Aaron Swain's blog about Southern Gospel Music, News, and other items of interest in the SG world.
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And the new Booth Brother is….

September 19, 2014 By: Aaron Category: Booth Brothers, Jim Brady Trio, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music

… announced in this video, along with the third member of the Jim Brady Trio:

Both of these announcements carry some star power within Southern Gospel. Tim Parton is known from his years with several groups, including Gold City and, most recently, Legacy Five. Paul Lancaster has been a part of the Martins, the Greenes, and Palmetto State, among others. Both groups are getting quality vocalists, and I’m very excited to see both of them on the road again. Parton will add to the Jim Brady Trio as a pianist and arranger, in addition to his vocal duties. With the Booth Brothers, the vocal transition will be a smooth one, as Lancaster is a great blending vocalist that won’t sharply redefine the sound that the trio has cultivated over the years.

Now, hopefully we’ll get a better glimpse of the sound after the helium wears off. 🙂

NQC 2012 News

February 15, 2012 By: Aaron Category: NQC, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music

It’s about that time of year again: the time when there’s a new development in the upcoming National Quartet Convention’s schedule on a pretty much regular basis. Two news items have come down the pipe today:

1. The NQC has added the NQC Music Awards, taking the place of the Singing News Fan Awards. This will take place at a Friday afternoon showcase.

The Fan Awards have been at Dollywood the past couple of years and will continue to be held there this year. The absence of the awards show has arguably taken away much of the buzz that used to come with NQC, especially near the end of the week. The wrinkle that separates these new accolades from the old is that there are two divisions to the awards; one is voted upon by fans, and the other is voted upon by “music professionals,” which is defined as those who are exhibitors during the National Quartet Convention. Color me intrigued; perhaps this will help to fill in the “empty” feeling that has hung around NQC these past couple of years.

2. The initial draft of the Showcase Schedule has been posted. Notable additions include:

  • The Gaither Vocal Band Reunion Encore. This is intriguing. I’m hoping that there will be songs picked for this time that weren’t featured on the videos or in the showcase last year. The GVB catalog is broad enough that they can bring out the stuff that hasn’t been revived to death. I’m hoping this will also bring back some of the alumni who haven’t been present at any of the reunion events (Terry Franklin, Jonathan Pierce… heck, how about Lemuel Miller?) I noticed that Guy Penrod gets his own dedicated showcase the same afternoon as this one, but that is done in plenty of time for him to be able to attend the Reunion this year.
  • There’s another Crabb Family reunion showcase. I remember the last one being at NQC 2008, and I enjoyed it for the most part. I also remember it featuring most of their latter, more progressive material, and witnessed a large number of folks walking out on the showcase. Perhaps the Crabbs will play it safer this time around?
  • Tim Parton is reviving the Parade of Pianos. This showcase, originally done by Anthony Burger, then done by Roger Bennett, hasn’t been around in any capacity since Gerald Wolfe hosting it in 2008. The NQC Board wisely gave Dino his own showcase that year, saving the Parade of Pianos from becoming the Dino Show as it had in years past. I’m looking forward to seeing the collection of pianists that Parton puts together.
  • Lari Goss is getting a tribute showcase this year. Well-deserved, and it’s about time! The Hoppers, Greater Vision, Legacy Five, The Booth Brothers, and others will be a part.

First Look: Legacy Five’s New Pianist, Trey Ivey

March 08, 2011 By: Aaron Category: Legacy Five, SG Artists, SG Music

While doing some work on my Youtube account, I came across this video in my subscriptions feed and was immediately intrigued. Via user texjoy777 has a high-quality video up that is the first clip I have seen since Ivey took over the piano bench from Tim Parton recently. With tenor Gus Gaches featured on a song the quartet has done since its inception, here is a piano-and-vocals version of “Holy Is Thy Name:”

After hearing and viewing this clip, there is no denying that Scott Fowler made the right hire in Trey Ivey. His style is refined, not too flashy, and does a great job of backing up and  complimenting the vocals. That is the way piano accompaniment should be done, and hiring a young player that understands and utilizes that concept pays off.

By the way, this is Ivey’s fourth concert with the group. The fact that he is comfortable to be “put out front,” so to speak, so soon tells me he is a great fit.

Catch Up

January 14, 2011 By: Aaron Category: Legacy Five, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, Tribute Quartet

After a relatively quiet past several days, some news items have hit that I took note of, but could not cover in the flurry of midterms:

1. First and foremost, I wish to send my condolences to the family of Susan Unthank. Unthank passed away on January 5 after a long battle with various health problems. A memorial service has been rescheduled for January 24 after inclement whether cancelled the first one. In all of my dealings with her, be it over the Internet or in the one time I met her in person at NQC a couple of years back, she was always very gracious and nice to talk to. Say what you will about Absolutely Gospel (SoGospelNews), but there is no denying the impact that she and her husband had when they founded that site. Susan Unthank, you will be missed.

2. Dennis Dugger leaves Tribute Quartet, Anthony Davis Steps In – In a somewhat shocking news item today, the group announced that founding member and the only bass the group has had to date has left the group on good terms. Gary Casto has once again made a hire that has the distinction of being one of the youngest singers in the business; Davis is 28 years old. Various sources have said this is the same Anthony Davis that sang bass for Firm Foundation Quartet, and a quick Youtube search yields clips such as these:

At first blush, Davis has a tone that is similar to Dugger’s, while having a distinctive sound of his own. At his young age, he has plenty of time to mature and refine his voice, and Gary Casto does a great job of that with his vocalists; just look at Riley Clark!

I would guess that Davis will be on the upcoming mainline release, so I am interested to hear him on brand-new Tribute material, and hopefully someone will have Youtube footage soon of him on current Tribute songs.

3. It was also announced today that Tim Parton has left the pianist position in Legacy Five. Parton will be taking a position with the 3ABN television network. Like Dugger, he also leaves his respective group on good terms. It will be interesting to see who L5 gets to take the spot; Parton was basically hand-picked by Roger Bennett before his death in 2007, and has been with the group since taking the position full-time after filling in for several months. My mind is drawing a blank as to what “known names” could be tapped for the job, but I wouldn’t mind seeing them pick up an “undiscovered” talent.