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.
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.
The Festival was officially opened when Scott Fowler with Legacy Five greeting the crowd. Fowler set up an atmosphere that would be comfortable yet also life-changing. For the first hour, owners of several well-known Daywind groups took questions from the audience. Brian Free with Brian Free and Assurance answered questions directed to him with a transparency and a chuckle. Right off, the audience suggested some changes to the lighting on the stage. With a thumbs-up from the production crew, things happened instantly. It was that type of responsiveness that made this event personal to each ticket holder.
Brian Free and Assurance took the stage next with a set of crowd favorites. They also took time to describe a recent honor where they were asked to be part of a BBC recording that chronicled the music of Elvis Presley. Brian noted that almost always, Elvis had a quartet on stage with him, and that his first success came from singing Gospel music. Standing around a single microphone, the group performed “Peace in the Valley” in this Elvis tribute.
The evening concert continued with Gold City. Daniel Riley updated the crowd with his father, Tim’s, condition. The well-known bass singer was sidelined last year following a stroke. Daniel noted that his father was doing well and actually enjoying some time at home. With all the fervor that fans have come to love, this new Gold City line up delivered loud and clear.
The most rambunctious group of the night was clearly Triumphant Quartet. The Pigeon Forge, TN based quartet shared “Saved by Grace” and “When the Trumpet Sounds.” Scott Inman performed the song that always brings great emotion, “Somebody Died for Me.” Never to be outdone, Scott’s father, Clayton Inman brought his Bluegrass rendition of “White Flag of Surrender.” There is no doubt that the Greenbrier
Resort needed to replenish the white hand towels in the restrooms following Triumphant’s performance. Introduced at this time was the newest member of the group, GW Southard. This young talent from North Carolina provides keyboard and guitar to the performance.
To round out the evening, Billy Blackwood led the Blackwood Brothers in a set of this group’s biggest hits. No
stranger to the Southern Gospel world, the Blackwood Brothers seemed to anchor the concert in the style that is reminiscent of the earlier generations of music. The Brothers were then followed by Legacy Five, who closed the first session of the Greenbrier Quartet Festival with, “He is To Me.”
Platinum level ticket holders were treated to the famous gourmet
Greenbrier breakfast buffet on Day Two of the Festival. Various Daywind Music Group artists took time to greet guests while also enjoying the incredible array of food.
The morning session continued the flavor of relaxed fellowship when each group took a seat on the stage. Scott Fowler had collected audience requests and randomly called artists to perform each song. This
combination of artists is affectionately known as “Scrap Iron Quartets.” Joining in this session to make things just a little more interesting was tenor favorite, Jay Parrack and the incredible bass singer, Gene McDonald. The crowd was treated to favorites like, “The Lighthouse”, “How Great Thou Art” and many other classics. Josh Singletary, with Tribute Quartet, also performed some piano tunes with his own special style.
Visitors to the Greenbrier were given the entire afternoon to enjoy all the amenities of the resort. Many took advantage of the “Bunker Tour,” while others enjoyed shopping, dining or a visit to the world-renowned Five-star Mineral Spa.
The evening concert was a special production by the Daywind Music Group called Quartet Night Across America. Each of the groups sang music
representative of the decades of Southern Gospel Music beginning in 1900. Following each presentation, the lead from the group who had just performed joined Paul Heil, host of the radio program The Gospel Greats, for an interview. The stage was set as a radio station from the time when Gospel music was delivered via the airwaves through studios.
Perhaps the most interesting interview was with Billy Blackwood, as he told about the years when the Blackwood Brothers won the Arthur Godfrey Talent Contest. Following this radical opportunity to bring Gospel music to a legitimate place in the music world, the group suffered a devastating loss when their plane crashed. But with God’s direction, two groups joined together to continue the march and again won the Godfrey Talent show just two years later.
The final morning concert was an opportunity for everyone to hear a message and then wrap everything together with music. The Kingsmen sang the glory down with “Battle Cry,” “He’s Everything I Need,” and several other crowd favorites. Ray Dean Reece continues to lead this group with his smooth bass voice.
The Guardians borrowed popular bass singer Pat Barker to form a quartet. This combination was clearly a crowd favorite. Before closing, Tribute Quartet along with Legacy Five and the Blackwood Brothers each celebrated the event by bringing more capstone songs.
Scott Fowler received a resounding response when he asked those in attendance if they would like to see this event at the Greenbrier continued. From all accounts, the Greenbrier Quartet Festival was a huge success. This is one to put on your calendar when plans for next year are announced.
Daywind Music Group has proven that they are a leader in hosting Southern Gospel music in a first class atmosphere. The Quartet Night Across America production will now be touring multiple states with these same Daywind Music Group artists. Watch for tickets to a location near you!
Quartet Night Across America is currently airing on TBN.
By Candi Combs
Pictures by Candi Combs
First published by SGN Scoops digital magazine in April 2015. For current issues click on the SGN Scoops mainpage.