As Eric Bennett, the bass singer of Triumphant speaks about his group's upcoming performance this Saturday at 7 p.m. at Hempstead Hall, he says his group's unique brand of Gospel seeks to “engage,” “encourage,” and “empower.”
As Eric Bennett, the bass singer of Triumphant speaks about his group’s upcoming performance this Saturday at 7 p.m. at Hempstead Hall, he says his group’s unique brand of Gospel seeks to “engage,” “encourage,” and “empower.”
“We want them to leave the performance with a smile on their face. We hope they will walk away having the Gospel presented to them in a powerful and upbeat way, and that they will welcome Christ as their Lord and Savior,” Bennett said Tuesday afternoon.
Similar to the Kingdom Heirs, who appeared at Hempstead Hall last year, Triumphant has been a very successful and powerful group in their own right for the past 15 years and selling out shows across the county, including a show in Ripley, Mississippi on Thursday night prior to arriving in Hope.
And, like many Gospel harmony groups, Bennett, age 51, points to the direct influence of the Oak Ridge Boys, the Statler Brothers, and the Cathedral Quartet. He specially recalls his mother taking him to a Gospel performance, and the sounds of harmony and message hooked him.
“I loved it. I knew then that harmony singing is what I wanted to do,” he said.
For Bennett, along with his fellow singers, David Sutton, age 44, Tenor; Clayton Inman, age 58, Lead, and Scotty Inman, age 34, Baritone, it has been a joyous and successful 15-year ride together after being initially formed as the group, Integrity in 2003.
“We are very blessed to do what we do. God has been good to us, and we never forget that. He is what got us here today,” Bennett said, “And we all get along; it is really like one big family, like brothers. We are all friends, and we are all family men.”
One of the group’s more interesting aspects is that they are known for being the only long-time Southern Gospel quartet to have never changed personnel among the vocalists. With that kind of continuity, and the core group never having changed, Bennett said “We have a consistent sound and a consistent show; it has not changed, and because we’ve stayed together for 15 years, we’ve been able to develop and polish our own unique sound and show,” he said.
Those attending Triumphant’s upcoming concert in Hope can expect a 90-minute show, which Bennett says will include a full one hour of music upfront, before a 15-minute break, then a 30-minute finale.
In addition, the group travels with a live piano player, Aaron Dishman, and Bennett said the majority of the show will be Gospel songs along with some Contemporary Christian and Bluegrass selections.
“Bluegrass artists are some of the most talented performers in the world; I don’t think they get appreciated enough,” Bennett said.
As many musical acts do, Bennett said he enjoys various types of artists and music, and he especially respects the talent, harmony, and showmanship. He says he is a fan of the Eagles as well as much of the county crossover music of the before-mentioned Oak Ridge Boys. Bennett calls Ronnie Milsap, who will also appear at Hempstead Hall later this year, “an amazing talent.”
“I saw him about 10 years ago; he was great,” Bennett said.
Bennett is also a big fan of two other Christian Contemporary acts, who ironically made their way to Hempstead Hall over the past six months, Jason Crabb and Arkadelphia’s Point of Grace.
“Yes, I know Jason; I’m a very big fan. He is the real deal. And, although I haven’t met them in person, I listen to Point of Grace. They have great harmony,” he said.
Bennett also said, “There is a lot of great Christian, Contemporary Christian and Gospel acts out there. Many artists take a ‘vertical’ approach to the music; that is singing to God. Our approach is more ‘horizontal’ as we like to sing to others about God. The Gospel has the power to change people; we want to bring that to the table.”
Dolly Henley, director of Hempstead Hall, said “I’m happy for them to be here in Hope. I am looking forward to a great show from them."
Within the Gospel genre, Triumphant, not to be confused with a mid-1980s Canadian rock band called Triumph, has been recognized as Singing News Magazine’s ”Favorite Traditional Male Quartet" for five consecutive years from 2009 to 2014.
A series of hit songs like "I Bring You Forgiveness," "Don't Let the Sandals Fool Ya," "Hey, Jonah," "The Great I Am Still Is," "The Old White Flag", and "When the Trumpet Sounds" have all been nominated for fan and industry awards.
Henley said Tuesday afternoon that tickets for Triumphant, ranging from $18 to $22, were still available at Hempstead Hall.
In other Hempstead Hall concert news, Henley said Trace Adkins tickets go on sale Friday, February 10 starting at 10 a.m. Adkins will perform in Hope on Saturday, May 6, with VIP Meet Greet, VIP Tour Package and regular seating available.