Aaron Swain's blog about Southern Gospel Music, News, and other items of interest in the SG world.
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Archive for March, 2012

The Rebels Quartet: Revived

March 28, 2012 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG History, SG Industry News, SG Music, The Rebels Quartet

Longtime fans of the Southern Gospel genre may remember a quartet called The Rebels. Active in the 50s and 60s, this quartet saw several of the more well-known names of this music’s history, including Ron Booth, Sr., Jim Hamill, London Parris, and Nick Bruno. They are the quartet that is featured on one of my favorite “vintage SG” clips on Youtube:

 

Former Statesmen/Palmetto State Quartet baritone Rick Fair even started his career with the group. Now, he’s helping to bring the name back. The lineup for the “revived Rebels” is tenor Mike Young, lead Alan Kendall, baritone David Fair, bass Rick Fair, and pianist Barry Patrick.

 

If this group has a sound that’s familiar to you, the reason may be that everyone except the lead singer was most recently heard together in the Southern Sound Quartet with Ben Harris. With the addition of Alan Kendall, who has a very “classic Southern Gospel lead” quality to his voice, this group has the potential to go far with their music. I appreciate the fact that a former vocalist for the group has brought back the Rebels name with the blessing of former members and a quality lineup that will match what fans of the original quartet might expect.

The group is traveling on a limited schedule, but I hope to catch them in my area some time soon, if not at NQC. You can find out more about them at their website.

Youtube Spotlight: Blackwood Legacy

March 24, 2012 By: Aaron Category: Blackwood Legacy, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, Youtube

A few weeks ago, it was announced that Blackwood Legacy was making a huge change by adding Daniel Rivera on tenor and moving the other vocalists around (Daniel Childs to lead, Luke Yates staying on baritone, and Rick Price moving to bass), effectively making Blackwood Legacy a quartet. Yesterday, I saw a video on Youtube that showcased what the group sounds like now. Rick Price was unable to make the tour this video was taken from, but check it out. Daniel Childs leads on “Back To Grace,” which was recently covered by The Kingsmen but originally showed up on Statement of Faith’s only release (the track for which is used here):

 

If the group can retain these singers, I’m interested to hear what the four man lineup sounds like and what music they will produce.

Triumphant Quartet Offers Free Song Download

March 06, 2012 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, Triumphant Quartet

The wave of tornadoes that recently hit parts of the US affected many people in some way. In light of all this, Triumphant Quartet is offering a free download of one of their new songs, “God Works All Things For Good,” which was written by and features bass singer Eric Bennett. Bennett wrote the song after his two nephews were killed in the tornadoes that hit Alabama about a year ago. The download actually consists of two tracks; one is a live version that is prefaced by Bennett’s testimony about the song, and the other is the studio version that was released on the group’s latest project, Songs from the Heart. The group hopes that this song can be used to speak to those affected by the tornadoes, or any trial that may be going on in their life.

You can obtain the download by going to the group’s Bandcamp site.

CD Review: Justin Terry – Inspired

March 02, 2012 By: Aaron Category: CD Reviews, Cross 4 Crowns, Justin Terry, SG Artists, SG Music

Rating: 4 stars

Producers: Justin Terry, Zack Knudsen, Andy Stringfield
Label: Unsigned (Self-released)
Website: www.justinterry.net

Song titles: There Is A Fountain, Two Winning Hands; He Has Taken His Children Home; Love Song; I’ve Never Been This Homesick Before; Knowing What I Know About Heaven; I Must Tell Jesus; I Go To The Rock; When He Reached Down His Hand For Me; God’s Gonna Do The Same For Me And You; In The Garden

A couple of years ago, there was a quartet whose label debut with Crossroads made a splash in the blogosphere, and part of the reason was the vocal prowess of their bass singer. Cross 4 Crowns boasted a young guy by the name of Justin Terry singing the bass part that drew comparisons to Jeff Chapman, a considerable feat considering his age. Now aged 28, Justin left the quartet after six years and has launched a solo ministry with this CD.

Those who have heard Cross 4 Crowns will likely know Justin Terry for the low notes he hits. On this project, he wisely breaks that mold, and instead opts for a country bass-baritone sound akin to Josh Turner or Trace Adkins. Terry covers material here that you would not expect out a bass singer’s solo project; for instance, The Hinsons’ “Two Winning Hands” gets an updated treatment that does a good job of showcasing Justin’s upper range. Other songs in that vein include “Knowing What I Know About Heaven” (yes, the one that Guy Penrod sings), and “God’s Gonna Do The Same For You And Me.”

This is not to say that the project is devoid of the lower singing that usually comes with things like this. The CD starts and ends with hymns, “There Is A Fountain” and “In The Garden,” which settle more into “bass lead” territory. Also done in a similar style is “When He Reached Down His Hand For Me,” which fits Terry’s voice well; he doesn’t try to be the next Tim Riley with it, and that works in his favor. The original song written by Justin’s dad, “He Has Taken His Children Home,” fits equally as well.

The only song that seems to interrupt the flow of the music is the fourth track, “Love Song.” Stylistically, it is different from anything else found here. While not necessarily a bad thing, and certainly not a bad song, it seems out of place here, and would perhaps have been better saved for another project of similar styles, or tacked on towards the end. Other than that, this CD is a strong collection of songs and a good display of Justin Terry’s talents. Inspired receives¬†4 stars.