The name of multi Grammy nominated Karen Peck and New River has become synonymous with Southern Gospel Music. Karen's flawless, delightful soprano voice has made its way into the hearts of Gospel Music lovers across the country and garnered an unprecedented 11 Favorite Soprano Fan Awards from the readers of The Singing News Magazine, Southern Gospel Music's leading fan and trade publication. Karen, Susan and Jeff have also received many awards from other magazine publications and Internet publications.
Over the past two years, New River has had five consecutive #1 songs in Southern Gospel Music.
The youngest of three daughters, Karen was exposed to the traditional sounds of Gospel Music at a very early age. Her parents often took Karen and her sisters, Susan and Sandra, to the all-night sings in Atlanta, and these concerts left an indelible mark on the youngsters who made a pact that someday they would share a musical ministry of their own.
One of the groups often featured at the Atlanta concerts was The Lefevres, who later became known as The Nelons. It would be a mild understatement to say that Karen had aspirations of singing with this talented family. In fact, that aspiration became her greatest desire, and in 1981, this dream became a reality when Karen was invited to travel with her favorite group. She remained with The Nelons for 10 years, gaining the respect of industry peers and fans alike with her exceptional vocal ability and caring personality.
Finally in 1991, the realization of yet another dream came to pass when Karen and her sister, Susan, with Karen's husband Rickey, organized the musical entourage of Karen Peck and New River. Today the New River team consists vocally of Karen, Susan, and Jeff Hawes. Additionally, Karen's husband, Rickey, serves as the group's road manager and sound technician. Susan's husband, David, is the founder and owner of the Jackson Steel Guitar Company. Dawn Hughes has traveled with the group since year 2000 as Karen Peck and New River's assistant making New River a complete family affair.
With appearances on such prestigious stages as The Grand Ole Opry, The Gaither Homecoming concerts, Opryland Theme Park, Dollywood and Six Flags Over Georgia, New River has firmly established their place at the forefront of Southern Gospel Music. Over the past decade, they have been featured on many television networks, with appearances on TBN's Praise The Lord, the Grand Ole Opry Live and the popular Gaither Gospel video Series. The group has enjoyed many honors and accolades. They have received numerous industry and fan award nominations. Their album Journey of Joy received a Grammy nomination for 2008. Journey of Joy was also nominated for three Dove Awards. This album has three consecutive #1 songs including Hey, Last Night, and Whispered Prayers. They have consistently received radio airplay at stations nationwide. Hit releases have flowed their way in bunches, and they have enjoyed many Number One songs. A few of their other popular hits include: Hold Me While I Cry, Just One Touch, I Wanna Know, God Likes To Work, Daddy's Home, When Jesus Passes By, God Still Answers Prayer, and Christian In The House. Additionally, the group's Number One hit, Four Days Late, was also named Song of the Year by readers of The Singing New Magazine in 2001 and the SGMA Awards and continues to be a favorite among audiences.
No doubt, that same message of hope and encouragement continues to flow through the lips and lives of Karen Peck and New River with their Daywind release, Ephesians One, released in September 2008. The album, featuring #1 song I Want To Thank You, was nominated for a Grammy in 2009. Each time we go into the studio to record a new album, Karen shares, We're at a different place in our walk with Christ than the last time we prepared for a recording. Therefore, obviously, each recording pulls at a different heartstring, yet the message of hope is always present. That's what life in Christ is all about. As a result of various circumstances each of us have faced over the past years, we're at a point in our lives where we realize that anything we achieve or accomplish is all because of Christ. It is an honor to serve Him.
New Rived sets a new standard for musical perfection with rich vocal harmony that is shaded with the sophistication of Southern Gospel, country and progressive musical sounds. New River today stands not only as a talented and successful recording artist, but more importantly, effective messengers presenting the Gospel, through Jesus Christ.
Who's On The Stage
Karen Peck Gooch
Over the past two decades, Karen Peck Gooch has become one of the most beloved vocalists in Southern Gospel Music. Her distinctive soprano voice has earned her the respect of industry leaders and fans alike. In May of 1989, Karen married Dahlonega, GA. native, Rickey Gooch, during the same time she was performing with the successful group, The Nelons. A few years later, in 1991, Karen and Rickey, along with Karen's sister Susan organized New River. With the capable assistance of several other talented musicians and singers, the three developed a first-class group that has earned many honors and accolades. Karen and Rickey make their home in Dahlonega, GA, and have two children, Matthew and Kari.
Susan Peck Jackson
Growing up with her sisters Karen and Sandra, Susan's earliest recollections include listening to and singing Gospel music. She has fond memories of enjoying the all-night concerts that were so popular in Atlanta during the 1960s. She often dreamed of sharing the concert stage with her sister, and that dream became a reality when she and Karen organized New River with Karen's husband in 1991. It was a long-time desire of hers to travel with her family, and that desire has now come to pass since her husband David and her son Joseph accompany New River on their travels across the country. David serves as product manager for the group, and when the three aren't on the road, they make their home in Dahlonega, GA.
Jeff Hawes is a native of Flat Rock, Alabama. He has previously been teaching English for the Jackson County School District in which his most recent position was teaching 12th grade English at Pisgah High School.
Jeff began singing on stage around the age of five years old and has always wanted to touch people's lives through song, but it was after his tenure at Troy University, that Jeff's ?gospel dream? became a reality.
In 2008, Jeff auditioned with hundreds of hopeful gospel singers for a chance to be on the Gospel Music Channel's hit reality show Gospel Dream. Jeff was one of three chosen to represent Atlanta when the show was taped in Nashville. The show aired in June 2008, and after making it through two extremely tough rounds of competition, Jeff made the top 12 in the nation.
After his time on Gospel Dream, Jeff went on to compete in Orlando, Florida for the AMTC (Actors, Models, and Talent) Competition in which Jeff was chosen for their highly esteemed Talent Show. Jeff performed in front of top producers and agents from across the world. While at the competition, Jeff was asked to travel with Stained Glass Marriage Ministries from Birmingham, Alabama in which he played keyboard and led worship for their Praise and Worship Team.
Jeff also was hand chosen by Jeremi Richardson of the contemporary group Avalon to sing with the Cleveland Carolers during the 2008 Christmas season. They performed at various venues in the Cleveland, Tennessee area.
In March of 2009, Jeff competed in the annual Aaron Wilburn Talent Search at Hoofers Gospel Barn in LaGrange, Georgia where Jeff won 1st place in the Contemporary Christian Division. Wilburn was a huge supporter of Hawes and allowed him to open for one of his shows in Alabama.
As a result of winning in LaGrange, Jeff advanced to the National Quartet Convention Talent Search in Louisville, Kentucky where he placed in the top 10.
Jeff has a true desire to minister to the lost. His goal is to magnify the name of Jesus and give all honor, praise and glory to His name. He is thrilled to even be singing on the same stage with Karen Peck and New River, and is greatly humbled and excited to be their newest addition. He cannot thank Karen and Susan enough for having the confidence in him and the faith in God to give him this chance of a lifetime.
Jeff's favorite scripture is Proverbs 3:6 ?In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.? Jeff has stuck by this verse during the audition process with KPNR.
No Worries - 2009
Ephesians One - 2008
Best Of Karen Peck and New River - 2007
Journey of Joy - 2007
Good To Be Free - 2005
Faith, Hope and Love - 2004
For His Glory - 2003
Triumph - 2001
A Taste of Grace - 2000
Turn It Loose - 1999
A Southern Gospel Decade - 1999
Makin' A Difference - 1997
Carry Faith (Karen's 2nd Solo Release) - 1996
Right On Time - 1996
Unlimited - 1995
Live and Unlimited - 1995
Alabama Live - 1994
Daddy's Home - 1993
Restoration - 1992
Karen Peck and New River - 1991
My Father's Words (Karen's 1st Solo Release) - 1989
Top 40 Single Releases:
Whispered Prayers - Number One
Hey - Number One
Last Night - Number One
Hold Me While I Cry - Number One
River of Peace - Top 10
Just One Touch - Number One
That's Why They Call It Grace - Top 10
Get About God's Business - Top 10
Rejoice In The Lord - Top 20
Now That You Know - Top 20
I Wanna Know How It Feels - Number One
The Truth Is - Top 10
Four Days Late - Number One
Christian In The House - Top 20
UFO - Top 20
His Tomb Wasn't Empty (It Was Full Of My Sin) - Top 20
Miracle In Every Pew - Top 40
Let Freedom Ring - Top 10
God Says You Can - Top 10
The House That Love Built - Top 40
Little Country Church - Top 20
Ten Thousand Angels - Top 10
God Likes To Work - Number One
Whenever The Wind Blows - Top 10
Last Mile Running - top 20
Daddy's Home - Number One
Rain and Shine - Top 5
God Still Answers Prayer - Top 5
When Jesus Passes By - Number One
Bend In The River - Top 5
He's Sending Miracles - Top 5
Awards and Accolades:
Fan Favorite Artist of the Year ? KPNR ? SGN Music Awards - 2010
Song of the Year ? I Want To Thank You ? SGN Music Awards - 2010
Progressive Southern Album ? No Worries ? SGN Music Awards - 2010
Country Song ? I Want To Thank You ? SGN Music Awards - 2010
Favorite Trio - KPNR - SGM FanFair Fan Awards - 2009, 2008, 2007
Album of the Year - Ephesians One - Diamond Awards - 2009
Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Gospel Album Nominee - Ephesians One - Grammy Awards - 2009
Country/Bluegrass Song of the Year - Hey - SGN Music Awards - 2009
Favorite Female Vocalist - Karen Peck Gooch - SGM FanFair Fan Awards - 2009
Mixed Group of the Year - KPNR - SGN Music Awards - 2009
Song of the Year - Whispered Prayers - Diamond Awards - 2009
Susan Peck Jackson - Favorite Alto - SGM FanFair Fan Awards - 2008
Favorite Song - Last Night - SGM FanFair Fan Awards - 2008
Progressive Southern Album - Journey of Joy - SGN Music Awards - 2008
Progressive Southern Song - Last Night - SGN Music Awards ? 2008
Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Gospel Album Nominee ? Journey of Joy ? Grammy Awards - 2008
Hold Me While I Cry - Song of the Year - SG Fan Awards - 2007
Karen Peck Gooch -Favorite Soprano - SG Fan Awards - 2007
Susan Peck Jackson -Favorite Alto - SG Fan Awards - 2007
Trio of the Year - SG Fan Awards - 2007
Trio of the Year - SGN Scoops Diamond Awards - 2004, 2005
Karen Peck Gooch - Favorite Soprano - US Gospel News Fan Awards - 2005
Progressive Southern Album - Good To Be Free - SGN Music Awards - 2006
Song of the Year Nominee - Get About God's Business - Southern Gospel Music Awards - 2005
Favorite Trio Nominee - Southern Gospel Music Award - 2005
Progressive Song of the Year - That's Why They Call It Grace - Southern Gospel News Music Award - 2004
Song of the Year Nominee - That's Why They Call It Grace - Harmony Awards - 2004
Karen Peck Gooch - Female Vocalist of the Year - Southern Gospel Music Guild - Harmony Awards - 2004, 2005, 2006
Four Days Late - Song of the Year - Singing News Fan Awards - 2001
Song of the Year Nominee - Dove Awards - 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003
Album of the Year Nominee - Dove Awards - 2001, 2003
Song of the Year Nominee - SGMA Awards - 2001, 2002
Trio of the Year Nominee - SGMA Awards - 2001, 2002
Karen Peck - Favorite Female Vocalist - SGMA - 2002
Karen Peck - Favorite Soprano Recipient - Singing News Fan Awards - 11 Consecutive Years
Karen Peck - Favorite Female Vocalist Nominee - Singing News Fan Awards - Several years
Susan Peck - Favorite Alto Nominee - Singing News Fan Awards - 5 Consecutive Years
New River - Favorite Group Nominee - Singing News Fan Awards - 2 Consecutive Years
Favorite Song of the Year Nominee - Singing News Fan Awards - 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 2002, 2003
New River - Sunrise Award Recipient - Gospel