(photo courtesy of Chip Woods Photography)
This evening at the National Quartet Convention, I renewed my membership with the Southern Gospel Music Association for another two years at the SGMA booth. I encourage you to join if you aren’t already a member. A major benefit is you get to vote on the next class of the SGMA Hall Of Fame. Click HERE for more details.
In the main hall, I heard sets by Mark Bishop, Gold City, the Chuck Wagon Gang, the Mark Trammell Quartet, Jim & Melissa Brady, the Chitans, the Hoppers, Joseph Habedank, The Joneses, Phillips & Banks (showcase winners), and The Sound. I particularly enjoyed Habedank’s set. There was so much variety that it’s a bit difficult to compare what he did to, say, the Chuck Wagon Gang or The Sound. One thing those two groups had in common, though, is that neither used any canned music. Was it perfect? No. But it was real. I wish more groups would find a way to incorporate live musicians.
In the main hall, I heard sets by Mark Bishop, Gold City, the Chuck Wagon Gang, the Mark Trammell Quartet, Jim & Melissa Brady, the Chitans, the Hoppers, Joseph Habedank, The Joneses, Phillips & Banks (showcase winners), and The Sound.
Bill Bailey was the emcee tonight. One of the best moves the National Quartet Convention ever made was selecting Bailey, Josh Franks, and Duane Garren to keep things moving. Professionalism goes a long way. It used to be awkward when artists who, despite being great singers, weren’t so skilled at doing emcee work were given that task.
Another big reason to attend NQC other than the music is seeing friends you otherwise wouldn’t see in person. Out in the Exhibit Hall, I finally caught up with my friend David Stuart (the Kingsmen Quartet’s number one fan) and had a good chat. I also spoke briefly with Ken & Jean Grady of Gospel Music Today, Isaac Moore with the Inspirations, Danny Jones of Singing News, Jon Epley and Chris Allman with Greater Vision, longtime Southern Gospel fan Robert York, and several more.
Tomorrow, my plan is to attend the 9:30 AM morning showcase which is free to the public. Y’all come! The Pine Ridge Boys (who I played keyboard for a few times in 2013-2016) will be performing as will Jackson Smith, a 17-year-old who is from Rutherford County, NC where I also live. I’ll go back for the evening concert, and then we’ll be driving back home on Thursday.