NQC By Internet, Thursday

Well, I made it back home to NC in time to catch most of the live internet feed of NQC last night. It’s a totally different experience, of course, from being there.

The internet feed has the vocals mixed dry…which is probably how they are being sent to the main speakers in the arena as well. That’s fine for a big arena with lots of natural reverb, but it doesn’t come across so great into a home setting. People who are off pitch sound REALLY off when it’s dry.

Anyway, I kept a running commentary on a couple of threads HERE and HERE, so you can check those out if you like. I’ll summarize below.

Fan Awards
1. Once again, everyone is in shock that the Inspirations won Traditional Male Quartet. It shouldn’t be a shock by now. I don’t care for their style of music at all, but many traditional fans do. This can be proved by their consistently larger audiences at concerts. They come to my town once a year on a series, and generally have crowds that exceed other top name groups. I don’t get the appeal of Archie Watkins’ vocals mixed with Martin Cook’s choppy piano and his son’s never in tune bass guitar, but there’s no accounting for taste. People suggesting a conspiracy on the part of their record label Crossroads have too much time on their hands. I could tell you a story regarding that specific topic, but I’ll stop short of there by saying these are record producers and market people. In other words, they of all people know good music when they hear it. Don’t you think they’d push a better artist (Kingdom Heirs/Dove Brothers/Palmetto State/Kingsmen) if they truly held that much sway over who wins this award?

2. Interesting that the male quartet part awards all went to people from different groups.

3. I thought someone besides Kim Hopper, Roger Bennett and Rodney Griffin would have won this year, but they continue to win because they won the year before.

4. It’s ironic, of course, that Frank Seamans won Horizon Individual. At least he’s still with L5 for the moment, as was Josh Cobb several years ago. It would have been awkward if Gold City had won in the band category.

5. One of the guys I pushed randomly in the DJ categories won…Beecher Hyde…but the other two didn’t. I was hoping all three would sweep, showing my deep influence on this industry. Oh well! :o)

6. I thought Mark Trammell’s acceptance speech was the best of the evening…granted, I didn’t hear them all because Solid Gospel had to air ads from time to time during the evening.

Thursday Evening Concert
I heard parts of the concert…from time to time, Solid Gospel would air a “flashback” from a previous NQC or have an interview. Combined with the ads, I probably heard half of the actual live events. Here’s my thoughts…

1. Naomi And The Segos: She’s a legend with severe intonation issues at this point in her career. Give her a spot to do two or three songs on an afternoon showcase next year.

2. Whisnants: Greg Goodman, the DJ for Solid Gospel, kept referring to this group as the “Whiz-nuts.” After their set, he said there would be a test on how to spell their name later…then he said he wasn’t sure how to spell it himself. No wonder he had no idea how to pronounce it.

3. Kingdom Heirs: Their sets I saw earlier in the week on Wednesday night and at the Vintage Quartet Showcase on Wednesday afternoon were great. It sounded like Hodges was too shrill over the internet feed Thursday night, but otherwise it was pretty good…just not quite up to their other performances of the week.

4. Specks: Bad pitch issues plagued them throughout their set.

5. Dove Brothers: The Doves seemed to be turning in one of their typical stellar performances. I’m probably the only one who noticed Eric singing about Jesus cleansing the “leopards” on their first song. That Bladenboro accent will get you every time! :o) I thought Hester was especially good on the song “One More Miracle.” I would have picked a fast song to end on, though. “I’ll Praise The Lamb” is good, but it followed Hester’s slow solo. One thing I noted was how they sounded virtually as solid live as they do on a recording. That’s pretty remarkable, considering how much they move around.

6. Old Time Gospel Hour Quartet: They sounded rough as a cob on “There’s a Brighter Day.”

7. Stamps Quartet: They sounded much more polished on Monday night. Their set was pretty rough as well on Thursday.

8. Chosen Few: I only heard part of one song.

9. Mark Trammell Trio: They sounded just like they do on their recordings…very polished…and now they have some material that is produced at a top notch level, so I think they are poised to become more popular as a result.

I missed the last two groups. I watched part of the new Mark Lowry video instead.

Regarding Solid Gospel in general, they did a fairly good job covering this event. My only gripe was with DJ Greg Goodman, who made a number of factually inaccurate statements due to ignorance about his topic. At one point, he said Les Beasley started the NQC, for example. The entire history of NQC is printed right there in the program book. All he had to do was read it. On the other hand, the way he described what was going on when there were pauses in the audio during the Fan Awards was very good. He also provided a run down of the Fan Award winners at two different points later in the broadcast.

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David Bruce Murray

David Bruce Murray is a church music director in Ellenboro, NC. He is the author of Murray's Encyclopedia Of Southern Gospel Music and the owner of both SGHistory.com and MusicScribe.com. David plays piano for Southern Sounds Quartet and the Foothills Community Choir.

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