Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Isaacs share their memories of their grandparents and Lily talks about the joys of grandparenting her own grandchildren. A beautiful issue of the Gaither Homecoming magazine - get your copy while they last.

Click to enlarge

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Whirlwind of a Weekend

The Isaacs on stage in Black Mountain, NC

Updated at bottom of post - 9-22-09

It's Monday morning at 5:30am. The alarm clock is blaring and I'm reaching to smack it into snooze mode for just a few more minutes of shut eye. I've only been in bed about 4 hours and morning has come all too soon. But I'd do it all over again tomorrow if I had the chance. You see I travelled about 1000 miles this weekend to spend a few moments with The Isaacs, my favorite music making family in all the world.

On Friday we hurried home from work, tossed our bags into the car and high tailed it to Black Mountain, NC where The Isaacs were singing at 7:15 pm. We arrived just in time to the beautiful Ridgecrest Conference Center. We found Lily at the product table and the rest of the gang on the bus getting dressed. Comedian Aaron Wilburn was on the stage telling his funny tales and when he finished he introduced The Isaacs. The crowd, some 500 folks, was treated to some toe tapping, hair raising sounds for the next hour and a half. They performed a lot of older songs as well as many from the newly released CD. The folks loved it. Just a great concert! The Isaacs headed back to Louisville from Black Mtn. to sing the last night at the National Quartet Convention.

Singing "Little Bit of Heaven" with Nathan
playing the washboard

Ladies Isaacs

The Isaacs Family
Sonya, Lily, Becky & Ben

Ben Isaacs singing "The Three Bells"

Pretty much as soon as the concert was over and we got the table packed up we left to drive about 3 more hours to LaFollette, TN. We spent the night there (what was left of it) and rose early to drive a couple more hours to Berea, Kentucky. We enjoyed the Berea Spoonbread festival as well as a visit to the Isaacs Holler where we spent some great time with Miss Edna. On Saturday evening late we made our way to Joe Isaacs place for some down home Mountain bluegrass music. A crowd had gathered in a field on Red Lick Rd., beneath the stars, under the big sky of Kentucky to hear their friends, neighbors and even family members pick and sing. The night air was chilly but a good time was had by all.

We headed to our hotel pretty early on Saturday night as we were weary and had a full day planned on Sunday. In the wee hours of the morning, just before day break we were awakened by a strange sound.....a beeping, alarm of some sort sounding in the distance. Neither my hubby or myself could quite get our eyes opened enough to get up to see what was going on but if we had we would have seen my sweet friend Gina Black creeping from the Isaacs bus to the hotel after she had mistakenly set the bus alarm off as she left the bus to get her shower in the hotel. The Isaacs' bus was parked right outside our hotel windows.

We met up with our friend Carl Bagby from Virginia for breakfast at Cracker Barrel and then we picked up Gina and made our way back to the Holler. More precious time with Aunt Edna. Time got away from us and before we knew it, it was two in the afternoon and almost time for The Isaacs to perform at their dad's bluegrass festival. We talked Edna into going with us and headed back to Joe's place. It had rained a lot during the night and the field where the folks had to park for the festival was a muddy mess. The Isaacs bus couldn't make it down to the festival so they parked it up by the highway and several people picked them up in cars and drove them down to the stage area. Around 2:30 the family gathered around 2 microphones set up on the stage and the family harmony we know so well blossomed into the overcast afternoon air and brightened everyone's day. The Isaacs did about 5 or 6 songs including Happy Birthday to their mom who was celebrating her birthday in Berea, KY on this day. Then they called their dad, Joe Isaacs onto the stage with them. They did songs together like Man on a Mule, Wandering Boy and Paul's Ministry. Joe spoke from the stage about how proud he was to have his family there and how much he loved each of them. They sounded great together. It was a great afternoon.

After the concert The Isaacs made their way up the road to sit down with more family for a great meal. We weren't able to stay and join them because we needed to hit the road and begin our 7 hour journey back to NC. We arrived home around 1:00 am. We were tired, but full and satisfied that the trip was well worth every mile.

by: Lisa Hildreth

Sonya, Joe & Ben

Sonya & Becky

Miss Edna & Carl Bagby

Miss Edna reading to us from her Bible

She's always Praising the Lord

Update: I left out something funny/interesting that happened in Berea on Sunday. I mentioned that The Isaacs couldn't get their bus down into the field where the Bluegrass festival was taking place.......they went in cars and carried their instruments in hand with them, but Nathan didn't take his cajon. A young lady made her way up to the stage and requested that The Isaacs do the Walk On song but of course the cajon is an important part of the sound of the song. Nathan grabbed up a guitar case and played it like his cajon and it really sounded awesome. Everything turned out just fine. Carl Bagby caught a great picture just at the right moment!

Click on Photo to enlarge
"I love the look on Becky's face"

Next stop: Blogging from Myrtle Beach - Gaither Fest - October 2nd and 3rd, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Isaacs: Back at NQC!

The Isaacs woke up in Louisville, KY for the final day of the National Quartet Convention. They perform tonight at 8:35pm. They've been very popular here this week and their newest project, "The Isaacs, Naturally", has been very well-received thus far. So well received, in fact, that they had to have a shipment of CD's sent in overnight from the warehouse!

It has been a gorgeous week in Louisville but today is cloudy and overcast. I think we might get wet on our way to the bus tonight! But, we are thankful for all things. A little rain can't possibly mar the fantastic week we've have had here at NQC.

Last night while the group was in North Carolina, I had a chance to hear some of the other performances. The Gaither Vocal Band was fantastic. It was my first time hearing their newly formed group. Their vocals were awesome. I met a group called Crystal River earlier this week and will hear them perform in a little while. They have a very powerful song on the radio right now called, "I Stand In Awe" and all three of them are just amazing! You should check them out! I met lots of new people and was thrilled to see some of the people I met here last year. I had blast, Roxanne!

Please take the time to pray for my mother, Ruth. She had a shoulder replacement yesterday and is facing a long, difficult recovery. She is a big fan of the Isaacs family and had the pleasure of speaking to her favorite, Ben, before her surgery. I love you Mama!

I can't wait until The Isaacs perform tonight. They were flawless on Tuesday night and I can't imagine what they will do to top that performance; but knowing them like I do, I am convinced that they will. So, join us if you can and if you can't, look for the highlights on TV!

Have a blessed Saturday. Remember to keep The Isaacs' and their ministry in your prayers.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Isaacs at NQC 2009

Hi everyone!
This is Gina and I have been blessed to spend the week with The Isaacs at the 2009 NQC in beautiful Louisville, KY. I had a few computer connection problems at the hotel and have not been able to blog until now. Hopefully, I will be able to blog more often through the rest of the week.
We arrived in Louisville on Tuesday afternoon. We unloaded and set up the booth in the Exhibition Hall. For those who were here last year, we are in the same location. The Isaacs have a new back-drop that was done from the same photo as the cover of their new CD, “The Isaacs, Naturally” and it is a great photo of the Isaacs family.

The Isaacs were scheduled for sound check at 3:25pm and that went smoothly. Although they were not scheduled to perform until six hours later, there was not much time for relaxing. I learned a long time ago that these people do so much more than just show up and sing. There is an enormous amount of work that goes into it…..then they sing. The week of NQC is filled with TV, radio and magazine interviews. Fans get a chance to meet and talk to their favorite musicians. However, business must go on as usual; things like travel planning for future dates, ordering products and equipment and keeping up with family left behind at home.
I was joined at the product table by Louisville natives, Sherry and Jennifer Thurmond, long-time friends of the Isaacs family. We closed the table a little after 9pm and walked the ramp to the backstage area with The Isaacs. I was able to get some pics as they were waiting their turn to take the stage.

They were warmly welcomed on stage by the crowd, and started their four-song set with “Walk On”. Ben introduced the next song and gave the history of “The Three Bells”. The crowd was hard to read at the time, but I learned later at the product table that they absolutely loved it! Next, they did Sonya’s, “A Little Bit of Heaven”. They finished with “I Will Praise Him” and brought down the house! I was slowly making my way to the exit in an attempt to beat the crowd back to the table. I stood there to hear the song and when they did the first modulation (I just learned that word) the crowd audibly gasped! Before the second verse, the crowd was applauding and the applause did not stop. I wanted to tell everyone there to hold on to their seats because they were not finished! Of course, when they did finish, they got a huge standing ovation. I was moved to tears…..that song always does that to me.
Later at the table, the fans bombarded us to purchase the new CD! They loved the new songs. I wish I could have counted the times that I said, “Yes, this is the one” about the CD. We received great feedback from so many fans. It was wonderful.

Wednesday started with the Gaither Sing-Along. There was a good crowd and some great music as always. After the sing-along, there were interviews, autographs and a lot of catching up with old friends.
And now, The Isaacs are on their way to the beautiful mountains of North Carolina for a concert on Friday night. Then, they return here to Louisville for their performance on Saturday night. I anxiously await their return as well as the arrival of Lisa and Wade Hildreth.
Good night all. Please pray for safe travels for The Isaacs and for their ministry. And please make plans to see them real soon!


Gina Black

Monday, September 14, 2009

Visit The Isaacs at NQC

The Isaacs would love to invite you to come by our booth at the National Quartet Convention this week. We'll be arriving on Tuesday September 15th and will be there through Saturday night September 19th. Our booth is located on Row 400 - Booth 578/479 - near the Food Court. We are performing Tuesday night at 9:25pm on the main stage and also on Saturday night. We'd love to see you there. Come by to visit and be sure to pick up our new CD - The Isaacs, Naturally.

See you there!

What are they saying?

The Isaacs, Naturally Reviews

by: Bill Gaither

(9/11/09) Alexandria, IN - The Isaacs are, without question, among the most important talents ever to find their way into the music industry, with countless awards and inductions added to their credits every year. This week, the September 8 release of their brand new recording, Naturally, marks a new beginning for this long-standing force in gospel music.

In what will undoubtedly become the consummate project of the Isaacs' 30-year history, "fun" meets "substance" and the Isaacs' undeniable talent meets exactly what the world needs to hear at this moment in time. Brimming with energy and hope that will resound with audiences of every age, Naturally boasts an irresistible mix of catchy remakes, contagious new tunes and classic favorites, including the group's much-loved arrangement of "It Is Well With My Soul" which, until now, has been performed live all over the world but has never been recorded on an Isaacs audio project.

Co-produced by Bill Gaither and Ben Isaacs (who has an impressive and growing resume as a producer), Naturally, intentionally highlights the Isaacs' vocal prowess with as little instrumentation as possible. The result is a stunning, collection of "nearly a cappella" songs that is guaranteed to stop you in your tracks.

"Jaw-dropping talent like that of the Isaacs is a rare find, and it's obvious this group is here to stay. For that reason, it has been extremely exciting to finally capture the breadth of that talent in the studio. 'Naturally' brings you The Isaacs at their very, very best. And to be honest with you, I still can't listen to the project without smiling from ear-to-ear. I believe 20 years from now, people will still be loving this recording and jaws will still be dropping at the harmonies this group can achieve."

- Bill Gaither

Friday, September 11, 2009

Brand New CD - The Isaacs, Naturally

Official release date September 8th, 2009

We're so excited to offer you our latest Isaacs project. "The Isaacs, almost acapella collection" is now available.
Visit our online store to order your copy today.

Here is a sample song from the new project!

The project has 16 songs - 6 are acapella and the rest are almost acapella with only one or two instruments. Produced by Ben Isaacs & Bill Gaither.

Visit our website to hear short clips of each song:

1. Little Bit of Heaven - written by Sonya Isaacs
2. Hard Times Come Again No More - beautifully sung by Becky
3. I Will Praise Him - an acapella selection
4. Mama's Teaching Angels How to Sing - written by Dottie Rambo
5. Come My Child - written by Gloria Gaither & performed by Lily Isaacs
6. Healin' Stream - written by Larry Gatlin
7. The Three Bells - made popular in the 1960's by Jim Ed Brown
8. No Shortage - written by Gary S. Paxton in the 1970's
9. He Can be Found - written by Ella Barrett & Faye Cunningham
10. Does Jesus Care - special arrangement by The Isaacs & Bill Gaither
11. Hallelujah - sung in Hebrew - as performed on the Gaither Israel video
12. Hear the Voice of My Beloved - written by Bill & Gloria Gaither
13. When God Seems so Near - written by Bill & Gloria Gaither
14. There's Something About that Name - written by Bill & Gloria Gaither
15. Peace be Still - a beautiful praise chorus performed by Lily
16. It is Well with my Soul

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Remembering our Grandparents - Godfrey & Bessie Isaacs

National Grandparents Day - September 13th, 2009

You’d have to be a Godly woman to give birth to 17 children in a rustic log cabin nestled in the hidden mountains of Eastern Kentucky! Even more unimaginable is doing it without electricity, running water, or a doctor! Now imagine how many years you would have to be with child to accomplish that… My Grandma Bessie was one of the sweetest, kindest, most patient women in the world, and she is my role model for maternal sanity. Dad was her youngest, the 17th child born to this amazing woman and her hard working Pentecostal preaching, farming husband, Grandpa Godfrey.

Growing up with hundreds of first cousins and thousands of extended family members (some who you just had to pretend to know) made family reunions a blast and going home to Grandma’s more like a party than a visit. Comfortably squeezed into 3 small bedrooms, I fondly recall those occasional overnight stays up on their mountain… Ahh the smell of the wood burning in the fireplace and the oil lanterns flickering on the newspaper covered ceilings above… the sound of creaking wooden floors, and the whispers of little girls just after the lantern was blown out “Mommy, I gotta go to the bathroom!” Only instead of her walking us down the hall, Mom would simply pull the pot out from under the bed and assure us that it was much better than having to walk up the hill to the outhouse in the dark!

Breakfast was always a feast, and Grandma would wake up before the sun did to make it every morning… soft, moist, made from scratch biscuits covered in perfectly stirred gravy with skillet fried potatoes and some good ole salty country ham, which I always found a little hard to swallow after watching the pigs out in the pen just the day before! But boy could she cook! And boy could we eat... but never until after we gathered in the living room for not just a word of thanks, but a “get down on your knees and thank God” prayer! Faith was the center of their existence. God was everything to them… their Provider, their Keeper, their Helper. I don’t recall ever seeing Grandma get upset about anything, and never heard her say an unkind word to or about anyone. She was the closest thing to an Angel that I’ve ever seen and I’ll never forget how hard I cried the day God called her back to heaven.

Before she left us we had the opportunity to record Grandma Bessie singing some of the songs we loved to hear her sing growing up. I always smile when I think about it because she had no idea how the recording process works. She didn’t understand that you have to be very quiet when you finish a song, and almost every time she would say something that we would later have to erase. Finally Dad stood just behind the recording glass and at the end of the song held his finger to his lips to remind her to be quiet. Unaware that even the quietest noise would make it to tape, she softly whispered “ok” to his request, and we all just smiled at each other knowing that we were blessed to inherit the gift of her love and her heart for God, family and music.

by: Sonya Isaacs

Click the arrow to start video - be sure to

have your sound turned up

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

At Home in the Red Lick Mountains with Joe Isaacs

Come to the Red Lick Mountains of Kentucky September 19th and 20th
for some great Bluegrass and Gospel Music.

Saturday September 19th features Joe Isaacs and Mountain Bluegrass along with many other groups. The music starts at 12:00 noon.

Sunday September 20th the music starts at 1:00pm and features The Isaacs with Joe Isaacs for one concert at 2:30pm.

500 Red Lick Rd.
Berea, Kentucky

Bring lawn chairs & blankets.

2 day pass only $20.00
1 day event $12.00
Kids 12 and under Free

For more information call: 859-986-5687 or 859-985-1189

Click on poster to enlarge