by Diana Brantley | June 14, 2018 8:00 AM
As a fan who has been at all five of the previous Memphis Quartet Shows, I am particularly excited about the new venue this year. The Cannon Center For the Performing Arts is still a part of the convention center complex where the event has been held every year. However, the theater where the concerts is held is a state of the art hall with great accoustics and wonderfully comfortable seating. The exhibits and product tables are located in the lobby and the noise from them cannot be heard inside the theater. The Cannon Center is located at the same spot where the Ellis Auditorium once stood, and is where National Quartet Convention was held in 1957 before moving to Birmingham in 1959. So, as the MQS website states, “Gospel music – quartet style – is coming home!”
This event features only male quartets and tonight’s artists were Inspirations, Kingsmen, Dixie Echoes, and Gold City. There was an abundance of energy and excitement in the crowd during the whole evening! All of the groups were on the stage at the beginning and for the entire 2nd portion of the program. At the beginning of the concert, all of the groups sang together on two songs, and on the second half, each group sang one song, with other artists joining on the ends of a couple of the songs, including the finale of Midnight Cry. I hope this will be the format for the rest of the evening concerts because I love to see the different groups and their musicians interacting with each other.
I’ll only post two highlights from the evening until I can get home to my faster wi-fi. These are two of the songs from the first portion of the program that had the very enthusiastic crowd on their feet. It is a coincidence that both song titles include the word “Stand!”
The Kingsmen –
Gold City –
So, here are my updates from home:
The Inspirations were the first group on the lineup for this year’s show with their members Archie Watkins, Matt Dibler, Marlin Schubert, Eddie Dietz, bass guitarist Roland Kesterson, and pianist Lucas Vaught. They performed many of their classic songs, with Roland and even Lucas joining in on the singing on several songs. Here are a couple of videos from their set:
The Kingsmen were next with their lineup of Chris Jenkins, Bob Sellers, Randall Crawford, and Ray Dean Reese. It really was bittersweet knowing that this was the last weekend for Bob Sellers as he steps down from his role with the Kingsmen after about 7 years. Of course, they did a mixture of classics and songs from their latest CD, They Don’t Know. Here are two more videos from their set:
Gold City appeared next. Their group members are tenor Thomas Nalley, lead Scott Brand, baritone Daniel Riley, bass Chris West, and pianist Bryan Elliott. We didn’t learn until after the concert that Bryan is planning to come off of the road after Gold City’s Heritage of Gold concert at their home church in Gadsden, Alabama during the weekend of June 22-23. He will certainly be missed. Here is one more song from their set:
The Dixie Echoes are one of the host groups and they are always here for the duration of the show! Their lineup includes tenor Stephen Adair, lead Randy Shelnut, baritone Randy Shelnut, Jr. (Scoot), and bass Mark Cates. They continue to only use live music with Randy on the keyboard and Scoot on the bass guitar. Here are two songs from their set as well:
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