The name of Karen Peck has become synonymous with Southern Gospel Music. Her 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.
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 favourite 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 sister Susan, with Karen's husband Rickey, organized the musical entourage of Karen Peck & New River. Today the New River team consists vocally of Karen, Susan, and Devin McGlamery. Additionally, Karen's husband Rickey serves as the group's road manager and sound technician, while Susan's husband David co-ordinates the group's merchandise sales. Dawn Hughes has travelled with the group for over two years, assisting with the care of Karen and Rickey's children, Matthew and Kari, as well as Susan and David's son Joseph, making New River a complete family affair.
With appearances on such prestigious stages as The Grand Ole Opry, 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 honours and accolades. They have received numerous industry and fan award nominations, and have consistently enjoyed radio air play at stations nation-wide. Hit releases have flowed their way in bunches, and they have enjoyed five number one hits, including their latest, "I Wanna Know How It Feels", co-written by Karen. Just a few of their other popular hits include "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 News Magazine in 2001.
The group's 2001 Spring Hill release, Triumph, brought additional success, spawning one Number One hit, and two additional Top 20 releases. "The message of Triumph was a testimony of the victorious life that can be found in Christ," Karen Peck Gooch explains. "When difficult circumstances happen in our lives, it's sometimes easy to lose hope and faith; however, the wonderful truth is that through each tragedy, there is triumph in Him. We believe that message was boldly proclaimed throughout the Triumph recording."
No doubt, that same message of hope and encouragement continues to flow through the lips and lives of Karen Peck & New River with their latest Spring Hill release, For His Glory, released in August 2003, which was nominated for the Southern Gospel Music Guild-Harmony Honors of Album Of The Year (2004). Also on the album is "That's Why They Call It Grace" which was nominated for Song Of The Year for the Southern Gospel Music Guild-Harmony Honors (2004) "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 heart-string, yet the message of hope is always present, because that's what life in Christ is all about. As a result of various circumstances each of us have faced over the past year and a half, we're at a point in our lives where we realize that anything we achieve or accomplish is all because of Christ. It's not about me. It's not about New River. It's all about Him. We are nothing without Him. That's what this recording conveys."
New River 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, all For His Glory!