What Separates SG From Other Genres

I’ve seen this question asked many times, and I just don’t know how to answer it.

However, yesterday I heard an answer than sums it up completely. I was a little surprised to hear it come from one of the younger and newer artists to the industry, 21-year old Riley Harrison Clark.

Q: What drew you do sing Southern Gospel music?

A: The meat. The meat in the songs, there’s nothing like it. I didn’t grow up listening to SG music, but it was a dream to sing it because with any song you can relate, you can get something from it, you can get fed. I grew up singing P&W music and thats all I did because that’s all I knew. There’s a time and place for that. but P/W is that, it’s praise and worship. But as far as ministry goes, there’s the meat in SG music that isn’t found in a lot of other places. That’s what drew my heart to it, and that’s why we sing it every night, because we do see lives changed 100% at every concert. There’s nothing like it.

That is so true. There’s so many songs that I could point to as a perfect example of a meaty song, but I’m not sure I have the time or space to start that list. I will say the song that I was listening to hours after first hearing to that quote which led me to write this post was “Ask Me Why” by Legacy Five.

I’m not writing this because I think SG is necessarily better than P/W or CCM music, because it’s not. What Riley said is so true. “There’s a time and a place for that.” Our different genres should not be competing against each other, fighting for the right to be called “the best.” I see it written so many places, and it really bugs me. There’s a time and a place for CCM, a time and place for P/W, and a time and place for Southern Gospel. Everyone is still glorifying God with their talents, so why does it matter which style is the “best”?

So with that said, what are some of your favorite meaty songs? (apologies to any SG vegetarians)

Note: The interview I took that quote from can be seen in its 20-minute entirety here.

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2 thoughts on “What Separates SG From Other Genres

  1. I saw this group again this last weekend, down at Silver Dollar City, Branson, MO. They are one of the groups I have seen there every year, and one of two groups that really represent southern gospel music for me. (The other is the Dixie Echoes.) They have grown better every year, and this lineup with Riley and Anthony is one of their best, in my mind. Each one of the four “lives” the songs they sing, and when Riley belts out “Homecoming Day”, they bring down the house. Anthony can hit the low notes as good as any bass I’ve heard, even at his age. And Josh and Gary are the solid, “old guys”, (not to me, I am one of the older crowd) and hold their own with their voices, especially the harmony. I left each show (saw them 4 times) feeling better about life in general.
    The song Good News From Jerusalem is excellent! There is just something about their sincerity- they show us that they truly believe in what they are telling us through their songs. Friendly, and just all around nice young men.
    Karen

  2. Thanks for sharing this interview. Truth be told, some of my favorite “meaty” songs aren’t even Christian. But I’m glad that there are artists you can find in Christian music that are able to answer those “meaty” questions. (Though there are some people who seem to think “meaty” equals edgy and controversial, read shallow/liberal.)

    Check out my Questions & Answers series if you want to find out what some of my favorites are. 🙂

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