Arden, North Carolina (September 29, 2023) — In an epic encounter that brought together The Inspirations’ past and present, current and former members of the storied Southern Gospel group gave a performance for the ages at the 2022 National Quartet Convention — and now listeners everywhere can enjoy this unique, uplifting set in the majestic The Inspirations‘ Reunion Live collection from Horizon Records.
The excitement of the audience can be felt from the set’s very first moment, as it erupts into applause at emcee Josh Franks’ introduction and the opening notes of the current lineup’s lively rendition of “Living On Higher Ground,” and the energy in the hall remains at top level throughout the program. In an exquisitely crafted sequence, the quartet — Isaac Moore, Roland Kesterson, Luke Vaught and Wyatt Austin — gives way one by one to the group’s first generation, each man taking his original position and performing one of his signature songs. Indeed, time seems almost to stand still as Archie Watkins, Troy Burns, Eddie Dietz, Mike Holcomb, Marlin Shubert, Matt Diebler and Melton Campbell made their way to the stage, offering, alongside today’s members, endless reminders of why The Inspirations have had such a profound impact on Christian music. The band, too — Vaught on piano, guitarist Roger Fortner, Dale Jones on pedal steel and guest Jeff Tolbert (Primitive Quartet) on bass — unerringly delivers the classic sound that has kept the quartet at the forefront of Southern Gospel over the decades.
From start to finish, The Inspirations‘ Reunion Live testifies to the heartfelt joy of the Gospel’s good news, delivered by an aptly named brotherhood of men who have spent their lifetimes immersed in an unsurpassed musical ministry. Says founding member and legendary tenor singer Archie Watkins, “I am so excited that we got to do this! It was wonderful being on the stage at the National Quartet Convention with all the guys, and to see how the crowd just soaked it in was a blessing. I cannot thank Luke enough for how he put this event together. No one knows the history of our group like he does, and he really made the event come alive. I hope the fans love the recording as much as we did getting to record it!”
Listen to Reunion Live HERE.
About The Inspirations
The Inspirations first formed in 1964 in Bryson City, North Carolina and became full time in 1969 after hosting their first “Singing In The Smokies” event. With a number of hit songs through the 1970s, the group rose to national attention and joined the Gospel Singing Jubilee Television program. In January of 1970, they secured their first #1 song on the Singing News Chart, “Jesus Is Coming Soon,” marking just the beginning of their chart-topping success. In November of 1973, The Inspirations held the #1 spot for 12 months with “Touring That City.” It was followed with the success of “When I Wake Up To Sleep No More” in 1974 and “Jesus Is Mine” in 1976. In 2001, The Inspirations recorded their first album with Horizon Records, titled Pure Vintage. The album’s first song, “I’ll Not Turn My Back On Him Now,” returned the group to the top of the Singing News chart after 26 years. It was followed with more #1 tracks with “I Have Not Forgotten” and “If You Only Knew.” The Inspirations are Roland Kesterson, Luke Vaught, Wyatt Austin and Isaac Moore.