At long last, the word has finally come out. The “mystery man” that is coming to the group after the departure of Tanner Stahl earlier this month is none other than Kingsmen lead singer Bryan Hutson. Here’s an open letter from Hutson on this move:
I want to thank the many friends that I have made while being involved in Gospel Music as well as Worship Ministry. You have embraced me since I began singing with my brother in “The New Generation” in 1985. I started traveling fulltime with “The Heartland Quartet” in 1993. Your continued support, love and encouragement through both my tenures with “The Kingsmen” is deeply appreciated. In early November, I decided to follow God’s leading and give my resignation with “The Kingsmen.”
January of 2012 will mark a new chapter in my gospel music career. I will be joining one of America’s best new groups, “Soul’d Out Quartet”. In fact, the group was awarded “Horizon Group of The Year” (Favorite New Group) in the Singing News Magazine Fan Awards in 2010. Matt Rankin (lead), Dusty Barrett (tenor), Matt Fouch (bass) and Michael Howard (piano) make up “Soul’d Out Quartet”. I will share lead vocalist duties with Matt Rankin. SOQT is a solid quartet who sings straight ahead Southern Gospel Music with a progressive sound. I’m very excited to see what God has in store for our future! Over the past several years, I have developed a friendship with members of the group. I believe the men of “Soul’d Out” are men of integrity and have a heart for ministry that mirrors my own passion. I know my friends and family will love the music and ministry of “Soul’d Out” as much as I do.
My wife, Yvonne, and I have been seeking God and wise counsel about this decision and feel that this is a door God has opened. The tour schedule for “Soul’d Out” is a better fit for me as a husband and father. This opportunity will also allow us to reach our long term goals as a family.
I joined my all time favorite group “The Kingsmen” in 1996 under the late Eldridge and Greg Fox. The 5 years that I spent learning from the Fox’s, the late Jim Hamill and Ray Reese were some of the best years of my life. Upon returning for my second run with “The Kingsmen” in 2007, we have seen lives changed through our music. I want to thank Ray and Brandon Reese and “The Kingsmen” for allowing me to be a part of the continuing Kingsmen legacy.
I would like to ask for your continued support, encouragement and prayers for my family and both groups. I am looking forward to seeing each of you at upcoming “Soul’d Out Quartet” concerts. Please check our website for upcoming performances: www.souldoutquartet.com
In His Will,
Can’t argue with that. Family is often a reason for changes made in a singer’s career, and I am glad that Hutson didn’t beat around the bush in stating that as the reason. I also appreciate that he didn’t simply say, “I want more time with my family.” He was open and transparent and explained the move well. Not that every singer has to live in a glass house, but it’s a refreshing change from the usual cliches. The classiness is also admirable; both the group he is going to and the group he is leaving get equal treatment, and it’s nice to see a singer that is making a move from one quartet to another have good things to say about their former employer.
The Kingsmen have also put out a press release:
From The Kingsmen
Bryan Hutson will be leaving the Kingsmen this December and will be joining Soul’d Out Quartet.
Brandon Reese states, “In November, Bryan came to me and stated that he felt it was time to make a change in his professional career. He also told me that he had been seeking God’s will in an opportunity to stay home more with his family. I commended him for letting the Lord lead in his life. The door opened for Bryan to join Matt Rankin and the rest of Soul’d Out (who are based out of Columbus, OH) and as many of you know is only an hour or 2 from where Bryan grew up in Batesville, IN. Bryan stated to me that joining Soul’d Out is perfect for the long term goals of his family and until then will maintain his residence in Asheville, NC with his wife Yvonne and four children Alexa, Jake, Bailey and Jordan. I, along with the other Kingsmen members, wish to thank Bryan for his two tenures here and his continuing friendship.”
I am planning on seeing Soul’d Out in January, and I am looking forward to hearing how the group’s sound changes with Bryan on board. Hearing Matt Rankin and Bryan Hutson swap parts will be interesting for sure! Be sure to check out the group if they are near you; I have a feeling the future for this quartet is very bright!
Update: Soul’d Out Quartet has also issued a release on the change:
We would like to inform everyone that Tanner will be leaving Sould Out Quartet and will be pursuing other interests. He will be missed by many and SOQT would like to thank Tanner for being part of this ministry for four and a half years. We ask that you pray for Tanner and his family as he is starting a new path. We believe that God has orchestrated this change and we pray that he will continue to bless Tanner as well as SOQT.
Coming the first of 2012, Matt Rankin will be assuming the baritone position and Bryan Hutson, a Kingsmen Quartet icon, will be taking the lead. We are excited that God has placed us together and we look forward to seeing how the Lord blesses the new line up. As always, the heartbeat of the ministry is to reach the lost, encourage the saints, and make a difference in people’s lives.
We will be releasing two new recordings after the first of the year. Coming the first part of January will be a hymns and old songs CD called “Soulace.” Then a brand new CD with all original songs called “What the World Doesn’t Know” at the end of January. We are very excited about both of these projects and we pray they will spiritually affect the lives of those who listen.