June 21, 2013

Jeff Stice Homecoming 2013 ~ Brownsville, KY

It has been just under two years since I started seeing Triumphant. Since the first few concerts I attended, many people would ask if I had been to Jeff Stice’s Homecoming event in Kentucky. It would come up every few concerts. Obviously, since I was new to the Southern Gospel genre I had not been to the event.

For over a year now I have been planning to attend the 2013 event. I never could have imagined that when it came time for the event that I would be living in Tennessee and the trip to Jeff’s hometown would only be a short 3 hours away instead of a 12 hour drive.

Jeff’s sister, Terri, reached out to me before I had moved to Tennessee to make sure I was planning to attend, which of course I was. At that point, the plan was hatched for Jamie to come visit me and attend the homecoming event. Who knew that making plans to attend this one event would turn into a 10 day vacation in Tennessee for Jamie and I would be living in Tennessee at that point?
Jesse, Triumphant's bus driver does a little kissing up

The day finally arrived, I picked Jamie up in Hendersonville and we made our way to Bowling Green, KY to check in our hotel. The whole time I was in Bowling Green, I couldn’t help but think of some of my Texas friends, Taylor and John, who sing The Everly Brothers classic song, Bowling Green.
Piano Medley
Of course we arrived extremely early so we had a little time to talk with Terri before the nearly sold out crowd arrived. The event has been held for years, according to Jeff it used to be a two day event with multiple groups and would draw around 1500 to 1800 people. Jeff said that he would love to see the event grow to that size again. Scotty Inman’s wife, Kasey, grew up in neighboring Morgantown, KY and remembers going to those events.

The night had many special moments. One of them, at the request of Jeff’s mom, Evonia, during Goodbye World, Goodbye with David Sutton, instead of playing the piano as he always does Jeff played the accordion. Many people were not aware Jeff played the accordion. It was so awesome to see him play, since one of the first conversations I had with Jeff was about all the different instruments he can play.
Goodbye World, Goodbye
As we returned to our seats after intermission they held a few drawings for tickets to upcoming Triumphant events, next year’s Jeff Stice Homecoming and some Triumphant CD's. Jeff’s adorable assistant Gracie, Terri’s granddaughter, helped him draw the winners.
Joshua Fit The Battle of Jericho, Jeff's First Piano Lesson and Last Date


One of the highlights of the night for me was to hear/see Jeff play “I’m Seein’ My Father in Me.” This has long been one of my favorite songs because of my love for my daddy, even before I had ever heard of Triumphant Quartet or Jeff Stice. I was pleased when I asked Jeff if he would play it sometime that he was actually planning on playing it at this event. It is something that I have been looking forward to for quite some time. He played it for his daddy, his hero and then he played Mansion Over The Hilltop for his momma.
I'm Seein' My Father In Me and Mansion Over The Hilltop
The best part of the evening that didn’t leave a dry eye in the whole auditorium is when Jeff’s father, Jimmy, took the stage to sing with Triumphant. For almost 8 years Jimmy hasn’t been able to speak a fluent sentence due to a stroke. However, as soon as you put a microphone next to him he can sing every word without missing a beat.
I can’t tell you what an honor it was to be in the audience to witness this. To see the joy in his eyes to be singing on stage with his son was priceless. And vice versa. Jeff adores his daddy and you could see how proud he was to have his daddy on stage with him. Truly a moment I will never forget.
Jeff's father, Jimmy, joined Triumphant on stage

The man of the hour, Jeff Stice

Terri, you are remarkable for putting such a special evening together. Thank you! I am truly honored to have been at this event and cannot wait for next year. Bigger and Better! We will get the event back to the sell out, ridiculously sized extravaganza that Jeff wants to see. 
More photos available on Photobucket.

June 15, 2013

Triumphant Quartet ~ Dunlap, TN ~ Bristol, VA ~ Memphis, TN

My friend Jamie started a weeklong vacation by staying a couple of days with me in Knoxville. Her vacation just happened to coincide with four Triumphant Quartet shows. Funny how that works, right? It was so great to have her come to Tennessee and stay with me. A friendly Texas face was awesome to see as I am missing seeing all my Texas friends and bands that I grew so used to seeing every month.
The first of four shows was in Dunlap, TN. Dunlap is only about an hour and a half away from my house. However, it is in the middle of nowhere. So many winding country roads it took a little bit longer to get there since it wasn't just off the highway.
I've Got Confidence
It Is Well
I Go To Calvary
Jeff Stice and David Sutton ~ Amazing Grace
On the way home, instead of taking those long winding country roads, we decided to follow the bus. We figured they would know an easier way to get back home. Luckily, they did. There were still some winding roads, but nowhere near what we took to get there earlier in the day. Thanks for leading the way, Jesse.



Night two took us to Bristol, VA. It was a very emotional day for both Jamie and I since it was Father's Day. Both of us have lost our fathers, so.... after we spent the morning in tears, we headed to Virginia. Spending the afternoon with such amazing men who understand the meaning of family was extremely comforting.
Jeff Stice - Down From His Glory

(Can you spot the two blue dresses in the front row?)
Jeff Stice

Papa (Clayton) Inman
David Sutton


Eric - aka EB
Mrs. Shari Pickle - The lady tasked with making sure
TQ is where they need to be, when they need to be there.
I am going to skip over night three of our Triumphant week. It was a special occasion in Kentucky that will get its own blog post. It'll be coming up next.
On to night four. Jamie and I had to get up at 5a.m. and drive from Bowling Green, KY back to Hendersonville, TN to pick up her car. Then we followed each other to Memphis for one last show. We checked in our room around 2 to quickly freshen up and then head to the Memphis Convention Center.
I am so glad we arrived early because as soon as we got there we ran in to Doug Anderson. The last two times I have gone to see Ernie Haase and Signature Sound I haven't been able to talk to Doug. One of the times he had to stay backstage because it was right after Devin's surgery on his arm and he had to take care of his buddy. Then the last time he wasn't at the show because a special event in his family conflicted with the show. So the last time I saw Doug was September 2011.. That is definitely too long to wait to see him. 
Doug Anderson

So imagine my delight to walk in and see him walking straight for me and Jamie because he recognized us when we walked in. Now that I am in Tennessee I hope I can make it up to his hometown of Lapel, IN to catch a solo show of his. His voice is one of my favorites.
Ernie Haase
Paul Harkey, Doug Anderson, Ernie Haase & Devin McGlamery
Finally it was time for one last TQ show before Jamie headed back home to Texas. This was the first annual Memphis Quartet Show. A four night event that showcased the industries top quartets. Saturday was the final night, ending with the best quartet around. Of course I am referring to Triumphant.
The Memphis crowd, who had attended most, if not all of 4 day event, was rowdy. They loved Triumphant's performance. The crowd erupted when the one and only Elvis Presley took the stage. I can't think of a better way to end an amazing week than seeing The King shake his hips and singing along with Triumphant as they sang "Old White Flag."
Thanks for getting this Diana!

Special thanks to Tony Darrigan for the following photographs.
I was so tired I didn't even bring my camera to this event.
Jeff Stice getting Elvis' autograph
(Shortly after, Jeff fainted from getting the King's autograph)
Jeff, Scotty Inman and Eric Bennett enjoying sharing the stage
with the King
Elvis, Scotty, Clayton, David and Eric
Clayton Inman
Eric Bennett
Scotty Inman
A physically and emotionally draining end
to a long week. So glad Jamie came to visit.