I drove 9 nine hours one way for a single night concert!
But in the end, I don’t feel odd admitting that. As concert promoter/singer Pat Barker stood on stage and asked the crowd how many states were represented, places like Texas, Florida, California and Michigan registered farther away than my hometown. What can I say? Southern Gospel fans know a good concert when they see one! On the program that night was a line-up only an experienced Gospel Singer would think to put together. First there was the live band consisting of Corey Pearson on bass guitar, Scoot Shelnut on drums, Jordan Hamby on the lead guitar and banjo, and none other than Josh Singletary on the piano. Add a male quartet with Steve Ladd singing tenor, Joseph Habedank lead, Mark Lanier on baritone and Pat Barker singing bass and you have quite the concert! Did I mention they sang the classic Gospel songs you don’t hear anymore? Actually, this is exactly what happened…
Pat Barker, promoter of One Night Only, had just asked the audience how many states were represented at the concert. Places like Texas, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and several others were called out, but the ruckus really started when someone asked, “What about Alabama?” So Pat asked, “Anyone from Alabama?” The crowd erupted. I’m pretty sure I even heard a “Roll Tide” in the bunch! *wink* Pat took a moment and brought his family on stage for a quick introduction and then the night officially started with prayer. After the soft, “Amen,” the crowd lifted their heads to see four men standing on the stage that have never sang together before. Steve Ladd, Joseph Habedank, Mark Lanier and Pat Barker kicked off the night with “Home” ( Where There Is No Night). From there, the One Night Only Quartet sang “I Own A Clear Title To A Mansion.” (Just to mention how far they went back to dig up some of these songs, this one was so old I had to look it up to confirm the correct song title!) “Are you glad Mark Lanier is here tonight?” asked Pat, before going on to share how Mark (who sang with Perfect Heart) is one of his favorite singers. He wanted Mark to share a few songs, and so the quartet left the stage as Mark began a solo segment with “The Ground Is Level At Calvary.” This was my first time to see Mark Lanier sing and I sat intrigued by the story behind the song he wrote called, “Take Her Name Off The Prayer List.” This tune was inspired by a true story of a lady who went home to heaven and how her church family “took her name off the prayer list” because she was now ultimately healed. A friend gave Mark the hook and Mark wrote the song!
Pat came back on stage and explained how he could not have the help of Tribute Quartet that night without having them come on stage and sing a few songs. In addition to Josh being in the band, Anthony Davis spent the night running sound and the group set up their sound equipment to use for the evening. (That’s a true Gospel Music family, right there!) Tribute came on and sang three songs, the traditional “Jesus Saves” as an opening. Riley’s solo, “When The Prodigal Comes Home” and then they closed with “Good News In Jerusalem.”
Next on stage was Favorite Soloist of the Year, Joseph Habedank. He came out with his upbeat number “Here He Comes.” Everyone was limiting their time on stage to three songs and Joseph’s following songs were both ballads – “If You Knew Him” and “Beauty Of The Blood.” “If You Knew Him” has always been a favorite of mine and I never tire hearing it!
The Dixie Echoes were up next and thrilled the crowd with their unique blend. Though the title to their first song was, “I’d Rather Have Jesus,” I’ll point out that this is a different lyric than the traditional hymn. These lyrics begin, “Men strive for the wealth of this wide wicked world…” They also sang “I Come To The Garden Alone” and another hymn.
When it was Steve Ladd’s turn to take the stage, he stirred up the crowd with his version of the popular “Chain Breaker.” Afterwards, he shared how Triumphant Quartet, the Gaither Vocal Band and himself all recorded that song at the same time without knowing it! He went on to say his father was a preacher and he had a love for the old songs…so he was going to do an old song next. The track kicked off for “Since I Laid My Burdens Down” and he grinned, “I told you it was old!” The almost black Gospel arrangement had a great energy to it, and by the end, an encore was in order! Steve’s last song was “Preach The Word,” a ballad he was known for when he sang with Gold City. This song was one of the highlights of the evening and a great way to close the first half of the concert! It’s worthy to note that all the guys came back on stage for the last chorus, turning the tenor solo into a quartet song once more.
After intermission, it was time to hear nothing but the One Night Only Quartet. This part of the concert kicked off with Joseph being featured on the old song, “I Know.” Immediately following was a song I, personally, have not heard in ages – “There’s A King On The Way!” Mark Lanier was featured on the verses of that mid-tempo tune. At this point in the program, Pat stepped forward and explained he had a request. “I had not planned on doing this song,” he said sincerely, “but Mom requested it; and there’s a lady here who threatened to beat me with her cane if I didn’t sing it.” Here, Pat gave a mischievous grin, “And trust me, she would!” So, the next song was “How Big Is God.” Maybe Pat was surprised it wiggled it’s way into the program, but I doubt anyone else was. This song is such a signature ballad for Pat and no matter who he sings it with – his performance is always the same, great quality! The next song came from the treasure trove of the Kingsmen – “Just Stopped By On My Way Home.” To make it extra special, Pat pulled up Corey Pearson to sing the first verse.
Another tune that wasn’t planned, but made its way into the evening, was a piano solo from Josh Singletary. Pat let Josh loose and we heard the Jazziest version of “Power In The Blood” in a way only Josh could play! After the crowd’s applause, Pat thanked the Tribute guys for the hard work they put into the evening, setting up and running the sound equipment. The following songs, in my opinion, were the pinnacle of the evening. Starting with “The Lighthouse,” we heard three classics in a row which reminds us why Gospel Music is a touch from heaven. From Pat and Joseph sharing the verses of that great lyric they went right into “Who Am I?” Just when you didn’t think it could get any better, Pat began to share about George Younce. George wrote some hidden gems, and though Pat had never performed this particular one, he wanted to dedicate it to the wives and kids who support them at home while they’re on the road. The song was, “Troubles Will Be Gone.” As the lyrics sank into our hearts, a sweet spirit came over the audience. Pat said, “Just imagine how beautiful heaven is going to be…” A man from the crowd answered, “It already is.” Pat nodded his head in agreement and then they sang “How Beautiful Heaven Must Be,” ending the last chorus acapella. It was one of those moments. A brief pause from the “regular program” that stirred your heart. I can only imagine the feeling was just as great on stage because Pat suggested that everyone bow their heads for a moment – then he thanked the Lord for His love, grace and moment of worship we just experienced. Where do you go from there? Well, Pat said, “I like to end on a high note. Would that be okay?” The crowd hollered and clapped their approval and the guys went into their closing song, “Boundless Love.”
Conclusion: It takes a special moment to see into the heart of a person. Those at One Night Only experienced that moment. It’s been awhile since I saw someone stop their concert to thank God for moving in a special way. Why? Just because they can. Thank you, Pat, for not being afraid to break the norm and follow where the Lord leads you. One Night Only was an amazing concert! If you want to get a better glimpse into the night, there are a few extra ways you can!
First, you can view a photo album of the night from the media company covering the concert here —> Ex Nihilo Media
Second, my friend Diana was there and posted some of her videos on YouTube! You can visit her channel here —> Diana Brantley (Be sure to look for videos with title “One Night Only.”)
Lastly, The Singing News posted a video on Facebook of Pat singing “Troubles Will Be Gone.” Watch it from their FB page when you go to their videos tab —-> Singing News Facebook
Pat knew what he was doing when it came to crafting an evening fans won’t forget – One Night Only was such a concert.