Aaron Swain's blog about Southern Gospel Music, News, and other items of interest in the SG world.
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CD Review: Legacy Five – A Wonderful Life

October 01, 2011 By: Aaron Category: CD Reviews, Legacy Five, SG Artists, SG Music

Rating: 4 stars

Producer: Steve W. Mauldin
Label: Daywind Records
Website: www.legacyfive.com

Song titles: A Wonderful Life; God Had A Hand In It; Ask Me Why; Nobody Ever Loved Me Like God Does; There’s Only One Well; Just Because Of You; God Cares For Me; Living In The Palace; Destination Known; I’m Still Amazed; For What Earthly Reason; God Is Still In America

Legacy Five’s last major release, Just Stand, marked a jump start for their discography. Produced by Lari Goss, it featured a song selection and arrangements that could arguably be counted among their finest work. It also marked their last project with Frank Seamans singing the tenor part, and when Gus Gaches was hired, it was re-released with his vocals. Though the group has released a table project since then, A Wonderful Life is the first major release featuring arrangements and songs made with Gaches’ tenor in mind, and the first with Trey Ivey at the piano bench. The quartet went with a producer they have used several times, Steve Mauldin, rather than using Goss again.

In terms of song selection, there are a couple of places A Wonderful Life could have been better. The title track falls in the mold of what I feel has been a problem with much of Legacy Five’s material after Roger Bennett’s passing: too many “ditties,” or bouncy little songs. Many groups have a cutesy fun tune on a project every now and then, but in Legacy Five’s case, there have been a lot. IMHO, this ends up hurting them in the long run, because I have heard several people comment that, as casual listeners, they think that is all they record. Thankfully, only two of those show up here:  the title track, and “God Cares For Me.” Those usually have me hitting the skip button.

The good news is, other than those two, the group has put together a collection of good songs. “Ask Me Why” is a powerful ballad that features the best blend the group has ever had, period. “Nobody Ever Loved Me Like God Does” is an upbeat track that sounds like it could have come from the group’s Heroes Of The Faith project, with is a testament to the quality of both the song and the production. “There’s Only One Well,” though taken from Cross4Crowns’ songbook, sounds like it was made for Legacy Five, and features Gaches putting on the afterburners for an energetic finish. Other highlights include Scott Howard’s feature on “Destination Known” (once again, he never fails to have songs that impeccably fit his voice), and the group’s foray into a surprisingly progressive sound on “Living In The Palace,” a personal favorite track of mine. Keeping the Cathedrals connection alive, the group covers two songs from them; “Just Because Of You,” which is a good slower tune from the Gaithers’ pen, and “For What Earthly Reason,” an iconic Danny Funderburk feature on which Gaches turns in a solid performance.

As you can probably tell from my numerous mentions, Gus Gaches is a huge asset to Legacy Five. His ability to deliver a lyric and blend with the group is showcased very well here, and the group as a whole has a very cohesive, solid sound. While not as all-around stellar as Just Stand, this project is still a solid effort and has several songs that are ripe for radio release. A Wonderful Life receives 4 stars.

First Look: Legacy Five’s New Pianist, Trey Ivey

March 08, 2011 By: Aaron Category: Legacy Five, SG Artists, SG Music

While doing some work on my Youtube account, I came across this video in my subscriptions feed and was immediately intrigued. Via user texjoy777 has a high-quality video up that is the first clip I have seen since Ivey took over the piano bench from Tim Parton recently. With tenor Gus Gaches featured on a song the quartet has done since its inception, here is a piano-and-vocals version of “Holy Is Thy Name:”

After hearing and viewing this clip, there is no denying that Scott Fowler made the right hire in Trey Ivey. His style is refined, not too flashy, and does a great job of backing up and  complimenting the vocals. That is the way piano accompaniment should be done, and hiring a young player that understands and utilizes that concept pays off.

By the way, this is Ivey’s fourth concert with the group. The fact that he is comfortable to be “put out front,” so to speak, so soon tells me he is a great fit.

Legacy Five Names New Tenor

October 26, 2009 By: Aaron Category: Legacy Five, Priority, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music

In the latest post at the Legacy Five blog:

We have a winner uhm…tenor! It’s Gus Gaches and we’re thrilled to have him aboard.

He’s the man that Frank recommended fill in for him if he should have to be out during Frank, Jr.s illness. Fortunately, Frank never had to be absent; however, when Frank decided to go back home to be with his family, Frank reminded us to call Gus. We did and the rest is soon to be history.

Stay tuned for an in depth interview(!) with Gus. He has a great history in Gospel music and will be a huge asset to Legacy Five.

Welcome aboard or in other words, “GET ON THE BUS, GUS!”

TP

Legacy Five has a history of picking good tenors, and Scott Fowler has made a wise selection here as well. Ever since word popped up on various blogs and message boards that Gaches had been auditioning, the general consensus seemed to be he was the man for the job, as people said the sound was fantastic. Gaches does indeed have a good history in this music, being with groups like Calvary Construction Company and the Imperials group with Joe Moscheo, Sherman Andrus, and Terry Blackwood. Most recently, he was with Priority (formerly the Mike LeFevre Quartet) and was a part of their finest project to date, Nothin’ But Good. He brings more than a solid tenor voice to the table; he is also a good songwriter and studio engineer.

As much as I hate to see that Priority lost both their bass and tenor in such a short amount of time, this is a great pick by Legacy Five, and I’m sure Priority will be just as strong when they get another tenor.

I am looking forward to both the interview with Gus and the re-cut version of Legacy Five’s latest CD, Just Stand, with the new tenor vocals.

For some samples of his singing, here are some clips of him with Priority:

When I Get Carried Away
Without Him