Aaron Swain's blog about Southern Gospel Music, News, and other items of interest in the SG world.

Archive for January, 2008

Anthony Facello’s New Group Changes Name

January 30, 2008 By: Aaron Category: Anthony Facello and Crossroads, Beyond The Ashes, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music

According to a Myspace bulletin released from the group:

Hey friends! Just wanted to share the news with you, that after much prayer and some good counsel, Crossroad will now be known as BEYOND THE ASHES! I love the spiritual aspect that will bring to so many, when talking about the group.

I really covet your prayers as we are in the midst of some really exciting times for the group right now, but am a little overwhelmed with it all….it’s all good, just alot to think about and do. I know you are standing alongside of us, and I appreciate that very much. Keep those emails and comments coming. I love hearing from you, and I assure you when you have a prayer request, the group takes it to the Father…we need you in our lives….

…In closing, we really do appreciate you, your support and all you do to make us feel so good. We want our lives and music to exemplify Christ and His never-ending love for all of us. You are a part of that….so thank you!

Luv’n ya,


I actually like the name better. Although, I’m not quite sure why. And the group sounds great, by the way. Some of their stuff can be found here.

Three Gospel Gems

January 28, 2008 By: Aaron Category: Gold City, SG Artists, SG History, SG Music, The Cathedrals, The Florida Boys

In my Youtube surfing today, I stumbled across these old videos. This is some great stuff!

is a video Darrell Stewart and Clarke Beasley taking the lead on “This Heart Of Mine”, with Les Beasley playing piano and Glen Allred playing bass guitar. The rest of the lineup is tenor Rick Busby and bass Buddy Liles.

Check out this OLD clip of Gold City singing “In My Robe Of White”. This must be right before Ivan Parker and Mike LeFevre joined. The lineup is tenor Brian Free, lead Jerry Ritchie, baritone Ken Trussell, bass Tim Riley, and pianist Garry Jones.
Update: Says commenter Helen Westberry:

“The Gold City lineup on the video is Brian Free as tenor, Bill Crittendon as lead, Jerry Ritchie as baritone, Tim Riley as bass, Garry Jones on piano, John Noski on drums, Jerry Lloyd on steel guitar, Ken Bennett (I believe) on bass guitar.”

And finally, a clip of Ernie Haase and The Cathedrals singing “Oh, What A Savior”. This is about a week after Ernie joined the group. The lineup is tenor Ernie Haase, lead Glen Payne, baritone Mark Trammell, bass George Younce, and piano Roger Bennett.

Update #2: Thought it would serve dial-up users better if I did not embed the videos.

Concert Review: 5th Annual Winter Angel Benefit Concert

January 27, 2008 By: Aaron Category: Concert Reviews, Garden Of Grace, Jerry Trammell, Mark Trammell Trio, SG Artists, SG Music, The Joys

Artist(s): Mark Trammell Trio, Jerry Trammell, The Joys, Garden of Grace

Venue: Hyland Heights Baptist Church, Lynchburg, VA

I got the opportunity last night to attend a concert only 20 minutes from my house. It was a benefit concert, one that has been held annually for five years, apparently, and this was my first time attending. The love offering that was taken was given to a family whose baby girl has a condition that is pretty serious and she needs operations.

The concert started at 7:00, but at 6:30, pre-concert music was provided by The Joys, a regional group from VA Beach. They put on a decent set. Then around 7:00, Garden of Grace, another regional group from Lynchburg, VA, gave about a five song set that was pretty good.

Then, Mark Trammell’s brother, Jerry, did another 5-or-so song set. Long-time gospel fans may remember Jerry’s days with the Florida Boys. The man is a very powerful singer, despite being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease a while back. It did not affect his singing, however, and he brought the audience to their feet several times.

Jerry then introduced his brother’s group, and they launched into an amazing acappella rendition of an old hymn (the name of which escapes me). I got so wrapped up in it that I totally forgot to write down a song list, but it was an awesome set. Mark’s own brand of dry humor had everyone rolling. He commented on the song “Glory Road” being like “eating nothing but fillet mignon for a week; by the seventh day, you’re about to die to get fed something else!” Then, after having to start over the tenor feature (the part where he goes up on “I can see”) three times because somebody liked it so much each time, Mark finally said “Well, we ain’t never gonna get there, but we can see it.” The audience roared with laughter.

Other highlights included MTT’s powerful performance of “Once Upon A Cross”, Jerry joining his brother’s group to sing bass for them on one song, and the finale with all the groups that had sung that night joining for one final song. Jerry and Mark picked the daylights out of each other the whole night, much to the crowd’s amusement.

One moment I don’t think I’ll ever forget was at the very end, when Mark explained to the audience that the next morning, tenor Eric Phillips’ dad, Ernie, was to have surgery to remove a large mass from his lower abdomen. He said the doctors did not know what to expect. He then got Eric to stand in front of the altar, and the crowd gathered around him as Mark led everyone in prayer. Then, as we headed back to our seats, Mark led us in a verse and chorus of “Victory In Jesus”, with Dustin Sweatman playing the piano.

It was a great night. I can safely say I’ll return to the next Winter Angel Benefit Concert!

Inspirations Name New Tenor

January 23, 2008 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG History, SG Industry News, SG Music, The Inspirations

If you’re an Inspirations fan, chances are you’ve noticed Archie Watkins’ vocals have been giving him some trouble over the past four years. They’ve had various tenors filling in during that time, but today, the group officially named their new tenor: Darren Osborne.
Not sure if this was the guy they had filling in at NQC this past year, but if it is, then he’s good! Be on the lookout for him at concerts at such; it’s a worthy “successor” of sorts to the great Archie Watkins.

Songs That Will Stand The Test Of Time

January 22, 2008 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG History, SG Music

On a forum post of the same title, we’ve been discussing songs recorded in the last five years or so that will still be popular 20 or 30 years down the road. I’ve mulled over it the past couple of days, and seeing as I’ve seen no newsworthy items as of late, I’ll share my thoughts with you. Now, this list is in no particular order; I’m just posting as they come to me

1. I Stand Redeemed Legacy Five’s breakthrough single is simply a great song, and one I catch myself humming under my breath quite often. It’s such a good song, they even re-recorded it on their latest project. Well, that and the fact that the key needed to be adjusted. Anybody else see the Strong In The Strength video when Josh Cobb took the lead on it? His face got beet red!

2. What We Needed The latest radio release by The Kingdom Heirs is another home-run song by a home-run group. These guys produce hit after hit after hit, and What We Needed is no exception. I can see this hitting the #1 spot sometime in the near future, mark my words.

3. I’ve Been Changed Another song by L5. It didn’t quite make it up to #1, but it got pretty close, and it’s one of their best songs since I Stand Redeemed, IMO.

4. My Name Is Lazarus Awesome song by Greater Vision that gets my toe tapping every single time I hear it.

5. Forever Changed This was a #1 for The Kingdom Heirs a couple years back. Find myself humming this one too.

6. Once Upon A Cross Mark Trammell absolutely knocks this one out of the park. I’m a Baptist, but when I heard it live at NQC this past year, I almost had a shoutin’ fit!

7. Long As I Got King Jesus A #1 for Brian Free & Assurance back in 2003, and they still leave the crowd wanting more by closing out their concerts with this one every night. Need I say more?

8. He Will Hide Me The Perrys knock this one out the park. Go to one of their concerts and you’ll see what I mean.

9. It Means Just What It Says Greater Vision’s latest single will stay in their repertoire for years to come, I guarantee it.

10. Jerusalem The Hoppers are outstanding on this great song. Another “hummin'” song.

Personnel Changes

January 17, 2008 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, The Old Paths, The Perrys

According to Daniel Mount’s blog, there seems to be two changes in group lineups this morning.

First off, Joseph Cox returns as pianist for the Old Paths Quartet. Although not nationally recognized, they’re a great quartet, and this move on Cox’s part will probably strengthen their fanbase. Cox, if you remember, was featured pianist on the cover of The Kingdom Heirs’ latest release, True To The Call.

And also, Troy Peach, formerly of TK & McRae, is now The Perrys’ soundman. I understand that he filled in for a couple months after the other guy left to serve his hitch with Uncle Sam, and from what I hear, Troy does a great job.

Brad Smith Leaves Monument Quartet?

January 08, 2008 By: Aaron Category: Blackwood Gospel Quartet, Josh Garner, Monument Quartet, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music

Hmm… according to Kyle Boering’s blog, it may be so.

Apparently, Smith was singing baritone with the Blackwood Gospel Quartet, which, if I’m not mistaken, is the same group that Josh Garner joined (permanently or not) as lead singer recently.

Interesting…. I’d monitor this one closely.

UPDATE: My mistake. It was Wes Burke’s blog, not Kyle’s.

A Future Quartet In The Making?

January 07, 2008 By: Aaron Category: Garry Jones, Mercy's Mark, SG Artists, SG Music

Just wanted to share these videos on Youtube of a recent concert, which Garry Jones was a part of. Garry is the baritone/piano player/manager of Mercy’s Mark, whose future is being prayerfully considered at this point. He joined with former Mercy’s Mark bass singer Chris West, former lead singer Josh Feemster, former tenor Brent Mitchell, and sang some songs with them. Then, he accompanied a quartet made of West, West’s brother Craig, Feemster, and Mitchell, on the piano for a couple songs.

Let me just say that I hope the Mitchell-Feemster-Jones-West lineup will be Mercy’s Mark’s next lineup, or that the Mitchell-Feemster-West-West-Jones lineup will. Craig West’s performance of “I Bowed On My Knees” in one of the videos reminds me of the performance of the same song I saw at an NQC showcase in 2007, with young, dynamic lead Scott Allen taking the solo.

Very excited for the MM future now!

I’m On The Battlefield

Midnight Cry

I Bowed On My Knees

Dan Keeton Quartet Members Announced

January 03, 2008 By: Aaron Category: Dan Keeton Quartet, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music

From a Singing News wire:

RUSH, KY (Press Release) – The members of the Dan Keeton Quartet have been selected and are as follows: Bass – Rick Grey from Morristown Tennesssee, Baritone – Chris Little from Griffithsville West Virginia, Alto – Nancy Nunley Keeton from Rush, KY, and of course Dan Keeton singing Tenor.

Biographical information on the new lineup for the Dan Keeton Quartet can be found by visiting Dan Keeton Quartet’s website.

Can’t wait to hear this quartet’s sound. There’s been some speculation that they may go for a Happy Goodmans-like sound, with the alto taking the high part, but Keeton being a tenor throws a monkey wrench in that. We shall see, we shall see…