(featured photo courtesy of Chip Woods Photography)
On Tuesday evening, I arrived in time to hear the (new/revived) Kingsmen. The new/returned vocalists (Chris Jenkins, Chris Bryant, and Alan Kendall) sounded very comfortable on songs they didn’t record together. As one friend noted, however, the lack of any musicians made the sustained note at the end of “Oh Yes I Am” sound a bit awkward.
Squire Parsons performed with former members of his trio, Redeemed. One new feature this year is “sugar stick” moments where a group will come out and perform a former number one song. This gives groups the option of doing new material during their regular set. Greater Vision presented “My Name Is Lazurus” after the set by Squire Parsons. The Nelons started their set with “An American Trilogy” and “Coat Of Many Colors” from their Americana album. No one seemed to mind hearing “Dixie” in “An American Trilogy” or the family-friendly (but technically “secular”) “Coat Of Many Colors.”
Andy Stringfield played a piano solo as the stage was being reset. Second Half Quartet followed with the best set of the night. I don’t think artists realize just how muddled their high-dollar, pre-recorded tracks sound in a hall like the LeConte Center. The simplicity of piano and bass guitar with quality vocals just sounds better in a room that big. After the Second Half Quartet, Susan Whisnant, Nick Trammell, Jim Brady, and Chris Allman were drafted to perform an impromptu version of “I’m Winging My Way Back Home.” To make it interesting, Whisnant was assigned to baritone, Trammell to tenor, and Allman to bass. In the past, this sort of thing has often been funny due to how bad it sounded having vocalists out of their comfort zone, but this combination actually sounded pretty good!
I made my way through the exhibit area for a while, and returned in time to catch Joseph Habedank and Tribute who both had solid sets. I took another break and that point, then returned to hear the Hoppers, Greater Vision, Jason Crabb, and Legacy Five.
Including the afternoon showcase and the evening concert, I spoke to too many people to attempt to list them all. Some of the folks I spoke to on Tuesday that I didn’t see on Monday include Kenna Turner West, Liz Autry, Gayla Fooks, Rob Patz, Roger Talley, all the guys in Three Bridges, and Dale Hyssong. A huge highlight of NQC is seeing so many familiar faces in the same place.
I’m not posting a great deal of photos of artists on stage this year, because there are a number of professionals making their work available for viewing this week.
Click HERE to check out the NQC Facebook page for photos by Chip Woods Photography.