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

Archive for February, 2008

Brian Elliot Rejoins Anchormen

February 29, 2008 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, The Anchormen

Per Daniel Mount, it seems that a former Anchormen piano player is returning to the group.

Elliot was with the group at the time when the whole group, except Elliot, formed Driven Quartet. Elliot then went to Palmetto State Quartet, and was only with them for a year when that group semi-dissolved.

Although the lineup for The Anchormen is different from when he was with them last, he should have no trouble settling back in; they just re-recorded and released Glory Ahead, the project that Anchormen/Driven lineup recorded when Elliot was still with them.

EHSSQ Announces Next Video Taping

February 22, 2008 By: Aaron Category: Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music

According to Daniel Mount, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound have announced the taping of their new DVD, set to accompany their new Dream On album and slated for a Fall 2008 release.

This is one CD/DVD that will be high on my wishlist. I had originally heard that this stuff wouldn’t be released till Fall 2009, but I’m glad to hear otherwise.

It will definitely be interesting to see who they get to play piano for them on the album and video. Even more so on the video, because it will establish whether EHSSQ is still as good on stage as they were when Roy Webb was with them. I’m sure many haven’t gotten the opportunity to catch a concert with them since the split happened (I’m in that number, myself), so this video will be very defining.

Mark Trammell Trio Singing "Once Upon A Cross"

February 21, 2008 By: Aaron Category: Mark Trammell Trio, SG Artists, SG Music

To add to my review of the Lynchburg, VA concert of the Mark Trammell Trio a few weeks back, here is a video of the group singing their hit song, “Once Upon A Cross.”

Absolutely outstanding. Mark’s still got it, and Dustin Sweatman and Eric Phillips are none too shabby either!

Crabb Revival Signs With Daywind Records

February 20, 2008 By: Aaron Category: Crabb Revival, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music

The Singing News website reports that the Crabb Family “spinoff” has signed with Daywind Records.

To me, this is an interesting move, to say the least. Home to artists like Legacy Five The Booth Brothers, and Greater Vision, this is a rather innovative move for the label. Of course, there are some more Progressive artists on the roster as well (i.e., Brian Free & Assurance). It will be interesting to see where CR takes the label, and vice-versa.

Danny Koker Passed Away

February 18, 2008 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music

The Singing News website says in a headline that Danny Koker, the first baritone and pianist for The Cathedrals (starting back when they were a trio), passed away today. Unfortunately, I’m not a subscriber, so I couldn’t see the full article, but I’m sure another news source will have it up tomorrow.

From an article on SoGospelNews.com:

Founding member of The Cathedral’s, Danny Koker, passed away Sunday, Feb. 17, 2008, after giving up a long fight with cancer. The Cathedral Trio began in 1963, with Rex Humbard at the Cathedral of Tomorrow. The founding members were Glen Payne, Danny Koker, and Bobby Clark. Danny was the group’s original baritone and pianist. In 1965, George Younce joined the group, and it became known as the Cathedral Quartet. Danny was with the group until the early 70’s. In recent years, he resided in Las Vegas, with wife, Mary.

Please remember the Koker family in your prayers. More info will be posted as it becomes available.

Further Update:
Thanks to Joe Bonsall for this information on the funeral arrangements:
Palm Mortuary, 7600 Southeastern Avenue, Las Vegas, NV

Both viewing and funeral are Sunday, Feb. 24.

Even Further Update: Rex Humbard, Jr. will be preaching the service.

On Overdubbing And The Need For It In Certain Cases

February 16, 2008 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG History, SG Music, The Cathedrals

Kyle Boreing made an interesting blog post today, comparing the “unedited” video version of “Boundless Love”, as sung by The Cathedrals on their Travelin’ Live video (now available on DVD). Also included in his post is an “edited” version which he constructed using the video footage and the audio from the album itself.

Now, if you notice, in the “unedited” version, the only instrumentation is provided by a drummer, a bassist, and Roger Bennett at the piano. On the album version, a synthesizer is added to the mix. I assume this is the case with all the songs on the album, but the comparison is very stark when comparing album and video.

The “un-edited” video is assumed to be exactly what the audience saw and heard the night this concert was recorded. The “edited” version was severely overdubbed, which is obvious when compared to the raw footage: vocals weren’t perfect, the cut-offs weren’t together, George Younce’s bass line “Touches Me” sounded sorta nasally and came out sounding like “Tuches May”.

And then, most obviously and probably the most famous error, the flubbed encore when George said something to the effect of “Yea.. Do that trio part again! I love that trio…!” Glen, Mark, and Danny started off on different verses, and eventually settled on the first verse. (“There is not a mother, sister, friend, or brother…”)

I can imagine the look on George and Glen’s faces when finalizing the album. “Yuck…” Not to say it’s a bad rendition, because it certainly isn’t. I just imagine they thought it would be better to edit it before shipping it out.

And so, they overdubbed it. More polished vocals, George’s bass was dead-on smooth, “The Trio Part” started off right (on the second verse). And of course, the synthesizer was added. Now, it sounds good. Off to the distributors!

Come to think of it, I would have liked to have a “un-edited” album version, but I think George and Glen probably figured polished=better to release. Although, that was the very first rendition of “Boundless Love” that people heard, and it’d be nice to hear that exact version of it.

Now, I’m not saying that overdubbing is bad. It’s probably needed in cases such as this. But ya gotta wonder, how many live recordings have indeed been overdubbed before the final release date? Releases like The Kingsmen’s live albums of yesteryear (Big And Live, Live…Naturally, etc.), or even modern releases like Legacy Five’s Live In Music City. Hmm…..

LeFevre Quartet Signs With Canaan Records

February 11, 2008 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, The Mike LeFevre Quartet

According to this SoGospelNews post, Canaan Records has added the Mike LeFevre Quartet to their roster.

Not sure which label they were on before (or if they were even on one), but I think this move will give these guys the recognition they deserve. Aside from their last release, Total Praise (an album I didn’t like because it was all standard CCM arrangements, besides I Bless Your Name, which is an awesome song), they have some good albums under their belt already. Can’t wait to see and hear their future efforts.

Dusty Barett’s Grandfather In Rehab

February 11, 2008 By: Aaron Category: Prayer Requests, SG Artists, SG Music

Please keep him in your prayers.

The story here.

Going Out Of Town

February 07, 2008 By: Aaron Category: Vacation/Going Away Notice

Won’t be able to post till Sunday because of a youth group trip. God Bless!

Mercy’s Mark Update

February 06, 2008 By: Aaron Category: Garry Jones, Mercy's Mark, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music

From an e-mail newsletter I received today:

Hello everyone,
I hope you are having a great year so far. I have not written for a couple of months
as I have been absorbed in the holidays and reconnecting with my family. I have
also been exploring future interests for myself and Mercy’s Mark.

As most of you are aware, Mercy’s Mark discontinued touring in November of 2007.
I vowed at that time that no drastic decisions would be made until all options could
be explored and I had the time needed to pray about the future. After careful consideration
and prayer, Mercy’s Mark will not resume touring to the degree we were. There have
been promoters who have expressed interest in booking MM in the future for selected
dates. Because of this we are not officially disbanding but will consider a few
selected dates on a limited basis.

Returning to the quartet world as an artist was a significant decision and a desire
I had but only as it was practical from a Christian business perspective. At the
present time I have determined that it is just not financially practical for Mercy’s
Mark to immediately resume touring. However, it is my desire that God’s will
and purpose for MM be fulfilled. I will continue to keep you updated on any changes
for the group and any concert dates that we may perform.

As for my immediate plans I have scheduled a few select concert piano solo appearances
and I am actively returning to the production world to arrange and produce recording
projects for other artists. Being in the studio already this year has definitely
rekindled my passion and excitement for assisting in the development of artist’s
and their musical vision. I look forward to what projects I am privileged to be
a part of in 2008.

You have prayerfully supported Mercy’s Mark since its inception and for that I
want to personally offer my sincere thanks and appreciation. We have made so many
wonderful friends along the way and have not forgotten your gracious acceptance.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. I look forward to seeing you again somewhere
and pray God’s blessings for you throughout this year.

Garry Jones

I honestly don’t know what to make of it. The fact that Garry is getting more involved with producing albums excites me, though.

Update: I admit this post was made in haste yesterday; I was low on time, and this news rather shocked me.

With Garry going back to focusing on producing, I wonder if he will produce future Gold City albums. They’re good in their own right, but with Garry’s production once again, it’d be just like old times. Hit after hit after hit.

Hmm… I would like to see that quartet put together of Brent Mitchell, Josh Feemster, Craig West, and Chris West (see the post I made earlier featuring those videos) go to a full-time group, with maybe a different piano player. Garry would join them on those “select dates”, maybe.