SG Insights: Bryan Hutson – Kingsmen

I recently had an opportunity to converse with Bryan Hutson, baritone vocalist for the Kingsmen, about several topics, including their new CD, Missing People, which is currently available digitally on Crossroads store.  Here is the text of the interview.

WB: How strange was it to rejoin the Kingsmen as the baritone after your tenure as the lead singer?
BH: It was strange at first, vocally I am used to going to the third under the tenor (in singing harmony) so, getting used to singing the lower part is my biggest transition. I still sing a lot of the leads/melody especially on songs that I recorded during my first tenure.

WB: When God Ran was a big departure for the group stylistically, both the song and the album as a whole, but both have also been acclaimed as a big success and step for the group.  What was the decision making process like for taking such a big risk?
BH: We (The Kingsmen and Crossroads Entertainment) wanted to branch out a bit. Our goal was to reach a new audience, but yet still embrace our “Kingsmen fans” who have supported us for 53 plus years. Some of the Kingsmen’s biggest songs were songs that pushed the envelope and were songs that NO ONE was doing anything like that ..at the time. Ex: “Old Ship Of Zion”, “Excuses”, “Stand Up”, “Wish You Were Here”,”Rise From The Grave”. So we decided to modernize the tracks a bit and look for great lyrics in our songs for “When God Ran.”
WB: How has the group seen the rewards of the risk?  What have you seen that has made you think, “You know, that was a big risk for us, but it was worth it.”
BH: Yes we have seen rewards for the risk. We have had several new fans come to concerts due to hearing “When God Ran”-(the song) on the radio. They had never heard of the Kingsmen and some even admitted not REALLY liking the “Three Chords and Cloud of Dust Kingsmen.” People have embraced the song and we have seen or talked to prodigals who have came home due to hearing the song.

WB: The title track of the new album, “Missing People”, is also a unique song.  Where did you find it?
BH: Crossroads found “Missing People” from a new songwriter named Dave Williford. He has another cut on the album called “God Knows.” I love his style because he is able to take an idea and use lyrics that are simple yet profound.

WB: What can people expect from the new project overall?
BH: I think people can expect some powerful ballads and some fun uptempo songs. There are some tunes that will make you pat your feet and some that will make you think of what Christ truly did for us on the cross.

WB: Can you give us a glimpse into the song selection process for “Missing People”?  Did you have a central theme in mind for the album, or was it more a matter of picking the best overall songs for the album?
BH: After the success of “When God Ran”, we knew that we had to keep pushing forward with great material. You can wrap a song with orchestration and a lush arrangement but it will all boil down to the lyrics. We wanted the songs to say something. I feel very proud of every song on “Missing People.” Phillip Hughes really loved “Mountain Of Grace”, so we gave that to him. “God Saw A Cross” really caught Harold Reed’s ear, so we submitted it for him. I really liked “Missing People” because I love the message of never “missing” anyone in heaven. I lost my dad in 1999, and I know when I get to heaven, I will never miss him again. “When It’s All Said And Done” was written FOR The Kingsmen. This song is Ray Reese’s forte.

WB: Have you started staging songs from “Missing People” yet?  If so, which song or songs seem to go over the best in a live setting?
BH: We have began singing some songs off the “Missing People.” By the time this week is over, we will have sung most of them “out loud.” The audience seems to enjoy the ones we have done thus far.

Thanks Bryan for taking the time to answer these questions.  The Kingsmen really made a statement that they were moving forward with When God Ran, and Missing People continues them down their new musical path.  Both albums are superb, and you definitely need to pick them up and catch the Kingsmen in concert when they are in your area.  Believe me, you won’t regret it!

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

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