Aaron Swain's blog about Southern Gospel Music, News, and other items of interest in the SG world.
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And the new Booth Brother is….

September 19, 2014 By: Aaron Category: Booth Brothers, Jim Brady Trio, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music

… announced in this video, along with the third member of the Jim Brady Trio:

Both of these announcements carry some star power within Southern Gospel. Tim Parton is known from his years with several groups, including Gold City and, most recently, Legacy Five. Paul Lancaster has been a part of the Martins, the Greenes, and Palmetto State, among others. Both groups are getting quality vocalists, and I’m very excited to see both of them on the road again. Parton will add to the Jim Brady Trio as a pianist and arranger, in addition to his vocal duties. With the Booth Brothers, the vocal transition will be a smooth one, as Lancaster is a great blending vocalist that won’t sharply redefine the sound that the trio has cultivated over the years.

Now, hopefully we’ll get a better glimpse of the sound after the helium wears off. 🙂

Jim Brady To Depart The Booth Brothers

August 24, 2014 By: Aaron Category: Booth Brothers, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music

It’s not often that you see a “video press release,” but the Booth Brothers announced today that after 12 years, Jim Brady is leaving the group to pursue a new ministry opportunity along with his wife, Melissa. Jim will remain with the group through the end of the year and Jubilee tour. Be sure to watch the whole video:

Online Concerts: Flash In The Pan, or Starting A Trend?

December 17, 2011 By: Aaron Category: Booth Brothers, Concert Reviews, SG Artists, SG History, SG Music

Last week, I won a ticket to a Booth Brothers concert in a giveaway on SouthernGospelBlog.com. Big deal, you might say. Here’s the catch: the concert was not in a church, a concert hall, or even outdoors. No, the concert was held in the living/dining room area of a recording studio (I believe it was Homeland), and the audience consisted of myself and many others across the United States, and even in foreign countries, if I remember correctly. This wonder was accomplished with a relatively new technology that has found its way to our genre of music. Thanks to the American Society of Gospel Music (ASGM), that concert was one of the first to be held in a new venue: online.

To be clear, musical events being broadcast online is surely not a new event. National Quartet Convention has had a live stream on the web for several years, and the Singing News Fan Awards are also available to watch online, as well as other events throughout the year.  What separates these events from what the Booth Brothers did last night is the fact that these events have a live audience and just happen to be available for online viewing. The Booth Brothers sang to zero live audience; the concertgoers were all watching from computers. The dynamic of audience participation was absent, and there was no applause. In a live concert setting, they also don’t have to deal with the concert completely going out (at least, I’d hope not!). I was impressed with the class with which the Booth Brothers handled all the technical difficulties, giving the full music and Q&A section as promised.

The question here is whether or not this will become a more regular thing. This concept of using technology usually reserved for “webinars” to hold an online concert is certainly an interesting one, and the ASGM, by all indications, is planning on conducting more. Before the BB concert, there was a full schedule being displayed of other groups doing online concerts in the coming months.

I would say that this will catch on, but only if they can work to bring the technical issues down to a minimum (which is certainly not their fault; technology can be fickle). There are enough SG fans with an Internet connection these days that the idea of paying for a ticket to watch your favorite group do a concert for you online would be appealing, especially if they don’t come to your area very much. However, if half the concert experience is spent waiting for the thing to come back online, the advent of concerts on the Internet will go on a fast decline.

Winners of the 2010 Singing News Fan Awards

September 30, 2010 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, Singing News Fan Awards

  • Favorite Musician- Jeff Stice- Triumphant Quartet
  • Horizon Individual- Morgan Easter- Jeff and Sheri Easter
  • Tenor- Michael Booth- The Booth Brothers
  • Soprano- Kim Hopper- The Hoppers- Kim’s daughter Karlye accepted the award and dedicated it to Tony Greene, making for one of the night’s more emotional moments.
  • Young Artist- Brooklyn Collingsworth
  • Baritone- Jim Brady- Booth Brothers
  • Horizon Group- Soul’d Out Quartet
  • Favorite Male Artist- Ivan Parker
  • Favorite Bass Singer- Eric Bennett- Triumphant Quartet
  • Favorite Lead Singer- Ronnie Booth
  • Favorite Alto- Libbi Stuffle
  • Favorite Mixed Group- The Hoppers
  • Favorite Female Singer- Kim Hopper
  • Favorite Male Quartet- Triumphant Quartet
  • Marvin Norcross/Templeton Award- Primitive Quartet
  • Favorite Soloist-Ivan Parker
  • Favorite Trio- The Booth Brothers- also dedicated to The Greenes.
  • Songwriter Of The Year- Rodney Griffin
  • Favorite Album- Jubilee- Legacy Five, Greater Vision,The Booth Brothers
  • Favorite Song- If You Knew Him- The Perrys
  • Favorite Artist- The Booth Brothers

There’s really nothing to complain about in this year’s awards; everyone who won something deserved the win, IMHO. Here’s hoping that we see the Awards back at NQC next year, though.

My Final Picks for the 2010 Singing News Fan Awards

June 19, 2010 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG Music, Singing News Fan Awards

1. Favorite Artist of the Year
Booth Brothers
Greater Vision
Kingdom Heirs
Perrys
Triumphant Quartet

2. Favorite Traditional Quartet
Ernie Haase & Signature Sound
Inspirations
Kingdom Heirs
Legacy Five
Triumphant Quartet

3. Favorite Mixed Group
Collingsworth Family
Hoppers
Isaacs
McKameys
Perrys

4. Favorite Trio
Booth Brothers
Greater Vision
Greenes
Jeff & Sheri Easter
Karen Peck & New River

5. Favorite Soloist
Bishop, Mark
Crabb, Jason
Parker, Ivan
Penrod, Guy
Ritchie, Charlotte

6. Favorite Male Singer
Booth, Michael (Booth Brothers)
Booth, Ronnie (Booth Brothers)
Habedank, Joseph (Perrys)
Parker, Ivan (Soloist)
Rice, Arthur (Kingdom Heirs)

7. Favorite Female Singer
Easter, Sheri (Jeff & Sheri Easter)
Gooch, Karen Peck (Karen Peck & New River)
Greene, TaRanda (Greenes)
Hopper, Kim (Hoppers)
Stuffle, Libbi (Perrys)

8. Horizon Individual
Barker, Pat (Dixie Echoes)**
Easter, Morgan (Jeff & Sheri Easter)
Elliot, Bryan (Perrys)
Gaches, Gus (Legacy Five)
Ragan, David (Inspirations)

9. Horizon Group
Akins
Austins Bridge
Ball Brothers
Crystal River
Soul’d Out Quartet

10. Favorite Young Artist
Collingsworth, Brooklyn (Collingsworth Family)
Easter, Morgan (Jeff & Sheri Easter)
Elliot, Bryan (Perrys)
Stringfield, Andy (Kingdom Heirs)
Thompson, Amber (Nelons)

11. Favorite Tenor
Booth, Michael (Booth Brothers)
Free, Brian (Brian Free & Assurance)
Haase, Ernie (Ernie Haase & Signature Sound)
Phelps, David (Gaither Vocal Band)
Sutton, David (Triumphant Quartet)

12. Favorite Lead
Booth, Ronnie (Booth Brothers)
Fowler, Scott (Legacy Five)
Habedank, Joseph (Perrys)
Inman, Clayton (Triumphant Quartet)
Rice, Arthur (Kingdom Heirs)

13. Favorite Baritone
Anderson, Doug (Ernie Haase & Signature Sound
Brady, Jim (Booth Brothers)
Campbell, Melton (Inspirations)
Griffin, Rodney (Greater Vision)
Inman, Scott (Triumphant Qt)

14. Favorite Bass
Bennett, Eric (Triumphant Qt)
Duncan, Tim (Ernie Haase & Signature Sound)
Dustin, Glenn (Legacy Five)
Holcomb, Mike (Inspirations)
Riley, Tim (Gold City)

15. Favorite Soprano
Gooch, Karen Peck (Karen Peck & New River)
Greene, TaRanda (Greenes)
Hopper, Kim (Hoppers)
Isaacs, Sonya (Isaacs)
Ritchie, Charlotte (Soloist)

16. Favorite Alto
Bean, Peg McKamey (McKameys)
Easter, Sheri (Jeff & Sheri Easter)
Hopper, Connie (Hoppers)
Stuffle, Libbi (Perrys)
Talley, Debra (Talley Trio)

17. Favorite Musician
Collingsworth, Kim (Collingsworth Family)
Fortner, Roger (McKameys)
Mote, Gordon
Parton, Tim (Legacy Five)
Stice, Jeff (Triumphant Qt)

18. Favorite Songwriter
Brady, Jim
Crabb, Gerald
Griffin, Rodney
Habedank, Joseph
Hinson, Ronny

19. Favorite Album
20 Years-Live In Texas (Greater Vision)
Almost Morning (Perrys)
Everyday (Triumphant Quartet)
Jubilee (BB, GV, L5)
The Son Came Down (Inspirations)

20. Favorite Song
He Locked The Gates (Kingdom Heirs)
I’ll Pray For You (Whisnants)
If You Knew Him (Perrys)
It Pays To Pray (Greater Vision)
Peace In The Shelter (Booth Brothers)
The Son Came Down (Inspirations)
When The Trumpet Sounds (Triumphant Qt)
When They Found Nothing (Legacy Five)
Why Can’t All God’s Children Get Along (Karen Peck & New River)
You Must Have Met Him (Brian Free & Assurance)

Mega-Review: Booth Brothers – Declaration

June 01, 2010 By: Aaron Category: Booth Brothers, CD Reviews, Mega Reviews, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, Uncategorized

The bloggers featured in this review are Daniel Mount, Wes Burke, Brandon Coomer, Nate Stainbrook, Phil Boles, and myself. The project released today (June 1, 2010) and was produced by Lari Goss.
We hope you enjoy reading this review as much as we enjoyed writing it!

Song 1: A Higher Throne

Daniel: A few hours before this CD arrived in my mailbox, I was pondering Lari Goss’s iconic introduction to the Cathedrals classic “Champion of Love.” It’s an instantly recognizable riff—and not just because it is the melody of a line whose lyrics we remember. It’s inherently unforgettable on its own merits. I was pondering whether Goss would ever offer another intro of that caliber.

Now Declaration isn’t even in bookstores yet as I write this, so it’s far too early to declare this intro iconic. But incipiently iconic or not, the introduction instantly grabs your attention. A soaring trumpet crescendo is answered by swelling strings and woodwinds. The trumpet sounds again, and the orchestra answers. The band kicks in, and trumpet, orchestra, and band set a fittingly majestic backdrop for a lyric depicting Heaven’s throne room.

Though Declaration is so full of strong songs that there will be stiff competition for radio slots, this song should unmistakably go to radio. Though it’s 5 minutes 25 seconds long, a tempo on the fast side of midtempo makes it seem to go by faster.

Wes: What a great choice to open the disc.  I love the anthemic feel of this song, and right away this cut shows that the partnership between Lari Goss and the Booth Brothers is going to exceed every possibility you’ve imagined since it was made known.

Nate: Agree totally with you guys about this song. I can’t help but get excited when I hear this song. I love it from the opening to the ending. It ends with a breathtaking, sweeping, epic ending.  You mentioned the beginning being a great opening stanza, but the song also ends on a great note. Great song that Lari Goss struck gold on again. And I can’t wait to see this song get staged live.

Daniel: I knew the song was good on its own merits. But not until several weeks later, when I came across the original, by Keith & Kristyn Getty, did I fully appreciate what Goss had done with the song. I should say that I rediscovered the original, to be precise, since I had already heard it. But the arrangements are so different that I hadn’t connected the two until searching for the songwriter.

Goss deserves to be named in the same breath as Beethoven, Bach and Mozart. It would take a talent of that level to take the original and give it this level of treatment.

Song 2: God Did it All
Daniel: This Ronnie Booth feature starts simply enough. A lush orchestral track featuring the woodwind section accompanies a beautiful, lilting melody about Creation. By the chorus, the song becomes a powerful statement of God’s sovereignty. The song builds into a huge ending that should equally captivate live audiences and radio DJs (though Daywind should cut the encore before singling it, as 6:10 is too long for a single.)

The melody for this Rusty Golden / Dianne Wilkinson collaboration has a fascinating provenance: Wilkinson wrote the lyric and composed a melody for the chorus. She brought up the song during a collaboration session with Golden, who proceeded to come up with a melody for the verses—without having heard her chorus melody. Then she showed him what she had for the chorus—and they realized it was a perfect fit.

Nate: This song is very well written and very well performed. I love Ronnie Booth’s voice. This song makes you take notice of just how good of a singer he really is. I love the message to this song. It should challenge you to get ready, and to tell others that “God Did It All.”

Wes: This is the first big ballad you hear from Goss and the Booths, and it doesn’t disappoint.  Ronnie Booth turns in a tremendous performance.  This should be a single, the length not withstanding.  Actually, the Kingdom Heirs singled “He Had To Hold To Calvary” back in the mid 90s, and it was 6:01.

Daniel: It wouldn’t be more than a minute of work to cut out the encore. They’d be wise to single it without the encore (even if they leave the alternate version on the radio compilation disc  for any DJs who want it).

Song 3: I See Grace
Nate: This song written by Jim Brady along with Barry Weeks and Tony Wood, is a song that the Booth Brothers have been staging for several months now. It is one of my favorites on this project. It starts with a epic sounding intro, that settles into to a great medium to fast tempo song, that is very well orchestrated. Jim Brady gets the lead on this song.He never ceases to amaze me with his vocal versatility and range, and he really shows it here. He has Michael Booth stacked above him for part of the first verse, making for some nice harmony. I love the end of the second verse that says “Those who have come through unbearable loss not defined by the past but defined by the Cross.” That is a great line that really defines this song and makes it a potential radio hit. I have been told that this song has been going over particularly well in concerts, and I can see why.

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