Since the barn was a bit warm until the sun went down, many visitors waited in the covered patio outside the barn, enjoying the beautiful rural surroundings. Families relaxed in weathered benches and rockers, listening to a piano player in Vaudeville attire. Some meandered through the shopping area, buying CDs, T-shirts and handmade cards or just something cold and refreshing to drink.
Soon the concert began and the air cooled a bit, though the temperature was forgotten as the audience was treated to David's soaring tenor and stellar vocal and musical accompaniment. Bill rightly noted that no one can pigeonhole David Phelps, and this performance was no exception. Phelps and friends covered many genres throughout the evening — sounds of pop, country, traditional gospel, folk, classical, Americana, contemporary worship, and even a little Cajun influence made for a beautifully diverse experience. The thread holding it all together was that every note played and every word sung pointed upward — to the blessing, comfort and yes, freedom found in Jesus.
Featured through the night were talented students from nearby Bethel University. Their jubilant drum line opened the night with an upbeat drum cadence that led into Phelps’ rhythm-driven opener, “I’m Coming Home,” and Bethel’s choir shone on multiple numbers.
David was also joined by his terrific house band, Charlotte Ritchie, the Gaither Vocal Band and his daughters, Callie and Maggie Beth.
The end of the concert turned into a fun singalong/party, as David launched into “When the Saints Go Marching In.” He made his way down the center aisle and out the back of the barn still singing, followed by the audience in a big, joyful procession.
In addition to the 14 songs from the CD Freedom, the DVD includes these six: “Drifting Too Far from the Shore” featuring Charlotte Ritchie and musician Jack Daniels, “I Wanna Live Like a King,” “Revelation Song,” “Bedside of a Neighbor” featuring Charlotte, Callie and Maggie Beth, “Water” featuring David in a poignant Broadway-like duet with Maggie Beth, and then the two performed by the GVB: “When We All Get Together with the Lord” and “Ridin’ Down the Canyon.”
If you ever have the chance to attend a Barn Bash or other event at the Phelps farm, we highly recommend it! And be on the lookout for the Freedom DVD coming in a few months ... it'll be a keeper!
Here are a few sneak-peek photos: