There’s no doubt about it, the Booth Brothers are one of the most respected and adored groups in the Southern Gospel Music Industry. In 2011 alone, they received ten awards including Singing News and SGM Fan Awards , a Diamond Award for Favorite Trio and an Absolutely Gospel Award for “Best Live Performer of the Year.” Fans have made it clear that the Booth Brothers are their FAVORITE!
What a treat it was for Cleveland, TN to host the “favorite trio” in concert! Southern Gospel Fans from Illinois, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky and Florida packed out Mount Olive Ministries in Cleveland, Tennessee on Sunday evening, October 9, 2011 for an evening with the ever popular, Booth Brothers.
After the Church Staff welcomed the crowd and opened with prayer, Michael Booth took the stage. Using the “turtle on a fencepost” scenario, Michael explained that he was grateful for those in the industry that helped them in their early days of music ministry. Like a turtle on a fencepost, the Booths know there is no way they could have gotten where they are today without help. The Booth Brothers have made an effort to do the same for a trio on the rise, “Declaration.”
Declaration consists of Kasey Kemp, Jake Sammons, and Joshua Horrell. The trio of young men opened with “Come To The Water.” Many in the congregation sang along with their second song, “I Feel Like Traveling On,” and 19 year old tenor, Joshua closed out the set with “Blessed Assurance.” Declaration took to the stage as if they had been singing together for years. Their enthusiasm, tight harmony and evident love for God was well received by the crowd.
Michael Booth, his brother Ronnie Booth and Jim Brady took the stage following Declaration. The crowd received them well and clapped along with the first song. The guys moved right on in to “I See Grace,” getting their set off to a great start. They sang the tender “Masterpiece of Mercy,” penned by Jim Brady and Rodney Griffin from their latest album, Let It Be Known. The Booth’s then sang a beautiful version of Squire Parson’s “Look For Me at Jesus Feet.” Following the two ballads, the guys kicked it up a bit with a crowd favorite, “Welcome To The Family” as many sang and swayed along.
After an official group introduction, Michael teased about how they had all grown up with the black leather, red letter edition of the King James version of the Bible in an Independent Baptist Church singing hymns. He explained that whoever said “Music brings the world together” was wrong! “Music is divisive,” Michael said, “Just get grandparents and kids in the car together and let them find a radio station they both like.” In a more serious way, Michael explained their love for great hymns of the church and explained that since hymns have been effective in the church for many years, we need to keep them. With that said, the Booth Brothers toned down their power-house vocals and sang a medley of hymns A Capella. It was absolutely beautiful!
The Booth’s introduced the next song, “She Still Remembers Jesus’ Name,” by sharing about their Grandmother that suffered with dementia. “It’s a difficult thing to see someone’s (that once was sharp and strong) body and mind fail,” Michael explained. He went on to say that we have to remove our feelings from truth. “People may forget places and names, but if you start quoting scripture or sing a hymn, you can see life bursting forth beyond the death and decay because there is life in Christ,” Michael shared. A great lyric in the song says, “He (Christ) left a mark on her heart that time cannot erase!”
Before the first set was over, the Booth’s changed the environment from the sweet acoustic tune to a much more powerful and orchestrated song. As the song came to an end, fans were on their feet worshiping the Lord. During a brief break, Declaration came back to the stage to sing. As Declaration sang, the crowd enthusiastically participated.
The second half of the concert was amazing. Ronnie Booth opened up by dedicating “Blind Man” to anyone who had never had a song dedicated to them before. The crowd laughed and you could hear voices all over the church singing along to the hit tune.
Michael then introduced Jim Brady’s life changing song, “When You Bow At Jesus Feet.” Michael explained, “Jesus came to give us life and give it abundantly. Simply, money can’t buy the abundant life. I believe part of that abundant life is the ability to walk in freedom from the past and from the guilt and shame from past sin.” This song is perhaps the best song Brady has written as yet.
The music of only the piano and live strings on this ballad serves as a padding to nestle the sweetest message of freedom and forgiveness. There is no doubt God will use this piece of musical art to lure many to the cross. The heart of the song is found in these lyrics: “There’s no need to be held captive beneath the weight that blame can bring. Just pour your heart out to the Savior; He alone can break the chains.” (Read all the lyrics at http://www.boothbrothers.com/lyrics.asp)
The Booths then sang the triumphant tune, “See, What A Morning,” from their latest album. This song is about the resurrection and streams in the familiar “Up From The Grave He Arose” as part of the song. The crowd loved it and Michael stomped his socks down as he sang, literally!
There is no doubt; the precious Spirit of God had been ushered into the church in the sweetest way. A serious moment returned as Michael poured out his heart concerning genuine salvation. He explained how many people live with a false sense of security because they once walked an aisle or repeated a prayer. He shared the deep truth of how genuine conversions will result in specific evidences. These evidences are found in scripture. Scripture tells us if we are really God’s children, we will love our brothers and sisters, we will be drawn to God’s word and we will be heart-broken at our sin.
Michael gently preached a moving message about Lordship and how it relates to salvation in the most easily understood way. It was evident he obeyed the Holy Spirit by challenging everyone there to search deep within and evaluate their relationship with God. Michael began singing another amazing song written by Jim Brady, “What About Now,” which surely grabbed every heart there.
Brady shared with SGNScoops following the concert that it took him 3 years to finalize this song. The message is powerful, yet Brady wanted it to come across gently, “from a friend” so to speak. “What About Now” pierces the heart by confronting the listener to evaluate their relationship with God and it also explains what salvation is NOT. With God’s help, Brady was able write the song to be challenging yet non-threatening.
The Booth Brother’s final song was a convincing performance of “Statement of Faith.” The crowd rose to their feet in agreement with the declaration.
The Booth Brothers are clearly “Fan Favorites,” but honestly- they didn’t seem to try to impress anyone or win anyone over. Despite such popularity, the Booth Brothers have stayed grounded to their mission. They explained that when they minister, they’re dealing with three different groups of people: The spiritually mature, weaker Christians-still on milk and the not really converted Christians who think they are. Their mission is to encourage the Christians, challenge the weak ones to become mature in Christ, and to convince the non-converts to begin a true relationship with Christ. In Cleveland Tennessee on October 9, 2011 their mission was accomplished! In addition to an accomplished mission, the night was filled with laughter, amazing music and worship! Thank you, Booth Brothers!
Concert Review by Rhonda Frye
Photos by Eric Frye