NQC 2006: Day 1

Well, the first day of NQC is over and I’ve enjoyed another “Quartet Night.” I don’t know if I’ve ever actually done this in the past or not, but this year I was there from the beginning to the end of the evening concert.

First things first, though…

The new Exhibit Hall in the South Wing is much wider, but not nearly as deep as the former location…which is totally gone…flattened by the wrecking crews who are prepping to build a brand new East Wing. I walked through about half of it (the South Wing, that is…not the East Wing) before 6:00 PM…same old stuff…groups you’ve heard mixed in with groups you haven’t…and in between those are all the “flea market” style booths we’ve come to love. There’s more than one bus to view this year.

Here’s who I heard tonight…I put stars beside the groups that gave the best performances plus a few random comments. I started keeping a set list…I was willing, but my pen was weak…I gave up on that idea after it dried up.

1. Opening – September 11 Remembrance: This began with a slide show accompanied by loud music and soft sound clips of people like President Bush talking. It was good, but could have been better if it had been balanced. It then shifted to a live performance with a soloist followed by the Florida Boys singing the National Anthem while a fireman, policeman, and a soldier stood on stage. The live elements were very good.

2. Monument Quartet

3. Old Time Gospel Hour Quartet

4. Dixie Melody Boys: Ed O’Neal struggled with pitch issues for most of their set, unfortunately…we’re talking off by a half step…but he still got a good response from the crowd with a bass feature near the end of the group’s stand.

5. Toney Brothers

6. Southern Sound

7. Palmetto State Quartet

8. *Gold City: Aaron McCune is fitting into the bass role nicely with Gold City.

9. Florida Boys

10. Legacy Five

11. *Brian Free & Assurance: They did mostly new songs and still had the crowd’s attention from the moment they stepped on stage until they left. Gene Shell, who traveled to NQC with me this year, agreed with me that their set was the highlight of the evening.

12. *Mercy’s Mark: They did everything right, but the crowd starred at them like a mule looking at a new gate…a great set, but it was evidently for the wrong crowd. I liked it.

13. Melody Boys

14. *Kingsmen: I know people have said the “Kingsmen are back” several times in the last few years, but this is the first set I’ve seen them do that made me feel like they really and truly are back. Of course, they never really went anywhere, but the energy and the quality are there this year.

15. Inspirations

16. Anchormen

17. Dixie Echoes: The Dixie Echoes did a good job, but the sound crew evidently wasn’t able to adjust the gain properly for the studio mics they wanted to use…so we strained to hear them thru their entire set until they finally got it right on the last song…seems like that happened last year…and the year before. Oh well.

18. *Dove Brothers: With only a tenth of the 6:00 PM crowd remaining at 11:30 PM, the Doves had the second best set of the evening. After hearing several new selections plus “Lonesome Road” and responding well, the crowd came to their feet spontaneously for “Didn’t It Rain.” Hey…if it works, you gotta dance with the one that brung ya…

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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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  1. Reply September 12, 15:54 #1 Southern Gospel Perspective

    How were the crowds? Especially in Freedom Hall.

  2. Reply September 12, 16:30 #2 Glen Asbury


    Thanks so much for doing this type of commentary. I will be there Friday, but that’s all and quartet night is one of my favorite nights. However, I was tied up with work issues last night, so didn’t get to listen online.

    Thanks again; I know from experience how tired you must have been, even this morning, but thanks for taking the time….

    Glen Asbury
    Kokomo, IN

  3. Reply September 12, 20:08 #3 VirginiaJoe

    David, thank you so much for your review of Monday night’s event. I looked everywhere online for a live broadcast, like I found last year, but fell short.

    Just one question, who sang tenor for the Palmetto State Quartet?

    I look forward to your daily reviews. Thanks…………joe (VirginiaJoe)

  4. Reply September 13, 00:07 #4 David Bruce Murray

    Crowds appear to be up a bit over last year.

  5. Reply September 13, 00:10 #5 David Bruce Murray

    I believe the new PSQ tenor is named Westley (or Wesley) Smith, but don’t hold me to that.

    He sort of resembles a Cabbage Patch doll. :o)

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