No tornado sirens…no high winds…and no “gathering in the lobby of the hotel.” Whew. C. S. Lewis once said that nothing happens the same way twice. Something I was grateful for this year at the Great Lake of the Ozarks Gospel Sing in Osage Beach, Missouri. Last year was…quite the adventure. 😉
This year, we enjoyed three days of perfect weather, wonderful singing and fun fellowship. As in past years, the emcee for the weekend was board member Todd Foreman. Thursday night the special guests were The Perrys and Triumphant Quartet!
When The Perrys walked on stage with Troy pushing Tracy in his wheelchair, the crowd applauded. It had been a while since I saw the Perrys in concert and I did not realize Tracy was singing full concerts with them now! The group’s first song was one called Gentle Shepherd and I Got a Hold of God This Morning. A ballad, I Rest My Case at the Cross, followed. When they reached the bridge, Troy, Tracy and Andrew sang a few lines from Near the Cross as a trio. “Everybody in the house!” Troy exclaimed, encouraging the audience to clap for the next tune, It Was the Blood. Troy asked Tracy if the energetic crowd was doing anything for him. “They’re crankin’ my tractor!” Tracy exclaimed. Troy joked that Libbi had been praying that there would be no storms this week. (…and we were too!) LOL! When Troy went into introducing the group Tracy cut him off announcing, “We have a Yankee.” And teasing Andrew didn’t stop there! When Troy said that Andrew is a professor of percussion at the university where he lives, Tracy exclaimed, “A professional cusser! We have a professional cusser in our group?” LOL! I won’t even go into poor Libbi’s introduction and the teasing she received on stage… Next, Tracy did his chain saw impression and then they sang Living in Canaan Now and Celebrate Me Home. “The Word says eyes had not seen and ears have not heard what the father has prepared for them,” said Troy. He preached a little bit, and that transitioned into their last song If You Knew Him. Standing ovation!
Between artists, the emcee, Todd Foreman, gave the dates and lineup for next year’s Lake of the Ozark Gospel Sing…
Thursday – Greater Vision, Mark Trammell Quartet and Second Half Quartet (which is GV and MTQ singing old Cathedral songs!)
Friday – The Lesters and Jim Brady Trio
Saturday – The Booth Brothers
“This quartet are some of the best guys in the world,” said Todd. Triumphant Quartet began their set with a new song, We Will Remember. It sounded a little like praise and worship song, with a progressive beat, but a good quartet song quickly followed – Living in Harmony. (Which is the title to their brand new CD, I think that one sounded a little like their song Amazed at the Change.) A song that featured Clayton was next, called I Will Rise, a mid-tempo ballad about going to see Jesus after death. Saved by Grace, group introductions and a quartet song followed, titled I Can’t Help but Smile. (That one was also a new song that reminded me of their song Forgave Me, Saved Me, Raised Me with the tenor part starting low and gliding up high.) Somebody Died for Me and This Blood had the people on their feet in ovation. Eric asked everyone if they would sing, “What can wash away my sin?…” Eric introduced their next song, White Flag, and teased everyone that they would have to do it quickly, purely for time’s sake, of course! LOL! Well, I don’t think that Todd and his boys got the memo. ‘Cause when they danced across the stage they were waving toilet paper over their heads. (Of course they were just trying to be funny, but a handkerchief would have worked just fine. 🙂 ) David asked if we would like to hear G. W. (their new pianist) play something on the piano? The other members dragged a struggling Clayton off stage and the crowd applauded. David whipped out his harmonica and with G. W. played a duet of I’ll Fly Away. Afterwards, the rest of the guys returned to the stage for their final song, When the Trumpet Sounds.
Conclusion: The first night of the Lake of the Ozarks Gospel Sing was quite enjoyable! With Tracy on stage again with the Perrys, there is a different dynamic on stage once more. His humor is still intact! The fact that he is singing full concerts on stage is an incredible testimony of what God has done and is doing in Tracy’s life. I also enjoyed hearing Triumphant’s new songs live. Nothing gives you a better impression than when you can hear and watch someone sing the “new material” in person – I think they have a great project in hand!