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

Archive for June 8th, 2012

Random Findings

June 08, 2012 By: Aaron Category: Driven, Palmetto State Quartet, Promise, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, The Stamps Quartet

1. Promise Trio has been looking for a full-time tenor since their original tenor, James Bell, left to join the Army late last year. A couple of weeks ago, I posted some videos of a concert they did with fill-in tenor Daniel Rivera, and the feedback was largely positive as to the sound. To quell any rumors, however, Rivera says he will not be joining the group:

I just wanna thank everyone for being so supportive of me and the people who have helped me get where I am with singing and everything. As of right now, I am coming off the road from full-time traveling and singing. God has been so good to me! Even though I am young, I have had a lot of trials in my life, especially with my health. I am thankful that God has given me the gift to sing and share His word and the gospel! But as of right now, I have to put traveling aside and focus on getting my health back together. I will be continuing my ministries at my church in South Holland, IL.

Again, I thank God and everyone for everything! I say all this because I had posted a status like this after I had left my last group, but I continued my ministries and helped another full-time group with filling in a vacant spot for them, hence the reason why I post again. I know God’s plan is always perfect and I believe coming off the road from singing is part of His plan. I don’t know what the future may hold, but I know it’s something good! I love u all and thanks for being so supportive! My new solo album will be coming out soon! Basically will tell my life story. Hope ya’ll will like it! 🙂

According to a post on Promise’s Facebook page, an announcement is forthcoming about a new full-time tenor singer.

2. Diana Brantley has posted some videos of a concert from Palmetto State from a couple of weeks ago. Mike Allen and Larry Strickland were absent, but former group baritone Rick Fair filled in on bass. Here’s a video of “All Hail The Power” that gives a good taste of the vocalists’ sound, as well as that of the group’s piano player Casey Martin. It’s interesting how the group has rearranged the song; it was originally a song that gave baritone David Darst all the solos. Currently, it is divided among Jeremy Easley, Paul Lancaster, and David Staton. This kind of thing makes me interested in future arrangements of Palmetto State’s material:

3. Also in the interesting video category, here’s a “behind the scenes” clip of Driven Quartet in the studio listening to a cut from their upcoming project. It may sound familiar to some viewers; that’s because it’s a revival of a track that is found on the 1984 album The Prestigious Cathedral Quartet, which was tenor Danny Funderburk’s second release with that group. It is only fitting that his son, Jason, be the leader of the group that brings it back. Also, it looks like Wesley Smith is Driven’s official tenor, though I have seen no press release yet. Here is the final choruses of  “I Would Not Be Surprised:”

On a side note, that must have been a LONG day in the studio! 😉

Bonus video: The big news in Southern Gospel this week was the major change in the Dixie Echoes. Though departing member Michael Helwig sang tenor for the quartet, he has sung lead or baritone in several other places, including the Stamps Quartet. However, I came across this clip a while back that features Michael on the tenor part for the Stamps, albeit in what appears to be a fill-in situation. Here’s their rendition of “Rainbow of Love:”