SG Insights: Wes Hampton – Gaither Vocal Band

I have had the opportunity recently to speak with Wes Hampton via email and to ask him a few questions about the new Gaither Vocal Band Christmas CD, Christmas Gaither Vocal Band Style.  Here is the text of the interview.

Wes Burke: This Christmas CD is very different from the previous Christmas CD in it’s approach, focusing on standards rather than original material, as well as a laid back approach to the arrangements instead of staying “in your face”.  Was this intentional from the start?
Wes Hampton: Yes, I would say it was.  The last Christmas CD (Still the Greatest Story Ever Told), in my opinion, is one of the greatest GVB CD’s of all time.  It’s impressive on so many levels.  Bill wanted something that was light, easy to listen to, and something that went a totally different direction that the last.  Plus, it just says “Christmas” to me.

WB: It’s been remarked that this CD would make for a good soundtrack that would be playing at Christmas parties.  Was there discussion about its intended use?
WH: Not necessarily, but as we got further along in the process, we soon realized that this was a very laid back, easy-listening CD that you could play in the background.  We also believe that, even though it has many standards on it, it still clearly states why we did this CD.

WB: There are some very lush, complex harmonies on this disc.  Who was primarily responsible for the arrangements?
WH: Russell Mauldin is the man responsible.  He is so amazingly talented and has done many of the string arrangements you hear on GVB albums.  It was an absolute blast working with him.  It was a different process for me because all the vocals were sung by chart.  We usually just go in and everything kind of falls in to place.  Not so on this one.  If you weren’t singing what was written out in front of you, you were singing the wrong part!

WB: Which song did you personally find the most challenging to sing?  Which one seemed to be the most difficult to get right overall?
WH: I would say the a cappella songs were the hardest for me.  Everything is so exposed, plus I had to sing to a click track/piano track that would “pigeon hole” me at times.  It was very easy to sing everything straight and mechanical.  The hard thing was to stay with the click track while still trying to emote and allow the song to breathe at times.

WB: Which song was the most fun to record?
WH: I particularly loved recording “Winter Wonderland” and “White Christmas.”  The harmonies were so lush and satisfying, so it was a very enjoyable process.

WB: You will be celebrating this Christmas with a newborn son.  How has his arrival changed your perspective toward this Christmas?
WH: Every one of my sons has given me a different perspective on how God loves me.  The one thing I can’t get over is how much of a miracle a baby actually is.  I am blown away every time I watch our home videos of our boys being born.  It is such an inspiring, overwhelming experience for me.

Be looking for a review of Christmas Gaither Vocal Band Style in the next day or so.  Thank you Wes, for graciously agreeing to do this interview!

About Wes Burke
I'm a .NET developer and Southern Gospel music fan. Married with a wonderful family.

3 Responses to SG Insights: Wes Hampton – Gaither Vocal Band

  1. Great interview. Thanks for doing this!

  2. Keith says:

    Enjoyed the interview.

  3. Pingback: SouthernGospelBlog.com » Saturday News Roundup #32

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