Aaron Swain's blog about Southern Gospel Music, News, and other items of interest in the SG world.
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CD Review: Adoration Quartet – What A Change

September 01, 2014 By: Aaron Category: Adoration Quartet, CD Reviews, SG Artists, SG Music

Rating: 4 starswhatachangecd

Producer: Wesley Pritchard
Label: 
Independent Release
Website: www.adorationquartet.com

Song titles: Drink From Him; His Tomb Is Empty Now; Just One Hope; I Enter In; Coming Out of the Tomb; Jesus Really Cares; What Ever You Need; I’ve Been Revived; Stepping Out; Peace Through The Blood

Adoration Quartet is a “new yet not new” group that has just re-emerged on the Southern Gospel scene. The group was around a few years ago with current bass Chris Serlick, but their claim to attention seemed to stem from the fact that the group had two alumni from one of the Anchormen’s best eras: tenor Brian Routh and baritone Terry Carter. The group disbanded a few years ago, but recently with Serlick in the bass slot, Declaration’s former tenor Joshua Horrell and pianist Dustin Leming in the tenor and baritone positons, respectively, and Anchormen alum Corey Wilson singing the lead. The quartet wasted no time in putting out new music, which is important for any group looking to get a running start.

While listening to this project, my mind kept recalling the days when Brian Routh or Steve Ladd and Jeff Chapman were part of the Anchormen. The voices and tracks possess the same dynamics found with that era of the group: soaring tenor, rumbling bass, solid voices in the middle, uptempo songs that made good use of those vocals, and powerful slower songs as well. Normally, such a strong comparison would not necessarily be a good thing, especially when trying to make a unique name for yourself with a first release, but since time has seen a shift from that style (the recent Anchormen releases, while great, have progressed from that), there is a niche to be filled, and this group does it well. This is evident on the first radio single,”Coming Out of the Tomb (Stepping Into The Light),” which does a fine job of defining the group’s sound and should do well on radio. “Peace Through The Blood” covers the ballad part of the equation with a strong performance from tenor Horrell. Other highlights include “I Enter In” (which was first recorded with the original iteration of Adoration) and “His Tomb Is Empty Now.” You can hear clips of all of these and more on the group’s website.

As introductory releases ago, Adoration has put a lot of work into making this a quality project, and it shows. The voices fit together well already (though it probably helps that three of the four sang together previously). Horrell shows that he has the potential to be of the genre’s best upcoming tenors. Corey Wilson hasn’t lost a thing in the lead department since he left the road. Serlick lends a solid, smooth low part, and Dustin Leming has a solid, blending baritone voice. Sure, I would have liked to hear brass and strings that weren’t “canned,” but that’s a minor nitpick since they don’t distract much from the rest of the music, and that problem can be remedied with the right budget. Given the right touring schedule and promotion, I look for Adoration Quartet to be around for a good while, as this introduction is a solid representation of what they can do. What A Change receives 4 stars.

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!