Posted by: coomercove | April 13, 2010

Concert Review: Mark Trammell QT at Higher Ground

This past Sunday, the Mark Trammell Quartet was booked at the last minute to be at Higher Ground Baptist Church in Kingsport, TN.  The plan for Sunday morning was for them to sing a few songs before Pastor Phil Hoskins preached.  That changed when God took over and let the church know that He didn’t need Phil to preach for Him that day.  The group did sing three songs during the morning service (“In The Sweet Forever”, “Loving The Lamb”, and “How Big Is God”).

The quartet was scheduled to have the entire evening service, but I was disappointed when it turned out to be almost evenly split between them and the church choir.  I was pleasantly surprised that the group only used sound tracks for their final five songs. The rest of their set featured lead singer Dustin Sweatman on piano and Mark playing bass guitar.

The group opened with “Gentle Shepherd”, a song I’ve heard multiple groups open concerts with over the last several years.  Even though it runs the risk of being a bit over used, it does set a wonderful mood for a church service.  The rest of their set featured quartet standards with a couple of newer songs from their Always Have A Song project mixed in.

This was my first time hearing the group with new members Joel Wood and Pat Barker.  Both of them seemed to fit very well with Mark and Dustin.  I would have preferred Joel to be a little louder in the mix.  I could hear him, but sometimes had to struggle to find him.  Pat sounded very good with the quartet.  Although he isn’t the lowest bass (at least from what I’ve heard him sing), he is very smooth and blended very well.  What stands out to me most about Pat is his enthusiasm, on and off the stage.  In the morning service, he seemed to get as big a blessing from the service as anyone else in the congregation.

Overall, I enjoyed hearing the group.  They are not the most dynamic quartet (lacking a sky high tenor and a deeper bass), but they are incredibly solid from top to bottom.  I’ve always felt they are better suited for churches than concerts, and Sunday did nothing to dissuade me from that thinking.  Of course, with Mark’s focus on ministry and preaching, I’m sure that is what they are going after and feel more at home doing.

Set List:

  • Gentle Shepherd
  • Hallelujah, I’m Going Home
  • Introductions
  • How Big Is God
  • Plan Of Salvation
  • Always Have A Song
  • Hide Thou Me
  • Coming Out And Moving In*
  • Mansion Over The Hilltop*
  • Standing On The Solid Rock*
  • I Believe In A Hill Called Mt. Calvary*
  • Safe On The Glory Side*


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