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 ‘Gene McDonald’

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.

NQC 2009: Friday Night

September 19, 2009 By: Aaron Category: Brian Free And Assurance, Gaither Vocal Band, Gene McDonald, NQC 2009, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, The Inspirations

NQC has but one night left before it’s all winded down. It’s time, once again, for a brief look at what transpired:

1. Most poignant moment of the night goes to Jeremy Lile’s feature on “Save Me A Seat At The Table.” For those who don’t know why this particular performance was different than any other, I’ll explain. Jeremy’s father was dying of cancer this week, which is why Jeremy wasn’t there Monday and Jeff Chapman filled in. His dad passed away on Wednesday, the funeral was today and Jeremy took off as soon as the burial was over and got there 45 minutes before Assurance’s set.

Brian announced all that from the stage and had Jeremy sing “Save Me A Seat At The Table” as a tribute to his dad. He faltered a little bit on the first chorus, then regrouped for the rest of the song and made it all the way till the last phrase and just broke down. The guys made a circle around him and he got a standing ovation, and yes, the whole place stood. Easily one of the most touching and moving moments this week.

2. The Gaither Vocal Band’s set was a good one, with each vocalist being featured in equal prominence. Wes Hampton impressed me with his verse on “I Believe In A Hill Called Mount Calvary,” and also taking the final chorus. Listening to the Reunited project, I had thought those were David Phelps’ features, and maybe they are on the CD, but Wes really did a bang-up job with them.

Another highlight was Bill playing the piano while the rest of the GVB (minus Hampton until the encore) sang “Hide Thou Me,” joined by surprise guest Gene McDonald to fill the bass part. If Bill ever retires, he needs to tap McDonald to fill that spot in the Vocal Band. I would have liked it better if the sound technicians had actually had Gene’s mic set at a decent level.

3. Is it just me, or do The Inspirations sound very similar to that of the lineup of the 70s? Tenor Dallas Rogers sounds like the Archie Watkins of that era, and the group’s overall sound is familar enough to please older fans, while fresh enough to catch others’ attention.

I’m not even going to give the sound a point tonight. Anybody who’s been reading this week probably can guess what I’d say anyway.

Anything else?

Gene McDonald To Be On New Ricky Atkinson & Compassion Project

December 31, 2008 By: Aaron Category: Gene McDonald, Ricky Atkinson and Compassion, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music

According to a blog post by my friend Jeremy Bell (who got this from SGReporter, hat tip to both), Gene will be featured on two songs on an upcoming RC&A project. The songs are “Get On Board” and “Good News.”
No word yet on whether McDonald will be joining the group, but this is a promising sign. Be looking for the new project sometime in February.

Update On Guy Penrod’s Hiatus

October 11, 2008 By: Aaron Category: Bill Gaither, Gaither Vocal Band, Gene McDonald, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music

Reports from attenders of a recent GVB concert suggest that Penrod’s sabbatical will be three months instead of three weeks. They’re saying that Bill Gaither distinctly said “three months” when mentioning Guy’s break, and I don’t think it was a slip up; it makes sense, three months would be a much more effective rest period than only three weeks.

As you probably expect, the rumors have flown all around the Web. Averyfineline.com has a nice little thread going about it, with different theories popping up. The most prominent of these is this: What if this hiatus becomes permanent?

One guy at Averyfineline suggested Scott Allen, saying that he sounds much like a young Michael English. Couldn’t have put it better myself. Scott had been filling in on the lead singer slot with The Imperials ever since Shannon Smith left the group, and he took the full-time position a couple months ago. I hope that lasts for a long time, but I do agree that he would be a great fit should Guy ever leave the GVB.

I will say that if Bill decides to retire, he should snag Gene McDonald to take his place. The man’s range would fit great with the GVB’s arrangements; not only could he sing the “high bass” stuff, but he could also add some powerful, deep bass in it as well. All without the aid from the sound system that everyone likes to accuse Bill of (and apparently, they accuse truthfully).

I guess my “dream lineup” of the GVB would be this:

Tenor: David Phelps – nobody can touch this guy. Period. And with rumblings of him being dropped by Word Records after seven albums, it could happen. Just switch Wes Hampton to lead.

Lead: Guy Penrod, Mike English, or Scott Allen – Guy and Mike are (or have been) absolutely steller vocalists, Scott has already been mentioned.

Baritone: Mark Lowry or Marshall Hall – Both great baritones and vocalists in their own right.

Bass: Gene McDonald – see above.

Gene McDonald Back On The Road!!!!

August 24, 2007 By: Aaron Category: Gene McDonald, SG Artists, SG Music

Well, in some capacity, anyway.

According to many sources of “Gene Sightings”, he is the bus driver/product table manager for Gordon Mote. Guess that bus driving job is a pretty good gig, considering that this will, inadvertently, put him in the Gaither circuit. We can only hope that he’ll join in that Homecoming choir, or maybe another quartet….

Ah, what could be….

Another Group Retiring

June 12, 2007 By: Aaron Category: Gene McDonald, Josh Garner, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, The Florida Boys, The Kingsmen

Well, looks like another legendary, old group is going off the road.

According to averyfineline, and later confirmed by group owner Les Beasley, the Florida Boys are retiring in July.

What a shame… I guess the writing was on the wall when bass Gene McDonald and tenor Harold Reed left the group. Reed is singing with the Kingsmen and McDonald is working for a bus company. In the final days, the Boys bumped lead Josh Garner up to tenor with Beasley singing lead, and quite honestly, it didn’t work. Hopefully at least Garner can find another big-time group to sing with, because he’s a great lead…

Adios, Florida Boys. God bless…

EDIT: A guy on averyfineline pointed out that I had both Garner and Beasley singing tenor. Thanks Thom!