Daywind Quartet Festival, 2016 (White Sulphur Springs, WVa)

Daywind Quartet Festival, 2016 (White Sulphur Springs, WVa)

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the Daywind Quartet Festival held at the beautiful Greenbrier Hotel.  The hotel was established in 1778 and has quite a history – including an emergency cold war fallout shelter that could’ve housed much of the legislative branch of the US government!    The hotel is a really elegant facility where they have maintained the traditional floral patterned wallpaper and draperies and carpets and linens!  Can you say floral overload?!     We ate at two different restaurants while we were there and the food was excellent.

What a lineup of talent was assembled for this festival – Legacy Five, Tribute, Triumphant, Blackwood Brothers, Inspirations, Ball Brothers, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, and the Kingsmen  and two trios – The Guardians (who were a quartet for this event since they had Pat Barker singing with them again) and Brian Free & Assurance, who has not replaced their bass singer but who was part of an evening segment called Quartet Night Across America. There were two evening and two morning sessions.  I’m including videos from each group in this review.   I will post fewer of some groups than others, simply because I have already posted videos of the same songs from other concerts.

On the first evening, the five finalists from a talent competition performed for us and were voted on to come up with the winner to receive a 10-song soundtrack recording package from Daywind Studios.   Here were the 5 finalists:

The Kings Seven – I’m not sure where the name came from but there were only four singers in this mixed group – the only finalists that weren’t all male!   They sang Sinner Saved By Grace.

Justified Quartet  – This group was from Michigan and they got my vote!   They sang When I Cross.

Reedemed Quartet –  This very young quartet was the winner of the competition.  They are 2 sets of brothers and ranged in ages from 18-22.  They sang Meet Me At the Table  and then, since they were the winners, they also sang a second song to start the second half of the concert.

Convention Quartet – This group from Indiana sang I Believe featuring their bass singer.

Evidence of Grace – This group also featured their bass on I Know My God Can Do It.

The Guardians were the first up after the talent finalists.   I really enjoy hearing this group as a trio with John Darin Rowsey, Dean Hickman, and Neil Uhrig, but I was delighted that they had Pat Barker on stage with them, too.   They started off with The Lord’s Prayer and then sang several other songs including It Ain’t Gonna Worry Me Long, The Greatest Miracle, Shoutin’ Sounds, He’ll Welcome Me, Somebody Prays, Arise My Love, and Pat Barker’s signature song, How Big Is God.

Triumphant Quartet was next with their original members Eric Bennett, Scott Inman, Clayton Inman, and David Sutton!   I don’t get to see Triumphant nearly as often as I used to and I was glad to get to hear several of their newer songs.  They started with We Will Remember and then sang Saved By Grace, He’s All I Need, Amazing God, He Is, I’m Gonna Move, and Living In the Promised Land.

Ernie Haase & Signature Sound was the last group in the first half of the program and they brought their usual high energy with them!   I’m enjoying this lineup of the group with Ernie, Devin McGlamery, Dustin Doyle, and Paul Harkey, and have gotten to see them more than I have in the past.  They sang One Of These Mornings, Glory to God in the Highest, Walk With Me, Reason Enough, I Have Found a Priceless TreasureHappy Peopleand Get Away Jordan.

Legacy Five was the final group of the concert with their lineup of Matt Fouch, Scott Howard, Scott Fowler, and Josh Feemster.  They sang Great Day, Blood Washed Band, He Made a Change, Patriotic Medley piano solo by Trey Ivey, and Hallelujah Chorus.

The morning concert on Tuesday featured The Guardians and the Kingsmen with a scrap iron segment at the end.

The Guardians sang My Hope Is In the Lord, Singing With the Saints, God Bless the USA, Let the Healing Begin, You’ll Never Walk Alone, and they repeated by popular request Shoutin’ Sounds and How Big Is God.

The Kingsmen were next with Ray Dean Reese, Randy Crawford, Bob Sellers and filling in on tenor was the little giant, Ernie Phillips!  I was so glad to get to see Ernie again!!   They sang Traveling Home, He’s All I Need, Battle Cry, I Know, Beautiful City, Glory Road, Look For Me at Jesus’ Feet, Saints Will Rise. Cross of Grace, and Oh Yes I Am.

The scrap-iron segment started with some ivory tickling by Josh Singletary and Trey Ivey – When We All Get to Heaven.  They took many requests and we had a great time with different combinations of singers from  the Guardians, the Kingsmen, Legacy Five, Tribute Quartet , and the Blackwood Brothers.

Tuesday evening’s program included Tribute Quartet, Legacy Five, Blackwood Brothers and Brian Free & Assurance.  The second half of the program was called Quartet Night Across America.

Tribute Quartet is made up of Riley Harrison Clark, Gary Casto, Josh Singletary, and Anthony Davis.  Their set included I Love Living in Grace, I Could Sing About Heaven for a Million Years, Everybody Needs Jesus, Living In Canaan Now, I Remember the Day, and He’s Leading the Way.

The Blackwood Brothers were up next.  Their members are Billy Blackwood, Wayne Little, Michael Helwig, and Butch Owens.  At one point during their set, Billy Blackwood relayed to the audience the very sad news of Michael’s diagnosis of ALS – Lou Gehrig’s disease.  Michael is having significant mobility issues but he sounds great!   Please keep Michael, his family and the Blackwood Brothers in your prayers as they face this situation.  The Blackwoods sang Dear Jesus Abide with Me, I’ll Fly Away Home, You Can Find What I Found, Walkin’ and Talkin’ With My Lord, His Hand In Mine, Forever Forgiven, When I Cross to the Other Side of Jordan, and The Love of God.

Legacy Five was up next and sang, Who Is This Man, I Found Grace, All That Matters to the Lord, So Many Things, I Stand Redeemed, and Christ is Still the King.

Brian Free & Assurance includes Brian, Bill Shivers and Mike Rogers.  Apparently they really like singing as a trio (and they sound good, too!) so they are not in a hurry at all to try to find a bass singer to replace Jeremy Lyle!  They are part of the Quartet Night Across America program/video produced by Daywind, so they appeared at the festival to be part of that presentation.  For their set they sang What a Beautiful Day, When We All Get To Heaven (no, not the hymn!), Live Like We’re Redeemed, I Keep Looking Up, Tell It Like Is Was, That’s Just What Grace Does, Just Say Amen, and Praying Man.

The Quartet Night Across America program completed the evening.  This is a program that Daywind has put together and which has been presented at a variety of locations.  All of the Tuesday evening groups were also participants in this program.  The program features different eras of southern gospel music and they even had Paul Heil appearing to interview members of the featured groups.  There is a DVD available of the program from the artists or from Daywind that you can purchase.

Wednesday morning’s session was the closing portion of the festival.  Tribute Quartet got us started with just a couple of songs and then we heard The Ball Brothers and the Inspirations before we heard  a closing message and a few more Tribute songs to send us on our way!

Tribute sang More Than Able, I Want to Thank the Lord, Unclouded Day, It Always Gets The Darkest (Just Before Daylight), The Cross Lives On, and Homesick Angel.

The Ball Brothers were new to most of the people at the festival.  And since they are so fabulous, they now have a lot of new fans!!  Their lineup consists of Daniel and Andrew Ball, Chad McCloskey, and new bass Matt Davis.  They sang It’s Gonna Be a Good Day, I Wouldn’t Miss Heaven for the World, Someday, Happy Rhythm, Every Day-Every Hour, Beautiful One, Just As I Am, Forgiven, and their signature song, It’s About the Cross.

The Inspirations appeared without Martin Cook.   Apparently he is still recovering from some health issues but is doing fine.  Lucas Vaught handled the keyboard, which meant he couldn’t play any of the other instruments he normally plays, but it was a good set.  Their lineup consists of  Harold Reed, Matt Dibler, Roland Kesterson, and Joe Brown.They sang Jesus Is Coming Soon, When I Wake Up to Sleep No More, It’s Not Long Until Forever, Pray For Me, Faithful Friend, Jesus Is Mine, I Have Not Forgotten, If You Only Knew, More to Go to Heaven For, God’s Word Will Stand, I’m Not Ashamed, and Shouting Time in Heaven.

Kudos to Daywind Music Group for such a great event.  This was the second year they have held it at the Greenbrier.   I’ll be interested to see where it is held next year and who will be on the list of artists.

Diana Brantley

Diana is from the Atlanta, Georgia area and is a relatively recent southern gospel fan, having started listening avidly about 15 years ago. With easy access to eastern Alabama, southeastern Tennessee and north and central Georgia, Diana attends as many concerts as her schedule allows to see a wide variety of artists.

MusicScribe Comments

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  1. bfuson0384
    Reply May 03, 12:37 #1 bfuson0384

    If I would have been there Justified Quartet would have got my vote as well, they’re great friends of mine and one of the finest quartets around today.

  2. Dean Adkins
    Reply May 03, 23:28 #2 Dean Adkins

    Nice review, btw it is White Sulphur Springs not Sulpher.

    • Diana Brantley
      Reply May 04, 08:53 Diana Brantley Author

      You are absolutely right, Dean! I’ve spelled it correctly in other places, but I guess I forgot to go back and check it in the title! I’ve fixed it now!

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