Posted by: coomercove | January 17, 2012

Poet Voices Together Again… Again

 Phil Cross has reformed Poet Voices with former member Donny Henderson and tenor Dan Callahan.  The full press release announcing their return can be read here.

Poet Voices was one of my favorite groups during the group’s first run, especially the line up with Dale Brock, Phil, Donny, and Tim Duncan on bass.  I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the direction the group took a few years ago during their second run, which included Phil, Mark Lanier, and Greg Crowe.

 This third iteration of the group sounds to be getting off to a solid start judging from this video of the group singing “Grace And Glory.”  The song seems to be a focus or theme for the group as it is the song the group is using to announce their return and the song title is featured in the group’s website header.  It is also the title song of a six song recording that is already available for download in the group’s online store.

 Also, I’m impressed by the group’s roll out.  In addition to a full website and a digital EP, the group has a you tube page with the music video mentioned above, individual testimonies from each of the group members, an event promo, and an electronic press kit, which I’ve embedded below.

 

Posted by: coomercove | December 30, 2011

Track Lists for 2 Major Upcoming Releases

I received the new Springside Marketing catalog in the mail yesterday.  Two upcoming releases featured on the cover (EDIT:  I looked at the cover again… only the EH&SS release is on the cover.) caught my attention, especially since the catalog included the tracklist for each project.

The first was Ernie Haase & Signature Sound’s new CD, Here We Are Again.  About a week ago, Daniel Mount posted a video of the group staging a song from the CD.  The song was described in comments as being a “southern rocker.”  Although I’m not usually a big fan of EH&SS, the video has got me looking forward to the project.  I’m thinking that “I Believe” is the song that will feature new bass Ian Owens.  It is a song that he recorded with the Imperials.  Hopefully, this will showcase what Ian can do more than what little that has been released since he’s joined the group.

The second project is the Crabb Family reunion recording, Together Again.  When the Crabb Family “retired,” their final project, Letting Go, let me down.  I hated to see their incredible run end with such a disappointing project.  I’m hoping the new project will make up for that.  You can listen to samples from three songs on Jason Crabb’s online store.  All three songs feature a softer country approach than the driving, rocky sound that I remember from their last recording.

Below are the track song lists for each project:

Ernie Haase & Signature Sound – Here We Are Again

  • I’ve Been Here Before
  • Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
  • Singing in The Midnight Hour
  • I Believe
  • Here We Are Again
  • Thankful To You
  • Any Other Man
  • Every Time
  • Stand By Me
  • Love Carried The Cross
  • Sometimes I Wonder
  • You Are Welcome Here (EDIT)

The Crabb Family – Together Again

  1. You Can’t Do That Anymore
  2. Come Home
  3. If There Ever Was A Time
  4. Say A Prayer
  5. Life Meets Grace
  6. This Is You and Me
  7. Back To The Front Porch
  8. God Has A Plan
  9. No Problems
  10. I Love You This Much
Posted by: coomercove | December 29, 2011

CD Review: The Old Paths – Simplicity Too

The Old Paths – Simplicity Too

Simplicity Too

The Old Paths recently released the follow up to their table project from earlier this year.  Keeping with the first recording, the CD contains a dozen older songs, recorded primarily with piano, bass, and drum instrumentation with pretty standard arrangements.  The first recording featured almost exclusively songs that most groups have recorded at one time or another.  This time the Old Paths have worked in a few forgotten songs along with southern gospel standards like “Midnight Cry,” “I Hold A Clear Title,” “He’s Still In The Fire,” and “Jesus I Love You.”  

The project includes four songs originally recorded by Gold City, including “Midnight Cry.”  The second Gold City cover is “Come On In,” which is one of my favorite “forgotten” Gold City songs as I don’t know of any covers of the song until now.  It isn’t a drastic departure from the original arrangement, but it is really great to hear the song again.  “Do It By The Book” features a drastic change.  Musically, the blistering piano work is still present, but instead of featuring the tenor, the verses serve as the introduction to the group’s new 21 year old bass singer, Daniel Ashmore.  Daniel is also featured on the final Gold City cover, “He’ll Never Let Go of My Hand.” While Daniel isn’t dropping Tim Riley low notes (yet), his voice is big and solid and being only 21 years old, he has ton of potential.  I can’t wait to hear Daniel sing this song after he’s been singing full time longer than three months.

As I mentioned, the group has pulled out some non-standard fare.  This includes two songs I don’t believe I’d ever heard before, “Holy Ghost Revival” and “Keep It Simple.”  Both songs feature lead Tim Rackley, who I think is one of the industry’s most unheralded lead singers.  The former song is a fun barn burner while the latter is a medium tempo song that calls for us to remember how simple the plan of salvation is and to keep it that way.  And obviously on this recording, it can also serve almost as a theme song of sorts.

Before I talk about my top two songs from the project, I have to mention the one song I could have done without.  Baritone Doug Roark is featured on a song made popular by Roger Bennett, “I’ve Read the Back of the Book.”  I’ve never been a huge fan of this song, and again, the song follows the typical arrangement used by the Cathedrals and Legacy Five.  I enjoy Doug’s other feature, “I Hold A Clear Title,” much more than this track.

The two songs that stand out above the rest on this project are both slower songs.  The first, “He Gave Me The Well,” is a Greater Vision cover.  This is the first time I’ve heard the song arranged to feature the lead (typically, the baritone has had the lead) and it gives the song much more power and effect than any other version of the song.  Tim’s version of the song is the best I’ve heard.  The other song is a beautiful rendition of “If That Isn’t Love.”  Daniel has the solo on the first verse and the lead on the first chorus, with harmony from Tim and Doug, before tenor Jeremy Peace takes the second verse and holds the lead through the end of the song.  “If That Isn’t Love” has been done by most groups, but this is one of the prettiest versions I’ve heard.

  1. I Hold A Clear Title – ****
  2. Come On In – ****
  3. Do It By The Book – ****
  4. He Gave Me The Well – *****
  5. Holy Ghost Revival – ****
  6. I’ve Read The Back of The Book – ***
  7. If That Isn’t Love – *****
  8. Jesus, I Love You – ****
  9. Keep It Simple – ****
  10. Midnight Cry – ****
  11. He’ll Never Let Go Of My Hand – ****
  12. He’s Still In The Fire – ****

Song Average:  4.1 stars
CD Rating:  4.5 stars

Available from The Old Paths
Review copy provided

Posted by: coomercove | December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas and a Song Review

Merry Christmas to anyone still reading this blog!  LOL  I pray everyone has a blessed and safe Christmas.

Next week, I hope to post a review of the The Old Paths‘ new CD, Simplicity Too, featuring their new, young bass singer, Daniel Ashmore.  Until I can post that, I want to point out that the group added Daniel to their latest Christmas project, which was originally recorded as a trio.  The project is available on their website in their mp3 downloads section.

Daniel is featured on the re-cut title song, “His Name Is Jesus.”  I heard Daniel sing several sets at Dollywood during October and heard some of the premixes from Simplicity Too, and while really impressed with those performances, his vocal on the verses of “His Name Is Jesus” blew me away.  The addition of Daniel’s vocal to the project has a whole added a fullness to the sound that I never realized I missed until I heard the new release.  Daniel’s development in the few short months he’s been with the group makes me very excited about his (and the group’s) future.

Posted by: coomercove | September 23, 2011

Charles Burke Passes Away

My condolences and prayers go out to the family of Charles Burke.  The long time industry leader passed away this morning after suffering a brain aneurysm on Thursday night.  I most associate Charles with being the owner of the Singing Americans, the group that helped introduce singers such as Danny Funderburk, Ivan Parker, Michael English, Dwayne Burke, Clayton Inman, and David Sutton to the industry.

On a side note, on Saturday at last week’s NQC, I saw someone who I thought was Charles sitting in on a showcase.  Several times while he was watching the groups on stage, I started to go over and thank him for all his contributions to the music I love.  However, I failed to work up the nerve.  One, I wasn’t sure it was him, and two, I didn’t think he’d want to be bothered while listening to the groups.  Sadly, that will be added to my list of missed opportunities…

Posted by: coomercove | September 19, 2011

Quick NQC Thoughts

I hope no one was expecting daily NQC updates from me.  I could barely find time to eat (one night, I didn’t even find time for that) or sleep, much less time to post.

Here are my quick NQC highlights for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday:

  • FINALLY meeting Diana!
  • The Collingsworth Family… how did I go this long without ever hearing them?  Both of their sets were excellent!
  • The Booth Brothers are in a class of their own.
  • I honestly wasn’t looking forward to hearing the Dove Brothers minus David Hester.  I have to say, I sold Burman Porter short.  The two sets by the Dove Brothers I saw were great.  And I enjoyed seeing my friend Joe Lane playing piano on the main stage for the Doves.
  • Gerald Wolfe’s scrap iron quartet singing “Looking For A Tenor”… if I subscribed to the Singing News, I’d give him my vote for song writer of the year
  •  The Perrys set on Friday was solid, but the dedication to their young fan in Texas put it over the top for me.  Super nice touch.
  • I got a kick out of seeing the male members of the Perrys going crazy over Tim Riley burying notes during Gold City’s set.  I got a (blurry) picture of Tracy Stuffle’s tongue literally hanging out of his mouth!
  • During an afternoon showcase, Marshall Hall blew me away with a beautiful piano-only rendition of “There Is Nothing Greater Than Grace,” which is found on his new Daywind project.
  • I passed up the “Freedom Hall” showcases on Saturday so I could see a few groups that were not appearing on the mainstage, but I did make sure I caught Channing Eleton opening up “Song Of A Lifetime”  with his song, “Up On This Ridge.”  I was expecting him to be at the piano, but he sung and played the accordion.  Channing has always been one of my favorite people in SGM, so I was happy I got to see him perform.

One more thing… I bought 28 CDs and 8 DVDs, including projects by the usual suspects (Legacy 5, Mark Trammell QT, Greater Vision, Triumphant, Dove Brothers, etc.), new to me groups (Collingsworth Family, Rambo-Mcguire), and up and coming artists (Promise, High Road, Omega, Paul’s Journey).

Posted by: coomercove | September 14, 2011

Jerry Pelfrey to join Gold City

Jerry Pelfrey of Chattanooga, TN will join Gold City as lead following the departure of Craig West.  I have confirmed this through multiple industry contacts and Jerry’s own facebook page.  MJF commented here that Jerry should be appearing at NQC on Thursday.

UPDATE:  I got my hands on a couple of songs by Jerry’s family group.  WOW. He does sound like a young Ivan Parker.  He is awesome.  I honestly didn’t think Gold City could maintain their current talent level after Craig left, but I was wrong.  Jerry is phenomenal!

God’s Word Will Stand

I Shall Return

Posted by: coomercove | September 14, 2011

Craig West Leaving Gold City

Well, the bomb dropped.  Nate Stainbrook confirmed that Craig West is leaving Gold City following NQC.  I’d heard that Craig had given notice three weeks ago, but I was hoping it was just rumor.  Over the last couple of weeks, I kept hearing that he was leaving, but they were keeping it quiet until after NQC.  This situation raises my respect for Craig way up for two reasons.  One, he honestly answered Nate’s question, and two, his reason for leaving Gold City.  Craig’s son told him that he wants his dad at home more and Craig is taking steps to be there for his son.  I hate that Craig will no longer be part of Gold City, but respect that he is putting his family first.

So, where does Gold City go for a lead singer?  My first thought is Josh Feemster.  I pegged Josh as a prospect for Gold City the very first time I heard him sing with Mercy’s Mark.  However, a friend mentioned someone who could possibly be an even better fit for Gold City than Josh, especially if they continue down a more modern sound.  My friend mentioned Scott Allen, who actually replaced Josh Feemster in Mercy’s Mark.  I think either of those men would be a good hire for Gold City.

Please keep all involved in your prayers (especially Craig and his family and Danny Riley, as he again is faced with finding a new singer for Gold City).

Also, please remember to pray for all those traveling to and from the National Quartet Convention this week.  I (along with my dad and uncle) will be leaving tomorrow morning to spend Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at the convention.

UPDATE:  I’ve heard rumblings of a name that I did not mention above.  If the new lead is this man, Gold City may have struck gold again.  I was told several months ago that this man had a voice perfect for Gold City and would fit them better than Craig West.

Posted by: coomercove | September 5, 2011

Bass Brandon Barry Departs The Old Paths

As I mentioned in my last post, what I have dubbed southern gospel’s silly season (personnel changes leading up and following NQC) is going on strong this year.  I have confirmation that bass vocalist Brandon Barry is no longer with The Old Paths.   I’ve heard that Brandon will be sharing the stage with Mike and Jordan LeFevre in a reworked LeFevre Quartet (minus David Staton?).

As always with an up and coming group, you wonder if a top tier group is going to swoop down and snatch up a member of a group, stalling (and sometimes stopping) a group’s climb in the industry.  In this case however, I don’t even think the move is a lateral one for Brandon.  It is definitely not an upward move.  The LeFevre Quartet’s future looked brightest a couple of years ago with the release of Nothin’ But Good on the restarted Canaan Label.  They had a fresh, modern sound that grabbed a lot of people’s attention.  Following the departure of Gus Gaches to Legacy Five, the group has released a much more traditional sounding table project of classics.  However, I’ve not heard much talk about them over the last year.

I admit that I’m biased… The Old Paths are my favorite current group.  However, I honestly feel that they are “this close” to breaking through and taking big strides in the industry.  They are making appearances with many of the leading pastors across the country.  They have a song (“Too Far Gone”) climbing the charts and have the best song (“The I Of The Storm”) from their last mainline project, Wonderful Life, set to follow it to radio .  As I mentioned in a recent concert review, they stole the show at a packed concert with the Hoppers and Gold City.  I expect The Old Paths to announce a new bass vocalist soon and continue their climb.

Posted by: coomercove | September 1, 2011

Adam Harman Leaving the Dove Brothers

Southern gospel music’s silly season is in full swing.  Lots of changes are rumored and I’ve heard that the Dove Brothers may be hit for a second time.  Bass singer David Hester left the group last month and was replaced by original bass Burman Porter and now I’ve heard that pianist Adam Harman is leaving the group.  If this is true, I think I know who the new pianist is, but it is too soon to tell.  I will update as soon as I get the go ahead to do so.

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