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

Archive for the ‘First Look’

Youtube Spotlight: Gold City with Thomas Nalley (August 28, 2015)

August 31, 2015 By: Aaron Category: First Look, Gold City, SG Artists, SG Music, Youtube

This past Friday, PromisedLand Quartet (the group for which I sing baritone) and Gold City did a concert in Woodstock, VA, and new GC tenor Thomas Nalley was present. While I wasn’t able to get our portion of the concert taped, you know I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get a new lineup on camera! Be sure to click through and read the whole post to see all the videos.

Thomas was on his third night with Gold City.


First Look: Gold City with Chip Pullen

October 29, 2013 By: Aaron Category: Concert Reviews, First Look, Gold City, SG Artists, SG Music, Youtube

Gold City made a return trip to Grandin Court Baptist Church in Roanoke, VA last Friday night. I was planning on going anyway, but my interest increased when it happened to fall on the second weekend since Chip Pullen, formerly of the Anchormen, started singing with the group following Jerry Pelfrey’s departure. Interestingly enough, when the group sang there two years ago, Pelfrey had recently started with them. Since then, they have changed tenors (from Dan Keeton to Robert Fulton) and lead singers (Pelfrey to Pullen).

Nothing I say will describe how the change has affected their sound quite like actually hearing it, so here are some clips.

It’s nice hearing “Somebody Sing Me A Gospel Song” as the concert opener again. They wasted no time in featuring the new guy!

Gold City’s catalog is vast and plentiful, so I like the fact that they are starting to change up the setlist from what we are used to. This is one of my favorite Jay Parrack features, so it’s nice to hear it find a voice again.


First Look: Robert Fulton with Gold City

April 15, 2013 By: Aaron Category: First Look, Gold City, SG Artists, SG Music, Youtube

At long last, we have a Youtube clip of Gold City’s new lineup where the tenor can be heard. It’s a video from far away, but the audio quality is good. While it’s not a tenor feature, it does manage to show that the group has achieved a fine blend with Fulton. Hopefully, more will follow, but here is “I Can Tell You The Time.”

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:

First Look: Ian Owens with Soul’d Out Quartet

November 17, 2012 By: Aaron Category: First Look, SG Artists, SG Music, Soul'd Out Quartet, Youtube

Thanks to Youtube user r52003, we have our first glimpse into the new lineup of Soul’d Out Quartet. The group recently hired Ian Owens, formerly of the Cumberland Quartet, The Imperials, and Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, as their new bass singer following original bass Matt Fouch’s move to Legacy Five. There is a full playlist here, but I will post just a few videos here that highlight Owens’ mark on the group’s sound. My two cents’ worth comes after the videos:


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.

First Look: Michael Helwig with The Blackwood Brothers

October 10, 2012 By: Aaron Category: Blackwood Brothers, First Look, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, Youtube

In the course of the week, Youtube user MannaAcres posted several videos of the new lineup of the Blackwood Brothers in concert. These are the first videos of the group since Jimmy Blackwood’s recent retirement. You can go to the link above to see the rest of the videos, but I’ll just post a few that highlight what Helwig brings to the table:

What strikes me about these clips is how seamlessly the transition has been pulled off. Michael stepped into a huge void left by Jimmy Blackwood, but has brought a voice that is very similar to a Blackwood lead, while being unique enough to carve his own niche. Fans of the group that lamented the Blackwood Brothers sound being completely changed will find a lot to enjoy with this lineup.

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!

First Look: Bryan Hutson with Soul’d Out Quartet

January 08, 2012 By: Aaron Category: First Look, SG Artists, SG Music, Soul'd Out Quartet, Youtube

On January 6, I was privileged to be able to attend the Soul’d Out Quartet concert in East Bend, NC, hosted by JOY FM and a local group, The Boys. Every Soul’d Out concert I’ve ever been to has been great, but there was an extra level of excitement to this one, as it was the debut concert for the group’s new vocalist, Bryan Hutson. Hutson came from singing lead with The Kingsmen to fill the void left by Tanner Stahl’s departure in December 2011.

The activity center of Enon Baptist Church was filled to capacity, making it one of the biggest crowds I’ve seen for a concert that wasn’t NQC or Gaither related. There were quite a few singers in our genre, past and present, that were in attendance as well; among those spotted were Phil Barker, Darren Osborne, Harold Reed, and Chris Collins.

Bryan Hutson fits the Soul’d Out Quartet like a glove in sound, stage presence, and personality. I also picked up the new Soulace project and a pre-release copy of their upcoming Crossroads debut, What The World Doesn’t Know, and both are really good. But you don’t have to take my word for it about their live sound; see and hear for yourself!


First Look: Ken Turner & Valor III

January 03, 2012 By: Aaron Category: First Look, Ken Turner & Valor III, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, Youtube

Near the end of 2011, it was announced that Valor III would be making the transition to a quartet with the addition of former Palmetto State Quartet/Dixie Echoes/Blackwood Brothers bass singer, Ken Turner. This is the first group that Turner has sung in for a number of years, so I was particularly thrilled to have the opportunity to hear one of my personal favorite bass singers again.

I’ll let some of the videos taken at their debut concert a few weeks back speak for themselves as to how good Turner still is. I’ll only use a couple of them, but you can watch all the videos that were posted here. Here’s the first song of the concert:


I’ve always felt that Turner was underrated, due in part, perhaps, to his goofy stage demeanor! But the range that Turner possesses, both back in his day and now, is incredible. This is displayed with “Lonesome Road,” complete with some of his more comedic side:


Here he is in a more serious setting with “How Big Is God:”


Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include something that featured the vocals out front. That happens with the A Capella classic, “Sweet Sweet Spirit:”