The folks at Callahan Baptist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, quickly ran out of superlatives when discussing the music of Southern Raised on Sunday morning, December 4th! This attractive, conservatively dressed, clean-cut group of young people brought the members of the congregation to their feet with a stunning program of beautifully arranged gospel songs, hymns, and carols. As we gathered for prayer before the service, Pastor Sasser commented that he didn’t want just a performance or entertainment, he wanted “Jesus first of all.” The congregation got the entire package – the message of Jesus, presented with respect, professionalism, quality, and huge talent. Lindsay didn’t preach, but there were well-chosen, inspiring words to segue from song to song. There were charming smiles and utmost confidence, but no clowning. Pastor Sasser was so impressed that he asked them to remain onstage to sing throughout the service, including the invitation. Working as a professional pianist, I’m accustomed to working with groups and gifted musicians. As Southern Raised presented their program, the members of the church band were catching my eye, reacting with big smiles and enthusiastically giving “thumbs up.” Southern Raised impressed me in two ways: First, I’m convinced that every one is a true Believer. Somehow, you will never question their sincerity and determination to “put Jesus first.” Second, individually and collectively, they are the most musically capable group I have seen in years. No mistake, they are BLUE GRASS, but theirs is truly sophisticated and polished blue grass. The classical training shines through. Their a cappella rendition of “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” was astounding, and a unique arrangement of “What Child Is This?” would charm any classical musician. Southern Raised was literally “mobbed” after the service and asked, “When are you coming back?” If you ever consider booking or attending a performance of Southern Raised, don’t hesitate – drive the extra hundred miles. They are, indeed, the treat of a lifetime.
Jack Rouse –Pianist, Callahan Baptist Church, Knoxville, Tennessee
“Praise Him with stringed instruments…”
What a wonderful time of worship we had with “Southern Raised”, a Bluegrass band out of Hurley, Missouri. This is not your grandfather’s Bluegrass…but he would have loved it! Their harmonies are tight, their pitch is unerring and their command of the traditional Bluegrass instruments is on par with the best. But what sets “Southern Raised” apart is their ability to use Bluegrass instruments and stylings to lead you to the throne of God. You would not have any problem extending an invitation or making an altar call behind one of their concerts. In fact, their song, “The Perfect Time”, is a powerful invitation song! We will not only have them back for a concert, I’d like to use them in a Revival effort!
Bro. Joe Clement
Pastor – First Baptist Church, Kensett, Arkansas