Aaron Swain's blog about Southern Gospel Music, News, and other items of interest in the SG world.
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Youtube Spotlight: Soul’d Out Quartet (July 4, 2014)

July 12, 2014 By: Aaron Category: Concert Reviews, SG Artists, SG Music, Soul'd Out Quartet, Youtube

The 4th of July is an important American event, and one of the many ways that people celebrated in Bedford, VA, was by having a cookout and concert with Soul’d Out Quartet. The group had been to Mount Olivet Southern Baptist Church a few times before, and they drew a large crowd this time around. The evening started with a cookout dinner served at the church, and then everyone moved to the sanctuary for the concert. Of course, I got plenty of video.

One thing I appreciate about this group is that they tend to keep their set list fresh. They had the added benefit this time of having their brand new project, Great Life, available, so they had some new material to work into the concert, as well as selections from their recent Soulace 3 table project.

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First Look: Ian Owens with Soul’d Out Quartet

November 17, 2012 By: Aaron Category: First Look, SG Artists, SG Music, Soul'd Out Quartet, Youtube

Thanks to Youtube user r52003, we have our first glimpse into the new lineup of Soul’d Out Quartet. The group recently hired Ian Owens, formerly of the Cumberland Quartet, The Imperials, and Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, as their new bass singer following original bass Matt Fouch’s move to Legacy Five. There is a full playlist here, but I will post just a few videos here that highlight Owens’ mark on the group’s sound. My two cents’ worth comes after the videos:

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CD Review: Soul’d Out Quartet – What The World Doesn’t Know

February 25, 2012 By: Aaron Category: CD Reviews, SG Artists, SG Music, Soul'd Out Quartet


Rating: 4 stars

Label: Crossroads Music
Website: www.souldoutquartet.com

Song titles: All Things Are Possible; Go Out And Get Them; Since I’ve Been Saved; That’ll Be A Great Day; Worthy The Lamb Is He; If You’ll Just Ask Him; He Is There; When They Had Prayed; What The World Doesn’t Know; Thank You Lord

Download Here

If you hadn’t heard of Soul’d Out Quartet before the end of 2011/beginning of 2012, then you certainly have by now. The group hired Kingsmen lead singer Bryan Hutson after the departure of longtime baritone Tanner Stahl, which moved lead singer and group owner Matt Rankin down to that slot. With a new website, two new CDs (this mainline release and a table project that may be reviewed soon), and a new sound, many have looked forward to hearing what the quartet’s first project since signing with a record label.

The best way I can describe the quartet’s sound with this project is this: smooth. Listeners who enjoy a CD that is chock-full of upbeat numbers will not find much to like here. Rather, the group opted for a laid-back approach this time around. Kicking off with a mid-tempo tune about faith called “All Things Are Possible,” no time is wasted in featuring Bryan Hutson, who gets a solo on the second verse. Hutson is also featured on the project’s most unique song, “Since I’ve Been Saved,” a shuffling song that sounds like it was pulled from a 1950s soundtrack. Of all songs to bring to mind, I thought of Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World.” The closing track, “Thank You Lord,” also puts Hutson out front on a slower progressive strong that fits him very well.

Though many of the songs feature the new guy, the other singers do a great job as well. Bass singer Matt Fouch shows why he is among the most underrated basses on the road with his solos on “All Things Are Possible” and “That’ll Be A Great Day.” Tenor Dusty Barrett shines on “Go Out and Get Them,” as well as “If You’ll Just Ask Him,” and Matt Rankin sings the title track, which features some very thought-provoking truths. He also gets the second verse of one of my favorites of the CD, “Worthy The Lamb Is He,” an orchestrated ballad in the vein of one of the quartet’s earlier songs, “He Is My Lamb.”

As I mentioned before, the group’s sound is very smooth now, and that fact is prominent on their ensemble work on tracks like “Go Out And Get Them” and “Thank You Lord.” That does not mean that they have lost anything in the way of singing faster, more “quartety” songs; “That’ll Be A Great Day” and “When They Had Prayed” are evidence of that. The difference of style that was chosen for this project show that this lineup has a versatility that will benefit them greatly in future efforts. My only complaint would be that there seemed to be an imbalance in the number of slower tunes vs. more uptempo fare. Too much slow stuff can start to run together after a while!

If you have not heard Soul’d Out Quartet before, this CD will be a great introduction for you, and people who were already fans of the group will find a lot to like about their new sound. What The World Doesn’t Know receives 4 stars.

First Look: Bryan Hutson with Soul’d Out Quartet

January 08, 2012 By: Aaron Category: First Look, SG Artists, SG Music, Soul'd Out Quartet, Youtube

On January 6, I was privileged to be able to attend the Soul’d Out Quartet concert in East Bend, NC, hosted by JOY FM and a local group, The Boys. Every Soul’d Out concert I’ve ever been to has been great, but there was an extra level of excitement to this one, as it was the debut concert for the group’s new vocalist, Bryan Hutson. Hutson came from singing lead with The Kingsmen to fill the void left by Tanner Stahl’s departure in December 2011.

The activity center of Enon Baptist Church was filled to capacity, making it one of the biggest crowds I’ve seen for a concert that wasn’t NQC or Gaither related. There were quite a few singers in our genre, past and present, that were in attendance as well; among those spotted were Phil Barker, Darren Osborne, Harold Reed, and Chris Collins.

Bryan Hutson fits the Soul’d Out Quartet like a glove in sound, stage presence, and personality. I also picked up the new Soulace project and a pre-release copy of their upcoming Crossroads debut, What The World Doesn’t Know, and both are really good. But you don’t have to take my word for it about their live sound; see and hear for yourself!

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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.