#NQC2023: Tuesday & Wednesday Evenings

by | Sep 28, 2023 | Concert Review, Major Concert Events

My Tuesday report is delayed because I slept very little on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday evening and was pretty much a zombie by Wednesday morning. I had intended to post a Tuesday evening report on Wednesday afternoon but had a 2 1/2 nap instead. Needless to say, I felt much improved on Wednesday evening!

I missed the SGMA Hall Of Fame induction ceremony on Tuesday afternoon but did attend the evening events. On the main stage Tuesday, the highlights include:
1. Joseph Habedank singing his testimony song “The Basement,”
2. Newly inducted SGMA Hall Of Fame member Sue Dodge joined on stage by Jeanne Johnson and Sandy Payton for a performance not listed in the program book,
3. The incredibly talented bluegrass group Authentic Unlimited, particularly the song “Jonas,”
4. Another solid set by Master’s Voice,
5. Susan Whisnant asking her parents Roland & Carol Dry to stand and be recognized; I remember them coming to sing and lead revival services at the church I attended when I was a youth about 40 years ago and still have music I bought that night,
6. A good set by Jim & Melissa Brady,
7. Hearing the Mark Trammell Quartet perform just released songs from their album titled Classics,
8. Seeing pianist extraordinaire Gary Prim and super guitarist Frank Mills accompany The Hoppers,
9. Once again hearing the best sounding version of Gold City they’ve ever assembled since the Jay/Jonathan/Mark/Tim days; I pray this lineup can stay together for a long time, because they are outstanding.

Click HERE to view photos from all the concerts I’ve attended in 2023 including NQC. (Select “Feed View” at the top to view the most recent photos from this week. If you leave it on the default “Grid View,” you’ll need to scroll to the bottom to view NQC photos.) The album includes photos from Sunday evening, Monday morning and evening, and Tuesday evening. I did not take my camera in on Wednesday evening.

Highlights from Wednesday night include:
1. The youthful energy of the Chitans,
2. A moving testimony from The Griffiths,
3. The Kingdom Heirs paying tribute to the late songwriter Dianne Wilkinson with “That Sounds Like Home To Me,”
4. An excellent song called “Love Worth Dying For” by the Down East Boys; Cayden Howell is a great addition to the group,
5. A similar great addition at baritone for Legacy Five (Jake Rosen), plus it was good to see Tim Parton back at the piano,
6. An unplanned, masterful piano solo (“When We All Get To Heaven”) by Tim Parton requested by emcee Duane Garren after the vocalists had left the stage,
7. A performance by Danny Funderburk after a recent fall and resulting concussion led to doubts as to whether he would be able to attend; Funderburk was joined by The Erwins for “Have A Little Church,”
8. A Christmas song (“Snow”) by Jim & Melissa Brady that concluded with children on stage tossing “snowballs” into the crowd,
9. “This Side Of A Miracle,” “Say Amen,” and “Liar Liar” by Brian Free & Assurance,
10. Lynda Randle’s willingness to sing earlier than planned after a technical difficulty caused Triumphant to be delayed getting to the stage; Randle was joined by the Chitans as has been the norm for the past few years when she has appeared,
11. Sean Barber showing again that Triumphant will be as strong as ever after the departure of 21-year veteran Scotty Inman,
12. An emotional performance of a fantastic song (“All The Praise”) by the Guardians featuring former tenor Dean Hickman who has undergone multiple surgeries and chemo treatments in the past year.

Overall, the video production of the 2023 National Quartet Convention has been fantastic. The audio quality, while much improved over a decade ago, still experiences the occasional hiccup. During the Kingdom Heirs’ set on Wednesday night, there were some rather obvious flaws…mics muted at times, a bass guitar that couldn’t be heard at all, an 8-bar piano solo that couldn’t be heard, etc. Then another group walked on stage and their mix was pristine.

I suppose those things are bound to happen on an event of this nature where a different artist with a different setup is on coming to the stage every 10-25 minutes.

1. The overall highlight of the four days I attended was the Greater Vision listening party for their new Christmas CD on Monday morning.
2. The biggest personal highlight for me was receiving a complimentary copy of the new CD titled Faithful by the Pine Ridge Boys because it contains a song I wrote titled “Sing.” I have been writing songs off and on since the 1990s and a few were recorded by my own local group in past years, but this is the first time an NQC main stage level group has recorded something I’ve written. I’m thankful to cross that item off the bucket list. The Pine Ridge Boys will appear on the main stage tonight (Thursday) shortly after this article is published, so if you’re there, check them out!
3. Coming in right behind my song being recorded was locating a personalized brick I purchased outside the SGMA Hall Of Fame & Museum at Biblical Times Theater.
4. We tried a few new restaurants this year and discovered that Puckett’s is a good option for dinner while The Diner up on Winfield-Dunn in Sevierville gets the nod for breakfast over iHop and Flapjacks (which, to be fair, was also pretty good, but The Diner was less expensive).
5. Since we were at The Diner this morning (Thursday), we took a different route back to I-40 that happened to take us right by the brand-new Buc-ee’s. Of course, we had to stop, and yeah, I see why there’s hype about that place. We only bought a few snacks to bring home since we’d just had breakfast. The fountain drinks are cheap, and I wish I could hire whoever cleans those bathrooms to clean my house!

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David Bruce Murray

David Bruce Murray

David Bruce Murray is a church music director in Ellenboro, NC. He is the author of Murray's Encyclopedia Of Southern Gospel Music and the owner of both SGHistory.com and MusicScribe.com.


  1. Chris Garcia

    David, Congratulations on your composition, “Sing,” being performed by the Pine Ridge Boys at the NQC!

    • David Bruce Murray

      Thank you, Chris.

      To be accurate, though, I did not say they are performing my song tonight, only that they are performing. I do not know if my song was one that was included. I don’t expect that it was since they only had a short amount of time to sing tonight.

  2. Daniel h

    Stopped at that Buccees this morning passing through going from Mississippi to Pennsylvania. LOVED all the treat. We’ve still got some candies pecans for the trip


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