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

Archive for July, 2008

Goodbye, Jason Waldroup

July 30, 2008 By: Aaron Category: Greater Vision, SG Artists, SG History, SG Industry News, SG Music

In a special Greater Vision newsletter tonight, Gerald Wolfe wrote a tribute and send-off to longtime tenor Jason Waldroup. The tribute reads:

This is not your normal, weekly, Email Update. This week, we say goodbye to our tenor of thirteen years, Jason Waldroup. He’s not just a tenor… oh no… for the last thirteen years, we’ve developed friendships that will last a lifetime. Really, our relationships have been more like family, since we’ve actually been together on the bus more than we’ve been with our families.

Jason moves on to begin a new phase of ministry with our good friends at Central Baptist Church in Katy, Texas, as well as beginning his education at Louisiana Baptist University. He has an exciting and challenging life ahead of him, and we are so proud of him!

Please join us in praying for Jason, Missy, Abbie, Jonathon, and yet-to-be-born, Ella Claire, as they begin this new journey.

We love you guys!

Waiting in the wings is Jacob Kitson, our new tenor, who will sing his first full-concerts with us beginning next week. We are excited to have Jacob on board, and we believe God has some great things planned for us as we move ahead! We are excited about the future, and we can’t wait for you to meet Jacob, as he settles in to life on the road with us. You’re gonna love him!

This shows just how much class Gerald, and Greater Vision as a group, has. Gerald does a great job sending off Jason, and also welcoming Jacob Kitson into the fold. It’s great to know there are groups out there that truly care for their personnel and demonstrate enough class to do a tribute like this to a departing member and, at the same time, welcoming the new guy.

Tim Parton Stays With Legacy Five

July 28, 2008 By: Aaron Category: Legacy Five, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music

Glad to see this was true. A user on the SN forums posted the rumor that Tim was reconsidering, but I did not want to post unless confirmed. The confirmation came in the form of today’s Southern Gospel Reporter newsletter:

In an official Legacy Five press release.. late last week.. pianist Tim Parton announced his plans to leave the group, saying: “I have had to try and balance other musical opportunities that have come my way and it is time for me to do one or the other. I cannot continue to do both the road work with Legacy Five and the additional musical endeavors that I enjoy.” This morning L5 says Parton will remain with the group instead of pursuing other interests.

According to Tim, “Having reconsidered my career plans, I feel that it is best to continue with Legacy Five. I’m sorry for causing confusion.. that was not my intent. I appreciate the group giving me the opportunity to continue serving as their pianist. Music is my life and while I am blessed with many occasions to use the talent God has given me, I sometimes allow my schedule to get out of balance. I’m trying to “get it right.” I look forward to continuing my work here with Legacy Five.”

Scott Fowler tells reporters that he is “glad” Tim reconsidered and decided to stay with the group.

Tim Parton Leaves Legacy Five

July 25, 2008 By: Aaron Category: Legacy Five, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music

July 25, 2008
Nashville, TN

Tim Parton, pianist for Legacy Five, has announced his plans to leave the group to pursue other interests.

According to Tim… “I enjoyed filling in for Roger Bennett during his illness and was glad to stay on board after his death. I have had to try and balance other musical opportunities that have come my way and it is time for me to do one or the other. I cannot continue to do both the road work with Legacy Five and the additional musical endeavors that I enjoy. I want to say thank you to Scott Fowler, Scott Howard, Glenn Dustin, Frank Seamans and our bus driver Gary Buckner for being so understanding. And to all the Legacy Five friends out there, thank you for welcoming me and accepting me into the Legacy Five family. I will always remember you and appreciate you all for being so kind and gracious to me.”

Scott Fowler, manager of Legacy Five states, “Tim has been an incredible blessing to Legacy Five. He really helped us through a very rough transition and he did it with his typical humility and class. There isn’t an unkind bone in Tim’s body. He’s one of my favorite people and all the guys will miss him but we wish him all the best.”

Tim will remain with Legacy Five until a replacement is named.

Pianists wishing to inquire about auditioning for the position should contact Scott Fowler at scottfowler@legacyfive.com.

Website: www.legacyfive.com

This is a shame, really. Tim was an excellent successor to Roger Bennett’s position in the group, and I greatly enjoyed all four of the concerts I saw him in (5 if you count NQC), and I’ll miss hearing him sing “God’s Been Good” live. Thanks for being with the guys during a tough transition, Tim, and God bless in your future endeavors. I wish Legacy Five luck in finding a new piano player.

Interview With Matthew Holt

July 24, 2008 By: Aaron Category: Interviews, SG Artists, SG History, SG Industry News, The Perrys

Chuck Peters of the Southern Gospel Reporter did an interview with the former Perrys pianist that was featured in today’s newsletter. Check it out here.

New Southern Gospel Blog

July 23, 2008 By: Aaron Category: Blogging Community, SG Music

Daniel Mount reports that David Mann has started a new blog called Southern Gospel Discussions. It only has one post at this point, but I’m already interested. Check it out!

Matthew Holt Leaves The Perrys

July 21, 2008 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, The Perrys

Yet another turnover has come to my attention, only this time from a well-established group. Averyfineline says Holt has already left and The Perrys are auditioning new piano players.
While it is nice to know that he left on good terms, this is still a shock. Matthew is one of the most talented players out there, and I sure hope The Perrys can get someone as good a player as he is. It doesn’t look as if a press release will be sent out, so look to blogs for any further developments.
It’s a shame Scott McDowell is in college; it’d be nice to see him with someone again. Although I believe he’s solo now, Channing Eleton, anyone? The possibilities go on…

Libbi Stuffle stopped by the SN forums to say that there is a press release to go out this evening. Nice to know that The Perrys aren’t one of those groups that leave fans scratching their heads when changes happen.

Further Update:
Here’s the press release:

Amid speculation, rumors and an internet guessing game.. the Perrys set the record straight Monday night. Piano player, Matthew Holt is leaving the group following appearances this weekend. Some fans questioned why the Perrys hadn’t revealed the news. Our reporter spoke with Tracy Stuffle.. just as the group was returning from a sixteen day tour that took them across twelve states and Canada. Tracy says: “We waited till we got off this trip before we made any official announcement.” When asked to comment about Matthew’s tenure with the Perrys,.. Tracy said: “Life is a series of seasons and this group has been blessed to enjoy Matthew’s talents for a fantastic season. He’s a very fine pianist and an even better young Christian gentleman, husband and father. We know great things are in store for him and we fully support him in his decision.”

Donna Beauvais, a representative of Daywind, the Perrys’ record company.. told us: “Matthew has been such a wonderful part of the Perrys and the Daywind family. I am sure the Lord has great things in store for him as he begins this new chapter in his life. The Perrys’ powerful radio single really says it best about what He can do with all of us as seasons change and lives are redirected, ‘The Potter Knows The Clay.’ ”

Holt,.. who joined the Perrys back in 2004, is leaving to accept the position of assistant director of the Renaissance Music Program at Bethel College. Renaissance, Bethel’s “performance troupe” uses choirs, ensembles and soloists to showcase the talents of Bethel students. Bethel’s website says the group performs a wide range of musical styles.. including: bluegrass to jazz, show tunes to “doo-wop” and the best-loved songs of faith, both traditional and contemporary. The school is located in McKenzie, Tn.. where Matthew and his family reside. Holt is orginally from this part of the state.

visit: www.perrysministries.com

Better late than never, I always say. I’ll admit that I was one of the fans who questioned why the news hadn’t been released sooner, but as I stated earlier, I do appreciate the fact that The Perrys actually made the statement instead of bringing in fill-ins and such and not telling anyone what was going on.

Driven Quartet Experiences Change

July 21, 2008 By: Aaron Category: Driven, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, Soul'd Out Quartet, The Anchormen, Tribute Quartet

Just read on the SN forums where Alex Woolard, tenor for Driven Quartet, has left the group to accept a music position at a church. A later post stated that their new tenor had filled in for Steve Ladd in his Anchormen days, but the name escapes me as well.

It’s a real shame when groups experience turnover just when they are starting to get noticed, but if Driven is anything like Tribute or Soul’d Out of recent weeks, they’ll bounce right back from the change.

Be expecting a press release soon.

Comparison: Great Big Wonderful God

July 19, 2008 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG History, SG Music, The Imperials

Pretty cool comparisons of two different versions of The Imperials singing the same song. First, The Imperials circa 1968. Lineup is tenor Jim Murray, lead Terry Blackwood, baritone Roger Wiles, bass Armond Morales, and pianist Joe Moscheo.

Now, fast forward 40 years to 2008, to the (sort-of) current lineup of the group with a re-recorded version of the song. Lineup is tenor Jeremie Hudson, lead Shannon Smith (just left to be a Minister of Music), baritone Jason Morales, and bass Ian Owens.

My thoughts: I’ll have to hand it to the younger guys for the better version. Although the 1960s version was very good, the newer version has a much better sound. Apparently, SG fans all over think so as well, since this song is rising on the charts as The Imperials’ current radio single.

As far as the look for the two groups, to each his own. I don’t really have an opinion on either one’s personal appearance.

News Roundup

July 13, 2008 By: Aaron Category: Naomi and The Segos, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, The Inspirations, The Skyline Boys

In my absence, here’s some things that have happened:

1. Naomi Sego Hires New Group– This is a somewhat shocking development, what with all the talk surrounding the group’s “final project” and Naomi’s retirement and all, but I am glad to still see her singing. Sego is hiring two former members of the group: Jerry Gill and Scott Spangler.

2. Skyline Boys sign with Crossroads Entertainment – And once again, Mickey Gamble brings a great group into the fold. Being from my homestate of VA, I have heard the Skyline Boys before. The group sounds great, especially with Jodi Hosterman on tenor. Can’t wait to hear future stuff from these guys.

3.SGConcerts.com Launched A project that’s been in the works for some time now has finally come to fruition. Fellow SG blogger Daniel Mount launched the site this past week, and I am proud to be part of the writing team. Check us out if you like a good concert review every now and then.

4. Matt Dibler’s Nephew Found
– And on a sad note, Brian Fouty’s body was discovered in Iraq. Fouty is The Inspirations lead Matt Dibler’s nephew. Please keep the family in your prayers.