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 ‘Ernie Haase and Signature Sound’

Matt Fouch Interviews Ernie Haase

June 06, 2015 By: Aaron Category: Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, Legacy Five, SG Artists, SG Music

Matt Fouch, bass singer for Legacy Five, has been doing his “On The Couch With Fouch” video interview series since his days with Soul’d Out Quartet. It has yielded some fascinating interviews over the years, but his latest seemed to delve into a particular level of insight and detail. Maybe it was the submitted questions, maybe it was the guest, but I have a feeling it was a combination of both. Check out this great interview with Ernie Haase:

Big News From IMC Concerts

April 15, 2013 By: Aaron Category: Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, Greater Vision, Legacy Five, Mark Trammell Quartet, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music

Over the past couple of weeks, there has been a steady buzz building on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter of a “big announcement” coming today from IMC Concerts. The announcement hits at 9:00 PM EST, but for now, the floor is open for guesses as to what the news entails.

My guess (and what seems to be a consensus among the posts I’ve seen) is that this is a Cathedrals Reunion event, and possibly even a full tour. The evidence is this: the groups that have been posting and hinting at the announcement include Legacy Five, Greater Vision, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, and the Mark Trammell Quartet, at least (there may be more that I’ve missed). The common thread among all of those groups is that they each contain one former member of The Cathedrals.

For years, Legacy Five, Greater Vision, Mark Trammell Trio/Quartet, and Danny Funderburk have done select concerts under the name of “Remembering The Music,” which were Cathedrals tribute events, just without the group name. I remember attending one several years ago in Winston-Salem, NC that was entitled “Remembering The Cathedrals,” but the name changed shortly thereafter. I would guess that, with the addition of Ernie Haase’s group to the usual lineup, the Cathedrals name could be used again for these events, but I’m not privy to how that all works (who actually owns the name or has permission to use it, among other things). No word so far on whether other Cathedrals alumni will be a part of the event/tour, but it will be interesting to find out if the general guess is correct.

There are some silhouette pictures of the photo shoot on Facebook here and here.

Check back here around 9:00 for the official announcement, and feel free to leave your guesses in the comments section!

Update: In light of the tragedy in Boston, the announcement has been postponed until tomorrow at 9:00 PM Eastern.

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.

First Look: Paul Harkey With Ernie Haase & Signature Sound

October 25, 2012 By: Aaron Category: Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, First Look, SG Artists, SG Music, Youtube

Youtube user EHSSQfan1 has posted a ten-minute video featuring songs from Paul Harkey’s first night with the quartet. Harkey’s features on “Scars In The Hands Of Jesus” and “Old Rugged Cross” are instant standouts, and, like his predecessor Ian Owens, he had a funny moment getting used to the choreography. Hearing the sound from his debut makes me look forward to how this lineup will gel.

Ian Owens Joins Soul’d Out Quartet

October 23, 2012 By: Aaron Category: Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, Soul'd Out Quartet

In one of the more surprising moves of the year, the quartet announced today that they have made a big hire similar to the one that took place when they picked up Bryan Hutson after the departure of Tanner Stahl.

Since the departure of long time bass singer Matt Fouch, in mid August, Soul’d Out Quartet has been diligently seeking God and following his leading in the attempt to find the right person to be our bass singer. Despite having met many great people through the audition process, we (the men of Soul’d Out) had made the decision to remain a trio unless God provided the absolute right fit for our team and ministry.

Soul’d Out Quartet is thrilled to announce that God has provided us with the right bass singer!! We are so excited to have Ian Owens joining the Soul’d Out family! You may have heard Ian’s name before as the bass singer for Gospel Quartets such as “The Imperials” and “Ernie Haase and Signature Sound.” Ian has 12 years of full time ministry in gospel music and we are so pleased that this chapter of our lives brings us together to proclaim the Good News!! Ian’s first appearance with Soul’d Out will be on November 9th, 2012. We ask for your prayers for both Ian and the current Soul’d Out members as we transition into this new and very exciting time. God has great things in store for this ministry! Come and see us when we are in your area and welcome Ian aboard! Dusty, Michael, Bryan, Rick and Matt.

Ian also had a personal statement in the press release:

“After spending a weekend on the road with Soul’d Out Quartet, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that joining their team is God’s will for my life. I am very excited to have the opportunity to spread the Word of God with such strong men of faith and integrity! Matt, Bryan, Dusty, and Michael all have such a sincere and earnest desire to see souls won and lives changed. I absolutely can not wait to be “pounding the pavement” with these awesome men! However…..I’m scared I may not be much of a bass singer for them if I’m always hoarse from laughing at them! They’re funny!!”
Ian

My “big hire” comment refers to the level of popularity within Southern Gospel that Owens possesses. He gained quite a following in his time with Ernie Haase & Signature Sound (and, with some fans, during his tenure with The Imperials), much like Bryan Hutson gained with The Kingsmen. A second hire of this caliber in a row can only do good things for the popularity of the group.

Besides that aspect, this is also a good move vocally. In the eight years that previous bass singer Matt Fouch was with the group before his move to Legacy Five earlier this year, he developed a unique sound that combined solid low notes with a rich upper register. Owens developed his lower range quite nicely with EHSS, and has an upper register that has received favorable comments. His sound will continue what Fouch brought to the table with the group, while carving his own niche.

Owens had the task of following Tim Duncan in EHSS, and while he certainly developed quite well to fill that role, I’m looking forward to hearing him as he takes the mantle of a bass singer that is more similar to his style.

Ernie Haase & Signature Sound Announces Change

October 01, 2012 By: Aaron Category: Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, LeFevre Quartet, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music

I guess it’s safe to say that NQC Turnover Season 2012 is underway.

In one of the more surprising moves in a while, the group announced the departure of their bass singer, as well as his replacement:

Dear Friends,

For the past two years the EHSS team and fans have been enriched by the voice and personality of Ian Owens. Ian has announced that he will be pursuing other interests (both musical and personal) and we fully support him and wish him great success. Ian’s last date with EHSS will be October 13th, 2012 in Sunnyvale, TX. Come out and support Ian and please pray for Ian and his wife Megan as they follow this new path.

We will miss Ian dearly. He is a funny, FUNNY man who has become a great friend and that will never change. We will update you at a later date with all information concerning Ian and his plans. Our new bass singer is a young man you are going to love. His name is Paul Harkey. We will fill you in on all of his information soon. Pray for EHSS as we navigate through this transition time.
Sincerely, Ernie

Color me shocked, first that Ian is leaving, and second, that Paul Harkey is coming in. Harkey joined the LeFevre Quartet several weeks ago, and was the featured bass vocalist on their new mainline release. For them to have a lineup change so quickly is surprising, possibly even more surprising than EHSS experiencing a change.

Owens brought a different style of bass singing to the quartet than they were used to with Tim Duncan, but it was one that left a positive mark on their arrangements, with a fuller upper register that allowed for tighter harmony. While Harkey has that same solid upper range, he is a bass in the Tim Riley/Jeff Chapman tradition, so look for this to change the group’s sound quite a bit.

For a good example of how Harkey sounds, here’s a recent video of him with the LeFevre Quartet:

For a showcase of his higher range, here’s “One Day” by the Anchormen. Paul has the first feature:

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.

(more…)

CD Review: Ernie Haase & Signature Sound – Here We Are Again

January 27, 2012 By: Aaron Category: CD Reviews, Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, SG Artists, SG Music

Rating: 4.5 stars

Producer: Wayne Haun
Label: Stow Town Records
Website: www.erniesigsound.com

Buy Project Here

It’s been said that, in Southern Gospel music, the only thing that is more certain than the Truth that is sung about, is change. Ernie Haase & Signature Sound are not immune to that fact; since their last project of original material (2008’s Dream On), the group has said farewell to longtime lead singer Ryan Seaton and bass singer/founding member Tim Duncan. Devin McGlamery filled the vacancy left by Seaton, and Cumberland Quartet/The Imperials bass Ian Owens came back on the road following Duncan’s departure. Though McGlamery was featured on a table project (Influenced II: Spirituals and Southern Classics) and a mainline release (A Tribute to the Cathedral Quartet) in 2010, this is his first “original” project with the group, and Owens’ first effort with them period (unless you count background vocals on George Younce with Ernie Haase and Signature Sound).

With this latest release, fans are hoping to see a return to the creativity and energy that was found with the group’s 2007 hit effort, Get Away Jordan. The follow-up release, the aforementioned Dream On, had several strong songs with lasting value in the group’s repertoire, but was overall just… missing something. I’ve made the observation that it was “sleepy” (pun somewhat intended!).

I am happy to report that Here We Are Again brings back the spark, in spades.

Take, for instance, the opening track. “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” starts with the sound of an old projector reel, and then launches into a classic spiritual that EHSS injects with its trademark “SG quartet music with a kick” style, much like they did with “Someday” to open Get Away Jordan, complete with an “instrumental” break in the middle that has the quartet mimicking a band with their voices. This track sets the tone for the rest of the project, and flows nicely into an original upbeat tune, “Singing In The Midnight Hour,” which serves as a vehicle for baritone Doug Anderson to show off some of his soulful vocals. The other most creative tracks undoubtedly come in the form of “Every Time,” a wild Ernie Haase feature in the vein of “Happy Birthday, Anniversary Too” (except more bearable, and twice as hyper), and “Any Other Man,” which adopts a Third Day-esque rock sound and has already piqued interest around various SG blogs and message boards.

The big question is, how are the “new guys” doing in the new group? The answer is, quite well. Lead singer McGlamery takes the feature on the group’s latest single, “I’ve Been Here Before,” as well as solos on “Love Carried The Cross” and “Stand By Me,” the latter of which he absolutely nails his part on. These songs spotlight his development since joining the group, seeming to bridge the gap between his sound as lead for the Dixie Melody Boys and his more modern sound he attained with Karen Peck & New River and brought to EHSS.

Speaking of “Stand By Me,” that is indeed the song that really got EHSS started back in 2003 with a project of the same name, and it was actually the first track I’d heard on the project since I went right to it, wondering if it was actually the same one. Ian Owens is a different type of bass than Tim Duncan; he’s not all about the low notes, and has a smoother higher range that makes for a killer blend. On this particular track, he takes the EHSS signature and effectively makes it his own, giving it a soulful swagger that reminds me of a Black Gospel group like the Fairfield Four. Other highlights for him include his standouts on “I’ve Been Here Before,” which serve to show that his lower range has been brought out and developed nicely in the year since he joined the quartet, and “I Believe,” which he has sung regularly in concert since his Imperials days, and has become his “signature” with this group.

The other vocalists also have a strong showing. A big ballad about Christ’s sacrifice (“Love Carried The Cross”) calls to mind a ballad the Haase-era Cathedrals would do, especially with Haase’s delivery on the last verse. “Sometimes I Wonder” sounds like a song that would have fit seamlessly into Doug Anderson’s solo project, and pianist Wayne Haun even gets a full-fledged feature on “You Are Welcome Here.” The whole group comes together for “Thankful,” a softer, orchestrated tune that I’d imagine would be used near the end of a concert, but doesn’t really jump out on CD.

People who have written the group off since the lineup changes took place are doing themselves a disservice. This lineup can hold its own with any previous iterations of the quartet and has developed very nicely, and has produced a top-notch project. In fact, I will go out on a limb and rank this project as the best collection of songs they have released to date, with Get Away Jordan at a close second. I’d encourage anyone who may have been a fan of the previous lineups to purchase a copy of Here We Are Again; you just may be pleasantly surprised. Here We Are Again receives 4.5 stars.

Youtube Roundup – 6/29/11

June 29, 2011 By: Aaron Category: Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, SG Artists, SG Music, The Melody Boys, Youtube

While working on a review for an upcoming project, I went to Youtube, among other resources, to see if I could find out whether or not some songs were previously recorded by another group. I’ll be the first to admit that when it comes to an advent of technology like that site, I’m fascinated and usually get a bout of ADD, following a rabbit trail through the “Suggestions” sidebar. Somewhere in all of that, I stumbled across some recent footage taken at an Ernie Haase & Signature Sound concert in Bloomington, Illinois. The videos themselves aren’t as high quality as some out there, but they are still enjoyable, and many of them feature songs I’ve not heard the group do since Ian Owens joined on bass earlier this year. Check them out:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfOxLsZMvT0

Someday – I haven’t heard the group do this opener to their 2007 Get Away Jordan project in quite a while, and Owens is settling quite well into the bass role for the group. For some reason, his backing harmonies on the first chorus remind of London Parris, which would be a high compliment to pay any bass singer.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIoHSi9BBKo

Here We Are Again

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jz9BA5NoKX4

Glory To God in the Highest – I really like the change they’ve made to the second verse of this song. The trade-off between Owens and lead singer Devin McGlamery is something I don’t believe I’ve heard utilized in any other rendition of this song, and while I’m sure the bass could carry the verse all the way through as it was originally done with Tim Duncan, the change of vocals make it unique to this lineup.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jx5GZWDn5A

I Pledge My Allegiance

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ukXth-L7gw

The Old Rugged Cross

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4jUdl_AC0Q

Step Into The Water

And finally, on a completely unrelated note, here’s a video of the Melody Boys in one of their best lineups singing a pretty difficult song to pull off (and singing it well!):

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMdjMvQ-bUk

Tim Duncan Departs Signature Sound; Ian Owens Named As New Bass

January 18, 2011 By: Aaron Category: Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music

By now, it has made the rounds in the Southern Gospel blog: Tim Duncan has left Ernie Haase & Signature Sound after eight years as their bass singer. The press release at Singing News reads:

NASHVILLE, TN (January 17, 2011) – Tim Duncan, bass vocalist of Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, is stepping down after eight years with the quartet.

Tim states: “After 8 years of service to Ernie Haase & Signature Sound I have been feeling in my heart that my time has come to an end. I’m sad on one hand yet excited on the other hand. Ernie & the boys are like brothers and always will be. I covet your prayers.”

Ernie Haase states: “I realize changes are inevitable, it always brings a challenge as well as new opportunity. We will always be grateful for Tim’s contribution to the group over these past years. We love Tim and wish him and his family great success.”

Ian Owens will replace Tim Duncan. His first date with the group will be January 21 in Portland OR.

Thankfully, this doesn’t seem to be a situation where the speculation can turn ugly as to what happened to cause the change; the press release features statements from both parties that indicate there is no bad blood. As Haase stated, change is inevitable. Tim Duncan became one of my personal favorite basses in his time with the group, and his sound improved during that tenure. His contributions to the group’s sound leave some big shoes to fill.

That brings me to Ian Owens. You may remember him from his time with the Cumberland Quartet, but most will remember him as the young man who stepped in when Armond Morales, longtime bass singer for The Imperials retired. Indeed, Owens possesses a voice that has the smooth tones of Armond’s, but with a deeper, lower range. It is interesting to note that, in an interview hosted on Daniel Mount’s blog, Ernie Haase was asked to put together a “quartet of tomorrow.” Owens got the bass spot in that group. Owens’ sound differs enough from Duncan’s that it will be intriguing to hear how the group’s sound as a whole changes.

For a preview of Ian Owen’s voice, here’s the Imperials singing “Arise, My Love.”