Aaron Swain's blog about Southern Gospel Music, News, and other items of interest in the SG world.
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Archive for the ‘Concert Reviews’

Youtube Spotlight: Soul’d Out Quartet (July 4, 2014)

July 12, 2014 By: Aaron Category: Concert Reviews, SG Artists, SG Music, Soul'd Out Quartet, Youtube

The 4th of July is an important American event, and one of the many ways that people celebrated in Bedford, VA, was by having a cookout and concert with Soul’d Out Quartet. The group had been to Mount Olivet Southern Baptist Church a few times before, and they drew a large crowd this time around. The evening started with a cookout dinner served at the church, and then everyone moved to the sanctuary for the concert. Of course, I got plenty of video.

One thing I appreciate about this group is that they tend to keep their set list fresh. They had the added benefit this time of having their brand new project, Great Life, available, so they had some new material to work into the concert, as well as selections from their recent Soulace 3 table project.

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First Look: Gold City with Chip Pullen

October 29, 2013 By: Aaron Category: Concert Reviews, First Look, Gold City, SG Artists, SG Music, Youtube

Gold City made a return trip to Grandin Court Baptist Church in Roanoke, VA last Friday night. I was planning on going anyway, but my interest increased when it happened to fall on the second weekend since Chip Pullen, formerly of the Anchormen, started singing with the group following Jerry Pelfrey’s departure. Interestingly enough, when the group sang there two years ago, Pelfrey had recently started with them. Since then, they have changed tenors (from Dan Keeton to Robert Fulton) and lead singers (Pelfrey to Pullen).

Nothing I say will describe how the change has affected their sound quite like actually hearing it, so here are some clips.

It’s nice hearing “Somebody Sing Me A Gospel Song” as the concert opener again. They wasted no time in featuring the new guy!

Gold City’s catalog is vast and plentiful, so I like the fact that they are starting to change up the setlist from what we are used to. This is one of my favorite Jay Parrack features, so it’s nice to hear it find a voice again.

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Youtube Spotlight: Dove Brothers Band (5/11/13)

May 18, 2013 By: Aaron Category: Concert Reviews, SG Artists, SG Music, The Dove Brothers, The Dove Brothers Band, Youtube

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to go hear the Dove Brothers Band for the first time (other than several NQC appearances). This time around was especially unique, because it was a graduation celebration for a friend to both the group and myself, Lynn Pollard, who you will hear referenced from the stage several times in the videos. Congratulations again, Lynn!

I say it was unique because the event was held in the small fellowship hall of a church in Roanoke, VA. The group set up in the corner, and with a small crowd of family and friends in the mix, it made for a very intimate setting, as you’ll see in the clips. I was impressed that the sound was as balanced as it was in that kind of setting.

As always, I’ll let the music speak for itself:

Traveling with a live band obviously has several perks, one of them being that the artist can let the music keep going if he wants to say something during a song. I enjoyed the little bit of background that McCray gave during “Hold On.”

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Youtube Spotlight: Ernie Haase & Signature Sound (3/3/13)

March 06, 2013 By: Aaron Category: Concert Reviews, Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, SG Artists, SG Music, Youtube

The EHSS bus once again rolled into my home area of Lynchburg, VA for a concert at Thomas Road Baptist Church this past weekend. It’s almost become an annual date for the group; they did not come in 2012, but came the year before that when Ian Owens had just recently started singing with them, and had a couple of concerts there when Tim Duncan was there. This time, they have Paul Harkey in the bass slot, and are experiencing change on the band side of things; guitarist Kelly Vaughan recently left the group, and drummer Zak Shumate is on the way out for a position with The Isaacs.

While I was not able to attend this year because of being away at college, my Mom did, and filmed a few videos of the night. Thanks, Mom! 🙂

Every bass singer that has been with EHSS has had a signature song at some point in their tenure that was usually a softer selection. For Tim Duncan in his early days, it was The Old Rugged Cross. For Ian Owens, it was “I Believe.” For Paul Harkey, it’s “Scars In The Hands Of Jesus.” While this song is more often heard as a tenor feature, it works quite well for Harkey’s smooth upper range. Look for this as a featured track on the group’s upcoming project, Glorious Day.

This is a brand new song entitled “That’s Why” from the group’s upcoming release. Mom did not film the main song, but was so impressed with it that she made sure to film the reprise. I don’t know how extensive the instrumentation is for the track, but the song sounds as if it was made for a “stripped down” sound like what is done here. This “teaser” makes me look forward to hearing the full thing on the project in April.

In the last of “new” clips from the night, the group does a cover of “Noah Found Grace In The Eyes Of The Lord,” which was recorded by several groups, but was arguably made the most popular by the Statler Brothers. EHSS takes off from the Statlers’ later arrangement that was recorded with Jimmy Fortune, right down to the held tenor note near the end, and it fits their energetic style.

There’s not much to say about “Sometimes I Wonder” that hasn’t already been said, except that Doug Anderson was a perfect choice to be featured on this song. Like Scott Howard of Legacy Five, he seems to always get songs that fit him like a glove, and this is no exception.

The concert closer, “Then Came The Morning” has rightfully remained a concert staple for the group, as evidenced by its strong response even after eight years of staging it.

Youtube Spotlight: Legacy Five

October 23, 2012 By: Aaron Category: Concert Reviews, Legacy Five, SG Artists, SG Music

Last Friday was a rare opportunity to see Legacy Five at a church only about thirty minutes from my home area of Lynchburg, VA. It was especially worth the trip because it would be my first opportunity to hear the group outside of NQC since the hire of bass singer Matt Fouch. The vocal lineup has gelled even more since the convention, and they are more comfortable with each other on stage and are more used to the vocal tendencies of the other members, making for their strongest sound to date. Check out the videos from the night:

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Youtube Spotlight: The Anchormen

August 20, 2012 By: Aaron Category: Concert Reviews, SG Artists, SG Music, The Anchormen, Youtube

I had the opportunity to drive only a little way from my house to a concert last Saturday night in my home area of Lynchburg, VA. The Warren Smoot Benefit Concert is held every year by the Central Virginia Angel Hearts organization, and the proceeds benefit some in need in the area. This was the event’s twelfth year, and the lineup was headlined by The Anchormen and Aaron Wilburn. While I didn’t video any of Wilburn’s set (which is just as well; my laughter would have ruined any audio on the video!), I did manage to get most of what The Anchormen sang.

This was an especially interesting night to see the group, as it was only their second concert since Paul Harkey’s departure for the LeFevre Quartet. As has been reported on various sites, Randy Byrd, formerly of the Blackwood Brothers, is the group’s new bass singer. The group has also seen the departure of lead singer Dale Forbes to go back into the pastorate, so this concert was also the second one featuring Anchormen alumnus Corey Wilson filling in on the lead part. Check out the videos of the night:

Hearing this one makes me wish that Corey wasn’t just back for a fill-in!

Youtube Spotlight: The Blackwood Brothers

August 16, 2012 By: Aaron Category: Blackwood Brothers, Concert Reviews, SG Artists, SG Music, Youtube

The Blackwood Brothers came to Madison Heights, VA, this past Sunday night. I had not seen this quartet outside of NQC, and I was curious to hear their change in sound since the departure of bass singer Randy Byrd. The vocal lineup now stands as tenor Wayne Little, lead Jimmy Blackwood, baritone Billy Blackwood, and bass Butch Owens. The group brought a great concert in the tradition of the classic Blackwood Brothers, and did the majority of their songs with no tracks, just piano. Speaking of piano, Mike Hammontree has officially returned as the group’s pianist after coming off the road due to a quadruple-bypass heart surgery, and added quite a bit to their performance. Here are the clips I got of the night:

 

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Youtube Spotlight: The LeFevre Quartet

July 16, 2012 By: Aaron Category: Concert Reviews, LeFevre Quartet, SG Artists, SG Music, Youtube

The LeFevre Quartet came to Concord, VA for a concert last Friday night, and I was glad to be able to attend. This was my first time hearing the group since the addition of Harold Reed at the tenor position, and I was not disappointed. This is arguably the strongest lineup the quartet has had yet, and I am looking forward to hearing their upcoming debut project for Activate Records. Here are some clips of the evening:

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Youtube Spotlight: Freedom

June 25, 2012 By: Aaron Category: Concert Reviews, Freedom, SG Artists, SG Music, Youtube

This past Friday night, I headed over to Wirtz, VA to hear Freedom sing at Halesford Baptist Church. The church hosts several concerts each year, and I’ve never been disappointed with the quality of the groups that are brought in. This concert was no exception. This relatively new trio features tenor John Rulapaugh, lead Josh Garner, and baritone Tyler Vestal. Here are some videos that I took during the concert:

 

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Concert Review: Ernie Haase & Signature Sound in Belfast, Northern Ireland (Live Stream)

May 19, 2012 By: Aaron Category: Concert Reviews, Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, SG Artists, SG Music

I noticed over the past few days on Facebook that Ernie Haase & Signature Sound will be broadcasting their Belfast concert on the Internet, so I decided to watch and give my thoughts in “stream of consciousness” form.  Hopefully, this doesn’t end up looking like I took a bunch of cough medicine and decided to write afterwards!

1. Since Jesus Passed By – Hadn’t heard the group stage this song in quite a while; in fact, not since Tim Duncan left. Ian Owens NAILED his solo verse and step out lines, and it’s quite a testament to his development since joining the group. I like this “all-live” treatment of the song supplied by the live band. The re-working of the instrumentation is really interesting.

2. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot – The first track of the group’s new Here We Are Again project, is also “all-live.” Good showcase of the quartet harmony here, and the “instrumental break” goes over well live.

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