…yep, if you thought this post was about Legacy Five!… it is! It has been forever since my beloved Legacy Five has been close enough to see live in concert. And since the release of their new project, A Wonderful Life, I have been anxiously awaiting an opportunity to attend a concert. A little trip to Union City, Tennessee quickly remedied that problem! Legacy Five performed live in concert at the First Baptist Church of Union City, and I was proud to be a part of the audience! Once I was settled into a seat a few rows back on the right side of the sanctuary, I tried very hard to wait patiently until the concert began. (Just a little excited to see one of my favorite groups!) LOL!
The worship minister began the evening with a few congregationals, a Christmas classic O Come All Ye Faithful and a popular chorus, He Is Lord. After a few announcements he presented the senior pastor, Cecil Sewell. Pastor Sewell came up and opened the night in prayer then introduced the concert promoter who continued to introduce the groups that would be singing for us that evening. “You paid $12 to come see Legacy Five,” began the promoter, “Well, you’re going to see plenty of Legacy Five, but this first group is a free-bee!” He went on to introduce a family Bluegrass group consisting of six sisters by the name of the Ward family. After seeing their appearance at the NQC Bluegrass showcase, he decided they were a “must” to open for this concert – it was obvious that he was in love with their music.
The Ward Family opened for Legacy Five and began their set with an up-beat song, The King Eternal. As you can imagine, being a Bluegrass group, there were many instruments on stage, each sister playing at least one. The instruments represented were: a banjo, acoustic guitar, fiddle, two mandolins and an upright bass. Their second song also carried the fast beat, this song was about the Lord being the Captain of our faith and used metaphors of a ship’s captain to illustrate the lyric. I’m not 100% sure of the title, but I think it’s along the lines of: He Is The Master and Commander. A well-known favorite, Hallelujah, I’m Ready To Go came next. The youngest, playing Mandolin had a short solo as did the violinist – these received an applause in the middle of their solos. They truly were amazing! Such talent! The one we were soon going to come to know as Rebecca came forward and introduced her family, expressing their thanks in being a part of the night. The girl’s names and the instruments that they played were: Sara on the Banjo, Hanna played Acoustic Guitar, Abby played one of the Mandolins, the youngest, at eleven years of age also played Mandolin, her name was Bethany, and Rebecca played the Upright Bass. (In the midst of trying to catch all of the girls names, I’m afraid I missed the violinist name!) The next song was a slower one called Your Grace Provides For Me, a lovely song about trusting in the Lord. Their last song was called The Ark featuring Hanna on vocals, the intro showed off Sara’s banjo skill. This fast song about Noah was the perfect way to end their set! They received a standing ovation!
Legacy Five began their set with the title song of their newest project, A Wonderful Life. Scott Fowler was featured on the verses and Trey had a little piano solo on the turn around. After that, Gus stepped back and Scott, Howie and Glenn sang the first verse of God Cares For Me as a trio, until the chorus where Gus joined in with the tenor part. “We’re gonna have a good time tonight!” exclaimed Scott Fowler as the guys slid their microphone stands behind them, then encouraged the crowd to clap on the good ole’ classic, I’m Feeling Fine. During the turn around, Scott said, “If you’re feeling fine tonight, why don’t you just wave at me!” Just about everyone did so too! Next, Scott stepped up and said, “We are so glad to be in Tennessee! It’s not every night that we get to sing in our home state.” Turning to where the girls were singing, he so graciously thanked them for being here and singing with them, and how expressed how much they enjoyed them. “The only thing that was wrong,” said Scott, “was that we should have been opening for you!” (Which was very sweet of him!) He went on telling how they don’t know much about Bluegrass because they sing Quartet music, and used this as an opportunity to introduce Glenn, by explaining that in order to have a great quartet, you must have a great bass singer.
At this point, Scott told a story on Glenn. One time on the bus he was watching Fox News when a survey question popped up and asked, “If you had only one hour left of your life, how would you spend it?” Scott shared how all the guys came up with great, thought provoking, theological, eternal answers…except Glenn. Here, Glenn interrupted them by disagreeing and stating, “They all lied!” Scott turned to him and said, “Tell them what you said.” Glenn replied, “What I said was, ‘I would spend it with my in-laws’ – and I thought that was sweet!” Howie remarked, “More like weird!” Scott, earger to get to the punch line implored Glenn, “Tell them why.” To which Glenn answered, “Because it would be the longest hour of my life!” Everyone laughed at the sentiment as Scott asked the audience if they were glad to see Glenn Dustin tonight. Glenn was featured on Roll On. The following song also featured Glenn, which he introduced by saying, “I love singing this song because it is my testimony, one day Jesus Christ changed my life and I will never be the same.” The song was none other than I’ve Been Changed. The audience really responded to this one with applause throughout the song. I even caught Trey singing along! Another song about change followed, this one being, I’m Thankful For The Change. On the bridge of this snappy song, the guys huddled together in the middle of the stage and sang to each other – Howie encouraged the audience to clap, which everyone did (though a little off beat at times!) Scott introduced Gus (tenor) next. Scott mentioned that Gus is from Santa Rosa, CA and continued by stating how unusual that is, then … realizing how that might sound, he quickly turned to Gus and said, “I didn’t it mean that way!” Howie stopped him and said, “NOooooo, that’s just not normal!” Scott tried to ignore Howie’s antics and tell the crowd how Gus is unique in his voice, but with a slip of the tongue accidentally spoke, “Pretty singers,” to which Howie immediately interrupted explaining to the audience the correct term, “Not pretty singer, but sings pretty!” Scott laughed at his efforts stating, “And I didn’t mean it that way either!” – Continuing on to explain that some tenors sing pretty and some sing powerful, and Gus falls into the powerful section! Gus was featured next on a beautiful old Cats song everyone will remember called, For What Earthly Reason? I have to say, this one was sung with exceptional power, from the heart, and sure had an impact on the audience!
Scott introduced Trey, explaining that he is the newest member of the group and has been married for 8 days – and, letting everyone know that this was the first time his wife had been out to see him in concert! Scott looked at the audience and said, “You know what really disgusts me about Trey? – he’s sitting on a piano bench and is nearly as tall as I am!” After the laughter died down, Scott turned to Trey and imparted some wisdom for living in the world of SGM. He told Trey, “They like you – but they only like you because they liked us first.” Howie exclaimed, “Now that’s Scriptural!” Scott agreed, “Yeah! That’s NIV version or something!” Continuing, Scott said, “But they need to love you for you, so give them something they know and can sing along with and it will happen.” Then, Scott presented Trey Ivey to play a piano solo for us. Trey started playing this classical piece and Scott began dancing in a circle like a ballerina! After getting the classical stuff out of the way, Trey went into Leaning on the Everlasting Arms and everyone clapped along to the beat! (Just like Fowler predicted they would!) The people loved it and gave him a standing ovation! Howie marched over to Trey just then and said, “Now, if you get the old people out of their seats you’re doing something.” Scott teased, “I was right, I was right!” Howie continued, “See! You have to listen to your elders!” Howie then asked Trey what the piece was called. Trey answers that it was a Sonata. Howie pondered aloud, “Sonata Southern Gospel…” asking, “Who wrote it?” Trey smirked and replied, “You mean who composed it?” Howie answered, “Yeah.” Trey shrugged his shoulders and said, “You wouldn’t know him.” Immediately the fans gave a very stern “oooo” in verbal reprimand. Howie went on, “Now, I know your wife is here and all, well, now’s the time to learn some respect!” Glenn interjected, “Take off your belt!”- and all the guys except Howie tip-toed to the other side of the stage! Howie finally gets Trey to tell him that Scarlatti was the composer, and Howie, who is now satisfied, says, “Well, I don’t know everything, but when I was just a little fellow my grandma almost died from the Scarlatti Fever!” Scott wacked him on the shoulder with his mic making a loud “thump”…then, the guys started singing Boundless Love without another word. Executing this number with energy and excitement,they received a standing ovation and Scott had ‘em encore it accappella. “Most of you don’t know this,” Scott informed with a smile, “But the lady who wrote that song is here tonight – would you like to meet her?” Diana Wilkinson was on the front row, and Scott had her stand and wave at everyone. “She also wrote this next song,” Scott continued as they started singing Strike Up The Band. Scott was featured on this one also, and added at the end, “We love those Diane Wilkinson songs – one of the great things that I love about the people who live in this part of the world – you are as politically incorrect as they come! Don’t ever lose that!!!” He continued to tell the story of the church that booked them in Florida a few years back. “Here’s the deal: Jesus is right for whatever is wrong in your life,” Scott passionately declared, then quoted Acts 4:12 – “Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name, under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved.” “There is something very special about His name.” This lead into There’s Something About That Name. Scott went on to talk about how Jesus could not have been an ordinary man and been born, lived and died the way that He did. “And Dianne nailed it when she said that ‘one day we will see Jesus just as He is.’” We Shall See Jesus closed out their first set, Glenn sang the first two verses and Scott had the final verse – when they got to the chorus you couldn’t keep anyone in their seats! In the middle of the chorus Scott exclaimed, “We are going to see Him face to face in all of His glory!” Anyone who is blessed enough to see L5 perform this one live experiences the genuine conviction in which this is sung – and the excitement it evokes it is CONTAGIOUS!!!!
I’m going to side track here for a moment with something that has weighed heavy on my heart, If you can imagine the scene at this point. The audience on it’s feet and ignited with appreciation at the end of the song which was sung with such power. I don’t know why, by I glanced back to where to the Ward family sat, in the right section of the church, which was completely empty, in the last row at the back. Surprise doesn’t describe what I felt when I saw the family SITTING, not even paying attention to what was going on. One would have to be completely disconnected not to get caught up in the spirit and power in which this song was sung – the guys were electric with genuine emotion. My heart sank, knowing the loving encouragement the Wards received from Legacy Five regarding their performance. Not on their feet, not even a clap of approval. This only makes one appreciate MINISTRIES such as Legacy Five all the more!!! Encouraging and supportive of those who, well, may be a little too wrapped up in themselves. Thanks guys, for demonstrating the LOVE of Christ and being a model of what true faith is … you all truly are living the legacy … legacy of FAITH!
Before the intermission, which gave us a chance to stretch our legs, the guys did a short product pitch. Artists seem to always have a funny joke to tell during their “commercials,” however, when Scott told the following, he was dead serious! He said that many a time people call their office and complain that the DVD they purchased doesn’t play in their Cd player! So Scott informed us light-heartily, “Don’t put your Cd’s in your DVD player – you won’t hear it – don’t put your DVD in your Cd player – you won’t see us…” and can you just guess what Howie spontaneously retorted??? – “Don’t put your BVD’s in there either – you’ll never see ‘em again!” After all the funnies when intermission began, I couldn’t help but notice that Howie helped the Ward Family set their special microphones back up on the stage, a very thoughtful and kind gesture.
The Ward Family came back on stage with a song called Come On Brothers, Come On Sisters – an upbeat number about getting ready for the Lord’s second return. This song featured Hanna. The next song was written by one of their friends about their grandfather’s experience in World War II, it was called Soldier’s Prayer and also featured Hanna. Casting All Your Care Upon Him, a slower song followed. I was pleasantly surprised to see that their next song was the popular Inspirations song, I Have Not Forgotten. They closed their last song with a fiddle solo, and a fast one at that, which the audience showed their appreciation with another standing ovation!
Scott kicked off the second set by saying, “We promised you some Christmas music, so here it is!” – Their Festival Of Carols was the first selected seasonal song and featured songs like, Silent Night, Hark the Harold Angels Sing and Joy To The World. “And this has to be my all-time favorite Christmas song,” said Scott, desperately trying to find the book of Luke in his Bible. Howie offered his usual wisdom with the instruction, “It’s in the L’s.” Scott read the birth of Christ in Luke chapter two, which an always fresh enthusiasm and intonation, ending perfectly as Trey began playing the first verse of O Holy Night on the keyboard. After Trey played the first verse and chorus, the guys began singing the second verse. This has to be one of the most powerful Christmas songs out there, and L5’s arrangement showcases both the powerful music in the song and their voices, stirring the soul to worship the wonder of it all.
After their little Christmas segment, Scott came off the stage and began telling Hanna and Patty’s story. Though I’ve heard it many times, and I’m sure you have too, I still get inspired by it every time I hear it! To imagine someone coming up to you and saying, “My husband is a Muslim and I don’t understand all of this music about Jesus…” – I’m sure we’d all echo Scott’s response, “Lord? Is it really this easy?” Scott introduced the next song by comparing it to Patty’s life. He said the songwriter never met Patty or heard her story, but the lyrics are literally her life. “When someone asks us why we are happy,” Scott encouraged, “All we have to say is, ‘It’s Jesus.’” – Then Scott began singing Ask Me Why. If you haven’t heard this one, you’re missing a special blessing!!! Immediately after the song ended, Scott led everyone in singing At The Cross. “That’s why we’re so happy!” Scott exclaimed, “because Jesus has made a difference in our lives.” – “I don’t understand why bad things happen to good people and vice versa, but I know this, Jesus has our best interest in mind…We’ve all got bad things that have happened to us, we all have bad things in our lives, I think it has to be refreshing to God to do as the old song says and count our blessings! – Our very breath is loaned to us by God. We’re breathing – it’s a good day.” This led into the meditative ballad Just Because Of You. (Another amazing track from their new project) After the song, Scott asked,“Has He been faithful to you?” Keeping that theme going, Great Is Thy Faithfulness was next on the set. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen the guys do this one live, and it was very refreshing! I loved the way Scott, Howie and Glenn sang half of the second verse as a trio and Gus finished off the stanza with his powerful tenor vocals! Standing ovation!!!! That was the final song of the evening, but Scott took the liberty and ended the concert with a prayer that closed, and thus – “We leave this place tonight never to be the same again because of Your faithfulness!”
Conclusion: Notably evident and what impacts me greatly is that every story Scott told had a serious spiritual application. Folks, we need to hear it, be reminded of our great salvation and the Savior who loves us so. Also, rarely do you see a gospel singer/group with the Word of God on stage. Kudos to Legacy Five for always bringing the visual reminder of the treasure we have … the living Word. Too few display God’s Word openly in a day in age where it is obscured … thanks guys, for your commitment to the gospel of Christ and all the sacrifices you make to carry forth that message to a lost and dying world! You remind us of this wonderful life we are privileged to have b/c of the change He made in our lives!