Concert Review: The Ball Brothers with Chad McCloskey (Buffalo, MN)
Despite a bus tire exploding, a car not starting, and a “late” leave time, our family was able to attend a Ball Brothers’ concert this past Sunday evening (May 6th, 2012) in Buffalo, Minnesota during Chad McCloskey’s second full weekend with the group.
When the Ball Brothers ran up on stage, immediately, the crowd was interested in this exciting group of five young men. As they opened with their signature “do-dos” on “Happy Am I”, we were instantly impressed with their cohesive blend. With each note precise and solid, the Ball Brothers have probably the strongest group blend we have heard live. And with their new vocalists, Andy Tharp and Chad McCloskey, they are on top of their game. They easily master intricate harmonies and send them hurling into the audience as a unifed wall.
Daniel Ball’s robust lead vocals provide a rich, full sound to the group, and Andrew Ball’s clear, silky tenor fuses their distinctive blend. Both of the brothers’ voices have matured since we first heard them on tour with Ernie Haase and Signature Sound in 2006, and they are some of the most polished vocalists in our genre.
Andy Tharp, who recently replaced Stephen Ball as baritone, has a very reliable, resonant voice and unassumingly adds greatly to their harmonies. The Ball Brothers made a fine choice for a new baritone! Andy does well adding a country twang to his voice, as on “Walking in Jerusalem” and “I’ve Been Redeemed”.
At 22 years old, the newest member, Chad McCloskey, has an exceptional voice and range. He sang “Beulah Land” with his own creative improvisations, and held down the low parts of the rest of the songs well. He is a great addition to the group!
Cody McVey, formerly of the Kingsmen Quartet, is a talented piano player and it was fun to observe his technique.
Enthusiastically diverse, the group offers a broad selection of music, covering their style of Southern Gospel, contemporary, jazz, country, bluegrass, and even a touch of classical. But each song was refreshing and filled with the message of Jesus Christ. Their ending song of the concert, “It’s About the Cross”, defines their ministry and message, and they passionately deliver their now popular song with power. (See below for a video.)
A particular highlight was listening to the story of their beginnings, which they shared candidly while sitting on the church’s stools (theirs weren’t as nice, supposedly). They also paid tribute to the Cathedral Quartet by singing “Plan of Salvation”, which was neat for our family to experience, as we were never privileged to hear the famous quartet share this touching song live. Daniel Ball carried the solo well and Cody McVey’s piano playing recalled Roger Bennett’s familar piano arrangement. Also, they made a familiar Cathedrals’ song “Glory Train” their own, adding a humorous twist. (See video below.)
In 2006, when we first saw the Ball Brothers, Ben told one of the brothers that when they had their first stand-alone concert in Minnesota, we would be there. Amazingly, God graciously allowed this to happen, and are we glad to have been able to attend! The promoter told us that many people wanted the Ball Brothers back, and we’d encourage any promoter to have this 2011 Horizon Group of the Year at their church or venue.
Here’s a video of assorted song clips from the night:
“It’s About the Cross”
“Ride that Glory Train”
To read a list of songs from the concert, click “More”.
“Happy Am I Medley”
“I Wouldn’t Miss Heaven for the World”
“Glory to God in the Highest”
“I’m Not Going to Worry”
“Back to the Basics”
“Great is Thy Faithfulness Medley” – Cody McVey piano solo
“Give Me a Glimpse of Your Glory”
“I’ve Been Redeemed”
“Mercy Said No”
“There is a Mountain”
“Heaven on Earth”
“Peace of God”
“Just a Little While Medley” – Cody McVey piano solo
“Healer of My Heart”
“Plan of Salvation”
“Walking into Jerusalem”
“It’s About the Cross”
“Glory to God in the Highest” Reprise
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