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

Archive for June, 2008

Gone To Camp For A Week

June 29, 2008 By: Aaron Category: Vacation/Going Away Notice

… and I won’t be back till Saturday. See you all later!

Concert Review: Cathedrals Remembered

June 29, 2008 By: Aaron Category: Concert Reviews, Danny Funderburk, Greater Vision, Legacy Five, Mark Trammell Trio, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music

Artist(s): Danny Funderburk, Mark Trammell Trio, Legacy Five, Greater Vision

Venue: Reynolds Auditorium, Winston-Salem, NC

I attended a Cathedrals Remembered concert last night, and it was great! I missed most of Danny Funderburk’s set, which was first, but I did get to hear him sing the old Cathedrals song “Statue Of Liberty.” Good stuff, and Danny still has “it!”

Next up was the Mark Trammell Trio, a group that is getting better and better. A rough songlist of their set was “I Still Believe”, “Weary At The Well”, “How Great Thou Art”, “Glory Road”, and “Once Upon A Cross.” Mark’s solo on “How Great Thou Art” was top-notch, and I stand by my opinion that he’s one of the best baritones out there.

Legacy Five came after that, but with a surprise; Scott Fowler said that literally five minutes before they were on, Tim Parton’s son was playing backstage (I think), and slipped and busted his head open. Tim had to take him to get stitches, so he was unable to play for the guys. However, Scott brought out Gerald Wolfe to play for them, and he was excellent! I agree with Scott’s statement that Gerald doesn’t play nearly enough. Their set consisted of “The Moment I Get Up There”, “Strike Up The Band”, “Personal Savior”, “I’ve Been Changed”, “Holy Is Thy Name.”

Greater Vision came last in the first half, and it was good to see Jason Waldroup one final time. They did songs like “He’d Still Been God”, “Thank God I’m Free”, “My Name Is Lazarus”, “A Mighty Fortress”, an acapella Jason solo “Victory In Jesus”, and “It Means Just What It Says.”

The best part of the night, by far, was the second half. It was a huge tribute to The Cathedrals, and I don’t even remember all of the songs that were sung. A couple of highlights:
1. The appearance of Steve Lee, the baritone for The Cathedrals from 1979-1980. He sang “Then I Met The Master” and got a standing ovation.

2. Gerald singing bass on “Movin’ Up To Gloryland.” He even made it rumble!

3. Jacob Kitson, who is going to be Greater Vision’s tenor when Jason leaves, came out and was featured on “Little Is Much.” Wow! Greater Vision won’t miss a beat, and Jacob is a fine addition.

Final Thoughts: Very good concert. I plan to catch another one when it happens next year.

Clip Of Gold City Reunion

June 27, 2008 By: Aaron Category: Gold City, SG Artists, SG History, SG Music

Thanks to Youtube user BamaMTA04, here’s a clip of Jay Parrack, Jonathan Wilburn, Mark Trammell, and Tim Riley at the Gold City Reunion singing “He Said”.

Update: Found this video by the same user of Jay, Jonathan, Mark, and Tim singing “I’m Not Giving Up.”

Video of Gold City "When Jesus Saves"

June 23, 2008 By: Aaron Category: Gold City, SG Artists, SG Music

This is a song off the new album, and one that makes me even more anxious to get my hands on the new project. I’ve heard great things about it, and I’m liking this new song!

CD Review: HisSong – On The Way Up

June 18, 2008 By: Aaron Category: CD Reviews, HisSong, SG Artists, SG Music

Buy Here

1. On The Way Up The album opens up with the mid-tempo title track. This track sounds like a Mark Trammell Trio song, which is just fine with me! Tenor Adam Elrod has a very distinctive voice; the type that once you hear him singing, you know it’s HisSong. 8/10

2. The Grave Can’t Hold Me A mid-tempo, acoustic guitar-driven song that is an OK song, but didn’t really jump out at me at first. The more I hear this song, the more I like it, though. Sounds sort of like an old Kingsmen song. 7/10

3. The Miracle Man A nice little tune that I find myself humming alot lately. I bet this goes over well in a live setting. 8/10

4. Out Of His Way
The album’s first truly slow song is a good one. All the vocalists sound top-notch, and the song finishes well. 8/10

5. Through Every Storm A ballad that (I think) features lead singer Dennis Humphries. Humphries’ voice has a style that is a mixture of Josh Feemster and Garry Jones, to good effect. Nice orchestration and an awesome ending hooked me. 9/10

6. Our Highest Praise
I had expected this song to be a slower one, but it is a song that has a CCM feel to it. Nice song, but nothing that jumped out at me. 6/10

7. Because Of The Blood Another slow song. I didn’t really like this one, because it sounded too similar to other slow songs on this album. 6/10

8. Joy In My Heart Much to my enjoyment, the guys cranked out a “barn-burner” on this one! Had my hands clapping and feet stomping. The lyrics are somewhat simple, which is the only negative thing I can say about this song. 8/10

9. I Still Have It All
HisSong’s first radio single, and an awesome song written by Marty Funderburk. The tenor really shines near the end, and this song made it to #1 on the SoGospelNews.com charts for a reason! 9/10

10. The Things That Won’t Be There An OK song, but for some reason reminded me of that novelty song that Mark Lowry, Stan Whitmire, Michael Lord, and Bill Gaither sang about on one of Mark’s videos. That comparison kind of took the wind out of this song’s sails. 7/10

11. That’s When God Steps In A slow song that features the tenor. I could listen to this guy sing all day! He does a great job pulls off this song tremendously. 9/10

12. I Don’t Regret
The album closes with yet another slow one. A country-tinged sound, it features tenor Elrod again, but this song dragged a little too much for me. 6/10

Overall Rating: 6.9
This was my first opportunity to hear HisSong, and I liked what I heard. If this trio continues in this vein, I expect to hear great things in the future. This album isn’t a must-have, but it’s a nice CD for those that love a good trio.

Prophets Quartet Release New Recording

June 12, 2008 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG History, SG Industry News, SG Music, The Prophets Quartet

It’s been a long time coming, but it’s finally happened!
I’m very anxious and excited to hear this new recording. Fellow blogger Daniel Mount even co-wrote a song on it with lead singer Paul Jackson. This project was probably one of the most anticipated of the year, and I’m sure The Prophets sound as good as they did back when the group first started.

Jake Hess Tribute Concert

June 11, 2008 By: Aaron Category: Bill Gaither, Jake Hess, SG Artists, SG History, SG Industry News, SG Music

From SGReporter Fan Mail:

When the Homecoming Friends tour comes to Columbus, Georgia.. later this year, Bill Gaither says the group will pay tribute to Jake Hess. In a website article.. Gaither says: “There are a lot of pioneer artists who have made a major impact on all of our lives, and if there was a list of the top 10 most influential pioneers in gospel music, the name Jake Hess would certainly be on it. The impact he made on the music industry – and on so many individual lives – is truly immeasurable. I thought it would be fitting to honor the life of this dear man when we come to Columbus, where he spent the last 15 years of his life and near the place where his body rests.”

Artists appearing October 9th at the Civic Center Arena (Columbus, Georgia) include: The Gaither Vocal Band, Janet Paschal, Taranda Greene, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, Ivan Parker, Karen Peck and New River, Jeff and Sheri Easter, Gordon Mote, Kevin Williams, and all of Jake’s kids… Becky Hess, Buck and Chris Hess, Jake Hess Jr. and Judy Martin Hess, plus lots of Jake’s friends. Bill adds: “It is going to be a great night of celebrating Jake’s memory and the second half of the program will include a chance to sing along with some wonderful Jake Hess favorites. I hope to see you there!”

visit: www.gaither.com

Sounds like this will be a night to remember! Be sure to check it out if you’re in the area.

Southern Gospel Classics: The Prophets Quartet

June 09, 2008 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG History, SG Industry News, SG Music, The Prophets Quartet

Youtube user adkinsda posted this video of some vintage Prophets Quartet singing Jesus Is Coming Soon. The lineup is tenor “Big Lew” Garrison (IMO, one of the best and most underrated tenors of all time), lead Donnie Seabolt, baritone Ed Hill, bass Jim Boatman, and pianist Bob McCullom.

This video makes me even more anxious to hear the revived Prophets Quartet, with tenor Bill Baize, lead Paul Jackson, baritone Ed Hill, bass Mike Allen, and pianist Eddie Crook.

Carnival Cruise

June 08, 2008 By: Aaron Category: Cruises, SG Artists, SG Music

For all of those interested:


Christian Carnival Cruise with Christian Comedy, Southern Gospel Musicians, and Christian Speakers on the Triumph Carnival Cruise, Mar. 29 – Apr. 5, 2008

Miami, Florida, Mar. 29 – Apr. 5, 2008 — The inaugural Christian Cruisers Club is setting sail for seven days on the Carnival Triumph Cruise Liner. On three of those days you will anchor in San Juan, St. Thomas, and St. Marten in the Eastern Caribbean while on other days you will enjoy a host of musicians, comedians and authors. They will inspire and provide entertainment, while you enjoy a week of encouragement, inspiration and take in God’s beauty on a Caribbean cruise.

The Carnival Triumph is the second ship in Carnival’s Destiny class of Mega Liners. On the cruise you will hear the comedy of Darren Marlar who believes “Filthy Ain’t Funny.” His clean humor is family friendly and filled with humor for all ages. Vonda Skelton will help you get a grip and find your footing with giggles and grace. Her light touch combined with her deep heart makes her presentations worth embracing. Chris Binion is dedicated to music, family, comedy and ministry and he uses the “same Godly message” with fresh lyrics.

A host of musicians will provide entertainment and they include: HisSong, Eighth Day, Impending Bloom, William Boyd Chisum, Kathy Joy Bell, 2nd Generation, The Glovers, and Chris Hester.

A series of authors and inspirational speakers will also inspire and encourage, and they include Christian Western Fiction writer Terry Burns. Sandra Stanford who is passionate for God, says He swept her off of her feet. Sarah Goebel, founder of Declaring His Answer Ministries and a radio host will share from her heart. Pam Kumpe, an inspirational newspaper columnist is your “Pray & Play” friend from East Texas and Geralyn Beauchamp is a former book reviewer, and current Wellness and Relationship coach. Come along with these musicians, comedians and authors and enjoy an added bonus to your Christian cruise experience.

For more information on the Mar. 29-Apr. 5 Christian Carnival Cruise go to www.christiancruisersclub.com, or call 877.265.7003.

Christian Cruisers Club

Emily Hightower

PO Box 2014

Elkton, Ky.



More On Shannon Smith Leaving The Imperials

June 04, 2008 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, The Imperials

SGReporter’s Fan Mail had further info on Smith’s departure today:

Since September of ’02, Shannon Smith has filled the lead position for The Imperials. Before joining the Imperials.. Smith had served as pastor and worship leader on the local church level. Effective now,.. Shannon is returning to full time church work as a minister of music. SGReporter spoke with the group’s tenor, Jeremie Hudson, about Smith’s exit.. Hudson told us: “He (Shannon) felt GOD had called him to a different ministry. Everything is cool. He is still a business partner of the group.”
Scott Allen,.. former lead singer of the, now defunct, Mercy’s Mark.. is filling in with the Imperials,.. and Hudson says Allen is being consider as a permanent replacement for Shannon Smith. Jeremie adds that nothing has yet been decided.. and The Imperials are, at this moment, accepting applications for the vacant position.

visit: www.theimperials.com