Bringing joy, receiving joy

Bryan Elliott, a favorite of gospel music fans, performs with The LeFevre Quartet at Sand Spring Baptist Church in Lawrenceburg, Ky., on May 13, 2021.

LeFevre Quartet pianist Bryan Elliott reflects on lessons learned and lived through pandemic. And he’s mighty happy to be back on the road

By John Herndon, KentuckySings.com

LAWRENCEBURG, Ky. — When he sat down at his keyboard Thursday night, Bryan Elliott showed that nearly a year off the road had not affected his very talented hands.

He can still make his keyboard talk.

OK, not quite, but it just seemed that way at times as he accented The LeFevre Quartet or brought the house down with rousing solo work. Elliott played everything from old-fashioned Southern Gospel to classical Christian and a lot in between. And his demeanor ranged from laser-like focus to hamming it up for a camera — mine!

It was more than 90 minutes of joy as The LeFevre Quartet opened the Sand Spring Baptist Church gospel concert series. 

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Bringin’ it!

Adam Crabb bringing the house down with a rousing performance in Mt. Sterling, Ky., on May 8, 2021.

Adam Crabb brings old-time revival to present-day world and is ready to hit the road with The Gaither Vocal Band

By John Herndon, KentuckySings.com

MT. STERLING, Ky. — When he took the stage at Life Impact Church Saturday night, Adam Crabb didn’t appear to be someone who had been largely shut down for more than a year. He didn’t look like someone exhausted after returning from vacation to his Nashville home little more than 12 hours earlier. 

As The Coffmans’ Louis Coffman had predicted earlier in the program, he was ‘Bringin’ it!”

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A nice problem to have

From left, Greater Vision’s Chris Allman, Jim Brady and the Mark Trammell Quartet’s Nick Trammell and Randy Byrd form a makeshift quartet in the Gerald Wolfe Hymn Sing at First Baptist Church of Cold Spring in October. The concert was a huge blessing during a year marked by chaos. (Photo by John Herndon)

After 14 months of a nearly blank calendar, things are changing. And it’s for the good!

By John Herndon, KentuckySings.com

I have a little problem.

Actually, it’s a nice problem and one that’s been too long coming, so I’ll certainly not complain! I’m just itching to get to a few gospel concerts.

I don’t know about you, but being able to hear people sing about the Lord, His goodness and being inspired to serve Him better is a big part of my life. And it seems that with all that has happened since March 5, 2020, a major part of my life was taken from me.

The Old Time Preachers Quartet performs in concert at Sand Spring Baptist Church on March 5, 2020. A week later, the music industry came screeching to a halt. (Photo by John Herndon)

Now, I don’t really know what to do.

You see, when I look at the KentuckySings concert calendar, I see many more concerts than I can possibly attend. 

And that’s a good thing!

Last March 5, I was blessed to attend a concert by the Old Time Preachers Quartet and Beyond Grace at Sand Spring Baptist Church.  That night, I talked with OTPQ members Les Butler and Mike Holcomb about the concert, their ministry and plans.

Little did any of us know what the next 14 months would bring.

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Triumphant has changing sound — just a little! — and unchanging message

Triumphant Quartet was in concert at First Baptist Church of Cold Springs on March 19.

Bigger Than Sunday CD and Tour reflect a belief that God is working today

By John Herndon, KentuckySings.com

The first thing you might notice about Triumphant Quartet’s concerts in 2021 is that things just seem a little different.

At least from my angle they did when they took the stage at First Baptist Church of Cold Spring back on March 19. The quality, as always, was top-notch. A group doesn’t have a firm grip on being named America’s favorite quartet in The Singing News Fan Awards — every year since 2009 —  by being anything else.

But when Scotty Inman started singing “Best Thing” from the quartet’s latest CD, Bigger Than Sunday to open things, the concert had a little different feel.

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Master’s Trio is now The Crown Quartet

By John Herndon, KentuckySings.com

Like almost every other artist in any genre, The Master’s Trio faced a year like none other in 2020. 

The popular Southern Gospel group, based in Mt. Sterling, had been busy for several years and was gaining quite a following across Kentucky and several surrounding states. The Trio had been named Best of Show at the Gospel Music Showcase at the 2019 Kentucky State Fair, further expanding the requests for concerts and worship experiences.

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Discord of 2020 a great time for ‘Living In Harmony’

Dave Taylor, a founding member of The Infinite Realm, has just released a new solo album. He will be staying with The Infinite Realm but hopes to expand his music ministry with the new solo project. (Photo courtesy Dave Taylor)

Gospel veteran Dave Taylor uses down time to record second solo album; Original songs, original ideas mark new work

By John Herndon, KentuckySings.com

While much of the world seemed to shut down in 2020, Dave Taylor has opened a new musical door just in time for Christmas. 

A founding member of The Infinite Realm, a popular gospel group based in the Madison, Indiana area, Taylor recently released his second solo album, “LIving In Harmony.” Produced by longtime Oak Ridge Boys pianist Ron Fairchild, the project relies heavily on Taylor’s skill as a songwriter with seven of the nine cuts coming from his pen.

And the sound Taylor and Fairchild created is decidedly different from the upbeat quartet sound that has become The Infinite Realm’s trademark. It’s a testament to the versatility Taylor has developed in over 50 years of singing and playing gospel.

I have been writing songs since my teenage years,” Taylor says. “Several are not quartet songs per se. I have been accumulating a wealth of material over the years that the Realm has never done, because many of those songs don’t fit the mold of Realm music.”

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Winchester Musicianary releases innovative Christmas EP

Trish Torline’s newest project consists solely of original work

By John Herndon, KentuckySings.com

When an artist describes her calling as that of being a musicianary chances are she will have some extraordinary projects.

Such is the case for Trish Torline, a Winchester resident whose six-song EP, “All Hearts Come Home for Christmas,” was released Dec. 4. The self-produced project consists of totally fresh material, all written or co-written by Torline.

The theme is decidedly Christian, in keeping with Torline’s musicianary status, about which she talked with KentuckySings in 2018. You can read that story here.

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An indescribable night of incredible blessings

Gerald Wolfe leads the congregation in “Blessed Assurance” as the choir of, from left, Rodney Griffin, Wendy Hayes, Melissa Brady, Jim Brady and Stephen Adair also join in praise.

Gerald Wolfe Hymn Sing a night of hearty worship, remembering the past and being challenged to ministry

By John Herndon, KentuckySings.com

COLD SPRING, Ky. — It’s not often that I can’t describe something I have witnessed or experienced.

More than 30 years sitting behind keyboards and telling stories will do that, you know. There’s not much I haven’t seen, haven’t heard or haven’t written about. That covers just about all ends of the spectrum.

And I can assure you there’s not much that takes my breath away anymore.

Friday night, I attended the Gerald Wolfe Gospel Music Hymn Sing at First Baptist Church of Cold Spring. I’m still breathing, but was almost speechless when things ended a little after 9 p.m.

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Putting a smile on your face

From left, Paul, Tallant and March Martin perform during Rockland Road’s concert in Winchester on Sept. 25. (Photos by John Herndon)

Rockland Road continues to bring joy through music whenever it can

By John Herndon, KentuckySings.com

WINCHESTER, Ky. — It had been far too long since I had seen Rockland Road in person.

So, when the group announced it would be playing in Winchester — a free show at that! — my wife and I circled Sept. 25 on our calendars and made sure nothing would keep us away. Rockland Road played the “Rock the Block” series on the steps of the Clark County Courthouse and, like every other time we have seen this enormously talented family, left no one disappointed.

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Nelons return to Kentucky Thursday

The Nelons perform at David’s Fork Baptist Church, near Lexington, in July, 2019. From left are Autumn Nelon Clark, Amber Nelon Kistler, Kelly Nelon Clark and Jason Clark.

Cold Spring First Baptist ready for a big night

By John Herndon, KentuckySings.com

After more than five months — it has seemed like five years! — of almost no gospel concerts by national artists in Kentucky, it looks like things will be picking up drastically over the next few weeks as previously scheduled and rescheduled concerts have filled our calendars.

The Nelons return to Kentucky on Thursday, Sept. 10 at First Baptist Church of Cold Spring. The church has become a popular spot for Southern Gospel artists since reviving its concert series five years ago. Thursday’s concert is the first of three remaining dates on the church’s 2020 concert calendar.

The Nelons were originally scheduled to be at Cold Spring First Baptist in May but COVID-19 concerns and attendance restrictions at the time prompted the rescheduling. 

The Nelons — Jason Clark, his wife Kelly Nelon Clark and daughters Amber Nelon Kistler and Autumn Nelon Clark — bring a distinctive sound that embraces both traditional Southern Gospel and an Americana sound. The concert is free but a love offering will be received.

The Nelons will actually be the church’s second major concert since reopening from the COVID shutdown mandated by the state. Old Paths appeared at the church on July 19. “We had great attendance,” says Janet Watson, the church’s concert coordinator. 

While the First Baptist sanctuary can seat approximately 1,100 people, concert attendance is currently limited to 400 people to allow for social distancing. Other safety precautions will also be practiced. “Masks are recommended but not required,” Watson says. “We recommend you wear a mask until you are safely in your seat. Every other pew has been blocked off and each pew will seat six social distanced.”

Watson says her church has a rich gospel music history, hosting regular concerts until 2005 before resuming the series in 2015. The church is scheduled to host a Gerald Wolfe Hymn Sing on Oct. 23 and The Hoppers on Nov. 5.

Watson is pumped to get back to work with her church’s concerts. “I am so excited to get sort of back to concerts,” she says. “Our church looks at these concerts as a unique service to our community and the concerts have been missed. I am just a Southern Gospel lover who wants to do what I can to allow these wonderful artist to share the love of God with the masses!”

IF YOU GO

The Nelons will be in concert at Cold Spring First Baptist Church, 4410 Alexandria Pike, Cold Spring, Ky. Doors open at 6 p.m. with the concert scheduled to get underway at 7. The concert is free but a love offering will be received. 

The Nelons perform at last year’s National Quartet Convention.