Aaron Swain's blog about Southern Gospel Music, News, and other items of interest in the SG world.

Archive for the ‘The Old Paths’

Introducing: Daniel Ashmore

October 06, 2011 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, The Old Paths

Yesterday, the Old Paths officially announced that they have hired 21-year old bass singer Daniel Ashmore of Southaven, MS to take that position following the departure of Brandon Barry for the LeFevre Quartet. Now, via their official Youtube channel, comes a clip of his singing. Here is “Going Home:”


Ashmore is already garnering a lot of attention from fans and artists alike. For being such a young age, his voice is surprisingly mature. The comparison that comes to my mind is Chris West, but I can hear shades of Mike Allen as well. When he is so inclined, he can also sound like Pat Barker. For evidence of that, and a taste of his lower range, see this clip that was released around NQC time, when he was still “unknown” and the group was trying to get people to guess his age:


Daniel certainly has a bright future in Southern Gospel music, as evidenced by getting such a warm reception already. From the artist’s side of things, I read a post where the Dove Brothers and The Old Paths were on the same program. Dove Brothers bass Burman Porter made the remark that “when that boy gets a little more age on him he’ll sound like a fog horn.” How’s that for a vote of confidence?

Can You Guess?

September 13, 2011 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, The Old Paths

I got this in my inbox this morning. The Old Paths have hired this singer after Brandon Barry’s move to the LeFevre Quartet.:


Can you guess the age of this bass singer (or who it is?) I feel like I really should know who he is, but my mind is drawing a blank! From the angle the camera is shooting, the guy almost looks like Pat Barker, and the sound is reminiscent of Barker’s as well, but I’m pretty positive that he hasn’t left the Mark Trammell Quartet. We will soon know for sure who the guy is! My guess for the age is somewhere in the 20-25 range.

The Old Paths Announce Changes

September 06, 2010 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, The Old Paths

Early last week, The Old Paths announced in a newsletter that those attending their concerts this past weekend would be in for a big surprise. As of yesterday, the secret is out: The Old Paths are a quartet once again with the return of bass singer Brandon Barry.

Barry was with the group for several years before leaving in August 2008. The Old Paths temporarily sang with Trent Adams (now of the Dixie Echoes), but eventually opted to travel as a trio. Until now, Barry sang with the Stamps Quartet.

I always thought that Brandon was extremely underrated as a bass vocalist, and that while the group sounded good as a trio, the sound just wasn’t complete without a bass. The beauty of hiring back any singer is that the blend will still be there, even on newer material.

Look for videos of one of Brandon’s first concerts back with the Old Paths in the next few days.

Update: Here’s a video compilation of some songs from one of his first concerts after the return. Thanks, DinanaSN!


CD Review: The Old Paths – Christmas Classics

December 22, 2008 By: Aaron Category: CD Reviews, SG Artists, SG Music, The Old Paths

Rating: 4 stars

Producer: Jeremy Peace
Label: Independent
Website: www.theoldpathsonline.com

1. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – The project begins with an acappella rendition that fits the group’s vocalists well. Nothing really showy about this track; just solid harmonies.

2. Angels We Have Heard On High – An orchestra with bells backs the group on this hymn. The orchestration really adds to the beauty of the song, calling to mind a Christmas cantata in a large church.

3. O Little Town Of Bethlehem – Piano and violins carry up this slow, pretty song. Baritone singer Douglas Roark is featured on the verses, with the rest of the group coming on the chorus. This rendition is pretty straight-forward in delivery.

4. Go Tell It On The Mountain – This version of the song, while keeping the orchestra, opts for a an almost “swing” feel. It’s different from others that I have heard, to be sure. The xylophone is too loud in the mix, with an almost ear-splitting volume that really distracts the listener from the song’s message.

5. Mary Did You Know – Bass vocalist Brandon Berry (now singing with The Stamps) is featured on this classic by Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene. This is in the same key as Triumphant Quartet’s version. Barry’s powerful voice fits the song well, and the beautiful violins backing him really add to the power. One of my favorite tracks of the project.

6. Joy To The World – The mix is off in this track, making the singers sound muffled behind the orchestration. At about the :38 mark, the track seems to restart itself, and does the first verse all over again before going to the second verse. These problems are disappointing and could have easily been corrected.

7. The First Noel – Tenor Jeremy Peace gets a solo here. His voice is built for slow songs like this, and he carries the song well. The high “Noel” near the end sounds great as well. This is one of my favorite versions of this song.

8. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! – The baritone is featured again on this secular Christmas tune. This is an OK version, but it’s way too short.

9. Oh Holy Night – Lead singer Tim Rackley gets the feature here. I’m of the opinion that Rackley is one of the best vocalists in the business today, and this song reinforces that opinion. Awesome version of this song.

10. Silent Night – The ear-piercing xylophone is back on this track. The group, once again, provides a rendition that is almost like you would find in the average hymnal.

11. The Christmas Song – The project closes with a piano solo by the group’s former pianist, Matt Clark, who was later replaced by Joe Cox. Clark displays his very capable musicianship throught the project, but it is nice to get to hear him out front.

Final Thoughts: The Old Paths have put out a Christmas project that opts for a sound like four guys singing with a pianist and a church orchestra. This makes for some awesome and powerful arrangements of great Christmas songs. All four vocalists do an outstanding job on each song on which they are featured.

However, the project is not without its faults. Sound issues pop up several times, and many of the songs are all too short, clocking in at well under two minutes. The project is short overall, but it is very enjoyable and would be great to play over the speakers at church at Christmastime as a postlude.

My NQC 2009 Top Five

November 21, 2008 By: Aaron Category: Cross 4 Crowns, Liberty Quartet, Mike and Kelly Bowling, N'Harmony, NQC, SG Artists, SG Music, The Collingsworth Family, The Imperials, The Old Paths

Daniel Mount’s latest post lists the top (ten) groups he’d like to see on mainstage at NQC 2009, and it’s a good list. I’ve narrowed mine down to five very deserving groups (in no particular order):

1. The Old Paths – One of the best young groups out there today (and with a live band, too!), these guys remind me of an early Kingsmen lineup. They should have a spot for sure.

2. Liberty Quartet – They were a hit at showcases last year, and I was impressed with the song they did when they were invited to mainstage for a song on Saturday night. I’ve heard their new project, and it’s one of the best this year. One of the classiest and best sounding groups on the road.

3. The Collingsworth Family – Anyone familiar with their music and talent knows that this group has had a mainstage spot coming for several years. Give it to ’em already!

4. N’Harmony – The revived version of this group has a tight blend that few “starting” groups have. Daniel Mount mentioned a “one-year-rule,” meaning that a group has to be in existence for one year before they are invited to mainstage. Technically, the group has been around for much more than a year, just not this particular lineup. These guys could be the next Mercy’s Mark (although I hope they can keep together longer!) and they certainly have the talent level to be on mainstage.

5. Mike & Kelly Bowling – They have several great songs in their repretoire, and it’s about time they get a slot on mainstage. There’s no excuse not to have them.

Honorable mentions: Cross 4 Crowns – The only reason they didn’t make my list is because I don’t think many people have heard them yet. They are a shoo-in for my 2010 list, though, and I’ll have a review of their newest release in a few weeks.

The Imperials – I can hear the naysayers now: “Hey! They’re not really SG!” Really? To my ears, they sound like Southern Gospel with a kick. After the SGN Awards a few months ago, one guy even said they were “Southern Rock-spel” Sure, they’re Progressive at any rate, but the “new” group of The Imps has a couple good albums under their belt already. Group name history notwithstanding, they’ve got a great sound.

Old Paths Looking For A Bass Singer

August 19, 2008 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, The Old Paths

Yesterday, on the SN forums, it was posted by user accent that bass singer Brandon Berry had left the group. Today, tenor Jeremy Peace confirmed the news:

Consistency plays such a major role in the success of any group, and can be very upsetting to the fans when a member change takes place. Now, I’m not in management position, so I’m not sure what the plans are as far as press releases and such, but I will say that Brandon is a great talent, and has a heart of gold. He was there for me several years back when I was fighting a battle of depression. He was a friend when I needed someone to just listen. He may shoot me for this, but I’m gonna spill the beans for him…. he and his wife, Christine are expecting their second child. They just found out a week ago. Please pray for Brandon and his family as they grow in the Lord, and as a family. As for the Old Paths, our success has been seeing countless people come to know Jesus, and to witness the hurt and rejected come to realize that there is a new chapter for them. For us, it’s not just singing good ‘ole gospel songs from the red-back hymnal to bring a smile to your face. Its a team of evangelists singing and preaching the gospel. Its not just churches and concert halls. Its going out into the world to reach the lost and bring them in.

It is always nice to garner the respect and friendship of those in the southern gospel music industry, but in all reality it could all fade away tomorrow, and for us, we want to count for our Saviour. He is still leading us, and providing for us.

If the Old Paths can be a part of an industry and progress within it, then that will allow us to grow nationally and be a vehicle for our music and message of Christ’s salvation. So don’t get me wrong…being one of the top quartets is great, but not our top priority.

As for any group….things change…it doesn’t mean the end, or a step back. I think you will be very suprised in the near future with our growth as a group, and a ministry.

So sit back and watch….we’re only getting started!

It’s nice to know that the Old Paths are all about the message and not the fame. That’s a great testimony for any group to have. I wish the Old Paths luck in finding a replacement, and I wish Brandon well with this new child he and his wife are expecting.

Personnel Changes

January 17, 2008 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, The Old Paths, The Perrys

According to Daniel Mount’s blog, there seems to be two changes in group lineups this morning.

First off, Joseph Cox returns as pianist for the Old Paths Quartet. Although not nationally recognized, they’re a great quartet, and this move on Cox’s part will probably strengthen their fanbase. Cox, if you remember, was featured pianist on the cover of The Kingdom Heirs’ latest release, True To The Call.

And also, Troy Peach, formerly of TK & McRae, is now The Perrys’ soundman. I understand that he filled in for a couple months after the other guy left to serve his hitch with Uncle Sam, and from what I hear, Troy does a great job.

Jeremy Peace Joins Old Paths Quartet

June 18, 2007 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG Music, The Old Paths

Hmm.. looking forward to hearing Jeremy sing again…


Be warned though, the website has not updated accordingly yet…