Road Trip Review, Day 1

September 10, 2005 Review:
I’m sitting in a hotel just down the road from Roanoke, VA, having just returned from seeing the Signature Sound and Gaither Vocal Band concert there. The event was held at the Roanoke Performing Arts Center, a VERY nice, modern venue that seats approximately 2000. It appeared to be sold out.

The biggest question everyone seems to have regarding the Gaither Vocal Band is “How is Wes Hampton doing as the GVB’s new tenor?” The answer is very, very well. The former GVB tenor he most resembles (vocally speaking) is Terry Franklin. You can tell he’s still adjusting, learning the songs, and learning he has to be ready for anything Bill pulls out on the spur of the moment…but all that being said, I think he has a bright future with the GVB. At the moment, though, the main driving force in the GVB’s sound is Guy Penrod, where before it was shared between Penrod and Phelps. By the way, Marsh Hall is doing an outstanding job as well.

I thought my readers might want to see a setlist. I was writing in the dark, and my ink pen didn’t work a few times, so in the end, I missed the title of one song by EHSSQ. If anyone else was there and remembers it, leave a comment to this blog post and I’ll get the info updated.

By the way, the musicians present were Roy Webb, Anthony Burger, and Kevin Williams. I should also add that there was a full fledged light show which really enhanced the program, aside from one problem at the begining…see my running commentary below. The light show consist of four or five towers of colored spots, a dozen motorized spots that could display various patterns in sync, and numerous floods up above. Two circular video screens were used to show moving patterns and a bit of video for comedy effect.

Here’s the setlist, with my running commentary…
Set 1
Just before the show started, a bright white motorized spot was “parked” pointing straight at the audience. The first two songs by Kevin Williams and Bill Gaither’s first appearance were peppered by angry people yelling at them to turn down the light. The crew finally figured out why folks were yelling and got it redirected so it wasn’t a problem from that point on.
1. Kevin Williams – “When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder” (guitar instrumental)
2. KW – “Power In The Blood” (guitar instrumental)
3. Bill Gaither – “Old Friends”
On the second verse, Gaither had Anthony Burger sing and he got the words wrong. That got the first big laugh of the night.
4. Ernie Haase and Signature Sound Quartet – “Glory To God In The Highest”
5. EHSSQ – “Shout Brother, Shout”
6. EHSSQ – “Lead Me, Guide Me”
7. EHSSQ – “Telling The World About His Love”
8. EHSSQ – “Happy Rhythm”
9. EHSSQ – “Stand By Me” On this one, Ernie pulled Bill out from backstage on the encore and tried to get him to dance.
10. EHSSQ – “Heaven Holds Much More”
11. EHSSQ – “This Could Be The Dawning Of That Day”
12. EHSSQ – “Glory To God In The Highest Reprise”
13. Gaither Vocal Band – “Alpha And Omega”
14. GVB – “Jesus Loves Me” Marsh Hall tore it up on this one.
15. GVB – “I’ll Tell It Wherever I Go” This was used to introduce Wes Hampton.
16. GVB – “I Catch ‘Em, God Cleans ‘Em” A new Guy Penrod feature…I assume this is the same song Gordon Mote recorded. It has a feel similar to “I’m Gonna Sing.”
17. BG/KW – These two did a great extended comedy routine to set up the next song. It was complete with some video footage to augment Bill getting his bass notes “cranked up.”
18. GVB – “Low Down The Chariot”
19. Anthony Burger – “Shout To The Lord” with Gershwin’s “Rhapsody In Blue” (Thanks to Jim Duggan for that added detail. My brain wouldn’t pull up that info when I heard it for some reason!)
20. AB – “Old Time Religion” with the “William Tell Overture,” or for those of you lacking a cultural education…the theme from the Lone Ranger. :o)
21. GVB – “Journey To The Sky”
22. GVB – “Loving God, Loving Each Other”
23. GVB – “Why Me, Lord?”
24. GVB – “It Is Finished”
25. BG – Led the audience in the choruses to “Down At The Cross,” “I Love You, Lord,” and “Alleluia”

Set 2
1. BG – Played piano and led the audience in singing “Where Could I Go”
2. GVB – “We Shall Wear A Robe And Crown”
3. EHSSQ – “Heavenly Parade”
4. GVB/EHSSQ – “Holy Highway”
5. GVB/EHSSQ – “Blow The Trumpet In Zion”
6. AB – “Jesus Loves Me” with “Claire de Lune”
7. Gloria Gaither – Introduced the next song.
8. EHSSQ – “Then Came The Morning”
9. GVB/EHSSQ – “Few Good Men”
10. GVB/EHSSQ – “Oh My Lord, What A Time” This was encored four times.
11. GVB/EHSSQ – “There Is A River”
12. BG – Led the audience in singing “In The Cross”
13. GVB/EHSSQ – “Because He Lives” This started off as an audience singalong coming out of “In The Cross,” but then they kicked in the track to finish it with the groups.
14. GVB/EHSSQ – “Holy Highway Reprise”

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Category Concert Review

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 and David plays piano for Southern Sounds Quartet and the Foothills Community Choir.

MusicScribe Comments

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  1. Reply September 11, 01:06 #1 VirginiaJoe

    David, thanks for the fantastic review of tonight’s concert. I couldn’t make it, but you made me feel like I was there! Have a safe trip to Louisville.

  2. Reply September 11, 21:35 #2 Marci

    David – That sounds like an awesome concert. I’d love to see those 2 groups together. I’ll be checking for your NQC reviews too!
    Thanks for sharing! ~ MARCI ~

  3. Reply September 11, 21:50 #3 RevTabasco

    Thanks for the report, David. If the AB medley was the same I have heard before, I was Rhapsody in Blue (a/k/a United Airlines theme song) with Shout to the Lord!

    Thanks for update.

  4. Reply September 12, 00:00 #4 Anonymous

    good job DBM


  5. Reply September 12, 00:02 #5 Anonymous

    good job DBM


  6. Reply September 14, 15:22 #6 Anonymous


    The missing EHSSQ song was “Lead Me, Guide Me”.

  7. Reply September 14, 23:33 #7 David Bruce Murray

    Thanks so much. I’ve updated the setlist now.

  8. Reply September 18, 11:57 #8 Anonymous

    I was surprised to read that EHSS performed “Then Came the Morning,” since EVERYONE knows that Guy Penrod made that his song the minute he began to sing it.

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