Aaron Swain's blog about Southern Gospel Music, News, and other items of interest in the SG world.
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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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Concert Review: Ernie Haase & Signature Sound in Belfast, Northern Ireland (Live Stream)

May 19, 2012 By: Aaron Category: Concert Reviews, Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, SG Artists, SG Music

I noticed over the past few days on Facebook that Ernie Haase & Signature Sound will be broadcasting their Belfast concert on the Internet, so I decided to watch and give my thoughts in “stream of¬†consciousness” form. ¬†Hopefully, this doesn’t end up looking like I took a bunch of cough medicine and decided to write afterwards!

1. Since Jesus Passed By – Hadn’t heard the group stage this song in quite a while; in fact, not since Tim Duncan left. Ian Owens NAILED his solo verse and step out lines, and it’s quite a testament to his development since joining the group. I like this “all-live” treatment of the song supplied by the live band. The re-working of the instrumentation is really interesting.

2. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot – The first track of the group’s new Here We Are Again project, is also “all-live.” Good showcase of the quartet harmony here, and the “instrumental break” goes over well live.

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New Quartet: Canton Junction

October 07, 2011 By: Aaron Category: Canton Junction, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, Youtube

Hat tip goes to Daniel for this one: check out this clip of a new quartet that was just announced. The lineup is tenor Matt Hagee (pastor of Cornerstone Church), lead Aaron Crabb, baritone Michael Sykes, and bass Tim Duncan.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRZfopUAlZI

Tim Duncan had this to say on his Facebook page:

I am so excited to finally be able to tell you about the new quartet!! Canton Junction consists of Pastor Matt Hagee, Aaron Crabb, Michael Sykes and myself. These guys are great and I am so blessed to be a part of this amazing new group! Stay tuned for more information!!

No real word yet on whether this group is full-time or part-time, but I have a feeling that with Hagee’s pastorate, it will be part-time. The Youtube video¬†description also bills them as the “new Cornerstone Church quartet,” which further leads me to believe it’s a part-time deal. I’ve been surprised before, though.

Either way, these guys have a really good sound (a la the Ryan Seaton Quartet), so hopefully we’ll get a recording out of them at least.

Tim Duncan Departs Signature Sound; Ian Owens Named As New Bass

January 18, 2011 By: Aaron Category: Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music

By now, it has made the rounds in the Southern Gospel blog: Tim Duncan has left Ernie Haase & Signature Sound after eight years as their bass singer. The press release at Singing News reads:

NASHVILLE, TN (January 17, 2011) – Tim Duncan, bass vocalist of Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, is stepping down after eight years with the quartet.

Tim states: “After 8 years of service to Ernie Haase & Signature Sound I have been feeling in my heart that my time has come to an end. I’m sad on one hand yet excited on the other hand. Ernie & the boys are like brothers and always will be. I covet your prayers.”

Ernie Haase states: “I realize changes are inevitable, it always brings a challenge as well as new opportunity. We will always be grateful for Tim’s contribution to the group over these past years. We love Tim and wish him and his family great success.”

Ian Owens will replace Tim Duncan. His first date with the group will be January 21 in Portland OR.

Thankfully, this doesn’t seem to be a situation where the speculation can turn ugly as to what happened to cause the change; the press release features statements from both parties that indicate there is no bad blood. As Haase stated, change is inevitable. Tim Duncan became one of my personal favorite basses in his time with the group, and his sound improved during that tenure. His contributions to the group’s sound leave some big shoes to fill.

That brings me to Ian Owens. You may remember him from his time with the Cumberland Quartet, but most will remember him as the young man who stepped in when Armond Morales, longtime bass singer for The Imperials retired. Indeed, Owens possesses a voice that has the smooth tones of Armond’s, but with a deeper, lower range. It is interesting to note that, in an interview hosted on Daniel Mount’s blog, Ernie Haase was asked to put together a “quartet of tomorrow.” Owens got the bass spot in that group. Owens’ sound differs enough from Duncan’s that it will be intriguing to hear how the group’s sound as a whole changes.

For a preview of Ian Owen’s voice, here’s the Imperials singing “Arise, My Love.”