Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Doyle, Quicksilver & bluegrass gospel

Last Thursday, 8 July, I was listening to WSM-AM 650, when it was announced that the ninth caller would get admission for two to Eddie Stubbs' monthly program "Intimate Evening" on Monday the Twelfth, at Country Music Hall of Fame. Eddie's guest was to be Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. And wouldn't you know it? Yours truly was ninth caller when Charlie Mattos picked up phone!

As a result, I spent a VERY delightful, indeed a very blessed, evening of listening to bluegrass, both recorded & live, and an informative and at times very humorous interview between Eddie and one of the legends of bluegrass music, especially bluegrass gospel.

Indeed, my introduction to Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver was listening to their recordings on "Front Porch Fellowship", Les Butler's bluegrass gospel show on Solid Gospel 105 radio ack in the late 1990s. (In this, the group share commonality with my favorite bluegrass singer of the female persuasion, Rhonda Vincent.)

The time leading up to the show's start at 7 PM was not so memorable, as first I missed the bus I needed to catch -- thank you Nashville MTA! -- and had to hitch a ride. Then when it got to be around 6:30 my fellow church member whom I'd invited to accompany me hadn't shown; I phoned him only to discover that due to an unanticipated business arrival to Nashville he'd forgotten all about the show & my invitation! He was very, very apologetic, and I quickly forgave him. About that same time I found out that the show wouldn't be in its accustomed venue of the Ford Theater of the CMHoFaM (still not completely repaired from flood damage) but rather in a nook of the CMHoFaM gift shop. Folding chairs were set close together for an audience of about 100, and the performance area was right there -- sitting in the third row back I could have spat and hit the mics! Talk about an "intimate evening!"

Then, as if fated to lift my somewhat fallen spirit, after I sat down, two vacant seats in front of me got occupied by Dailey & Vincent! So I got to speak with both these fellas who have so impressed me with their talent, their mutual friendship & faith, and their admiration for the Sadler Bros. And I got to speak with Darrin Vincent about the impact his sister Rhonda Vincent has made on yours truly!

Well, and if having Dailey & Vincent sitting so close to me didn't serve to lift my spirits -- which it did -- certainly the featured artists of the show did! After all, they're seven-time winners of the IBMA Vocal Bluegrass Group of the Year, and Doyle is an acknowledged leader and talented mandolinist in the bluegrass genre.

And the group performed live a couple songs off their most recently released album project and their most recent gospel album. This latter song, "Zion Medley", featured tremendous a cappella quartet singing, which at the final note had me up applauding and shouting "Hallelujah!" Many others in the audience joined in the standing ovation.

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