By Lorie Watkins
Hey Y’all! Can you believe how fast time has flown by this year? Fall is in the air, leaves are giving a hint of color, and here down south the pansies are in bloom. For you guys out there it means road trips camping, hunting season, and football on the tube. Okay well for some of us, male and female, it’s all of the above. One thing that always comes to my mind during this time of year is an event that just took place, the National Quartet Convention. This is a week in Louisville, KY that is filled with great gospel music, family, friends, and so many memories and great times for a lot of people, artists and fans alike.
I was very young when we first started attending, having a booth, and performing at the National Quartet Convention. It was held in Nashville, TN at that time and we loved every minute of that first year and have enjoyed it ever since. The years that we would miss due to schedule conflicts we’d always talk about what we’d be doing if we were there and who we’d be hanging with. One of the best things that I can think of about that week is that every year that we are there we are blessed to make new friends and the old friendships just keep getting better and stronger. This year has been no exception.
Now I’m sure that I’m not the only writer who is going to be talking about the National Quartet Convention, with so many things to do, places to go, people to see, and exciting events taking place in this one week, it’s bound to get talked about quite a bit. I’d like to cover one event that I happen to know a little about though.
The Front Porch Fellowship Bluegrass Gospel Awards or also known as the Bluegrass Pickin’ Showcase was a great event this year as always. Les Butler is the one who puts together and orchestrates this wonderful event from his nationally syndicated radio program Front Porch Fellowship. This showcase has been growing and growing every year up to the point that it was brought to the main stage this year. Just guessing from the size of the audience and there reaction to the artists, I’d say that this year was another great success. At noon on Thursday the event was kicked off by The Watkins Family, yes that’s me and my family, to be followed by The Rochesters, who picked up several awards this year. The Primitive Quartet then took the stage to perform and received Group of the Year. The next band to make an appearance was The Isaacs, a phenomenal band who is always well received and loved. Jerry Salley, who you have read about here, then took the stage to perform a powerful brand new song that he had written. A young band called Triple L took home the award for upcoming artist. The last group to perform was new not only to the bluegrass stage but also to the convention, Cody Shuler and Pine Mountain Railroad.
I hope and pray that any of you out there who attended the Convention and didn’t go to this program, that you will strongly consider it next year. And I would also like to encourage anyone who has never gone to NQC to give it a try. If you love great gospel music, it is the place to be come September. Remember that this life is full of ups and downs, highs and lows but put your trust and faith in the Lord. He is our guide through the storm no matter how much it rocks the boat.