Aaron Swain's blog about Southern Gospel Music, News, and other items of interest in the SG world.
Subscribe

Still Here!

June 18, 2014 By: Aaron Category: Blogging Community, SG Artists, SG Music

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

It’s hard to believe that I haven’t written anything on this corner of the Web since March, but life got in the way for sure. As I finished up my junior year of college, I had to prioritize the copious amounts of difficult schoolwork, which unfortunately meant that Swain’s Musings was put on the backburner. But, if I’m being perfectly honest, I just didn’t feel motivated to post for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on, which is why I didn’t post even after the semester ended. While I certainly didn’t mean for this “break” to last multiple months, maybe it was what I needed to get that motivation back.

During the time that I’ve stepped away, it seems that Southern Gospel music has entered a season of change. The group whose CD I reviewed in my last post (Gold Harbor) suddenly lost their owner and manager, Jimmy Richards, which was a true shock. The last member of the original Cathedral Trio (and Quartet), tenor Bobby Clark, passed away during this time as well. We also saw several largely unexpected group changes, such as the departures of Pat Barker and Jeff Stice. Perhaps we’ll see them on the road again in the future, but for now, we thank them for their years of dedication to this music and the message in it.

The Southern Gospel blogging world also saw the end of an era with the closing of Southern Gospel Journal. Many of you will know that site as Southern Gospel Blog. Over his years of writing, Daniel Mount, in large part, opened the door for this particular blogging niche to gain traction. I can tell you that he was an inspiration in my decision to start writing about this great music. Daniel, thank you for all the years of thought-provoking articles and for facilitating a place for lively discussion about this genre. Hopefully, a few years down the road, the blog can make a comeback in some form or fashion.

Swain’s Musings will continue on as it always has; there is still so much more to write; CD reviews, future news, and other things of general interest. I look forward to it all! Be on the lookout for more coming soon.

Keep An Ear Out: Mark209 – It Takes Faith

June 01, 2013 By: Aaron Category: Keep An Ear Out, Mark209, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music

Baritone Bryan James Hatton, tenor Nathaniel Justice, lead Jym Howe, and bass Ray Woconish make up Mark209.

Baritone Bryan James Hatton, tenor Nathaniel Justice, lead Jym Howe, and bass Ray Woconish make up Mark209.

This post kicks off what will hopefully become a series of posts at Swain’s Musings that highlights upcoming radio singles.

Our first subject for the series is Mark209. Although relatively new to the quartet scene, they have started making a little headway with singles such as “My Home In Heaven” from their debut project, reviewed here. Since the release of that album, the group has seen changes in the baritone and bass positions, causing a shift in vocal sound. Judging by this single, however, the energetic country sound cultivated by their debut has remained and continued to develop. The song hits radio today (June 1).

This song was written by Kenna Turner West, and the players help to give the cut a sound that sets itself apart from most other Southern Gospel music, with a roster that includes Bruce Dees, Kerry Marx (Grand Ole Opry), and Jamie Brantley (Ronnie Milsap). The instrumental track gives the lyric an extra punch that gives a catchy vibe and helps drive the message home, which is especially important in this genre of music. I’ve found myself humming the chorus several times since my initial listen. The lyrics deal with putting action to our faith; not just saying we believe God’s words, but living them as well.

Head to the group’s BandCamp page for a preview of the song and the full lyrics.

Milestones Reached & Where To Go From Here

June 20, 2011 By: Aaron Category: Blogging Community, Personal

It’s been a crazy past few weeks for me.

As some of you may know, I started this blog when I was 14, which puts me in the latter part of middle school starting out. When I started, I certainly didn’t think anyone would read it; it was more of a hobby to be done in the massive amount of free time that I had at that age. Over the years, it sort of transitioned into something more, and for a while, I was able to deftly juggle school career and blogging. It was only in my senior year of high school, this past year, when that became more challenging. When push came to shove, I opted to sacrifice posts in order to maintain good grades, which in turn would help with getting into college.

All of that came to a head a little over a week ago, as I finally walked up and received my high school diploma! It was a day I’ll never forget. I was pleasantly surprised with being given a “Congratulations” thread on the Absolutely Gospel forums where so many people posted such kind words and congratulations, as well as fellow blogger Daniel Mount giving a post to the occasion where others did the same. It made a special time in my life even more so!

The whirlwind didn’t settle down there, for this past weekend brought orientation at my college, Radford University. With this one-and-a-half day event, I got to get acquainted with the many facets of the university and register for classes for the fall semester. Now, I can finally relax and re-energize this summer. As you can see, I’ve barely had time to think, much less sit down and blog!

So, what’s next for Swain’s Musings? Well, certainly not the end, at least not for a good long while! I suppose one thing I’ve learned from everything is that time management is key, and while my posts may not be as frequent as they once where, I will do my dead-level best to put something of substance up as often as I can for those who may read this little corner of the web.

One thing that definitely needs taking care of is project reviews. I’ve gotten immensely behind on that, as I still have a pile of projects from NQC still pending reviews. I’ve decided that the best way to tackle that is this: if it has already been reviewed to death by the various other bloggers and writers, I probably won’t say anything different than has been said, and therefore will refrain from reviewing. However, there are just as many that are on the other end of the spectrum, and I will hopefully get to do those reviews soon. There are also plenty of freshly released projects that I hope to cover as well.

All of that to say this:  to those who may read, thank you for sticking around thus far, and I hope to churn out new content that will keep you coming back in the coming months (and hopefully years!).