Aaron Swain's blog about Southern Gospel Music, News, and other items of interest in the SG world.
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Archive for June, 2013

Dusty Barrett – Maker of the Rain

June 24, 2013 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG Music, Soul'd Out Quartet

I had a CD review scheduled to go up today, but I felt that this deserved precedence, so I bumped that back.

Soul’d Out Quartet’s tenor singer, Dusty Barrett, recently went through the loss of his grandmother. He was on the road when she passed, and she had been in the hospital near death’s door for some time. I wanted to share this video that was taken at a concert that took place in her final days for two reasons. One is the fact that Dusty wrote this song and has performed it for several years, and I always enjoy a songwriter that can perfectly communicate their own lyric. The more important reason that I wanted to share this is, given the time in which this song was being sung, Dusty launches into a very open, honest testimony about what he himself was going through at the time.

Moments like these in concerts where the program ventures off of the “bulletin,” as it were, are what give life to the message that is being communicated through the music. While the song lyrics convey a point, it gives more meaning when the singer themselves can draw from what they are going through and testify to what God is doing. I’ve appreciated Dusty’s singing and songwriting for some time now, but I’m glad the camera was rolling for this, because I’ve gained a new level of respect for him and the ministry of Soul’d Out.

Please continue to keep the Barrett family in your prayers during their time of loss.

The Perrys Hire David Ragan

June 21, 2013 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, The Perrys

When Joseph Habedank stepped down from The Perrys, it opened wide the door to speculation as to who would take his place. Habedank’s lead singing work was an integral part of the group’s sound for the past few years, giving them an instantly recognizable sound if you were to hear them on a random radio station. When David Ragan, recently departed Inspirations lead singer, came up to fill-in, people started to wonder if he was the answer. As Youtube videos cropped up, the buzz was generally favorable toward his hire, but with a newborn baby, it was up in the air. That question was answered in the early hours of this morning:

The Perrys are pleased to announce the addition of David Ragan as their new lead singer. David, who has been filling in the past two weeks, will be stepping into the role full-time. David most recently sang with the Inspirations, and he brings to this award-winning mixed group not only a great lead voice, but also touring experience. He is “road ready,” which was an important hiring consideration, while Tracy continues to recover from a stroke suffered in January and Libbi works select dates while tending to Tracy’s care.

David is thrilled to be a part of the Perrys. He admits, “Whenever the Inspirations would sing with the Perrys, I always enjoyed it. I’ve been a fan of theirs for along time. With the lead singers they’ve had through the years, I know I have big shoes to fill, and I’m thankful for that opportunity. I thought the biggest change for me would be going from a male group to one that’s co-ed, but Bryan, Leah and I gelled almost immediately. They’re both laid back and very easy to travel with. Bryan is such a great singer with one of the best hearts. And Libbi is incredible. I’m not sure I could put into words the grace and determination she has. I admire her and Tracy both very much, and respect this ministry they’ve built. I’m very happy to be a part of this fine team.”

Libbi says, “On behalf of the Perrys, Tracy and I are thrilled to welcome David, his wife Michelle, and son Bradley to our FAMILY!” We have known David for several years and have always admired his love for God, the music and the fans. We are excited to start a new chapter with David.”

For more information on the Perrys, visit their website at www.perrysministries.com.
To schedule the Perrys, visit www.harperagency.comhttp://www.perrysministries.com/.

Here’s the video that sealed the deal for me in supporting David’s hire to The Perrys:

A Look At The “Booth Brothers Quartet”

June 20, 2013 By: Aaron Category: Booth Brothers, Gene McDonald, Memphis Quartet Show, SG Artists, SG Music

The first ever Memphis Quartet show is currently underway. One of the most talked about features of the inaugural week of the event is the rare appearance of the Booth Brothers as a quartet. The usual lineup of tenor Michael Booth, lead Ronnie Booth, and baritone Jim Brady were joined by bass Gene McDonald as a matinee performance this afternoon. Legacy Five bass Matt Fouch got some good footage of “The Sweetest Song I Know,” so check it out:

Judging on the buzz around the Internet today, I’m not alone in wanting a LOT more of this! Here are two additional videos from SocialCam.

Keep An Ear Out: Mark209 – It Takes Faith

June 01, 2013 By: Aaron Category: Keep An Ear Out, Mark209, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music

Baritone Bryan James Hatton, tenor Nathaniel Justice, lead Jym Howe, and bass Ray Woconish make up Mark209.

Baritone Bryan James Hatton, tenor Nathaniel Justice, lead Jym Howe, and bass Ray Woconish make up Mark209.

This post kicks off what will hopefully become a series of posts at Swain’s Musings that highlights upcoming radio singles.

Our first subject for the series is Mark209. Although relatively new to the quartet scene, they have started making a little headway with singles such as “My Home In Heaven” from their debut project, reviewed here. Since the release of that album, the group has seen changes in the baritone and bass positions, causing a shift in vocal sound. Judging by this single, however, the energetic country sound cultivated by their debut has remained and continued to develop. The song hits radio today (June 1).

This song was written by Kenna Turner West, and the players help to give the cut a sound that sets itself apart from most other Southern Gospel music, with a roster that includes Bruce Dees, Kerry Marx (Grand Ole Opry), and Jamie Brantley (Ronnie Milsap). The instrumental track gives the lyric an extra punch that gives a catchy vibe and helps drive the message home, which is especially important in this genre of music. I’ve found myself humming the chorus several times since my initial listen. The lyrics deal with putting action to our faith; not just saying we believe God’s words, but living them as well.

Head to the group’s BandCamp page for a preview of the song and the full lyrics.