Since I am a relatively new fan of Southern Gospel music, I didn’t get to hear the original Rebels Quartet. But I’m so glad I’ve had the opportunity to see the new, revived version!! A year ago, Rick Fair, who sang with the Rebels in 1972 until the group retired, got the blessing of several of the members to bring back the name and the music. Joining Rick on the vocals are his son David, Mike Young, and Alan Kendall. Pianist Barry Jennings rounds out the group. They bring back the sound and the style of their predecessors, and they honor them not only with their music but on the archives section of their website as well.
I saw the Rebels recently at the annual homecoming service of the Sharon Baptist Church in Smyrna. They had a wonderful preacher that day as well, so this wasn’t a full program. Everything they sang was with piano accompaniment – and no tracks! There were several members of the Fair family at the service, and Mike’s mom and dad even performed a song for us near the end of the service.
- Lily of the Valley – This is what some consider the signature song of the old Rebels quartet! Here’s a video from a previous concert.
- He’ll Understand and Say Well Done – It’s obvious that Alan really loves this music!! He did a great job on the lead on this old song!
- I’m Going Back – This was a nice change of pace and featured David.
- Hide Thou Me – Of course, this was a tenor feature! Great job by Mike Young!
- Lost, Searching, Found – This has been voted on the Rebels’ web site as the #1 favorite song from their “Revived” CD, and David really does a great job on it in person, too! Here’s a video from a previous concert.
- It Is No Secret – I remember this song from my childhood but I don’t remember if it was the Rebels that I heard. By the way, Rick has a new solo CD that you will really enjoy if you are like me and love rich, smooth bass singing!
- The Robe of Calvary – This was a song that Alan had sung while he was with the Melody Boys Quartet, and it was just beautiful! It’s also on Alan’s solo album that you can get from the Rebels’ website.
- I Am the Man – I had noticed a man carrying a tambourine with him as he had arrived at the service. Apparently he decided that this was just the song to use it on! You can hear him starting about 30 seconds into the video.
- I’m Gonna Fly – This was a VERY fast, very short song!
- When I Stand With God – Alan was featured on this one that starts off slow and then picks up a little steam later on. They did a reprise on it and the whole congregation was clapping along!
- Goodbye World Goodbye – They finally turned Barry loose on a solo! Here’s a video from a previous concert.
- Without Him – This was a request from a congregation member. After the first time through, the congregation was invited to sing along. It was a great way to end the service!
In the next few months, these men will be singing in Florida, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana. Go see them if you get a chance! They will also be a part of the Grand Ole Gospel Reunion in Greenville, SC from Aug. 8-10th, 2013.