Aaron Swain's blog about Southern Gospel Music, News, and other items of interest in the SG world.
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Dixie Melody Boys Hire Doug Pittman

October 06, 2014 By: Aaron Category: Dixie Melody Boys, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music

After the departure of Matt Felts to the Lesters, the Dixie Melody Boys began searching for a new tenor. That search came to a close when the group debuted their new singer at NQC. Here’s the press release from their email newsletter discussing the move:

Greetings friends! Fall is upon us and just as the autumn winds bring about changing leaves, so too have the winds of change swept through the Dixie Melody Boys. Following an extensive national search, Ed O’ Neal is pleased to introduce Doug Pittman as the new tenor vocalist for the Dixie Melody Boys. Doug made his debut with the group at the National Quartet Convention in Pigeon Forge, TN and wowed the audience with a rendition of the classic, “Little Is Much.” Following a thunderous standing ovation, Doug and the “Boys” brought the house down with “When I Cross To The Other Side Of Jordan.” If you missed the NQC, you can catch these performances on our Facebook page courtesy of some dear friends in the audience.

Doug Pittman is 28 years old and originally from the small town of Eastman, GA. He garnered several awards in the classical world during his high school and college years, including First Prize in the 2008 National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Vocal Competition. Doug has performed both nationally and internationally, including a United Kingdom tour in 2007 and his Carnegie Hall debut in 2010. He only began singing Southern Gospel in recent years, however his roots are deeply tied to it. Doug grew up hearing Southern Gospel every weekend following his father, a drummer for several regional groups, in the early ’90s. While pursuing a degree in music at Brewton-Parker College, Doug formed a Gospel group with a few of his friends. He has sung with that group, Omega Quartet, since it’s inception in 2008 and was the remaining original member.

Ed O’ Neal states, “We auditioned several tremendous singers over the last few weeks, even took a few out on the road with us. I had never met Doug, but the first song he sang during sound check gave me chill bumps all up and down my arms. When we sang that night, it was as if we had all been performing together for twenty years. He’s a fine young man, loves the Lord, and can SING! I knew by the end of the trip I had found my man. Josh Garner is a pro and Aaron Dishman just thrills me with how he has matured as a singer and a performer in such a short time. Add Doug to that mix and I believe this is one of the strongest line-ups I’ve ever had with the Dixie Melody Boys.”

Be sure to keep a watch on our schedule at www.dixiemelodyboys.com or catch us on Facebook so you can come out and meet Doug and all the Dixie Melody Boys at a concert near you.

Here’s a video from Doug’s debut performance:

I’ve been impressed with Doug’s voice since the first time I heard it back when Omega was a college group. They sang a song called “You Are Holy,” and though Doug was using a completely different style and tone to his voice back then, I knew there was potential. A few years passed and I had basically forgotten about Omega until a trio by the same name got on the main stage at NQC 2011 as a featured artist from the showcases. That intrigued me, and then I was blown away by the tenor’s performance on a song called “I’m Coming Again.” As it turned out, it was the same group, and that was the same tenor. Doug’s sound fits the musical direction that the group has taken in their recent work, and just by watching him interact with the guys at the booth, I can tell he fits on a personal level, as well.

As a bonus, here’s the 2011 performance I mentioned:

Omega Becomes A Quartet

October 26, 2013 By: Aaron Category: Omega, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music

RickShortly before NQC, it was announced that Kevin Harry, a fill-in lead for the Dixie Melody Boys, was joining this trio from Georgia. The group has been on main stage as showcase winners for several years. Now, the group announces, they are adding a bass singer:

On the very recent heels of hiring Kevin Harry as their new lead singer, OMEGA prayerfully made the decision to become a quartet!

After several discussions, a close friend of the group called with a name and a huge recommendation. Phone calls were made and an audition weekend was scheduled. It only took one sound check singing a few songs and the group knew they had found the right man for the job.

OMEGA is pleased to announce that Rick Walls will be the new bass singer for the group. Rick is no stranger to Southern Gospel. He sang bass for the Grand Strand Gospel Hour at the Gatlin Bros Theatre in Myrtle Beach, and most recently toured with the Holy City Quartet. Jeff Chapman of the Kingdom Heirs states, “I think Rick is a fine bass singer and will be a great addition to Omega”.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity the Lord has given me to minister with the three anointed men from Omega. Their passion and desire to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ is something that I am looking forward to being a part of for many years to come”, says Rick.

Doug Pittman, group owner, says “Rick is the full package! His enthusiasm and love for the Gospel is evident in all that he does. Not only does he have a great bass voice, he also has a heart for people. This partnership between Rick and Omega is perfect and God ordained. He sees eye to eye with our mission: to spread the love of God through His word in music.”

Rick will make his first official appearance with the group at the Creekside Gospel Music Conference October 28,2013.

For more information about OMEGA, visit them at www.omegaquartet.com

Omega already had a strong sound as a trio, and I’m looking forward to hearing how they will sound as a quartet.

Omega Welcomes Kevin Harry

August 29, 2013 By: Aaron Category: Dixie Melody Boys, Omega, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music

DSC03011Some of you may remember Omega from the past couple of years at NQC. The group has secured spots on mainstage as showcase winners, performing before the evening concerts. Longtime member Dustin Simmons recently departed the trio, and they have announced a name that may ring a bell with some: Kevin Harry.

Dahlonega, GA – OMEGA is excited to announce Kevin Harry as their new lead vocalist.

The group began searching for the right fit after the recent announcement of departure from Dustin Simmons. The group will miss Dustin not only as a singer, but as a friend. We know that Dustin is following God’s will for himself and his wife Morgan. We wish him great success.

OMEGA says there was one singer that stuck out in their minds, after he had joined them on the road for a few months last year. “We were excited when the call came from Kevin”, states group manager Doug Pittman. “Kevin has one of the best voices in gospel music today. We are very excited to have him on board. He has a tremendous voice that we are sure will bless people, along with his great spirit.”

Kevin has recently been seen filling in for the Dixie Melody Boys while Josh Garner honored previous commitments before joining the group. Ed O’Neal stated “We needed someone that could jump in and not miss a beat. Kevin did a fantastic job. He impressed not only us, but fans everywhere when he was singing with us. He is a first class singer and will be a great addition to OMEGA”. Kevin will make his debut with the group in mid September.

OMEGA is entering the studio in the next couple of weeks with hopes of releasing both a Christmas CD as well as a new radio Project. To stay updated on everything OMEGA go to www.omegaministries3.com

Check out this post from the announcement of Josh Garner’s DMB hire to see Kevin in action with that group.

Omega has turned some heads with their NQC appearances, and adding a name with some recognition will certainly benefit them. I’m looking forward to hearing good things from them going forward.