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 ‘LeFevre Quartet’

First Look: LeFevre Quartet & More

January 17, 2013 By: Aaron Category: First Look, LeFevre Quartet, SG Artists, SG Music, Youtube

The LeFevre Quartet entered the new year with two new additions: tenor Thomas Nalley, formerly of Providence Quartet, and bass Randy Byrd from the Blackwood Brothers and Anchormen. DinanaSN has three new videos that spotlight the new members:

It’s striking how well the LeFevre Quartet has gelled in a short time. If they are considering re-cutting tenor and bass vocals on their latest release, But For The Cross, this lineup would pull it off well; the first clip, which is a track from that project, makes a good case for doing so. Regardless, I am looking forward to hearing music from this assembly of vocalists for (hopefully) quite a while!

The second has been out there for several months, but was pointed out to me last night. Jackie Lamb, former tenor for Heirline, has a new trio called Mercy’s Bridge. They have a Youtube video hightlighting selections from their debut project:

Randy Byrd Joins LeFevre Quartet

January 02, 2013 By: Aaron Category: LeFevre Quartet, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, The Anchormen

Today, the final piece of the LeFevre Quartet puzzle fell into place. Since the departure of Paul Harkey for Ernie Haase & Signature Sound shortly after NQC 2012, the group has had several fill-in bass singers, including Keith Plott and Tim Duncan, during their search for a new member. That search has finally come to a close, as former Blackwood Brothers and Anchormen bass singer Randy Byrd announced the transition in a Facebook status, citing wanting to move back to being closer to family as the reason for the departure. No word yet on future plans for the Anchormen, but look for an announcement there soon.

In Daniel Mount’s review of the group’s latest release, But For The Cross, he made this statement about the track “I’m So Saved”:

Mere weeks after the album released, Paul Harkey left to join Ernie Haase & Signature Sound. This song shows the potential he could have had with the group if he’d stayed. The song requires a bass comfortable with incredibly low notes; here’s hoping the LeFevre Quartet can find replacement who can pull off this challenging arrangement with aplomb.

The LeFevre Quartet has picked up a  capable singer in Byrd, and it’s worth noting that he has proved that he can handle Paul Harkey bass parts, as this is the second time he has followed Harkey in a quartet. I believe the above criteria has been met. Couple with the recent hire of tenor Thomas Nalley, there is much potential for this group.

Join me in welcoming Randy to the LeFevre Quartet, and looking forward to what this newly solidified lineup will do!

Thomas Nalley Joins LeFevre Quartet

December 26, 2012 By: Aaron Category: LeFevre Quartet, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music

By way of announcement from his Facebook page, the news has hit that the LeFevre Quartet is welcoming Thomas Nalley into the tenor position for the group after the departure of Harold Reed. Nalley has spent the past two years as tenor for Providence Quartet, a group featured as a showcase winner on main stage at NQC 2012, and his first date with the group will be this Saturday.

In a recent conversation with a friend, we got on the subject of Providence Quartet, and Thomas Nalley in particular. Some video clips were sent back and forth, and I wondered why we haven’t heard more from this guy before. I enjoyed the fact that he seems to know his limits, resulting in less “forced” sounding tones. Look for Nalley to turn some heads with this group, especially once the group can solidify and carry on with a new bass singer (no word on a pick for that spot yet).

Here’s some clips of Nalley with his former group. Included is their NQC appearance:

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:

CD Review: The LeFevre Quartet – But For The Cross

September 29, 2012 By: Aaron Category: CD Reviews, LeFevre Quartet, SG Artists, SG Music

Rating: 4 stars

Producer: Tre’ Corley, Paul Corley, & Rick Sandidge
Label:
Activate Records
Website:
www.thelefevrequartet.com

Song titles: But For The Cross; Come And See; I’m So Saved; The Wedding Song; Put It Right There; We Are The Church; Saved By The Blood; The Blessed Hope; Someday Soon; I’ll Let You Lead Me; Standing On The Daily Promises

The LeFevre Quartet’s newest release comes in at an interesting point in their discography, as it is their first truly new release since 2008’s Nothin’ But Good. Since that time, the group has released a Christmas table project, a classics table project, a live release that combined songs from the classics album and Nothin’ But Good, and another recent table project that featured new recordings of both LeFevre Quartet songs and a couple that tenor Harold Reed brought over from The Kingsmen. Over that time period, the group has also morphed into a basically completely new quartet. Baritone Mike LeFevre is the only vocal member remaining from the lineup that produced the 2008 mainline release under Canaan Records. The vocalists now stand at tenor Reed, lead singer Jordan LeFevre (who stepped from behind the drums and sound board after David Staton’s departure), baritone Mike, and bass Paul Harkey.

Despite all the changes, the group continues the interesting arranging and strong song choices found in Nothin’ But Good and further refines those attributes. The title cut is a great example of this; a powerful song about the impact of the Cross, featuring an orchestrated sound fused with more modern elements, and an arpeggiated chord placed near the end of each chorus. Right off the bat, the group highlights the fact that their ensemble sound is the strongest it has been in their history.

Each of the group members has at least one strong feature. Newcomer Paul Harkey is featured on the first verse of the new single, “I’m So Saved,” an upbeat tune from the pen of Dianne Wilkinson that immediately grabbed my attention. Harkey is also spotlighted on “Saved By The Blood,” and a jazzy tune with a familiar sound entitled “I’ll Let You Lead Me.” Jordan LeFevre’s first full effort from the group gives him a chance to shine with the smooth “Come And See,” which got a strong reception at NQC 2012, as well as verses on “But For The Cross” and “I’m So Saved. His father, Mike, takes the first verse of the title cut, and gets a full feature on the “We Are The Church.”

Fans of Harold Reed’s days with quartets like the Dixie Melody Boys, The Florida Boys, and The Kingsmen may be thrown for a loop if they are expecting that same traditional sound. Reed is taken out of what may be considered his “comfort zone” on this project, but he pulls it off with aplomb. While “The Blessed Hope” does fit into that traditional vein, his lead on the final part of “I’m So Saved” is definitely outside the box. He is also put out front on “Put It Right There,” another “different” song for him that parallels a father and his drug-addicted son with the crucifixion of Jesus. The lyrical content is something that is not usually found in a Southern Gospel song, and it is one of the strongest songs on the project.

While not every song on the project is a home run (“Someday Soon” didn’t fit with the rest of the material, and “Standing On The Daily Promises” seemed clichéd), it is strong enough to be worth the wait for a new mainline release from the group, and sets a good reference point for the LeFevre Quartet to build from. But For The Cross receives 4 stars.

LeFevre Quartet Hires Paul Harkey

August 15, 2012 By: Aaron Category: LeFevre Quartet, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, The Anchormen

A visit to the LeFevre Quartet website today yielded a pleasant surprise; the quartet has picked up Anchormen bass Paul Harkey after the departure of Brandon Barry last month. Harkey presumably starts singing with them this weekend, and will be the bass vocalist on the group’s upcoming mainline release, which is their debut release on the newly formed Activate Records.

This is a smart move on the part of Mike LeFevre; the new single from the project indicates that the group is striving for the progressive sound found on their last label effort, Nothin’ But Good, in 2008, and a young vocalist like Harkey fits that style perfectly. Since Canaan Records went belly-up shortly after Nothin’ But Good was released, the group has done nothing but table projects since, and has seen multiple lineup changes that eventually settled with the quartet being made up of tenor Harold Reed, lead Jordan LeFevre, baritone Mike LeFevre, and, up until recently, bass Brandon Barry, essentially making the vocal lineup an entirely different group from the one of 2008. It is wise to go for hiring an up-and-coming young talent to carry on in the bass slot, and Harkey’s work with The Anchormen has turned several heads, showing great potential.

The question now is, what is next for The Anchormen? The rumor mill has already strted turning, and I’ve heard some rumblings of who is stepping in. The group will be in my area this weekend, so be looking on this blog next week for a report and possibly some video footage.

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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First Look: Harold Reed with The LeFevre Quartet

January 20, 2012 By: Aaron Category: First Look, LeFevre Quartet, SG Artists, SG Music, Youtube

The LeFevre Quartet got a makeover right around the time of NQC 2011 with the departure of lead singer and founding member David Staton, and the additions of Mike LeFevre’s son Jordan at the lead position (moving up from soundman/former drummer) and Old Paths bass Brandon Barry finally filling the position that was being held down long-term by Mike Allen. In December, it was announced that tenor Jeremy Easley was leaving the group and that Kingsmen tenor Harold Reed was coming aboard. Now, three videos have surfaced of this new lineup in action. These are from Reed’s second weekend with the group, and it should be noted that Jordan LeFevre was performing with laryngitis.

This quartet classic features each vocal part out front at some point, and does a good job highlighting the new sound this combination of voices brings to the table. Here’s “Oh The Glory Did Roll:”

 

One of the changes that Harold Reed brings to the stage presence of the group is a keen sense of humor. The previous lineups knew how to have fun for sure, but Reed brings some new comedy to the group, especially in learning the words to the songs! Here’s a double feature of “Crown Him King” and “Wait Upon The Lord:”

 

You never really know how a group’s dynamic changes until you hear a new vocalist singing one of the group’s popular sings. This tenor feature has been sung by Gus Gaches, Jeremy Easley, and even Stephen Sigmon in a fill-in situation. Reed’s voice is a different timbre and style than all theirs, but no less effective on “You’re Never Too Far Away.”

 

Count me in the camp that is looking forward to a project of new material from this lineup of the LeFevre Quartet. I really like their sound!

Kingsmen Looking For New Tenor

December 26, 2011 By: Aaron Category: LeFevre Quartet, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, The Kingsmen

 

Change has hit The Kingsmen yet again. The group announced the departure of tenor Harold Reed today, and he is making the move to The LeFevre Quartet. From Brandon Reese:

The Kingsmen announce the departure of tenor Harold Reed.

“I have been blessed to sing with one of my favorite Quartets for the past 4 1/2 years and now I feel it is time for me to start the next chapter in my singing career and join The Lafever Quartet,” says Harold. “Sometimes the Lord tells you it is just time and I will truly miss Ray and the rest of the guys but I am comfortable knowing we will remain in contact.”

“The Kingsmen will be celebrating 55 years of music ministry in 2012. Through those years we have had the most talented and enjoyable team members but more importantly good Christians work with our organization,” says Brandon Reese. “Harold is no exception. I know God is in control and has a plan for The Kingsmen. We are more committed than ever to spread the gospel in song all throughout 2012 and beyond.”

For consideration of the tenor position please send all info and demos to: ray@kingsmenquartet.com or brandon@kingsmenquartet.com

Harold is replacing the departing Jeremy Easley. I was very impressed with Easley in the couple times I saw him in a live setting and am looking forward to seeing where he ends up. I have no doubt he’ll be singing in some capacity!

I had a hunch that this move might happen when I saw Harold filling in with the LeFevre Quartet on TBN the other night. I’m very interested to see who The Kingsmen might hire; their tenor part is notorious for being demanding, especially on the older material. Perhaps a young, upcoming talent that hasn’t really been widely heard yet will take the spot.

For a taste of how the LeFevre Quartet will sound, here are their two songs from their TBN apperance. Bass singer Brandon Barry was out in the hospital and Mike Allen was filling in. The addition of Reed gives them a different sound than they are used to, but it’s still good.

Brandon Barry Joins LeFevre Quartet

September 10, 2011 By: Aaron Category: LeFevre Quartet, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music

The official announcement of the LeFevre Quartet’s new bass singer was sent yesterday. It is also worth noting that, contrary to some of the rumors floating around, Jeremy Easley still holds the tenor spot.

Nashville, TN: The LeFevre Quartet welcomes new bass singer, Brandon Barry to their line-up. For the past several months, popular Homecoming artist, Mike Allen has been filling the spot on a temporary basis. According to Mike LeFevre, “Mike Allen has been so gracious to fill in for us and we will miss not having him here. I would like to thank him publically for being such a blessing to us and everyone we’ve sang to while he’s been here. We are very excited to have Brandon on board and can’t wait to see how God will use him in this ministry.” Brandon has been with several groups, most notably The Stamps Quartet. The new vocal line up for The LeFevre Quartet is Jeremy Easley (Tenor), Jordan LeFevre (Lead), Mike LeFevre (Baritone) and Brandon Barry (Bass). (Emphasis mine.)