Since Live Issue reformed back in 2006, the band’s unique style of music and ministry has reached a whole new generation across Ireland, the United Kingdom and America. The past few years have seen Live Issue release a new DVD entitled “Life and Music” recorded live at Revelation TV in London, two very successful tours of the United States, including their debut appearance on the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville and the opportunity to record with many of the top American artists of Country and Gospel music. In February 2012, the group was invited to perform at the “International Festival of Country Music” held in the Odyssey Arena in Belfast. During this event Live Issue had the opportunity to share the stage with artists such as Reba McEntire, Ricky Skaggs and George Hamilton IV.
Live Issue literally made history in Nashville by becoming the first group from Ireland, and only the second group from the British Isles, to perform on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. To appear there would be ‘a dream come’ true for any artist in the Country music business, and yet this great honour has fallen to the members of an unassuming Country Gospel band based just outside Lurgan Co. Armagh. Many people feel the members of Live Issue have become ambassadors not only for Country Gospel Music, but also for their Christian faith and everything that is good about Northern Ireland.
Live Issue comprises of Colin Elliott, Roy Dreaning, Sam Armstrong, Carl Sands and Ivan McLernon. Although the group still plays at many events in Northern Ireland, they are also regularly found performing at concerts and conventions throughout Britain. Live Issue has shared the stage with Country legends such as David Frizzell, Joanne Cash, Ricky Skaggs, Charlie Louvin and Jimmy Fortune, from the Statler Brothers, and their live performances in Nashville have been broadcast across the world on WSM Radio and Music City Television.
In December 2010 ‘New Christian Music’ named Live Issue as “Artist of the Year” for the fourth consecutive year in the Country Gospel category. Colin Elliott, with the assistance of his colleagues in Live Issue, recently produced a ‘duets’ album entitled, “Old Fashioned Hymns and Gospel Songs for Those Who Miss Them!” with George Hamilton IV. The double CD featured many of the stars from the Grand Ole Opry such as Charley Pride , Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart, George Beverly Shea, Pat Boone, Charlie Louvin and Connie Smith. Production on this landmark album took over two years to complete and was recorded both locally at Hillcrest Recording Studios in Portadown and at Lamon Recordings in Nashville. As well as recording and producing the album, Colin Elliott and Live Issue provided the backing for each track. The album was released in Nashville at the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday 3rd July 2010 and in February 2011 it was also nominated for a Dove Award, which is the highest accolade in Gospel Music.
Live Issue is considered by many to be one of the most popular Country Gospel groups in the British Isles, not only for their musical and singing ability but also for their warmth, humility, sense of humour and love for the Lord. This is clear both in their music and to anyone who has had the opportunity to see the group play live.
It is clear when you both watch and listen to Live Issue just how much the members of the group love their music, yet more importantly the band believes that the message behind the songs is the most important aspect of their concerts. The group members take their ministry and faith very seriously and believe that God has given them important opportunities to spread the Gospel through their music.