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 Josh Garner

August 05, 2013 By: Aaron Category: Dixie Melody Boys, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music

Editor’s Note: This was supposed to go up earlier, but Verizon’s Internet service for my area experienced another hiccup of about an hour.

After a few weeks of uncertainty, questions were answered today as the Dixie Melody Boys announced that their lead singer search is over:

The Dixie Melody Boys are excited to announce one of Gospel music’s best lead singers, Josh Garner, as their new member. The group began their search over two months ago when Mike Rogers resigned and had them listening to over 400 demos and auditioning numerous men. “This has been different than most of the times I have hired someone to fill a position. We heard so many great singers and we even thought we had found the right man a few times but it just wasn‘t the right fit.” said Ed O’Neal. “I have always loved Josh’s voice. I have even tried to hire him a few times in the past but the timing was never right. I am thrilled to have him join us.” added Ed.

The fans of Gospel music will remember Josh as the last lead singer for the Florida Boys as well as from the Gaither Homecoming Series. For the last five years he has been with Freedom, a trio that he founded with John Rulapaugh. Josh has been nominated numerous times as Favorite Lead Singer and is widely acknowledged as one of Gospel music’s all-time great lead singers. “Josh called me and offered to help us by filling in until we could find someone. It made looking for someone easy knowing he was on stage with us until we found the right person. His first night with us felt as if we had been singing together for years. Over the next few weeks both he and the group knew the right guy for the job was already there. Josh is a great addition to our team. I know the fans will be excited about seeing him with us.” stated Matt Felts.

The Dixie Melody Boys have already been in the studio with Josh and will release the new album soon. The project comes off the success of their fiftieth anniversary album, The Call Is Still The Same, and promises to be a hit. Josh will join the group mid August and will appear with them for the first time at NQC on Tuesday and Wednesday night. To check the Dixie Melody Boys schedule go to www.dixiemelodyboys.com

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Youtube Spotlight: Freedom

June 25, 2012 By: Aaron Category: Concert Reviews, Freedom, SG Artists, SG Music, Youtube

This past Friday night, I headed over to Wirtz, VA to hear Freedom sing at Halesford Baptist Church. The church hosts several concerts each year, and I’ve never been disappointed with the quality of the groups that are brought in. This concert was no exception. This relatively new trio features tenor John Rulapaugh, lead Josh Garner, and baritone Tyler Vestal. Here are some videos that I took during the concert:

 

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Playing Catch-Up

February 22, 2010 By: Aaron Category: Blackwood Gospel Quartet, Blackwood Quartet, Mark Trammell Quartet, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music

With the busy schedule I’ve seemed to keep for the past few days, I haven’t had much time to blog! Here’s some items I missed:

1. Blackwood Shake-Up Groups experience change in SG quite often, but few experience changes this drastic. Ron Blackwood, owner of the Blackwood Quartet, announced his retirement for health reasons on the advice of his physician, and announced that he was turning leadership of the group over to Mark Blackwood, baritone and owner of the Blackwood Gospel Quartet. On the heels of this announcement came the one that stated, effective March 1, tenor John Rulapaugh and lead Josh Garner were resigning their positions in the Blackwood Quartet and forming a quartet of their own. Thus, Mark Blackwood is merging the BGQ with Ron Blackwood’s group. The lineup is: tenor Dale Evans, lead Mark Blackwood, baritone David Mann, and bass Chris West.

I am very excited about this announcement, because, for one, the vocal lineup for the Blackwood Quartet is shaping up to be quite the powerhouse. David Mann and Mark Blackwood are great vocalists, and Dale Evans is one of the best young tenors I have ever heard. Throwing a young bass like Chris West in the mix is sure to make a great quartet.

Greater still, the fact that John Rulapaugh and Josh Garner are forming a group opens up exciting possibilities for a lineup. I wouldn’t mind seeing them pick up baritone Rick Fair and bass Brad Smith. An announcement should be coming sometime soon as to the lineup of this new quartet.

2. Videos of the Mark Tramell Quartet are now up. Check out Pat Barker singing what has becoming something of a signature song for him, “How Big Is God,” and a favorite song by the Mark Trammell Trio getting a quartet treatment on “Loving The Lamb.”

Be looking, probably sometime next week, for the first interview I’ve ever done on this blog. It was a great interview that I was privileged to be able to conduct, and I can’t wait to have it posted!

Update: For now, the videos of the Mark Trammell Quartet have been removed at the artist’s request. I’ll repost if they are put back up!