make time to visit multiple times a year. Some day, if I could, I’d live there in a heartbeat.
Erin: Is there anyone in our industry who has had a profound impact on your ministry and/or musical perspective?
Kris: It would be impossible to name just one, but no individual has impacted our ministry musically more than Steve Hurst. He’s tremendously helped my siblings and I grow vocally and as a group. We could never repay him for the invaluable lessons he has taught us.
Erin: Share a behind-the-scenes look at the family’s recent studio recording process of Ready To Sail.
Kris: This CD is our first project to release with StowTown Records. We wanted to define our sound with this project, and StowTown gave us the platform to do just that and more! The entire process was incredible, from cutting tracks at the Sony studios on Music Row in Nashville; to watching the incredible Wayne Haun produce; to walking into Lifeway Christian Bookstore and seeing our product on the shelves. It’s been an amazing experience. As an added bonus, we had the privilege of having Ernie Haase sing a song with us that he wrote. We trust everyone enjoys it as much as we did making it.
Erin: Everyone has one! What’s your number one embarrassing moment either on the road or on stage, or both?
Kris: Oh boy, this is a good one. I think I was 12. My brothers and I were singing at a church in the panhandle of Texas, and I got horribly sick to my stomach, mid-verse of an a cappella song. Fortunately, I made it off stage before it got graphic (just barely!), but I did leave my brothers to finish the song as a duet (which I assume was just as bad as my instant illness).
Erin: Comedy or action movies? Snow or sand? Chinese or Mexican food? Bow tie or skinny tie? Hot sauce or mild?
Kris: Comedy. Sand. Chinese. Skinny. The hotter the better!
Erin: Is there a Scripture verse that has recently impacted you?
Kris: John 8:36 – Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
Erin: If there were a particularly special moment you could go back to in your childhood, what would it be?
Kris: There are many wonderful experiences I wish I could relive, especially from family vacations and childhood Christmases. I was blessed with a godly upbringing. Growing up in an atmosphere where there was so much love; that’s something I will never take for granted. I’m honored to do what I love with my family. Let the memory making continue…
Erin: In this day and age where young men are being pulled and influenced by so many secular sources, how are you taking a stand for Christ and being a light to the guys looking to your example?
Kris: Even though I’m on the road, often I’m still faced with a lot of the same temptations that all young people have. I’m trying to be as genuine and authentic as I can be, while giving the entire honor to God. I try to live my life with the thought that I take Jesus everywhere I go, and therefore, He sees everything I do. I don’t want to do anything that could hurt my testimony. I only have one life to live for Christ, I want it to count, and ultimately, make Him proud. He deserves all the glory.
Now back to Erin…
Have you given Christ the secret places in your life? Have you opened every door, allowing Him access to the corners of your heart? I am encouraged to know there are godly, young men like Kristopher who still put Him first, who still strive to be more like Him every day. No one ever said it would be easy, but the heavenly reward far outweighs the struggles we face here on this earth. It takes a daily dying to self. Jesus tells us that if we give our very lives to serve Him, He will fill every void and heal every hurt. He will make us brand, new creations in Him. Today could be YOUR day to start with a clean slate, take up that cross, and be sold out to serving Him.
Thank you to Kris for stopping by and brightening everyone’s day here in the world of the ‘younger perspectives.’ You’re awesome, Kris! Praying God’s best over you and your family as you travel the long and winding road.
Until next month, Scoops’ fans…
And that’s my take on it.
For more information on Kris Erwin and The Erwins click HERE.
First published by SGN Scoops digital magazine in April 2015. For current issue of SGN Scoops click HERE.
Tags: Erin Stevens, gospel music, Kris Erwin, Kristopher Erwin, sgn scoops, southern gospel, Younger Perspective
Posted in artists, sgn scoops magazine | Comments Off on Younger Perspective: Kristopher Erwin
By Erin Stevens
It’s one thing to impact thousands of people’s lives through the example of your ministry, songwriting, and personal life, but it is entirely another thing when you are your children’s hero. The shoulder they run to in times of defeat, the hug they crave after a long day at school, and the sounding board to all life’s ‘wonders and whys.’ That is exactly the case in the life of Rodney Griffin. Today I am delighted to introduce to you his darling daughter, the lovely Miss Reagan. Get to know this young lady, budding with talents, and a remarkable dedication to serving others. Reagan, take it away…
Erin: What was it like growing up with your dad being such a prominent figure in Gospel music?
Reagan: It was always normal for me to see him leave every weekend. That’s just who he is. Dad loves what he does and I love being his daughter. I take so much pride in his ministry.
Erin: When did you first discover your love for the piano?
Reagan: My love for playing began in church a few years ago; that was a huge push for me! I’ve recently started having fun playing the ukulele too.
Erin: It’s apparent on social media that you are becoming quite the scarf maker! How are you enjoying your latest businesswoman endeavor?
Reagan: Honestly, it’s a blast! When I have spare time, I love to just sit and crochet. It’s quite relaxing.
Erin: For those who are missing out, try to put into words the magical joy that comes from growing up with your family at ’the happiest place on earth?’
Reagan: Disney World is such an exciting place! It has always been somewhere I look forward to going back year after year! I feel like I’m a little child all over again when we walk inside.
Erin: What is your life-verse or verses? And why?
Reagan: One of my favorites is Proverbs 3:5-7: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil.” It reminds me that, yes, I will fail me, but God won’t.
Erin: While being a junior in high school, what are the most effective ways you have found to be an example of Christ to those around you?
Reagan: My youth pastor has a quote he always says: “Treat everybody like somebody.” There is much truth in that statement. Everyone wants to be appreciated. I’ve discovered that when you take time and really listen and pay attention to someone, they will notice something different in you. Another way is to simply go out of your way to do extra, tiny deeds. Whether it’s picking up empty water bottles left after practice, or throwing away the gum wrappers left in the church pew; these are things that are overlooked as ‘unimportant.’ Someone has to do them. Let’s be that person.
Erin: Who would you most likely be found jamming out to on your iPod?
Reagan: I love the 1940-50s swing music: Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Rosemary Clooney, and Nat King Cole.
Erin: If there was one defining moment in life you could relive, what would that be?
Reagan: Last year, I was chosen to be the Singing News Fan Awards ‘Trophy Girl.’ I had the privilege of walking on stage and presenting the awards to those I look up to. It was an incredible experience that I’ll remember for a long time!
Erin: Being surrounded by Southern Gospel fans since you were little, what is the craziest thing a fan has said to you?
Reagan: I was standing to the side of a walkway with some friends, listening to my dad sing, when an older lady came up behind me and said, “You know I’m stalking you, right?” With a nervous giggle, I said “Uh, okay.” and moved a little closer to my friends.
Erin: Are you a songwriter like your dad?
Reagan: When I was growing up, my best friend, my sister, and I wrote several little songs with the most obnoxious tunes. “Poor Little Doughnut,” “Mr. Dan and The Hotdog Stand,” and one about cowboys. I don’t think you’ll be seeing those up on the ‘One-Hit-Wonders Chart’ anytime soon.
Erin: In closing, how would you personally encourage young ladies in their walk with the Lord as you make steps every day to become closer to Him?
Reagan: I am learning more and more all the time about how much God cares for me. As young ladies, we tend to compare ourselves to the other girls around us; therefore, finding our self worth in the wrong things. God wants to be that one person we go to when those insecure thoughts cross our mind. He wants to wrap you up in a big hug and say, “I love you. I made you just the way you are.”
We all come from different walks of life, but I am certain that Reagan’s moving words can speak to every heart. You may be 18 or 80, it doesn’t matter; insecurities plague every age group. Coming from a mind so sharp and a heart so full as Reagan’s, I pray you can see that YOU are enough. You are capable enough when you lean on Jesus as your Rock. When we are weakest, that’s when He is the strongest in our lives. Thank you, Reagan, for gracing us with your presence and allowing us to see a glimpse into your life today. May God’s hand of blessing rest upon you. Until next month, Scoops fans…
And that’s my take on it.
For current Younger Perspective features, see the latest SGN Scoops magazine here.
Tags: Erin Stevens, gospel music, Greater Vision, REagan Griffin, Rodney Griffin, sgn scoops, Younger Perspective
Posted in announcements, artists, guest, sgn scoops magazine | Comments Off on Younger Perspective: Reagan Griffin
Welcome back to a brand new year of Younger Perspective! We’re starting 2015 on a bright, beautiful note with the multi-talented, Miss Michaela Brown! Get to know this gem of a young lady in the next few moments as we take a little trip to the Browns’ farm in Iowa. Maybe we’ll even stop at Blue Bunny Ice Cream on the way! Michaela, it’s all yours…
Erin: When did you feel the call into music ministry?
Michaela: Music was always a part of our family! The day before my 13th birthday, they showed the Jesus film at our church and I rededicated my life to Christ. That night, I told Him I would be a willing life, ready to embark on an adventure with God. This music ministry has been just that! Over the past 15 years, I can see that guiding hand I prayed for so many years ago!
Erin: What does a typical day in the life of Michaela Brown look like at home on the farm?
Michaela: Mornings must include French Press coffee and quiet time. My sister-in-law and I work out together and my office is in town. Le Mars is the home of Wells Blue Bunny Ice Cream and the CEO and his wife are dear friends. They started a ministry center and coffee shop across the street from the Ice Cream Parlor! Our offices are in that building and about a 10-second walk from the best ice cream in the world. That’s why I work out, so I can eat ice cream! The rest of my morning is spent working behind the scenes for The Browns, Stage to the Stove (my cooking and music company), and some design work I do. Violin practice is also a part of my days. During harvest season on the farm, you would just scratch all the above and find me in the field, out and about on the farm from sun-up until after sun-down!
Erin: At what age did you discover your love for the violin? Share the story behind the musician.
Michaela: My sister and I took piano lessons. There were some kids in our church who played violin and we wanted to play just like they did. So we started violin lessons too. My grandma gave us the idea to work up one song with a violin part in the middle; I stood there with my feet planted and played my little song. Adam joined me and eventually Andrew as well. We love the energy they bring to our concerts. We don’t just stand there with our feet planted the whole song anymore!
Michaela: Mom and the fans thought I should write a cookbook! Ever since I was little, I was always doing something with cooking. Gloria Gaither asked me to do two cooking shows at her Fall Festival a couple years back; that was the perfect event to debut a cookbook. The second one is in the works!
Erin: It’s apparent from social media that you take your role of being an aunt very seriously!What is your favorite part about being Auntie to adorable little Tessa and now Baby Charlie?
Michaela: It’s one of the greatest gifts in the world! My favorite thing is watching them grow into little persons! I just spent some time with them; we made cookies, played, laughed, hugged and kissed. Everyone needs five days with a two year old and two month old!
Erin: As a chef, I’m sure this answer will be no easy task: what is your go to, can’t live without, all-time favorite dish to whip up?
Michaela: I love making desserts and pastries. I still can’t make a pie like my Grandma did, but I keep practicing!
Erin: Craziest thing a fan has ever said to you? Go!
Erin: What was your favorite part of filming the group’s latest music video? Give the readers a behind the scenes glimpse.
Michaela: COLD! It was in the 30’s with 20-mph winds. We threw our coats off, recorded a take, then bundled up and did it all over again. We shot it in front of a neighbor’s barn, and had to chase the cows out of the shot! Day two, we went to another neighbor’s farm that has all kinds of animals, so we had fun interacting with them while catching it all on camera. “A Place in the Choir,” music video will be released in January, so stay tuned!
Erin: As a young woman in ministry, how do you personally keep Christ the focus of your hectic lifestyle?
Michaela: Well, I’m not perfect and will be the first to admit some days I spend more time with Him than others… But I have come to truly cherish my quiet time with Him. I have some wonderful women in my life who inspire me to keep Him first in all things. It’s a daily journey and I love waking up to see what each new day with the King will bring my way!
Even on those days when it seems we can’t find the opportunity to have our quiet time, I pray that we won’t be so quick to let it go by the wayside. We’ll never be perfect and our Heavenly Father doesn’t expect us to be, but that’s why we need that daily one-on-one time with the Lord. As we embark on this New Year, let’s try to keep Christ at the center of those hectic ‘every days.’ Thanks to Michaela for joining us today, and sharing straight from her heart. Until next month, Scoops fans…
And that’s my take on it.
For more information on Michaela’s singing family, The Browns, click HERE.
By Erin Stevens
First published by SGN Scoops in the January 2015 issue. For current issues, go to the SGN Scoops website HERE.
Tags: Christian artist, Erin Stevens, gospel music, Michaela Brown, sgn scoops, southern gospel, The Browns
Posted in announcements, artists, christian entertainment, Christian interest, exclusive report, guest, sgn scoops magazine, special feature, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Younger Perspective: Michaela Brown
It’s November and we are thrilled to present the latest edition of SGNScoops for you to read and enjoy. Creekside Gospel Music Convention was a blast and we have lots of pictorial coverage in these pages, as well as on the fabulous front cover. Inside we have an update on the event with a list of the Diamond Award winners and so much more. We say an extra thank you to all of those who went above and beyond to help make Creekside the best ever. If we were to make a list, we might leave someone out, so to each and every one of you: we are so grateful to have you as part of our team.
Tags: Candi Combs, Chris Clay, Craig Harris, Creekside Gospel Music Convention, Dan Duncan, Dean Adkins, diamond awards, Dixie Phillips, Erin Stevens, Hannah Webb, Jennifer Campbell, Laura Kennedy, Lynn Mills, Marcie Gray, Paige Givens, Robert York, Sandi Duncan Clar, Scott Rhoades, SGNScoops Magazine, Tina Wakefield, Vonda Easley
Posted in announcements, sgn scoops magazine | Comments Off on November 2014 SGNScoops Magazine
Every now and then, you encounter someone who just gets it. You know what I mean? Someone who, just by being himself, not trying to be something he isn’t, can’t help but shine with the love of Jesus. Well dear readers, this month’s someone just happens to be John and Becky (Isaacs) Bowman’s 18-year-old son, Levi. Take the next few moments to meet the fellow behind the guitar who has an interesting hobby and recently munched on some hummus in a far away land. Take it away, Mr. Bowman…
Erin: In your own words, what is it like traveling with your family?
Levi: Traveling with my family is amazing. I would not want to travel with anyone but family and close friends. To have your family surrounding you all the time is a great feeling.
Erin: When did you begin playing guitar and who inspired you?
Levi: I have played guitar for about four years. The person that really inspired me to play was my dad. Although my dad is a professional musician, he would still play in his free time, and to see his love for making music truly inspired me. My other inspirations include my mom, Brad Paisley, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Dan Tyminski, Vince Gill, and a newer artist named Charlie Worsham. All of these people are incredible musicians, and they have played a key role inspiring me to play guitar.
Erin: What is a unique hobby you enjoy?
Levi: I’m a collector of vinyls. I love collecting old and new albums.
Erin: Who are the top artists you would be found listening to on your iPod?
Levi: I listen to a lot of Country music. The top five artists on my iPod are Brad Paisley, Charlie Worsham, Chris Young, Bradley Walker, and George Strait. Some Gospel artists I listen to are Gordon Mote, Karen Peck & New River, Smokie Norful, J. Moss, Jason Crabb, and Mike Bowling.
Erin: Describe the impact this past trip to The Holy Land had upon your life?
Levi: Going to Israel impacted my walk with God greatly. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t want to go back. I moved closer to God in my journey through Israel. Knowing that I was walking where Jesus was – there are no words to describe it.
Erin: Favorite food you tried while in Israel?
Levi: My favorite food was definitely unleavened bread with hummus. It is spectacular!
Erin: Who have been some of your biggest inspirations in life thus far?
Levi: My mom and dad, my grandmother Lily, Uncle Ben, Aunt Sonya and Uncle Jimmy, have all greatly inspired me. The three most recent inspirations in my life are my pastor Joseph Morgan, Coach Paul Westphal, and Tony Horton. My pastor has really challenged me to become a better Christian. Every time he speaks, it impacts my life that much more, and because of him, I have become a better man. Coach Paul Westphal was an NBA player and coach, and he is a wealth of knowledge. He is someone I can talk to about anything and is one of my best friends. Tony Horton is the creator of P90x, and although I have never met him, he has inspired me and many others across the nation to become fit. He is a Christian and you can tell what a good person he is just by his videos.
Erin: How would you encourage someone your age in their walk with the Lord?
Levi: Surround yourself with good influences. Do not get involved with the wrong people. You must have a support system around you. Surrounding yourself with the wrong people can sway what path you take. I have had my fair share of bad influences, but I chose to cut ties with them. My friends, family, and girlfriend, Autumn Nelon, have been great influences upon me. If you hang with the right people and find the right church with the right pastor, that is the key to living a good and clean life. Jesus is always beside you and He will never leave you.
I pray this is what we are striving for amidst the pull of the world we all experience each and every day. Who are you when no one is looking? Who are you allowing to speak into your life? It’s a make or break decision we all must come face to face with. I, for one, am grateful for the wise ‘younger perspective’ Levi brings to the table. Today, remember to pursue goodness, kindness, pureness and righteousness – just to name a few. Thanks again to Levi for stopping by to share from his heart. Be sure to check out the Isaacs’ website for more information on Levi’s family http://www.theisaacs.com/
Until next month, Scoops fans…
And that’s my take on it.
By Erin Stevens
First published by SGN Scoops in August 2014.
For current issues of SGN Scoops digital magazine, please visit http://www.sgnscoops.com/
Tags: Bluegrass Music, Erin Stevens, gospel music, Levi Bowman, sgn scoops, the isaacs
Posted in announcements, artists, sgn scoops magazine | Comments Off on A Younger Perspective: Levi Bowman of The Isaacs
By Erin Stevens
No matter where you grow up, what job you have, or what music you listen to, when God puts a calling on your life, nothing and no one can stand in your way. That is just the case with powerhouse tenor, Riley Harrison Clark of Tribute Quartet. Take a few moments to hear straight from this tenderhearted man of God. Take it away, Riley…
Erin: For the readers who don’t know your background, why don’t you tell about how you came to be Tribute’s tenor?
Riley: I’ve been singing since I was 12; at that age, I began vocal coaching with Steve Hurst. At 13, I attended his music school; it was there I met the Tribute guys. I had a few lessons with the guys and when Brian Alvey (their former tenor) came off the road, my name was brought to them. On a Wednesday I was on my face at 2:00am pouring my heart out to God, trying to plead with Him to move me forward in the area He was calling me. At 10:00am that same day, Gary Casto gave me a call and asked if I would be interested in joining Tribute. It was one of those God moments that, even if I wanted to say no, it would have been impossible. June 25th 2014 will be four years since I first sang with Tribute.
Erin: When you came into the industry, you were the consummate newbie. What were some key things that took a lot of getting used to?
Riley: 1. Sleeping in. Working back home, I was always up early. When I got on the bus, I quickly realized that everyone sleeps in. I’m still getting used to that, and generally with no success. 2. At first, when we would walk into events, I was taken back that I was not only in the same place with people I looked up to, but that I was actually doing the same thing.
Erin: While still being in that newlywed stage of life, and recently becoming a daddy, along with traveling full-time, how do you juggle all three roles?
Riley: It begins with constantly reminding yourself that God has called you at this time, for this season, to be where you are at because He wants to use you. It also takes an incredibly loving, supportive wife that understands the call of God, and wants her husband to be in the center of God’s will. Can I say that it’s easy? Not at all. There are times I want to stay home because of how I miss Megan and Colbin, but it goes back to the first point I made. I am called to sing, and I know I am where I am for a purpose. As for the little guy, it is rather tough to miss out on his everyday adventures; but thank goodness for technology that allows me to see him, even though I may be in a different state or country.
Erin: What is the most peculiar thing a fan has ever said to you?
Riley: (This is for you, Morgan Easter) One year during Singing In the Sun, a sweet lady walked up to me, and just said, “I really like your ears.” Surprising, since they were red and peeling from sunburn. Besides that, I didn’t realize ears were a feature that got much attention!
Riley: Favorite: waking up at Wal-Mart and being in a different part of the country every morning. Least favorite: waking up at Wal-Mart and being in a different part of the country every morning.
Erin: Which song do you sing each night that you consider your testimony and why?
Riley: Recently we put “God on the Mountain” on our Hit Replay Again album. If there is something I could say to anyone, it is that no matter what is going on, where you have been, where you are at, or where you are headed, God is always faithful. If you believe in what the word of God says, then find rest in the assurance that He will always be God, and that He will always be faithful.
Erin: A must-ask question among all Gospel singers: what’s your hands down, can’t live without, favorite food?
Riley: Hot dogs, pot roast and Ranch dressing. Anthony will make a pot roast on the bus, and there is no doubt that I will eat 70% of what is in that crock-pot. As for restaurants, hands down, IN-N-OUT BURGER.
Erin: How would you encourage those looking up to you as a role model in these crazy, mixed up days we are living in?
Riley: Get planted in the Word of God. Stay focused on what it says. Never think you are too small to be used by God. Do your best to know what it is that He wants with you and for your life. Don’t stop until you reach your goals and once you get there, never let the devil discourage you because it is God that called you. And if He has called you, then you are carrying out His plan, and that one needs to be carried out ’til the end.
Riley would also like me to add that he has made it thus far largely due to the guidance he has received from his parents. What an outstanding privilege and blessing to have such a strong support system within the family unit. Needless to say, the Clarks raised a great man to carry out the message of the Gospel. Thank you, Riley for sharing from your heart with the readers today. Until next month, Scoops fans…
And that’s my take on it.
By Erin Stevens
First published by SGN Scoops digital magazine in July 2014.
For current SGN Scoops issues, visit http://www.sgnscoops.com/
Tags: Christian artist, Erin Stevens, gospel music, Riley Harrison Clark, sgn scoops, southern gospel, Tribute, Tribute Quartet
Posted in artists, sgn scoops magazine | Comments Off on Younger Perspective – Riley Harrison Clark