Southern Gospel music is in my opinion one of the most incredible music forms that exists today. It is extremely unique in its approach. It is vocal driven as opposed to other forms of music which are driven by the instrumentation. When it is recorded right (that is a completely different blog in itself) the vocals are the feature and are used to share the message or to share a story about the message. That message and story is to me what sets this genre apart!
There have been many discussions over the last few years about the growth or decline of Southern Gospel. Folks have also been very concerned about the fact that it is becoming increasingly difficult for groups to find replacements for those choosing to leave the genre. Both of these are very valid points and are issues of concern that I think we, as a genre, are going to have to address. But let me share with you a few examples of why I think it is an exciting time in Southern Gospel.
First, there are some incredible people in the industry right now. I remember being in the studio cutting vocals on the Give The World A Smile CD when Scotty said that a guy named Chris Alman might be returning to Greater Vision. Greater Vision is a group of guys that we love and get to work with on a regular basis. As a tenor singer myself, I cannot explain to you the joy of standing in the wings and getting to hear Chris sing. What an incredible voice and what a wonderful person! When you combine that talent with the talents of Rodney Griffin and Gerald Wolfe, let’s just say you are in for an incredible concert!
Anyone who has heard the Mark Trammel Quartet in the last few years has heard a young man named Pat Barker singing the bass. Not only does he have a great voice, but he brings an incredible amount of energy and personality to the stage. The other thing that I love about Pat is you don’t talk to him for very long to realize how much he loves and respects this music and that is a wonderful thing!
One of the things I have enjoyed about being in Legacy Five is the chance to work with my friends The Booth Brothers. All three of those guys are incredibly gifted but I can’t do this blog without mentioning the talents of Michael Booth. Not only is he a gifted vocalist, he is one of the best communicators that I have ever seen. There are talented people who can sing a song, and Michael can stand toe to toe with all of those. But to me what sets him apart is his incredible ability to communicate with an audience. It is an amazing gift that he has, and it is incredible to watch him do what he does. Combine that with the talents that Ronnie and Jim have and you can easily see why they are what they are!
All of these are guys that I have had the privilege of working with over the past few years but this next fellow is one who I have yet to get to be on stage with. But I am totally impressed with his abilities and his love for this music. His name is Matt Felts and he sings with the Dixie Melody Boys. Anyone who has been around Southern Gospel is familiar with the Dixie Melody Boys. Many current group owners and members came up thru the Ed O’Neal University. But it has been Matt’s incredible efforts over the past few years as tenor and his skills in marketing that have brought the group some much deserved recognition. I have had the privilege of speaking with Matt and I can tell you, the reason he is doing what he is doing is his incredible love for Southern Gospel Music. I love that!!!!
This is only a few examples of the people I have met over the past few years who on a daily basis do everything they can to make sure that the greatest music on earth continues to be just that. So join me in praying for everyone who lives this life, and pray that God will continue to bring new people to the genre who are truly wanting to carry on the greatest music and message there is.
Until next time…..