Blog Update

I have enjoyed nearly four years of blogging on my own at “Phil on Southern Gospel”. I started out with a love of Southern Gospel and a computer keyboard and sought to share that with like minded people.

It has been a fantastic journey and I’ve entered a new phase of that journey by joining with three other bloggers in a new venture. MusicScribeSouthern Gospel Views From The Back RowSouthern Gospel Concerts, and myself have all joined together to try and create a focal point in the online southern gospel community. 

I will be posting exactly the same style of content that I would have posted here. Concert reviews and concert news from Northern Ireland will be still be posted at the new blog.

From this point forward all of my new posts will be available at Steve Eaton’s site, “Southern Gospel Views From The Back Row”. My older posts from this blog will hopefully be exported to a new mega blog in the near future. 

Over the last few years I have had the privilege of meeting many of the top SG artists as they toured in Northern Ireland. Long may this continue. I have made true friends and had a an absolute blast thus far. Come with us on this exciting development!

Keep up with the mega-blog at http://sogospelbackrow.wordpress.com

Multi-Blog Merger Announced

MusicScribe, Southern Gospel Views From The Back Row, Southern Gospel Concerts, and Phil on Southern Gospel will merge next Friday, March 15, 2013.
On March 15, readers will be asked to submit suggestions for a new name for the combined blog. Once an identity is established, a permanent site will be launched where readers can read and react to articles by several writers in one convenient location.
During the transition phase, Steve Eaton, Kyle Boreing, David Bruce Murray, Diana Brantley and Phil Boles will be posting their articles at Eaton’s current website,
Blogger Biographies

Steve Eaton started Southern Gospel Views From The Back Row in July 2010. Steve’s regular features like “Ten On Ten,” “Most Influential” and “Smack Down” have been a hit with his readers.
Phil Boles launched Phil on Southern Gospel in July 2009 at the age of 19. Based in Northern Ireland, Phil brings a valuable international perspective to the new blog.
Diana Brantley took over Southern Gospel Concerts (SGConcerts.com) in May 2009. She will continue to contribute her popular concert reviews and videos to the merged blog.
Kyle Boreing started blogging in February 2007 at Southern Gospel View. He moved to MusicScribe two years later.
David Bruce Murray was one of the first bloggers to cover Southern Gospel music when he started MusicScribe in September 2004.

Something’s Gotta Change…

changemosaic

Personal Update

I never thought I would be writing a post of this nature! Sunday 17th February marked my first official night singing tenor with Solid Ground. My legs were shaking like Elvis!

Long time tenor Ashley Cotton had stepped down at Christmas 2012 to spend more time with his young family. Prayerfully, Solid Ground decided to continue the work that God had entrusted them with and prayed that the “right man” would be provided.

God had challenged me about service and what I was (not) doing for Him. I had never imagined that God would work out a way for me to sing, let alone sing with a trio. As a word of encouragement to others, God really can make your dream a reality. Just commit your hopes, dreams and desires to Him. I love Southern Gospel, I love the message within Southern Gospel and I can personally testify of the influence SG has had on my life so far. Psalm 89 was the confirmation I needed,

 I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.

Stephen Irons, baritone with Solid Ground, texted me in early January of this year and asked if I knew any tenors that might be suitable for the group. In a fit of sheer madness I asked if I could give it a shot. To set this in a little context for you all, I’ll share a few inside details. A love of southern gospel music does NOT translate to an ability to sing it! I could not sing harmony and didn’t think I had the chops for the tenor part. God is incredibly gracious and gives help when we need it most. Combined with some very patient and gracious group members, I’ve been able to pick up the harmony part and the more I practice, the more straightforward it becomes.

Please pray for Solid Ground collectively as we seek to minister to those we sing too. We usually sing at Sunday evening gospel services, so the emphasis is on SG songs with a clear gospel message. Pray for us individually. I need lots of prayer as I learn lyrics, parts and overcoming nerves. The members of Solid Ground are only sinners saved by grace who are seeking to be a witness for their Saviour and carry the glorious message of Salvation in song throughout Northern Ireland. The message presented is one of salvation and hope through the Lord Jesus Christ. Please pray for Solid Ground as they seek to serve the Master.

Solid Ground travel across Northern Ireland most weekends of the year and travel with a dedicated sound man in David Long. I just want to highlight what a blessing this is! It is great to get up and sing and know that somebody else is very ably taking care of the blend, volume and lining up the next soundtrack. David, thank you.

You can visit the Solid Ground blog to keep up with our schedule and mini reviews of meetings we have ministered at here.

I’m never sure who reads this blog, but if anyone reading is in the Industry and would like to share any advice or helpful tips, please feel free to do so! It would be most encouraging. You can email me at southerngospel@live.com. Thank you!

A final word to my long-suffering girlfriend Esther. Esther loves this music almost as much as I do and has been very gracious in not seeing her boyfriend as much as we both would like! So thank you for all your patience, God has truly blessed me with the best!

Changes For The Crist Family

“After traveling full-time with The Crist Family for the last eight years, Breana Henderson (formerly Breana Crist) is leaving the road.

Here is a quote from her farewell letter, which can be read in full at http://www.cristfamilymusic.com: “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under Heaven… a time to plant and a time to uproot… Now, after eight years and over a thousand concerts later, I am writing this letter to tell you that the time has come for me to ‘uproot’ from this ministry and follow God with my husband to the next stage of life He wants to take us through together. I am so excited to see where God takes Josh and me as we seek to follow his leading in our marriage.”

Breana’s father, group manager Rich Crist, says, “We will miss Bre a whole bunch! We are so thankful that God gave us these years with Bre and we will never forget the blessing of traveling and singing together side by side. Our love and support go with her and Josh as they step into the next stage of life together. Now…how ‘bout some grandkids!”

The Crist Family is grooming sixteen year old Valerie Crist (Breana’s younger sister) to step into Breana’s alto role. You will begin seeing Valerie on a limited basis starting in February on their three week long west coast tour. Breana’s last date with the Crist Family will be February 26th.”

Best wishes to the Crist Family and pray for Breana as she embarks on this new chapter of her life. Changes are never easy, but prayer always helps grease the wheels of transition.

UPDATE: Breana’s last date with the group will be January 26th, not February 26th.

The Nostalgia Archives: Tony Gore & Majesty – Better Hurry Up

This post marks the creation of a new element to my blog. I’d like to share with you the individual songs that shaped my formative years as a Southern Gospel fan.

Wikipedia defines nostalgia as, “….a general interest in past eras…especially the “good old days,” such as a sudden image, or remembrance of something from one’s childhood.” If we are honest, SG is a genre which leans heavily upon nostalgia.

My first exposure to the beauty of quartet music was in the form of the Palmetto State Quartet. I’ve blogged about that before. Ever since five years of age, in the house, car, anything with an audio device…we’ve had a vast array of SG material. Many groups and segments of the SG industry have been represented, but I’m going to make an effort to highlight the songs that made an impression on me. As I entered my teenage years, I started to explore other styles of music, especially country music. I find it hard to pass over the country music and have a large collection on my iPod. I enjoy a bit of rock, well Van Halen and that sort of material, but always find myself circling back around to Southern Gospel. It is the harmonies and lyrical content of the songs that always draws me back into the mix.

When I was about 12/13, I discovered the electrifying performances of Tony Gore & Majesty. Something about their style always appealed to me.  I’d honestly have to credit Tony Gore & Majesty for cementing Southern Gospel as my number one form of music. I love the upbeat numbers in the genre and TG&M had these in seemingly endless number.

“One Everlasting Day of Joy”, “I’ll Put On A Crown”, “Bound For The Land of Canaan” are just a few of the highlights. My favourite track by Tony Gore & Majesty  is an old classic, “Better Hurry Up”. I think I nearly drove my sister insane with this song. I’d play it over and over. Even my Dad, who is a fan of SG music, had to step in and change the tape! So sit back and relax and enjoy the first installment of the nostalgia archives!

 

If anyone has the TG&M project, “Greatest Hits Live” on CD, please contact me in the comments section. Many thanks!

Mark Lowry Suffers Broken Leg

Via Mark Lowry’s Twitter account and AbsolutelyGospelMusic.com, we have news that Mark slipped on a tile in his kitchen on January 3rd and landed badly. The article states that he’ll be out of action for 6-8 weeks and all January concerts have been rescheduled. (I presume this refers to Mark’s SOLO concerts and not GVB concerts) This is the same leg that Mark broke in his motorcycle accident in 2005. Pray for Mark and that his leg will heal in good time.

You can read the full article on Absolutely Gospel Music here.

UPDATE: You can see the updated schedule for Mark’s solo concerts here.

YouTube Classics: I Stand Amazed – Gaither Homecoming Friends

It’s not often a single video combines one of my favourite hymns with two of my favourite vocalists. David Phelps & TaRanda Greene. That’s not ignoring the very capable  Amber Nelon Thompson who starts off this beautiful arrangement.

Even on our worst days, we are still able to sing,

“How marvelous, how wonderful
And my song shall ever be.
How marvelous, how wonderful
Is my Savior’s love for me.”

I wouldn’t mind a few more songs that featured David and TaRanda singing together. I can’t help but think of the potential of that!

 

Blog Update

I have created a dedicated Facebook page for my blog. You can stay connected with everything blog related at the appropriately named, “Phil On Southern Gospel” Facebook page. I hope that this page will allow Northern Irish readers in particular to stay up to speed with concerts that are happening in our wee country.

You can check it out here. (Facebook log in maybe required)

Be sure to click, “Like” and please share the page with others.

Thanks!

YouTube Classics: The Other Side of The Cross (The Statler Brothers)

I came across this clip last night whilst browsing through YouTube. It features the Statler Brothers singing a great old classic, “The Other Side of the Cross”. I’ve always been a big fan of the Statler Brothers smooth blend and especially the tenor voice of Jimmy Fortune.

I remember my sister and I watching it many years ago on VHS. One comment she made was that the Statler Brothers were “all good singers”. It’s a great point. Individually each of the group could step up and sing a great solo and this song showcases that perfectly, yet they could still come together and blend. It is not often a group has four talented soloists and still make a great blend.

If I ever put together a group this song will be high on the list to sing. There’s just something about it, lyrically, that just hits home.

This clip is spliced from “The Cathedrals: A Farewell Celebration”, also a favourite video of mine. (Thankfully it is now available on DVD!) It’s interesting to note how much Ernie Haase enjoys the song and a few short years later it appeared on “The Ground Is Level” CD by Ernie Haase & Signature Sound.

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