(Sorry this is so late. I had a nice post all typed out last week, but when I went in later to finalize and publish it, all of it was gone except for two sentences. If you happen to find the rest of it floating in cyberspace somewhere, let me know.)
We had to get back on the road driving 8.5 hours so that we could be home and at church Sunday morning, so we did not go to the Saturday evening main stage concerts. But, boy, am I glad we stuck around for the afternoon showcases. Saturday was right up there with Wednesday night as the best experiences of the week for me. Here are the highlights.
Jubilee Showcase – Saturday morning
- The Booth Brothers, Greater Vision, and Legacy Five put on a wonderful show. This was my first opportunity seeing the Jubilee gang in action. They sound great together, and have great banter too, led by emcee Gerald Wolfe.
- They mostly did material from their new Jubilee 3 project, which is composed entirely of songs sung by a mixture of members of the three groups, or by the whole “choir”. Good choice!
- The most exciting performance was an all-live rendition of “Wedding Music,” with a quartet composed of Chris Allman, Scott Fowler, Jim Brady, and Matt Fouch, with Gerald playing piano, Rodney Griffin playing bass guitar, and Michael Booth on drums. (This quartet is termed the “Dream On Quartet” on the new project.)
- The “Barely Tones” (Griffin, Brady, and Scott Howard) did “Had It Not Been,” also getting some help from Chris Allman to close it out.
- The “Tin-Ears” (Allman, Gus Gaches, M. Booth) sounded great on a song I had never heard before, “Treasures in Heaven”.
- The “Emceers Quartet” (Fowler, Wolfe, M. Booth, Fouch) turned in a nice version of “Gettin’ Ready Today,” including a verse sung by Legacy Five pianist Trey Ivey. He knows what he’s doing with a microphone, too!
- Gaches, Wolfe, and Brady sang a beautiful new song written by Jim called “Every Cry Is Heard”. The audience was even invited to sing the chorus to the performers.
- Another song that was new to me, “The Galileean” was given a powerhouse performance by the “Brunette Quartet” (Gaches, Ronnie Booth, Wolfe, Fouch).
- The live band was brought back around for the whole gang to close it out with “Beautiful Home,” a pure delight that was encored a couple of times.
Featured Artist Showcase – Saturday afternoon
- We caught Wilburn & Wilburn at the afternoon showcase. They brought a lot of energy to the stage, particularly on “Let’s All Go Down to the River”. I heard they did well enough to get a chance to sing on the Main Stage later that evening!
Lari Goss Showcase – Saturday afternoon
- Talk about saving the best for last. We got seats on the very front row for this one. The best way I can describe it is just…WOW!
- It was basically a parade of major hits and standing ovations for an hour and a half.
- Gerald Wolfe led the festivies, and did a great job as always. Lari Goss sat with him on stage, watching the performances, and at times between songs having some conversation with Gerald. For such a musical genius, he seemed liked quite a humble and gracious man.
- The Booth Brothers were the first to lift the roof off of Freedom Hall, with “Then I Met the Master”.
- The Hoppers were next, and got the crowd to their feet with “Jerusalem”.
- The Mark Trammell Quartet sang “I Want to Know” for the fourth time, that I heard, in the week, and for the fourth time, the crowd absolutely ate it up! They also did a rousing rendition of “It’s Almost Over,” to its usual standing ovation.
- Mark Trammell stayed on the stage and was joined by Scott Fowler, Gerald Wolfe, Chris Allman, and Pat Barker on “Champion of Love”. They brought the house down! Holy smokes!
- Greater Vision allowed the crowd to catch their breath with another touching performance of “Faces”.
- TaRanda Greene sounded as good as ever and got a standing ovation for a stunning delivery of “I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked”.
- A modified “Nelons” quartet of Kelly Nelon, Karen Peck, Jim Brady, and Pat Barker sounded phenomenal on “We Shall Wear a Crown” and “Oh, for a Thousand Tongues”.
- The entire group of performers was brought around to do “Statement of Faith,” which got Freedom Hall on their feet in affirmation. They group then closed it out with another barnburner run of “We Shall Wear a Crown”.