Aaron Swain's blog about Southern Gospel Music, News, and other items of interest in the SG world.
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Matt Fouch Offers Free Sample of Christmas Songs

November 10, 2012 By: Aaron Category: Legacy Five, SG Artists, SG Music

Legacy Five bass singer Matt Fouch was recently in the studio recording three Christmas songs as a solo release. Those tracks are available to download here. As a teaser for this release, Fouch has offered one track, “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” as a free download on this blog. Thanks, Matt!

Download this free song here.

Ian Owens Joins Soul’d Out Quartet

October 23, 2012 By: Aaron Category: Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, Soul'd Out Quartet

In one of the more surprising moves of the year, the quartet announced today that they have made a big hire similar to the one that took place when they picked up Bryan Hutson after the departure of Tanner Stahl.

Since the departure of long time bass singer Matt Fouch, in mid August, Soul’d Out Quartet has been diligently seeking God and following his leading in the attempt to find the right person to be our bass singer. Despite having met many great people through the audition process, we (the men of Soul’d Out) had made the decision to remain a trio unless God provided the absolute right fit for our team and ministry.

Soul’d Out Quartet is thrilled to announce that God has provided us with the right bass singer!! We are so excited to have Ian Owens joining the Soul’d Out family! You may have heard Ian’s name before as the bass singer for Gospel Quartets such as “The Imperials” and “Ernie Haase and Signature Sound.” Ian has 12 years of full time ministry in gospel music and we are so pleased that this chapter of our lives brings us together to proclaim the Good News!! Ian’s first appearance with Soul’d Out will be on November 9th, 2012. We ask for your prayers for both Ian and the current Soul’d Out members as we transition into this new and very exciting time. God has great things in store for this ministry! Come and see us when we are in your area and welcome Ian aboard! Dusty, Michael, Bryan, Rick and Matt.

Ian also had a personal statement in the press release:

“After spending a weekend on the road with Soul’d Out Quartet, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that joining their team is God’s will for my life. I am very excited to have the opportunity to spread the Word of God with such strong men of faith and integrity! Matt, Bryan, Dusty, and Michael all have such a sincere and earnest desire to see souls won and lives changed. I absolutely can not wait to be “pounding the pavement” with these awesome men! However…..I’m scared I may not be much of a bass singer for them if I’m always hoarse from laughing at them! They’re funny!!”
Ian

My “big hire” comment refers to the level of popularity within Southern Gospel that Owens possesses. He gained quite a following in his time with Ernie Haase & Signature Sound (and, with some fans, during his tenure with The Imperials), much like Bryan Hutson gained with The Kingsmen. A second hire of this caliber in a row can only do good things for the popularity of the group.

Besides that aspect, this is also a good move vocally. In the eight years that previous bass singer Matt Fouch was with the group before his move to Legacy Five earlier this year, he developed a unique sound that combined solid low notes with a rich upper register. Owens developed his lower range quite nicely with EHSS, and has an upper register that has received favorable comments. His sound will continue what Fouch brought to the table with the group, while carving his own niche.

Owens had the task of following Tim Duncan in EHSS, and while he certainly developed quite well to fill that role, I’m looking forward to hearing him as he takes the mantle of a bass singer that is more similar to his style.

Youtube Spotlight: Legacy Five

October 23, 2012 By: Aaron Category: Concert Reviews, Legacy Five, SG Artists, SG Music

Last Friday was a rare opportunity to see Legacy Five at a church only about thirty minutes from my home area of Lynchburg, VA. It was especially worth the trip because it would be my first opportunity to hear the group outside of NQC since the hire of bass singer Matt Fouch. The vocal lineup has gelled even more since the convention, and they are more comfortable with each other on stage and are more used to the vocal tendencies of the other members, making for their strongest sound to date. Check out the videos from the night:

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Matt Fouch Joins Legacy Five

August 20, 2012 By: Aaron Category: Legacy Five, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, Soul'd Out Quartet

Yet another lineup change story has seen its end, as Legacy Five announced the addition of Soul’d Out Quartet’s bass singer, who has been their since the group’s inception. Here’s the press release:

“For the past eight years I have had the great opportunity to travel and sing with the guys of Soul’d Out Quartet (SOQT). These men are high character individuals and it has been a pleasure to sing along side them. God has blessed SOQT and I am very thankful for the many friends I have made and the opportunities God has given through the ministry of SOQT.

With that said, after much prayer, thought and consultation with my wife, I have decided to resign my position with SOQT and join the Legacy Five team.

It is an honor and a privilege to join L5. These men have a wonderful calling on their lives and do a fantastic job. They are men of integrity and I couldn’t be happier to join their ranks. I’m excited to see where God leads and what He does in this new season of my life.

My family and I are thankful for your prayers and support, and I ask that you keep SOQT and L5 in your prayers as He leads both groups in the calling He has placed on their lives. God bless!”

Matt Fouch

Soul’d Out Quartet’s Matt Rankin says, “Soul’d Out Quartet wishes to thank Matt Fouch for 8 years of service to the Lord and the group. We have been a part of seeing many come to Christ in those years. We have been a part of watching God’s hand at work and have watched him supply the group’s needs time and time again. We hate to see Matt leave Soul’d Out but we trust that God is leading this decision. We will be in prayer for a replacement and will continue our prayers and support for Matt Fouch, his family, and Legacy 5.  Though change is many times difficult, the big picture is that we all are trying to serve the King. With that said, thank you Matt for making Soul’d Out a better group while you were here. We love you. God bless.

Legacy Five’s Scott Fowler comments, “Seasons of life change for us all.  Change is never easy but it is inevitable. The older I get, the less I like change, but with change comes the excitement of seeing what new and refreshing doors God opens for us. We are really looking forward to Matt’s contribution to Legacy Five, both on and off the stage.  To Matt, Dusty, Michael and Bryan of Soul’d Out, I want to say how much I have appreciated how gracious and kind they have been to Legacy Five and Matt during this time of transition.  I cannot remember when two groups have had this type of cooperation in a situation like this.  They are truly good men and I have great respect for them”

Matt Fouch will officially join Legacy Five on September 1.

In a similar move to Mike LeFevre’s hire of Paul Harkey, Scott Fowler has banked on one of the best young talents out there. I’ve enjoyed hearing Matt’s development as a vocalist during his time with Soul’d Out Quartet, and am anxious to see how he will fill the role voided by Glenn Dustin with Legacy Five. Here’s a clip that I got of Fouch during a concert back in January:

Although one chapter of group changes has closed, another has opened; Soul’d Out Quartet is a young, up-and-coming group with plenty of energy, so look for them to attract someone with a similar image. Someone like Justin Terry, formerly of Cross 4 Crowns, would be a great fit.

Bryan Hutson Joins Soul’d Out Quartet

December 14, 2011 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, Soul'd Out Quartet, The Kingsmen


At long last, the word has finally come out. The “mystery man” that is coming to the group after the departure of Tanner Stahl earlier this month is none other than Kingsmen lead singer Bryan Hutson. Here’s an open letter from Hutson on this move:

I want to thank the many friends that I have made while being involved in Gospel Music as well as Worship Ministry. You have embraced me since I began singing with my brother in “The New Generation” in 1985. I started traveling fulltime with “The Heartland Quartet” in 1993. Your continued support, love and encouragement through both my tenures with “The Kingsmen” is deeply appreciated. In early November, I decided to follow God’s leading and give my resignation with “The Kingsmen.”

January of 2012 will mark a new chapter in my gospel music career. I will be joining one of America’s best new groups, “Soul’d Out Quartet”. In fact, the group was awarded “Horizon Group of The Year” (Favorite New Group) in the Singing News Magazine Fan Awards in 2010. Matt Rankin (lead), Dusty Barrett (tenor), Matt Fouch (bass) and Michael Howard (piano) make up “Soul’d Out Quartet”. I will share lead vocalist duties with Matt Rankin. SOQT is a solid quartet who sings straight ahead Southern Gospel Music with a progressive sound. I’m very excited to see what God has in store for our future! Over the past several years, I have developed a friendship with members of the group. I believe the men of “Soul’d Out” are men of integrity and have a heart for ministry that mirrors my own passion. I know my friends and family will love the music and ministry of “Soul’d Out” as much as I do.

My wife, Yvonne, and I have been seeking God and wise counsel about this decision and feel that this is a door God has opened. The tour schedule for “Soul’d Out” is a better fit for me as a husband and father. This opportunity will also allow us to reach our long term goals as a family.

I joined my all time favorite group “The Kingsmen” in 1996 under the late Eldridge and Greg Fox. The 5 years that I spent learning from the Fox’s, the late Jim Hamill and Ray Reese were some of the best years of my life. Upon returning for my second run with “The Kingsmen” in 2007, we have seen lives changed through our music. I want to thank Ray and Brandon Reese and “The Kingsmen” for allowing me to be a part of the continuing Kingsmen legacy.

I would like to ask for your continued support, encouragement and prayers for my family and both groups. I am looking forward to seeing each of you at upcoming “Soul’d Out Quartet” concerts. Please check our website for upcoming performances: www.souldoutquartet.com

In His Will,
Bryan

Can’t argue with that. Family is often a reason for changes made in a singer’s career, and I am glad that Hutson didn’t beat around the bush in stating that as the reason. I also appreciate that he didn’t simply say, “I want more time with my family.” He was open and transparent and explained the move well. Not that every singer has to live in a glass house, but it’s a refreshing change from the usual cliches. The classiness is also admirable; both the group he is going to and the group he is leaving get equal treatment, and it’s nice to see a singer that is making a move from one quartet to another have good things to say about their former employer.

The Kingsmen have also put out a press release:

From The Kingsmen

Bryan Hutson will be leaving the Kingsmen this December and will be joining Soul’d Out Quartet.

Brandon Reese states, “In November, Bryan came to me and stated that he felt it was time to make a change in his professional career. He also told me that he had been seeking God’s will in an opportunity to stay home more with his family. I commended him for letting the Lord lead in his life. The door opened for Bryan to join Matt Rankin and the rest of Soul’d Out (who are based out of Columbus, OH) and as many of you know is only an hour or 2 from where Bryan grew up in Batesville, IN. Bryan stated to me that joining Soul’d Out is perfect for the long term goals of his family and until then will maintain his residence in Asheville, NC with his wife Yvonne and four children Alexa, Jake, Bailey and Jordan. I, along with the other Kingsmen members, wish to thank Bryan for his two tenures here and his continuing friendship.”

I am planning on seeing Soul’d Out in January, and I am looking forward to hearing how the group’s sound changes with Bryan on board. Hearing Matt Rankin and Bryan Hutson swap parts will be interesting for sure! Be sure to check out the group if they are near you; I have a feeling the future for this quartet is very bright!

Update: Soul’d Out Quartet has also issued a release on the change:

We would like to inform everyone that Tanner will be leaving Sould Out Quartet and will be pursuing other interests. He will be missed by many and SOQT would like to thank Tanner for being part of this ministry for four and a half years. We ask that you pray for Tanner and his family as he is starting a new path. We believe that God has orchestrated this change and we pray that he will continue to bless Tanner as well as SOQT.

Coming the first of 2012, Matt Rankin will be assuming the baritone position and Bryan Hutson, a Kingsmen Quartet icon, will be taking the lead. We are excited that God has placed us together and we look forward to seeing how the Lord blesses the new line up. As always, the heartbeat of the ministry is to reach the lost, encourage the saints, and make a difference in people’s lives.

We will be releasing two new recordings after the first of the year. Coming the first part of January will be a hymns and old songs CD called “Soulace.” Then a brand new CD with all original songs called “What the World Doesn’t Know” at the end of January. We are very excited about both of these projects and we pray they will spiritually affect the lives of those who listen.