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

Youtube Spotlight: Gold City with Thomas Nalley (August 28, 2015)

August 31, 2015 By: Aaron Category: First Look, Gold City, SG Artists, SG Music, Youtube

This past Friday, PromisedLand Quartet (the group for which I sing baritone) and Gold City did a concert in Woodstock, VA, and new GC tenor Thomas Nalley was present. While I wasn’t able to get our portion of the concert taped, you know I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get a new lineup on camera! Be sure to click through and read the whole post to see all the videos.

Thomas was on his third night with Gold City.


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.


Youtube Spotlight: Skyline Boys

February 25, 2014 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG Music, The Skyline Boys, Youtube

Last weekend found me attending the Winter Hearts Benefit Concert, an annual event held in my home area of Lynchburg, VA. Each year, this organization brings in a Southern Gospel group (or multiple artists) to put on a concert to benefit a local family in need. This time, the lineup featured Howie McKinney (a soloist from Salem, VA), the Skyline Boys, and the Rick Webb Family. Space constraints and battery life prevented me from capturing the Rick Webb Family’s set, but I will say that I came away impressed from my first time hearing them. It was mentioned by the promoter that they are return favorites for the event, but I had never had the opportunity to hear them.

I did manage to take a few clips of the Skyline Boys. They were traveling with a fill-in lead singer after Brian Alvey’s departure, but it was not mentioned from the stage that he was filling in, and you wouldn’t have known the difference if you weren’t aware that they are searching. I hadn’t seen the group outside of NQC before, so it was nice hearing a fuller set from them. They did two songs from their new project, Love Came Through, and I was able to capture one: “Sing It, Brother, Sing It.” The new songs went over very well.

The lineup for this concert was tenor Jodi Hosterman, fill-in lead Chris Williams, baritone Chris Little, and bass Dennis Powers.

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:


Youtube Spotlight: Dixie Melody Boys

May 14, 2012 By: Aaron Category: SG Artists, SG Music, The Dixie Melody Boys, Youtube

I attended a concert last Thursday night in Vinton, VA featuring the Dixie Melody Boys. I had never seen the group outside of NQC, and I had heard enough from the reunion last year and the 50th Anniversary project to know that I would likely enjoy their sound with the new lineup, and I was not disappointed. Due to the number of videos that I got, I’ll just link to the playlist. A large number of the songs done at this concert came from their latest CD, including their new radio single, “Jesus In My Boat.”

Video Roundup: Gold City at Temple Baptist Church, Madison Heights, VA, Feb. 25, 2011

March 05, 2011 By: Aaron Category: Gold City, SG Artists, SG Music

I got the opportunity to attend a benefit concert in my area last weekend featuring Gold City, Garden of Grace, and Doug Smith. This concert was part of an annual series put on by Central Virginia Angel Hearts, and all the proceeds for this event went toward the medical expenses of Erin Hope Coleman, a four-year old girl who has complications due to a very premature birth. I was unable to take any video, but my friend Andrew Graham was, and here’s what he posted:

“It Won’t Be Long” will be featured on the groups upcoming release, Somebody’s Coming, but in the meantime, they’ve been staging the song and working in some comedic moments!

What Children Believe – This was an unplanned moment in the concert, but Daniel had remarked from the stage how fun it was to watch little Erin Hope (the girl whom the concert was held for) dancing around to the songs the group was singing. As soon as he said that, she made her way up the stairs to give him a big hug. He picked her up and told Bryan he wanted to do this song for Erin Hope, and so the group did. This was one of the highlights of the night, as far as I’m concerned.

Truth Is Marching On

Midnight Cry – New lead singer Craig West has been making quite a name for himself in that position for Gold City, especially on this signature song. Ivan Parker may have introduced it, but Craig gets my vote for the best singer to take it on since Parker. It is worth noting that I was told after the concert that Craig was still recovering from bronchitis that night.

Anyone who has perused the various SG blogs these past few months undoubtedly knows that former Mercy’s Mark bass singer Chris West (who is, coincidentally, Craig’s brother) is the soundman for Gold City, and that he has been coming up to sing bass on a couple of songs every night. Daniel Riley confirmed from the stage what speculation has stated for some time: Chris is being prepped to take Tim Riley’s spot when he eventually retires again. West only sang this song, “After A While,” with the group that night, but judging by the sound and the response of the crowd, he will be the perfect fit with the group.

Concert Review: Greater Love & The Perrys

July 12, 2010 By: Aaron Category: Concert Reviews, Greater Love, SG Artists, SG Music, The Perrys

This past Saturday night, I made the hour-long trip to Buena Vista, VA for the last night of the VA Southern Gospel Jubilee, an outdoor three-day event held every July. I had been out of town all week and had just gotten back home that day, but since I’d never seen The Perrys outside of NQC and they don’t come to the area that often, I decided it was too good to pass up.

The concert started at 5:00, with close to an hour of musical groups affiliated with the local church that puts on the event. I took this opportunity to chat with some of the singers, and enjoyed talking with Troy Peach, Joseph Habedank, and Tracy and Libbi Stuffle.

At about 5:30, the first headliner group, Greater Love, took the stage. Subscribers to the Singing News may remember this Orange, VA based group getting a feature article in the May 2010 edition. I couldn’t name any of the songs they did, as this was my first time ever hearing them, but I was told that most of their songs were from their newest release. The group has a good sound and blend. One particular interesting note is that their bass singer, Don Leake, had open-heart surgery months ago, and it had not looked like he would be able to make the event. However, he was in good health, and did very well in the group’s set.

After an offering being taken up, The Perrys launched into their set. They started off with “I Love To Tell Of His Love,” “I Know It Was The Blood,” and “Still Blessed,” one right after the other. Other songs of the night included “Prior To A Prayer,” “This Old Sinner Testifies,” “Did I Mention?” “I Wish I Could Have Been There,” and “If You Knew Him.” Bryan Elliot did a remarkably fast piano solo, and Tracy Stuffle also did his chainsaw impersonation.

This particular lineup has really gelled well. The voices play really well off of each other, and an A Capella encore of “Did I Mention” really highlighted that fact. Tracy Stuffle’s style of MC work connects with the audience really well. He injects a good dose of humor throughout the program, but also builds up to songs very well, as he did with the closer, “If You Knew Him.” That particular song led into an altar call that had many going forward, and was twice encored with just piano.

If you have the chance to see either of these groups, this blogger highly recommends them. Although the sets were not as long as a regular event might be, I was still impressed with both.

Jimmy Dean Passes Away at 81

June 16, 2010 By: Aaron Category: Uncategorized

The music and business world was saddened to hear about the passing of Jimmy Dean Sunday.  One of Dean’s most recognizable songs is “Big Bad John” which tells the story of a common working man that gives his life to save his fellow man.  Dean hosted his own TV show known as the Jimmy Dean show.  The younger crowd will know Dean for his sausage, Jimmy Dean Sausage.  This is all amazing for a man that dropped out of high school after the ninth grade.

Dean died in his Henrico Co. home just outside of Richmond, VA.  I had the privilidge of seeing him at a Gaither concert here in the VA area.  He will be truly missed by friends and family.

Bill Gaither gives tribute to his friend here.

As of late, Dean appeared on the Gaither Homecoming Joy In My Heart DVD.  Here are a couple links to those videos.  You can also find clips of Dean on youtube when he was in better health appearing in his TV show as well as other events.

Phillip Hughes with the Harvesters Quartet

May 02, 2010 By: Aaron Category: Uncategorized

The Harvesters Quartet were at Halesford Baptist Church in Wirtz, VA last night and joining them on the tenor spot was Phillip Hughes formerly of the Kingsmen Quartet. No announcement has been made publicly as to if this will be a permanent thing. I was unable to attend as I was at the Gold City concert in Roanoke, VA. They are sounding better and better all the time but would have liked to hear the acappella rendition of One Scarred Hand again.

Gold City visits Wirtz, VA

March 13, 2010 By: Aaron Category: Concert Reviews, Gold City, SG Artists, SG Music

Thursday evening 3 members of the Virginia Gospel Music Association had the privilege of seeing the new lineup of Gold City in concert in Wirtz, VA at Halesford Baptist Church. In attendance was Aaron Swain, Andrew Graham, and myself Jeremy Bell. (Ruth V gets a shout out since she was there early enough to save seats.) Aaron will be posting a review later on and I will be posting pictures to facebook. Just as a teaser, here are some clips that Andrew shot for your enjoyment. My favorite was probably One Scarred Hand Acappella.

Rainbow of Love

One Scarred Hand – Acappella