I don’t know where to really start with my review of today’s matinee at the Memphis Quartet Show. This “group” is made up of members from 2 other groups and a soloist – tenor Chris Allman, lead Rodney Griffin, baritone Mark Trammell, bass Pat Barker, and pianist/emcee Gerald Wolfe. These gentlemen are at the top of the list of professionals in the SG genre and they fit together and sound so good that it’s a wonderful thing to see and hear! They sang several of the songs from their brand new album, “Renewed”, which has mostly classics but does have a couple of new original songs.
The Kingsmen – I’m really enjoying the current lineup of this group – tenor Joshua Horrell, lead Bob Sellers, baritone Randy Crawford, and bass Ray Dean Reese. They performed several of their most popular songs including Glory Road, Battle Cry, and Testify as well as a couple of songs from their brand new album, “They Don’t Know.” They brought along pianist Rick Carpitcher for this event that has played for them before at MQS. I always think it’s a nice touch for groups to add live band members for an event because it lets you know how highly they value being included. Here is a video from their set – I’ll Sail Away Yonder
(Note: When I post only one or two videos for a group, it is usually because I have previously posted the other songs they sang in the program or something happened with the camera that makes one or more of the videos not of the quality that I would prefer to share. It should not be considered as a negative reflection on the quality of the particular performance!)
Primitive Quartet – The members of this group are Reagan, Larry, and Michael Riddle, Randy Fox and Jeff Tolbert. All of them play instruments except for Larry, and they are fantastic musicians. Their bluegrass style sets them apart from the other groups but they had an excellent set and were very warmly received by the crowd.
Tribute – Members tenor Riley Harrison Clark, lead Gary Casto, baritone/pianist Josh Singletary, and bass Anthony Davis kept the program going with great performances of several of their newest songs and biggest hits. Josh was his usual funny self and even performed double duty by playing for the opening hymn and some gathering music for the second portion of the program. Here they are singing Meeting In the Middle of the Air.
Gold City – These men were sounding great tonight as well with members tenor Thomas Nalley, lead Scott Brand (celebrating his first anniversary after being named at last year’s MQS as the newest member), baritone Danny Riley, bass Chris West, and pianist Bryan Elliott.
Mark Trammell Quartet – Before this group took the stage, a surprise special presentation was held to give Mark his individual medal from Gold City’s induction into the Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame because Mark couldn’t attend the ceremony back in May. I was able to get a video uploaded overnight of this presentation:
This quartet was as good as they were on Wednesday night. Mark has performed more songs on stage than anyone else at the Memphis Quartet Show since he has performed not only with his own quartet, but with Gold City reunion and 2nd Half Quartet. (I will post videos when I get permission!)
After intermission, Danny Jones put Mark Trammell in charge and all of the singers from all of the groups were called to the stage. What followed was a totally delightful gospel choir with songs like Glory Road – when Mark Trammell showed the tenors how it’s done!! The Primitive members were super as they supplemented what Josh Singletary was doing on the piano, and they even performed Goodbye World Goodbye for us – played extremely fast! I will post a compilation of some of the best moments from this part of the program by early next week.
Here’s the compilation as promised except for Goodbye World Goodbye, which I added under the Primitives section above since I wanted to include the entire song instead of just part of it here.
There were so many outstanding moments at today’s events that it was nearly impossible to choose a single recipient, but I finally decided that today’s “Knocked My Socks Off” award goes to the Second-Half Quartet.