NQC 2012, Day 1: Live Blog
Our NQC live blog posts take shape through the evenings. Highlights and newsworthy tidbits are noted. There is also a live blog; click the post title or the “read more” link to see it.
Moment of the Night
Matt Fouch’s mainstage debut with Legacy Five. It wasn’t Fouch’s first time on the main stage; he sang on main stage several times during his eight years with Soul’d Out Quartet. But it was the first time that many in the audience were paying attention to him—and their reaction showed that it was love at first sight.
He walked on stage with Legacy Five during the Jubilee set and was featured on three of the four Jubilee songs—”Sing Me a Song About Jesus,” “Wedding Music,” and “Beautiful Home.” The middle song, “Wedding Music,” though, was the show-stopper. When introducing him, Jubilee emcee Gerald Wolfe noted that he was the new guy on stage. It took him all of one line to win the audience over; at least judging from the live feed, the line of applause between the first and second lines of his verse was one of the heartiest of the night.
The reception Fouch received wasn’t lost on Legacy Five manager/emcee Scott Fowler. When Legacy Five’s own set began, he introduced him by quoting George Younce: “When you’ve got a good horse, ride him. And it’s obvious who our good horse is tonight!” He moves into Fouch singing “I Have Been Changed.”
Even that wasn’t all! The show-stopper that Legacy Five used to close their set was “We Shall See Jesus,” featuring Fouch on bass. At least to the best I could tell from the live feed, it was easily the biggest response of the night.
Expect to see Matt Fouch welcomed with open arms—and expect to see him named Horizon Individual of the year in next year’s Fan Awards.
The Booth Brothers. They didn’t close their set fast. They didn’t close it big. They closed with a song, “Let the Healing Begin,” that left the spotlight on the message. It might not have been huge or exhilarating, but it was fitting.
The Hoppers. Though my feed crashed for the first eleven minutes of their set, the remainder of their set was particularly strong. After a touching story from Claude, they launched into a new song, and followed it with a show-stopping rendition of “Yaweh.”
The Collingsworth Family. You can count on the Collingsworth Family to bring the house down, and they did not disappoint. Their final three songs showcased their diversity—a tight ladies’ trio on “Ever Gentle, Ever Sweet,” a piano solo from Kim on “My Tribute (To God Be the Glory),” and a showstopping version of “At Calvary.” There would be a riot at NQC if the Collingsworth Family did a set at NQC without unleashing Kim on the piano!
Jim & Melissa Brady. Apparently the Rick Webb Family had to cancel their appearance at the last minute, after the program was printed. Jim and Melissa Brady might have been pinch-hitters, but they hit a home run. They started with a standing-ovation-worthy performance of “No Wonder,” the best-remembered song from Gerald Wolfe’s solo career. Melissa then moved over to the piano to play “Master’s Table,” while Jim sang it solo. Often the unplanned (or less-planned) moments are the best, and that truism certainly held here.
Karen Peck & New River. They kicked the convention off with a welcome energy, closing out their set with the one-two punch of “On the Banks of the Promised Land” and “We Shall Wear a Robe and Crown.” Matthew Peck Gooch, Karen’s son, played electric guitar on several songs—and ukulele on one. Surely there haven’t been many times a ukulele has been played on main stage!
Soul’d Out stepped on stage with Christian Davis filling in on bass. This makes sense in a number of ways. First, he has the incredibly low range that their arrangements demand. Second, he’s with such a high-profile group in his genre that nobody will be speculating that he’s about to leave his group to join Soul’d Out.
The Talleys performed their set with Roger, Debra, and Lauren. Brian Alvey is back in college, and had classes today; they’re expecting him on Thursday.
In the webcast live chat, the NQC Staff confirmed that the 2014 NQC will be at the Leconte Center, a convention center currently under construction in Pigeon Forge. It will seat about 12,000.
Click the read more button to read the live blog comments.
11:03: Booth Brothers song 4: “Let the Healing Begin.”
10:56: Booth Brothers song 3: “I Played in the Band.”
10:51: Booth Brothers song 2: “The Blind Man Saw it All.”
10:47: The Booth Brothers start slow and peacefully with “Something About That Name.”
10:41: Perrys, song 4: “If You Knew Him.” Never gets old! One of the two biggest responses of the night.
10:35: Perrys, song 3: “One of These Mornings” (? on title).
10:31: Perrys, song 2: “I Will Praise You Through the Night” (? on title).
10:28: The Perrys kick their set off with a new song, “I’ve Got Ahold of God Today” (? on title).
10:21: The Talleys, song 4: “He’s Alive” The song always receives a strong response, and tonight is no exception.
10:17: The Talleys, song 3: “Every Scar.”
10:12: The Talleys, song 2: “The Promise”
10:08: The Talleys walk on stage with “We Want to Thank You.”
10:05: Legacy Five closes with “We Shall See Jesus,” and the auditorium comes unglued. Easily the biggest response of the night so far.
10:00: Legacy Five song 3: “I’m Still Amazed.”
9:53: Scott Fowler introduces Matt Fouch by quoting George Younce: “When you’ve got a good horse, ride him. And it’s obvious who our good horse is tonight!” He moves into Fouch singing “I Have Been Changed.”
9:51: Legacy Five starts their set with “A Wonderful Life.” After the last two songs in the Jubilee set, they had to start with something more subdued.
9:50: Jubilee ends with Michael Booth proclaiming that he “beat the Devil out of the drums.” There’s only one Michael!
9:47: Jubilee song 4: “Beautiful Home.” Also featuring Matt Fouch.
9:45: Jubilee song 3: “Wedding Music.” Matt Fouch sang the verses. More on that in a few minutes.
9:40: Jubilee song 2: “Treasures in Heaven,” tenor trio of Chris Allman, Michael Booth, and Gus Gaches.
9:35: The Jubilee gang (Legacy Five, Booth Brothers, and Greater Vision) takes the stage singing “Sing Me A Song About Jesus.” This isn’t the song by the same name that Doyle Lawsn & Quicksilver sang last night; it’s a different song. This is also Matt Fouch’s unofficial mainstage debut with Legacy Five; his official debut comes in about ten minutes.
9:33: I hadn’t realized that Michael Hopper had changed hair colors! His hair has been light to the point of blond in the past; it’s brown now.
9:29: After a new, powerful song, the Hoppers sing “Yaweh.”
9:12: Just as the Hoppers take the stage, my feed crashes. It stayed down for eleven minutes for me. It’s back up now.
9:07: A surprise appearance from Lynda Randle! She’s singing “Till the Storm Passes By.”
9:02: Few men his age—or any age—can rattle the subwoofers like Christian Davis. He looked like he was letting loose and having a blast by the end!
8:59: If you have a bass as good as Christian Davis on stage, you may as well make the most of it! Soul’d Out is singing “We’ll Soon Be Done.”
8:57: Soul’d Out Song 2: “Maker of the Rain.” It’s a nice, peaceful moment—no soundtrack, just Michael Howard on piano and Dusty Barrett on tenor.
8:50: Soul’d Out Quartet steps on stage with Christian Davis filling in on bass. The group kicks off their set with “Unclouded Day.”
8:45: Whisnants close with “I Thank God For Grace.”
8:42: Whisnants launch into a hymns/classics medley. Song 1: “Ready to Leave.” #2: “Gettin’ Ready to Leave This World.” #3: “Goodbye, World, Goodbye.”
8:37: Whisnants song 2: “I’ll Trust the Potter’s Hand”
8:36: Aaron Hise has been touring with the Whisnants for 11 1/2 years now! He sure doesn’t look that old!
8:29: Whisnants kick off with “King Jesus is Coming.”
8:26: Unexpected funny moment of the night: Watching an audience of mostly senior citizens trying to keep up with Sunday School songs!
8:17: Squire closes with “I Want to Go Out With a Shout.” These last few songs have been from his last CD. That he would start with “Sweet Beulah Land” and close with these shows his confidence in his new material. His confidence is, I think, justified; it wouldn’t be hard at all to imagine groups today picking up these songs.
8:13: Squire sings “You’re Still Lord of All.” It’s the title track to his most recent CD.
8:09: Squre’s son joins him on stage for their second song, “The Healer” (guess at title).
8:05: Squire Parsons starts his set with “Sweet Beulah Land.” That would be like the McKameys opening with “God on the Mountain” or the Booth Brothers opening with “He Saw It All.” Starting with your signature song is a statement of confidence that whatever is going to follow your opener is REALLY good.
8:00: DL&Q Song 6: “On The Sea of Life.” If you’re a bluegrass Gospel fan, this is the high point of the evening! Tenor / bass player Corey Hensley seemed to have more confidence on his high part this year than last year.
7:56: DL&Q Song 5: “Be Not Afraid.”
7:53: DL&Q Song 4: “The Greatest Creator.” Still focusing on songs from their most recent all-Gospel album.
7:49: DL&Q Song 3: “God Can.” They’re focusing on material from their latest all-Gospel album.
7:45: DL&Q Song 2: “Jack of All Trades.” This is what “Master Builder” would have sounded like if Dianne Wilkinson grew up in the mountains of western North Carolina instead of Arkansas!
7:41: Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver takes the stage with “Sing Me A Song About Jesus.”
7:37: Acapella moment from Sisters, “Jesus Saves” (the hymn). NQC schedules these during a segment when they need a few minutes to re-set the stage. I doubt anyone would complain if they always got groups at this talent level to fill those moments instead of videos!
7:33: The McKameys wrap up their set with “I Know How I Made It.” There’s an encore and Peg’s hanky is waving!
7:27: “When Faith Steps In.”
7:25: Roger Fortner steps up for what may well be his first vocal solo on the NQC Mainstage, “Unspoken Request.” Peg and Ruben step back for this song; Eli, Connie, and Sheryl sing the harmonies.
7:23: A signature song = A song that you cannot leave an NQC set without singing = if you’re the McKameys, “God on the Mountain.”
7:21: McKameys song 2: “The Blessed Old Book.” Ruben steps forward for the solo while Peg holds one high!
7:19: The McKameys begin their set with “Bearing Precious Seed.” The longer I’m in this business, the more I love the McKameys and their music.
7:11: The Collingsworth Family closes their set with “At Calvary.”
7:09: There would be a riot if the Collingsworth Family did a set at NQC without a piano solo from Kim. She’s playing “My Tribute (To God Be the Glory).”
7:02: Song 3: “Just Another Rainy Day.”
6:58: Collingsworth song 2: “Ever Gentle, Ever Sweet.”
6:55: The Collingsworth Family takes the stage with “Since Jesus Came Into My Heart.”
6:44: Now Jim Brady is singing “Master’s Table” as Melissa plays piano.
6:39: Jim & Melissa Brady sing a duet on “No Wonder,” probably the best-remembered song from Gerald Wolfe’s brief pre-Greater Vision solo career. The Bradys’ version is incredibly strong—a standing ovation-quality performance.
6:21 (Browns): First vocal song: “Now And Forevermore.” Second: “A Beautiful Day.” Youngest sibling Andrew’s voice has changed significantly since last year. Third: “Everywhere I Go,” a Cathedrals cover.
6:18 PM (The Browns): The Browns are on stage, kicking their set off with an instrumental, “I Sing the Mighty Power / Canon in D.”
6:16 PM (KP&NR): The encore of “We Shall Wear a Robe and Crown,” where the heavy percussion and percussive bass come in, is always cool. Karen Peck & New River definitely brought the right energy to kick the night off.
6:14 PM (KP&NR): No, “We Shall Wear a Robe and Crown” is the closer. Matthew Gooch is back for this song, adding enough electric guitar give it a decidedly different feel than previous years’ track-only performances. Stan Whitmire is also adding some live piano.
6:11 PM (KP&NR): ”On the Banks of the Promised Land”! Will this be the closer, or will it set up the closer? There was a cool moment toward the end of the song where Karen was overcome by the lyric and raised both hands, singing unamplified. Susan Peck Jackson and Jeff Hawes carried the song till she picked back up with the next line.
5:59 PM (Karen Peck & New River set): Matthew Gooch (Karen’s son) is providing the only live instrumentation in the set; he’s switching between electric guitar and ukulele. How many times has a ukulele made it to the main stage?
Karen Peck & New River recently released a hymns project; Jeff Hawes was featured on a slightly bluesy version of “He Set Me Free,” from that project.
5:51 PM: Les Beasley offers an update on his son, Clarke, who was in a major car accident several days ago. He’s in a rehab facility in Indiana and “doing real well.”
5:48 PM: The Booth Brothers sang “Tradin’ the Old Cross.” Claude Hopper and Les Beasley came up for the final chorus! Regrettably, their microphones either weren’t on at all or, at any rate, weren’t high in the mix. (It would have been interesting to hear the difference they brought to the song.)
5:46 PM: The program kicked off with standout performers from the day’s showcases. After a singalong of “Bless the Lord, Oh My Soul,” with about two dozen artists on stage, Gerald Wolfe opened in prayer.
5:45 PM: NQC 2012 is under way!
For more about the National Quartet Convention—and other Southern Gospel news and commentary—follow our RSS feed or sign up for our email updates!
Comment Rules: Keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic. Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters. (Move off-topic discussions to our open threads.)