Crossroads Signs Beene Family

Crossroads has signed the Beene Family to its roster of artists.  Notable about this is that the Beenes are one of the groups that curtailed their touring schedule somewhat due to gas prices earlier in the year, as they have focused primarily on the west coast and more regional touring near their home.

Here is the press release:

The Beene Family, from KingsportTennessee, recently signed a multi-year recording and distribution agreement with Crossroads Entertainment & Marketing. The group, consisting of brothers Landon, Brandon and Shandon, along with Brando’s wife Chrysta, have spent the last ten years establishing themselves in Southern Gospel music. With a national touring schedule that includes around 175 dates per year, the family group has focused their performances on church venues. Many of those performances have included dates on the west coast where the family was born and raised. Pianist and group manager Landon Beene states, “We are thrilled to be working with such a prestigious company as Crossroads.  They have long been one of the industry’s leaders in their ability to grow artists as well as see a vision of the future of this industry.  They are blessed with great leadership and staff. Our desire is to complement the integrity of the company by presenting our ministry in a first class way.” Crossroads executive Chris White states, “One of the reasons we wanted to establish a relationship with the Beene family is because they have a solid approach to their business, as well as their music. We also applaud them for being Southern Gospel ambassadors to the west coast and keeping our music alive and well there.  They are simply first class people who have a lot to offer.”

The Beene family is currently in the process of finishing their new project with Crossroads slotted to release January 20th, 2009.  Be looking for the new release at retail stores and at www.crossroadsmusic.com.

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Hidden Gem: Perfect Heart – “While He’s Molding Me He’s Holding Me”

From the Command Performance live album from around 1993 comes this midtempo song written and sung by Mark Lanier.  As far as I know, this is the only recording of this song, and it’s a nice one.  Lanier does a smooth job on the verses, while the group provides some nice harmonies on the chorus.  The tag is the last line of the chorus repeated a few times with Dale Shipley taking the last repeat up to a nice power ending that has a classic staggered resolve to the tonic chord.  This is done live with just piano, bass, and drums, and really showcases the strength of Perfect Heart as a quartet.  I really miss these guys.  Great song by a great quartet.

Classic Recordings Available On Amazon

While browsing Amazon.com for various SG artists, I came across a series of mp3 albums called “Gospel Masters.”  Many of the albums were of Black gospel artists, but there are downloads for The Statesmen (seemingly Jack Toney era), Hovie Lister and the Statesmen (apparently with Jake Hess), several from The Oak Ridge Boys (w/ Smitty Gatlin), The Prophets, and JD Sumner and the Stamps.  I listened to a few of the available clips.  The quality is pretty poor, some even still have the cracks and pops of the vinyl still in them, but it is still intriguing to find these classic recordings available digitally.  Anyone out there have some experience with these digital albums?

Hidden Gems: The Downings – “It’s A Good Life”

From 1972’s Neighbors album that features classics like “I’ll Soon Be Gone” and the Downings’ great version of “The Lighthouse” comes this uptempo cut sitting at track 2.   Joy Dyson has the lead on the verses and her vocal practically drips enthusiasm and emotion.  There’s some nice group harmonies on the chorus, then the key changes for the second verse.  On the tag, Ann Downing takes the melody and the harmony is inverted up as the tag is repeated and faded.  Just a great tune from a classic group.  Pull out your LP and give it a listen!

SN Radio Chart Poll Results

I mentioned earlier Daniel Mount’s Singing News chart poll.  Well, he has posted the results, with a slightly surprising revelation that the songs from 1983 seem to still be more recognizable than the songs from 2003.  Check out his analysis, he’s put a lot of work into it.

Gaither Related Upcoming Releases

I was looking at http://www.newreleasetuesday.com the other day (thanks again to Daniel Mount for discovering this great site for me) and noticed several upcoming releases for Gaither and also the artists on his tour.

Of course the much anticipated Ernie Haase & Signature Sound “Dream On” CD and DVD are being released next Tuesday but also listed is The Happy Goodmans “The Final Stand” on CD and DVD which was originally released in 2001 (according to its Amazon entry).  I wonder if it is an identical re-release or if there will be some added footage and/or songs.  Christian comedian Chonda Pierce also has a release that day.

The much MUCH anticipated release of the Gaither Vocal Band’s reunion is hitting stores January 27th which sounds a lot better than the originally stated ‘late 2008’ date.  Jeff and Sheri Easter have a new release coming out the same day.  To my knowledge this will be the first with daughter Morgan at the soprano slot full time.

March 24, 2009 has Bill & Gloria Gaither’s Best of Homecoming Volume 2.  Volume 1 was relased 1997 and I was wondering if there was ever going to be a follow up.  Also a new CD by Lynda Randle and a Best of Volume 2 DVD.  They didn’t wait nearly as long for a Volume 2 for Lynda!

Where Has That Been All Season?

OK, Bill Stewart, where has that been all season long?  West Virginia looked impressive in the second half of their 34-17 rout of Auburn.  The playcalling was solid for the most part, Noel Devine ran wild, Pat White completed his passes, and the team looked like the WVU of the last few years.  Why couldn’t we have done that against East Carolina and Colorado?  Great job of adjusting coach, now please, KEEP IT UP!!!  GO MOUNTAINEERS!

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