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

Archive for May, 2011

News & Such 5/14

May 14, 2011 By: Aaron Category: Dixie Melody Boys, NQC, Promise, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, Statement of Faith

Several stories hit the Southern Gospel news this week. Here they are as they happened:

  • From a press release by the Dixie Melody Boys, their 50th Anniversary album is now complete:

Dixie Melody Boys Finish Historic Album

The Dixie Melody Boys were recently in Nashville finishing work on their 50th Anniversary album, “The Call Is Still The Same”. The monumental project is a long time in the making. “It’s been nearly ten years since we have done a project of this scale. It will be a milestone for the Dixie Melody Boys. “said Ed O’Neal, Hall Of Fame bass singer and owner. To honor the history of this legendary group, they have included two previous DMB songs on the album. The rest of the project includes new material written by Gospel musics top writers including Daryl Williams, Marty Funderburk, Greg Day and Rodney Griffen. The album also boasts two songs written by lead singer Donald Morris. The new album highlights the current groups new direction and sound. “We are excited to blend our traditional Southern Gospel roots with a fresh approach reminisant of the DMB Band era.” stated Donald Morris.

The Dixie Melody Boys will be joined on this historic album by many former DMB Alumni as well as a few friends. “When we started working on this, so many of our friends wanted to be involved. It evolved from there into having them lend their talents on several of the songs. It will truly be a special event for us.” said tenor Matt Felts. Jason Crabb, Ernie Haase, Ben Speer, McCray Dove, Rodney Griffen and Harold Reed are just a few of the guests appearing. This will be the debut album for the group since signing with Song Garden Music Group earlier this year. A release date of July 1st has been set. A “CD Release Event” will be announced soon. For more information on the new album or where you can purchase a copy of this years must have album, go to www.dixiemelodyboys.com or to www.songgardenmusicgroup.com.

If you’re going to celebrate such a monumental event in a group’s career, that’s the way to do it; bring in a lot of the more well-known alumni to sing on the project. It is interesting to note that this will not only mark the group’s 50th year of ministry, but it will also be tenor Matt Felts’ first recording with them. All in all, it is shaping up to be a project well worth the purchase

  • Speaking of the Dixie Melody Boys, it’s looking like they will be at NQC after all. In the first Singing News Showcase (the “straw poll” for the Fan Awards), the group will appear with both current members and alumni to celebrate their anniversary. It will be interesting to see exactly who will be on the stage among the alumni (the Ed O’Neal University has many graduates!)
  • Statement of Faith Trio has reorganized as Promise. Lead Joe Kitson and David Mann, along with TJ Evans starting in June, will make up the new group. Mann’s wife Jael will be filling in on tenor until Evans can join. Tenor Jacob Kitson’s plans are to be announced, so be looking for more on this story next week.

Mega-Review: Kingdom Heirs – We Will Stand Our Ground

May 12, 2011 By: Aaron Category: CD Reviews, Kingdom Heirs, SG Artists, SG Music

In the past couple of weeks, several of us Southern Gospel bloggers (Daniel Mount, Brian Crout, Adam Edwards, Wes Burke, Brandon Coomer, David Bruce Murray, Steve Eaton, and me) put our heads together and gave our thoughts on the new Kingdom Heirs project. Here’s the results. Overall, our thoughts on the CD were very positive! (more…)

Youtube Find: Dan Keeton with Gold City

May 09, 2011 By: Aaron Category: Gold City, SG Artists, SG Music, Youtube

Since the official hire of Dan Keeton to the tenor position in the Gold City quartet, the only video footage available came in the form of two videos from a webcast on a date when Keeton was filling in. He was still getting used to the other voices and the material at that point, but it still sounded good; however, more footage was being sought after. Finally, more has come. Take a look at these videos, the first being what is apparently Keeton’s signature solo that he has brought to the group, Oh What A Savior:

That video alone is probably the finest performance I’ve seen Keeton give ever, much less with Gold City.

Here are some more of him tackling some Gold City fare:

Interesting to note about this one: I have heard many a person say that they wish Gold City had hired Keeton after the departure of Jay Parrack. I’ve noticed an increase in the number of Parrack era songs being brought back recently, and this one is one that is exceptionally challenging for tenor to consistently sing because of the high arrangement. Keeton passes the litmus test for that one (even though I’m pretty sure I’m hearing stacks, he comes through clear enough that you can tell he doesn’t fully rely on their support.) (h/t Nate for posting the video first over at his blog!)

This one includes a fun moment before Gold City sings by bringing on a “scrap-iron” quartet of tenor(!) Jeff Easter, lead Scott Fowler, baritone Clayton Inman, bass Tim Riley, and pianist Jeff Stice.