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

CD Review: Ernie Haase & Signature Sound – A Tribute To The Cathedral Quartet

October 26, 2010 By: Aaron Category: CD Reviews, Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, SG Artists, SG Music

Rating: 4 stars

Producers: Wayne Haun & Lari Goss
Label: Gaither Music Group
Website: www.erniesigsound.com

Buy The CD Here or Buy The DVD Here.

Track list: “Wedding Music,” “Step Into The Water,” “Boundless Love,” “I Thirst,” “This Ole House,” “Champion Of Love,” “I’m Gonna Live Forever,” “Can He, Could He, Would He,” “Wonderful Grace Of Jesus,” “Sinner Saved By Grace,” “An Old Convention Song,” “Mexico,” “God Delivers Again,” “Life Will Be Sweeter,” “Moving Up To Gloryland,” “Plan Of Salvation,” “We Shall See Jesus,” “Yesterday,” “Gaither Medley,” “He Made A Change,” “Oh What A Savior”

When Ernie Haase started the Signature Sound Quartet in 2002, it was no secret that the group’s ties to the Cathedral Quartet legacy were strong. After all, Haase’s father-in-law was the Cathedrals’ bass singer, George Younce. Wisely, however, the group set out to make a name for itself, rather than just riding on the coattails of the Cats’ success, although they did throw in the occasional Cathedrals song here and there on their project. Now that the group has established itself as a quartet all its own, it seems like the perfect time to give a salute to the group from which its founder came.

One thing I have always admired about Signature Sound is that whenever they cover a song that has been done previously, they do not simply do the same arrangement that every group has done; they try something new with it. Such is the case with the bulk of this project. Take, for instance, “Boundless Love.” Rather than starting the song with a couple of piano chords like you would expect, the opening “boom boom clap” (think Queen’s “We Will Rock You”) throws the listener for a loop and leads into a high-energy arrangement of the familar quartet number. Several more subtle changes are made as well, with inclusions that will intrigue long-time Cathedrals fans, like when piano player Wayne Haun is featured on “Champion Of Love” in an interesting parallel to piano player Gerald Wolfe’s feature on the same song when it was first recorded.

Final thoughts: Overall, I was very impressed with this body of work. Am I a fan of every song that was selected? No. But there’s really nothing here that has me reaching for the skip button. I’d much rather hear those particular takes on those songs instead of the take that every Tom, Dick, and Harry with a quartet has tried to do. That is one of the main reasons this project is such a good tribute; it’s not just recycled arrangements and lackluster performances. It’s an honest effort to maintain the originality and highlight the harmonies that The Cathedrals were known for.

Bottom line: For fans looking for a fitting tribute to one of the finest quartets Southern Gospel music has known, or a collection of classics that have been given new life, this is the project to turn to.

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3 Comments to “CD Review: Ernie Haase & Signature Sound – A Tribute To The Cathedral Quartet”

  1. A very nice, succinct summing-up, Aaron. I’m looking forward to hearing and reviewing this project myself!

    • Thanks! I’ve been really short on time here lately, what with “real world” obligations and all, so I wanted to keep it short and sweet while still maintaining quality. I’m looking forward to your review of it!

      • Yeah, I know what that’s like! I’m going to hold off on getting the album until Christmas, but I hope to have a dual review of the CD and DVD up on Daniel’s blog over Christmas break (Merry Christmas Ernie, LOL). And actually, as it’s turning out, it looks like I might be the only one to review the DVD for the blog since Daniel only got a pre-release of the CD.


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