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 ‘The Anchormen’

Gold City Hires Chip Pullen

October 01, 2013 By: Aaron Category: Gold City, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, The Anchormen

In a surprising announcement this morning, Gold City lead singer Jerry Pelfrey announced that he is stepping away from the group to re-launch his family group, The Pelfreys:

In a joint statement, Gold City manager Danny Riley and lead singer Jerry Pelfrey announce Jerry will be leaving the award-winning quartet to reorganize his family group, The Pelfreys. Jerry’s last day with the group will be Wednesday, October 16th at Dollywood Theme Park in Pigeon Forge, TN.

Danny says, “Anyone who has heard Jerry sing knows he has been a great addition to Gold City vocally and behind the scenes as well. We could make this a sad occasion over losing a valued team member, but in reality, no one knows more the importance of traveling with family than my father (Tim Riley) and I. We respect Jerry for taking this opportunity to be with his family at this time in all of their lives. Gold City asks that you join us in praying for the Pelfreys that God would bless their ministry and allow them to do His work for many years to come.”

The Pelfreys will feature Jerry, his wife, Mikki, and Jerry’s sister, Kim Pelfrey Van Hoozier. Jerry says, “I will be honest. I’m scared to death, but ever since the song Lord of Life, I have had a burden to personally be more specific in asking people who Jesus is to them. Once I made the decision with my family to re-establish The Pelfreys, I’ve had a peace about it. We covet your prayers as we step out in faith to launch this new ministry.”

Gold City’s new lead vocalist is Chip Pullen, who most recently has sang with the Anchormen and is an Alabama native. He will assume his role with Gold City on Thursday, October 17th. Danny says, “We know fans are going to fall in love with Chip. We are excited about our future as we continue to make great gospel music for the glory of God.”

Gold City is booked exclusively by The Beckie Simmons Agency. For more information about Gold City or to schedule a concert, visit www.bsaworld.com or www.goldcityqt.com.

I have appreciated Jerry’s contributions to the Gold City sound over the past couple of years, and am glad to see that he will still be singing. Both parties should be commended on such a smooth, friendly transition.

As for Chip Pullen, Gold City has capitalized on a great young talent that has only recently stepped into the national spotlight with The Anchormen. These two clips of his work with that group show that he will be a great fit for the sound and direction that Gold City is cultivating:

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!

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!

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.

CD Review: The Anchormen – Always A Road

December 14, 2009 By: Aaron Category: CD Reviews, SG Artists, SG Music, The Anchormen

Rating: 4 stars

Producer: Donna Beauvais
Label: Anchormen Music Group
Website: www.theanchormen.com

Buy This Project

The Anchormen is a name that Southern Gospel fans should be very familiar with. Through the years, this quartet has turned out great music and had one great lineup after another. Anchormen alumni include several recognizable names in the industry, names like Jeff Chapman, Steve Ladd, Tony Jarman, David Hester, Bryan Elliot, and Aaron McCune, among others. In recent years, however, it seems the group has struggled to keep a lineup together and the Anchormen name has somewhat faded into the background. The obvious question here is this: Is this lineup of The Anchormen any different?

This project seeks to answer that question with a resounding “Yes!” Today’s lineup of tenor Karl Rice, lead Keith Casstevens, baritone Michael Bartlett, and bass Paul Harkey is arguably the best one they’ve had in recent years.

The album itself is a collection of songs that give the listener an Anchormen lineup that sets itself apart from the others; the sound is “today,” while still very much the quartet sound fans love. The opening track demonstrates the change in the group’s sound with a Progressive tune, and the rest of the song is a mix of country-flavored tracks and a few powerful slower songs. Bass singer Paul Harkey in particular shines on the project, recalling the sound of the great basses the group has had through the years. He has a nice wide range as well, getting into “Tim Riley territory” (h/t, DBM) on songs like “Everything But Time,” but then displaying a smooth and surprising upper range on “The Letter.”

Bottom line: if The Anchormen can keep this lineup for a while, they will start garnering some well-deserved attention from the industry.

The Results Of A Good Work Ethic

July 30, 2009 By: Aaron Category: Gold City, SG Artists, SG History, SG Music, Steve Ladd, The Anchormen

Youtube is a truly amazing thing, but especially in the world of Southern Gospel Music. Such technology allows us to go back in time to see our favorite groups and singers from yesteryear; and sometimes, it allows us to see how our favorite current singers have improved over the years.

When you think of singers in SG that have worked their butt off to improve themselves and become dynamite singers, Steve Ladd almost immediately leaps to mind. Take a look at this clip of Steve singing with The Anchormen. Judging by the lineup, this is probably around 1999. Steve is the one singing the second verse. You may want to turn up your speakers, because the clip is not loud at all.

Now, fast forward to the year 2009. Here, Steve Ladd is featured as tenor for Gold City, and he gets the solo pretty much all the way through.

Can you hear the difference? When Steve left Gold City, he went out a better singer than he came in. Like I said before, he worked hard to improve as a singer, and those two clips are solid proof.

I wish I’d found these two clips around the time Steve left GC, but consider this my belated tribute to Steve Ladd. I can’t put it better than Doug Harrison at Averyfineline did: “Gospel music could stand more of that sort of work ethic.”

Bryan Elliot Joins The Perrys

August 01, 2008 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, The Anchormen, The Perrys

SN Forums user Smokymtnsanta tells us the official announcement has been made that the Anchormen pianist has joined The Perrys. Press release will be posted when I recieve it.

Update: Here is the PR:

GALLATIN, TN (Press Release) – The Perrys have announced that Bryan Elliott, of the Anchormen (and formerly, the Palmetto State Quartet), will be their new pianist, effective Friday, August 8, when the group appears in Conway, Arkansas.

Tracy Stuffle says, “We’re thrilled to have Bryan on board. We’ve literally watched Bryan grow up in Southern Gospel music, and fans across the country know that he is one of finest pianists on the road today.”

The Anchormen’s Tim Bullins, says, “The Anchormen certainly wish the absolute best for Bryan and his family. This is a great opportunity for him, and I’m very happy for him – and the Perrys! Bryan’s a super pianist and a super young man!”

Bryan is a talented young pianist and I’m sure he’ll fit right in. I’m anxious to hear how he sounds with them!

Driven Quartet Experiences Change

July 21, 2008 By: Aaron Category: Driven, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, Soul'd Out Quartet, The Anchormen, Tribute Quartet

Just read on the SN forums where Alex Woolard, tenor for Driven Quartet, has left the group to accept a music position at a church. A later post stated that their new tenor had filled in for Steve Ladd in his Anchormen days, but the name escapes me as well.

It’s a real shame when groups experience turnover just when they are starting to get noticed, but if Driven is anything like Tribute or Soul’d Out of recent weeks, they’ll bounce right back from the change.

Be expecting a press release soon.

Brian Elliot Rejoins Anchormen

February 29, 2008 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, The Anchormen

Per Daniel Mount, it seems that a former Anchormen piano player is returning to the group.

Elliot was with the group at the time when the whole group, except Elliot, formed Driven Quartet. Elliot then went to Palmetto State Quartet, and was only with them for a year when that group semi-dissolved.

Although the lineup for The Anchormen is different from when he was with them last, he should have no trouble settling back in; they just re-recorded and released Glory Ahead, the project that Anchormen/Driven lineup recorded when Elliot was still with them.

Some Cool Footage Of The Greats

December 01, 2007 By: Aaron Category: Gold City, JD Sumner, SG Artists, SG Music, The Anchormen, The Cathedrals, The Masters V, The Stamps Quartet

Ah, the wonders of Youtube.

I found these videos of some great quartets and such and figured y’all might enjoy them.

This is The Anchormen singing “It’s A Wonderful Day”

Gold City singing “Shouting Ground”

The Cathedrals singing “I’ve Just Started Living”

The Cathedrals singing “Standing On Holy Ground”

The Stamps singing “Some Dawning”

JD Sumner & The Stamps singing “His Hands”

Masters V singing “You Can’t Be A Beacon”

Apparently, all these videos are from 1990. Pretty cool stuff.