Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
Too bad I have to wait until next fall for these Gaither videos. Here's Wes Hampton's take on the Gaither Vocal Band reunion that took place this week:
I'm still in a daze after what happened to me this week in Indiana...the Gaither Vocal Band reunion taping.
All of my vocal idols in one room together, singing some of my favorite songs, and I was there in the middle of it...I still can't wrap my mind around the reality that I was actually there. What an amazing day it was...okay, that was an understatement. I could go on and on about it, but I will mention just a few of the many highlights for me. Emily Sutherland from Gaither.com has posted an awesome recap of the day below, so be sure to read it when you get the time...by the way, great job, Em.
The first highlight for me was getting to sing "Satisfied" with Michael, Mark, and Bill. That was really the first GVB song that "hooked" me, since the first GVB album I heard was Southern Classics, Volume 1. It was an absolute blast singing that song.
Another highlight was when Guy, Marsh, Bill, and I sang "The Love of God." We started off singing it, then David Phelps took the chorus. If that wasn't enough, Larnelle Harris took the second half of that chorus, and then I get to finish it. Hmmm...someone doesn't belong here, and I wonder who it is? Obviously, it was me. I was in a dream at this moment in time. We three continued to toss the parts of the chorus around to each other when Bill would point to either me, Dave, or Larnelle. All three of us ended the song together with Guy, Marsh, and Bill. Wish I could sing that song like that every night we sing it in concert.
Another highlight was when Guy, Marsh, Dave, and Bill sang "O Love That Will Not Let Me Go." "Stellar" is all I can say.
Guy, Marsh, Bill, and I sang "There is a River" at the very end. I LOVE these guys and I LOVE singing with these guys. I'm glad we got that moment on tape as well.
The biggest highlight for me was when Steve Green (the biggest musical influence in my life) sang "No Other Name But Jesus." It was the best I have ever heard that song sung. It was a very powerful moment for everyone in the room. He then shared some of what was on his heart. I will not even attempt to paraphrase it...just get the video (I think there will actually be two videos since they can't pack everything onto one DVD) and you'll understand. He then sang "Find Us Faithful." Enough said. No need to elaborate on it because you know it was amazing.
I found myself at times (well, most of the time) in awe of the men around me. Phelps sat to my right, and Larnelle sat to his right, and Guy sat to Larnelle's right. Again, what am I doing here?! I had a good bit of trepidation stepping into the tenor position of the GVB after David left, as would anyone. I have to say, as if it really needs to be said, that he is vocal android. Seriously, to hear him up close, singing right beside him, I'm blown away at this man's vocal ability. Believe me when I say I've heard plenty of people making comparisons between Dave and me, which is the natural thing to do...some kind and some not so kind. I'm so glad that Bill chooses to play to everyone's individual strengths. I could never ever attempt to fill Dave's place. God created me to be me and to do what I do best. The same can be said for Dave and every other GVB member that has come and gone through the years. Guy is no Michael English, and Michael English is no Guy Penrod. Marsh is no Mark and Mark is no Marsh. You just don't replace members...you go a different direction. I think that's one of the many things that has made the GVB so viable and wildly successful all these almost 30 years. I was reminded of this truth (thanks alot to what Steve had shared) sitting in that room on Wednesday...just be me. Be who God has called me to be.
Larnelle Harris sounds the same as he did almost 20 years ago. Unbelievable...kind of sickening, really. He sang several great songs that brought back great memories for me. "I Walked Today Where Jesus Walks," "New Point of View," "Can't Stop Talkin' About Him"...great stuff.
There were many more highlights for me, but I guess this is enough of them for now. I'm getting ready to leave for Fist Baptist Venice Beach for a solo concert on Sunday. Looking forward to it very much because I was there this time last year. What an awesome congregation.
I'm also looking forward to seeing Steve Green in concert in Birmingham this coming Monday. I originally thought his concert was on Sunday while I was singing in Florida, but was very much relieved when I found it was after I get back from my solo concert. Andrea and I will be going, without the kids of course.