Tight harmony. Well-crafted songs. Meaningful lyrics. Audience connection. All of these phrases describe a good male gospel quartet, and these days you won’t find much better than the Torchmen from southern Ontario.
A short time ago, these gentlemen were at Triple C Bible Camp outside of Simcoe, Ont., presenting a concert that would complete the camp’s series for the season. The rustic auditorium was full of many friends of the quartet, who come to this area about once a year. The crowd responded enthusiastically to the songs, many of which were from the Torchmen’s “Faithful” album, reviewed here.
Opening with the worshipful, “Faithful Father,” the award-winning quartet showed their blend, born of years of friendship, recording and touring together. The current group is made up of two voices that are synonymous with the Torchmen and two others that have sung with the group in the past and have returned.
Jon Hisey, bass singer and audio manager of the group, proved adept at both the new sound board and the low notes for the evening. Closer to the bottom of the musical staff than ever, Hisey shone on “Good Things” and an older tune, “The Cross Was His Own.”
Tenor Sandy MacGregor was at the top of his game with, “The Warrior is a Child,” and the Garry Shepard tune, “He’s All I Need.”
Jeff Tritton, lead singer, brought a feeling of Christmas with, “New Kid in Town,” and excelled on, “I’ll Keep on Leanin.'”
Challenging the audience with the message of “What If Someone,” Tritton asked the sobering question, “Where would I be now if I hadn’t heard the message of Jesus Christ, how He died to save me from the power of sin and rose again to give me eternal life? What if no one told me?” And the immediate follow-up, “Who have I told about my Savior?”
Mike Moran, patriarch of the group, has been singing the baritone part for almost five decades. He is a warm and congenial emcee, leading the group from song to song, with short introductions and a few occasional quips.
The highlight of the evening was Moran’s rendition of, “Reunion With You.” An unparalleled ability to communicate message and emotion have made this vocalist a favorite of audiences across the country.
A Torchmen concert is always a time of entertainment, contemplation, inspiration and motivation. The Christ followers in the congregation were encouraged to make the love of Jesus known to others through their “DNA: Divine Nature Apparent.” Always ending with a challenge to all to draw closer to the Lord, those who haven’t yet experienced the power of God in their lives were invited to let His love change their lives.
This ministry of the Torchmen quartet has been vital and flourishing for almost 50 years. Their latest album, “50: Through The Years,” features songs from every lineup the group has produced over the last five decades. 20 cuts of the Torchmen’s best tunes showcase the history of both the group and gospel music over the years; this album is a must-have for quartet fans and gospel music historians.
As we move into 2019, the Torchmen sound better than ever and are sure to keep on encouraging, challenging and inspiring audiences with a smile, through the next decade and beyond.
Find the Torchmen online HERE.
By Lorraine Walker
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