Keeping Up With Frank Seamans…

Anyone who has been familiar with Legacy Five for little more than a year knows Frank Seamans. His sweet, friendly manner and his warm(southern-accent-tinted) tenor voice won the hearts of thousands of Southern Gospel music lovers in his 5 year with the group. Now, don’t close the window on my fingers… but I never even realized that I liked tenors at all before I heard Frank.

No, really.

Anyway, for those of you who have been wondering what Frank has been up to these days… He is living in the Houston area once again, and recently accepted the position of Associate Pastor at Freedom Fellowship in Pearland, TX! On the singing side of things, I just ran across this clip of Frank making music with a few friends…

If this video is any indication, ol’ Frankie’s still got it! In fact, I think he’s gotten better. I love his voice on a lot of songs… but he really shines on this one. It just fits him! I would love to see him record an album(yes, I still call it album!) of old songs like this.

So there you are– An update on Frank Seamans! Please continue to keep him and his family in your prayers :)

Catching up …

Well, as you can see, I didn’t manage to post my review! I got halfway through the first one, but so much time had gone by that it seemed pointless to continue(I might finish it if anyone is still interested in reading it). Life keeps getting busier and busier on me, and when I finally get a chance to write– I’m too tired to do it! I guess the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak ;) . Yet another thing to add to my list of time-management issues!

Catching up… well, let me see here. My concerts this year are as follows:

  • Legacy Five – January 15th
  • Legacy Five – January 16th
  • Kingdom Heirs – January 22nd
  • Legacy Five – March 6th

The back-to-back L5 concerts were wonderful! Bitter-sweet, really… I enjoyed the concerts, but was sad because it was my last time to see Tim Parton with the group. Call me sentimental, but I really get attached to the people in the groups that I follow closely… and I have a really hard time saying goodbye to them. Tim is one of my all-time favorite people, and though I miss him already, I am very happy for him and his family and wish them all the best. Please continue to keep them in your prayers as they begin this new chapter in their lives.

As for the Kingdom Heirs concert, it was great!! It was my first time to see them in person, and I was not disappointed! While at the concert, I learned that it was only Jerry Martin’s second concert with the group! The recent personnel change was one of the things that prompted me to make the drive that evening(that and the fact that you can count the times that the KH has been to Texas on one hand!). Anyway, Jerry did a fantastic job! His voice fits and blends with the group far better than I had imagined. I came away very impressed by the group as a whole… it is easy to see why they have been around for 30 years!

Well, I guess that is what’s new with me! I’m hoping to write up a short review of my last L5 concert(my first concert since Trey joined the group), and I have a few CDs I would love to review as well. I’m still planning to post a few videos from the January concerts. Please– bear with me! :)

On the Road Again …

Hello friends! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and that the first two weeks of 2011 have been filled with the Father’s blessings. May we all strive to draw closer to the Lord, and to fulfill His purpose for our lives in 2011!

Well, today I am off to my first concert of the year!! I am super excited(to say the least)! I’m planning to have a review up sometime next week, so keep an eye out.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Songs in the Spotlight

Do you ever hear a song that takes you back in time? There are some days where I’m just going along, minding my own business, casually listening the local Gospel radio station or my iPod on shuffle… then it happens. I hear an old tune that has been hibernating(if you will) in the back of my mind; always there, but never jumping out to claim my thoughts. Then in an instant, an irrepressible grin works its way from one corner of my mouth to the other, and warm memories from my childhood and days gone by come rushing back to me; memories so real that it feels as though I could touch them. All this from one song. Has that ever happened to you? Well, it happened to me today.

Like many Americans, my mom and I went grocery shopping for Thanksgiving necessities today. After spending what seemed like an eternity at Walmart, we made a quick stop at Lowes to buy a big jug of peanut oil. Why peanut oil? Because in my house, turkey baking is for the birds! We fry and we’re proud of it buddy! Anyway, getting back on track…

We were just pulling back on to the highway when I heard a familiar sound wafting from the radio. My ears perked up immediately(if you can imagine that!) as I heard the blast of trumpets beginning what is, in my mind, an unmistakable introduction. It was “God’s Building A Church” by Gold City. I listened to it over, and over, and over again when I was a little kid… about 7 years old, I think. My siblings and I would sing our hearts out, doing our best to keep up with Jay Parrack on the high parts, then trying to imitate Tim Riley’s low solo lines throughout the song. It was the lineup or “version” of Gold City that I grew up hearing and loving, so it will always be the classic sound for me.

So! Since this song meant so much to me today, I want to share it with you.

I would love to see this song make a comeback… it’s far too good  to lay dormant in Gold City’s vault. It would be great if GC would bring it back themselves, but it would also be interesting to see what another group would do with it. Any ideas?

Edit: I think I should mention that this particular type of blog post is meant to be the first in a series of songs, and the title is still pending. I just want to keep confusion to a minimum here ;) .

Legacy Five – Deer Park, TX

This must be a typo…” was my first reaction as I read “Legacy Five : Deer Park, TX 10/24/10 in the October issue of the Singing News Magazine. I try to keep tabs on all of the concert that are within my range, and I hadn’t seen that date on L5′s schedule… on top of the fact that I thought they were scheduled to be on a cruise that day. But, several weeks, emails, and schedule updates later, I found out that the group was indeed scheduled to be in Deer Park that day! I was elated to hear it, but I still didn’t know if we would be able to make the concert. My mother had just come through a major heart surgery a couple of weeks before, so I was hesitant to ask her to make the trip. In fact, I didn’t ask her at all! To my surprise, a little over a week before the concert, Mom brought up the subject herself! Long story made short, she said that we would try to go if she felt good that day…

She did! We left for the concert a bit early, giving us plenty of time to reach the church before the doors opened at 5 pm. Guess what?! We didn’t get lost(which is a big deal for us)– Thank God for the GPS! We arrived about an hour early(2 hours, technically), so we decided to kill a little time with our friend, the Blizzard, at Dairy Queen. We returned to the church parking lot around 4:40-ish and were attempting to pick a delegate to go see if the doors had been unlocked(How many Texans does it take to open a door?) when we saw Glenn Dustin hop off of the bus and head for the church door. We called out a “Hey” as he walked by… and watched to see if the door was unlocked ;) . It was! We were about to walk in when we met Scott, Tim, Gus and Howie heading back to the bus after sound check. It was great to see them again! They were all so sweet to my mom… I’m so thankful for their prayers and support!

We made our way into the church and found our seats(2nd row!). A moment later, our dear friend and Texas-Concert-Buddy, Linda, sat down on the row behind us– We also found out a few minutes before that Frank Seamans(L5′s former tenor) and his wife, Libby, would be at the concert that night! It was wonderful to see so many friends!

We headed back to the table and ran into Frank along the way. It was GREAT to see him again! For all of the “Frank – Fans” out there(who isn’t??), he is doing well! He and Libby just moved back to Houston and they are loving it. He is also planning a “Sing-Along” concert in Pasadena, TX this month… and he’s even hoping to have his new CD ready for release at the concert!! I’ll try to keep you updated on that, and I may even review the CD when I get it. You can keep up with him at his blog, and you can pre-order his CD here.

Things weren’t overly hectic at the table, so we were able to hang around and chat for a few more minutes before the concert got started. I snapped my first picture of all the guys at the table since Gus joined up! I even managed to get their
bus driver transportation engineer, Gary, in the picture.

After losing ALL track of time, we hurried back to our seats about 5 seconds before the concert began.

  • I’d Like To Say It Again
  • I love this old Cathedrals song and have been wanting to hear it used as an opener since I first discovered that they would be recording it on their latest CD, Give The World A Smile. It’s an easy(on the ears), low-key song featuring Glenn Dustin on the verses, backed with nice, soft harmony from the rest of the guys.

  • Newborn Feelin’
  • Another Cathedrals classic, and another favorite for me! Their jazzy rendition of this song had everyone’s toes a’tappin!

  • Strike Up The Band
  • It seems like this song just keeps getting better each time I hear it! It was nominated for Singing News’ “Song Of the Year” in 2007… and it’s easy to see why! They really blew the roof off with the ending and received a standing ovation. I’ve uploaded a video of this song, you can access it by clicking on the song title. There are several more that you will see through the rest of the review.

    After their customary 3-song-opening, Scott took a few moments to greet the audience… and to tease the promoter(pastor, I believe) for waiting 3-ish years to have them back in Deer Park ;-) .

  • I’ve Been Changed
  • Also nominated for a Singing News Fan Award, this song features Glenn Dustin. I love hearing him sing this song. I’ve had the opportunity to hear it live several times and before he begins to sing, he always shares with the audience that he loves to sing this song because it is his testimony. Glenn(and all of the guys, for that matter!) really puts himself into this song, and the result is very moving. The lyric “All of my past has been erased, nothing ahead but amazing grace!” ought to light a fire in every believer’s heart!

  • Thankful For The Change
  • When I first heard this song on CD, I liked it… but it wasn’t a song that stood out, or, for lack of better words,”popped”. After I heard it in person, it became one of my favorites! Each of the guys bring a great energy to this song, but the element that really takes it to another level is simply… Scott Howard. When the key changes and they repeat the chorus for the last time, Howie really gets into the song! His face lights up and he starts clapping and singing with such unbridled enthusiasm that the audience can’t help getting into the song themselves… which is really saying something for the majority of SG audiences! As the song ended, Scott Fowler said “Now that’s change you can believe in!” . I must say that I agree!

    Scott went on to introduced “the new guy” to the audience, which turned humorous when he said “Gus is from Santa Rosa, California…” followed by a few “ooh’s” from the very southern crowd, “Now it’s pretty unusual to find a guy from California that loves to sing Southern Gospel music… but what’s even more unusual is to find a guy from California that still believes that marriage should be between a man and a woman!” To which Gus raised his hand and the audience strongly cheered! Scott leaned over to Gus and said something inaudible, then he laughed and told the audience “I just said to Gus, ‘You do believe that, right?!’.” Too funny!

  • I Stand Redeemed
  • When it was first announced that Gus would be the new tenor for L5, one of the big questions that could be found floating about from discussion boards to social networks to SG blogs was “Can he sing I Stand Redeemed?”. It’s kind of been the “secret”(that everyone knows?) ingredient for fan success as an L5 tenor. Well, I can Gus Gacheswhole heartedly say that he has exceeded my expectations! Gus, like his predecessor, has successfully taken this L5 classic and made it his own. They’ve dropped the soundtrack in favor of Tim’s piano accompaniment alone, and brought the key down a half step from the previous version. Some have argued that it’s pitched too low, but I think that the key-change combined with giving the accompaniment entirely to Tim brings a calm sincerity to the song and puts even more emphasis on the words. I’ve heard “ISR” several times this year, whether in person or on YouTube, and I think this was the best that I have heard him yet. I thought that was rather neat considering Frank Seamans was sitting on the front row. Speaking of Frank, he beat me to the standing ovation! Anyone who knows me would understand that is truly saying something ;-) . It was touching to see him show so much support for Gus.

  • Wonderful Grace of Jesus
  • After being introduced by Scott, Tim launched into his piano solo of the evening. It’s always one of my favorite parts of L5′s program! It turned out to be rather humorous as well… I would try to explain it, but I think a video would do the job a bit better, so just click on the title above to watch it!

  • Boundless Love
  • This one was a lot of fun! They sang the new arrangement from their latest recording, Give The World A Smileand the crowd loved it, so they did an a cappella encore of the chorus.

  • Reach Out To Jesus
  • This was Scott Howard’s feature of the evening. It’s an old song that the Imperials recorded back in the ’60s, and that “old” sound really compliments Howie’s rich baritone…tone! The funny thing about this is that this song starts with everyone singing together, which is fine… but the problem was that everyone started with a different line! I’m not exactly sure, but it appeared that everyone started with the wrong line, Howie got it straightened out about 4 words in… Scott and Gus didn’t… and Glenn was lost completely so he just kinda hummed! Howie kept singing the right line and they had it all back in tune with about 5 seconds of starting the song. I don’t think many people even caught it … I wouldn’t have noticed myself if I hadn’t already heard the CD. I hated to laugh, but I couldn’t help cracking up just a bit because Gus was trying so hard NOT to! So anyway, aside of the slight hiccup at the beginning, the song turned out great :-)

  • There’s Something About That Name / I Will Serve Thee
  • It’s hard to explain, but something happens when L5 sings this song… it’s like a hush falls over the room and the audience is spellbound for a few moments… just worshiping the Lord. You can tell that each of the guys give 110% to this song… and ALL of the emphasis is placed on God. I like it paired with “I Will Serve Thee” as it was in the Cathedrals “Remember The Music” tribute DVD. I’m glad they started using it in their program.

    When they had finished the song, Scott picked up his Bible and began to talk about the name of Jesus… how precious it is, and how it’s not “politically correct” these days to say the name of Jesus unless you’re using it as a curse… then he said “But one of the things I love about Texas folks is that y’all aren’t politically correct, and I LOVE that!” … needless to say, we all cheered in agreement! He then went on to tell the story about the “church” in Florida… if you’ve never heard the story, here is a clip from an older concert … it’s worth watching! Scott continued talking for a few moments and started flipping through his Bible… then he said “And I’m, uh… I’m stalling here because I’m desperately looking for Luke!”, then the ever quick-witted Howie turned to the audience and said, ” Just raise your hand brother, we can’t see you because of the lights…”. By that time Scott had found “Brother Luke” and began reading a passage about the Resurrection, which led up to the next song . . .

  • We Shall See Jesus
  • This would have to be my favorite song of the evening. I had been anxious to hear it in person since I first found out that L5 would be recording it. Glenn Dustin was featured on the first two verses, and I have to say that this is honestly some of, if not THE best solo work that I’ve ever heard from him. Scott Fowler took the third verse and really knocked it out of the park! Much of the audience was on their feet by the time they reached the middle of the chorus, and it just kept getting better! I can’t describe the feeling in that room… it was like the roof was about to lift off! Even that doesn’t really depict the effect of the song… just suffice it to say that it was one of those rare concert moments when you couldn’t have stayed in your seat even if you wanted to. I loved Gus’s solo line toward the end… that in itself takes the song to another level.

  • Intermission
  • Sort of! Tim played while the pastor came up to take the offering, then Scott n’ Scott came back up to do the product pitch before they continued to sing.

  • Everyday
  • This song has quickly become a favorite for me! It’s a brand new song from Jubilee 2, and it really is my favorite song on the entire project. I’m not sure how old the song is, but it definitely has a rich, classic sound to it… It reminds me of “Why” from their Know So Salvation project. Tim adds a fifth harmony at different points in the song and it makes for a beautiful blend.

  • Feeling Fine
  • This old Mosie Lister song is always a fun part of the program! I love the singing, of course… all of the guys really get into this song and to a fantastic job with it… but the highlight for me is watching Tim play the piano! He really goes to town on it, especially toward the end… His feet are tappin’ a hundred miles an hour, and his hand are moving even faster!

    When the song had ended, Scott said, (keep in mind the lyrics from the previous song “I woke up with Heaven on my mind”) “Alright, I have to admit, when I woke up this morning, the first thing on my mind was not heaven. God knows my heart, I might as well confess it to you. The first thing on my mind was Sudie’s Catfish!” The crowd(mostly locals, I assume) erupted in cheers, whistles and “amens”! He went on to say that Frank Seamans was on the front row and that he and Libby had taken them to lunch at “Sudie’s” that day.

  • Festival Of Carols
  • After Scott finished talking about the “local star” as he put it, to my surprise he said “Hey, sitting right behind Frank are some friends of ours…” and he started talking about us! He said “They asked us for about four songs tonight that we couldn’t do… because we don’t remember them! But finally, on the fifth try, they asked for something we could do.” So he told Timmy to fire up Festival Of Carols and said “This ought to get you in the mood to go put up your tree tonight!”.They sang it and it was awesome! I love Festival Of Carols because you get so many of the old favorites rolled up into one song. I personally love Christmas music too much to limit it to December!

    Scott went on to introduce the crowd to an old friend of his that was sitting on the other side of the audience. He said he 6 children, and that led into Scott talking about how he has his hands full with his two boys! He told a sweet story about a lesson he and his wife learned from their five-year-old, Bailey, and that led into the next song.

  • God’s Been Good
  • This song has always touched me, but it’s even more special to me now. My mother’s heart surgery was really a hard time for my family… In truth, we almost lost her. But through the surgery and everything that took place during that time, God really reopened my eyes to His goodness. When we came to a place of complete helplessness and He held our hands and took care of us in a way that only He could… It strengthened my faith, and it opened my eyes to see more than ever before that He Is Good. I know that life sometimes hands us a lot of heartache, so many people have to face much worse things than my family did…  But I’m so thankful that we have a loving Father who will be with us no matter what life brings our way. Through it all, God’s been good!

  • Great Is Thy Faithfulness
  • This is my favorite old Hymn, and like “God’s Been Good” it’s become even more precious to me in recent months. It is honestly the most powerful arrangement of this song that I’ve ever heard. It’s from the Just Stand project that was arranged and produced by Lari Goss… so that explains a lot of it! They really brought the house down with the ending.

  • I Found Grace
  • Scott handed the mic back to the pastor and the rest of the guys were about to hang up their mics when he said something inaudible to Scott, who nodded, then he turned to the audience and said “One more?”. As they kicked off the final track of the evening, Scott said “He told us ‘You don’t get your check ’til you sing this!’ … We’ll do it twice!”. It wasn’t the finale that anyone had planned or expected (other than the pastor!) but it turned out great with everyone back on their feet for the big finish.

    Final Thoughts

This was my 6th(and unfortunately, last) time to see Legacy Five this year, and I can honestly say that they get better every time I hear them! It’s been neat to watch Gus as he carves out his place in the group and in the hearts of the fans, and to see how Legacy Five as a group has continued to grow and refine their new sound over the year. These guys truly bless my heart every time I see them and they always leave me eager for the next concert! If Legacy Five is ever in your area, I strongly encourage you to go hear them … You’ll be glad you did!

 


    Legacy Five & their bus driver, Gary


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