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

Archive for March, 2011

Personal Update & Gold City News

March 30, 2011 By: Aaron Category: Gold City, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music

I’m back! It seems like that I have said that a lot recently, but quite honestly, this senior year of high school has thrown my schedule out of whack more than it has ever been. Hard to believe it will be over in a little over two months. On a positive note, I finally made my college decision, and will be attending Radford University in the Fall as a Software Engineering major!

Now, turning the focus back onto the world of Southern Gospel, Gold City is once again welcoming a new tenor. From a Facebook message posted by Gold City around the time I started this post:

“Brent Mitchell has decided to come off the road. Dan Keeton is the official new tenor for Gold City. As many of you know, Brent and Heather welcomed a new baby girl, Paislee, back in January. She has been experiencing some health problems and he has decided to come off the road to focus on his family. We will miss Brent and covet your prayers for his daughter. For more on this, visit goldcityqt.com

Earlier today, Dan Keeton posted an open letter at his website, keetonsong.com. You can read the letter in its entirety there, but I will post an excerpt of it that makes the announcement:

“…As of Monday, March 28th, 2011, I retired and disbanded “The Keetons”. Nancy is doing what she loves, being a High-Risk Labor and Delivery RN. Jim Sheldon will follow his calling in a full time music ministry and your friend, Dan Keeton, has accepted the position of Tenor in the one and the only … Gold City Quartet!

Thank you so much for your prayers and support of The Keetons. Please come see me soon with Gold City!

Dan Keeton

I was talking a friend of mine the other week after a webcast appearance of Gold City in which Dan Keeton was filling in, and at the time, I was unimpressed. It could have been the quality of the webcast, the fact that I was forgetting that it was only his second night out with them, I don’t know; whatever the reason, I told my friend that I didn’t think Keeton was a good fit at all.

That being said, I have heard clips and comments from several people who don’t mince words about what they think about a group’s sound; people who can be very tough critics. Every single one of them have come away from seeing Keeton with the group recently saying that the sound Gold City had was unbelievably strong, and that it was reminiscent of the Jay Parrack days. I’m hoping some new video will pop up soon, because my interest has definitely increased.

My doubts in Dan’s fit have certainly been erased by what I have seen and heard, and may this lineup of Gold City have the best possible run it can have! I certainly wish Brent Mitchell and his family well, and I encourage you all to pray for he and his little girl as they deal with the recent health issues.

Update: Also from Facebook, a personal statement from Brent Mitchell:

For all who have asked. I am no longer with Gold City. My 3 month old daughter has been very sick for the past few weeks and I feel I need to be with my family at this time. Family has always come first in my life but I am so sad to leave my dream job. I just did not think it was fair to Gold City for me to hold them back not knowing the future health of my little girl. Please pray for my family that she will get thru whatever her little body is going thru right now. I will miss GC and cherish the little time I had there!

First Look: Legacy Five’s New Pianist, Trey Ivey

March 08, 2011 By: Aaron Category: Legacy Five, SG Artists, SG Music

While doing some work on my Youtube account, I came across this video in my subscriptions feed and was immediately intrigued. Via user texjoy777 has a high-quality video up that is the first clip I have seen since Ivey took over the piano bench from Tim Parton recently. With tenor Gus Gaches featured on a song the quartet has done since its inception, here is a piano-and-vocals version of “Holy Is Thy Name:”

After hearing and viewing this clip, there is no denying that Scott Fowler made the right hire in Trey Ivey. His style is refined, not too flashy, and does a great job of backing up and  complimenting the vocals. That is the way piano accompaniment should be done, and hiring a young player that understands and utilizes that concept pays off.

By the way, this is Ivey’s fourth concert with the group. The fact that he is comfortable to be “put out front,” so to speak, so soon tells me he is a great fit.

Video Roundup: Gold City at Temple Baptist Church, Madison Heights, VA, Feb. 25, 2011

March 05, 2011 By: Aaron Category: Gold City, SG Artists, SG Music

I got the opportunity to attend a benefit concert in my area last weekend featuring Gold City, Garden of Grace, and Doug Smith. This concert was part of an annual series put on by Central Virginia Angel Hearts, and all the proceeds for this event went toward the medical expenses of Erin Hope Coleman, a four-year old girl who has complications due to a very premature birth. I was unable to take any video, but my friend Andrew Graham was, and here’s what he posted:

“It Won’t Be Long” will be featured on the groups upcoming release, Somebody’s Coming, but in the meantime, they’ve been staging the song and working in some comedic moments!

What Children Believe – This was an unplanned moment in the concert, but Daniel had remarked from the stage how fun it was to watch little Erin Hope (the girl whom the concert was held for) dancing around to the songs the group was singing. As soon as he said that, she made her way up the stairs to give him a big hug. He picked her up and told Bryan he wanted to do this song for Erin Hope, and so the group did. This was one of the highlights of the night, as far as I’m concerned.

Truth Is Marching On

Midnight Cry – New lead singer Craig West has been making quite a name for himself in that position for Gold City, especially on this signature song. Ivan Parker may have introduced it, but Craig gets my vote for the best singer to take it on since Parker. It is worth noting that I was told after the concert that Craig was still recovering from bronchitis that night.

Anyone who has perused the various SG blogs these past few months undoubtedly knows that former Mercy’s Mark bass singer Chris West (who is, coincidentally, Craig’s brother) is the soundman for Gold City, and that he has been coming up to sing bass on a couple of songs every night. Daniel Riley confirmed from the stage what speculation has stated for some time: Chris is being prepped to take Tim Riley’s spot when he eventually retires again. West only sang this song, “After A While,” with the group that night, but judging by the sound and the response of the crowd, he will be the perfect fit with the group.