RIP Lari Goss

As busy as my life has been over the past year or so, it would take some huge news to bring me back out of hiding.  Unfortunately, the news of said magnitude is not good news.  It has been reported by many SG artist and industry types this afternoon that Lari Goss has passed away.  I’ve mentioned Lari on this blog many, many, many times, and I consider him one of, if not the biggest unsung heroes in Southern Gospel history.  Lari Goss was the most creative and innovative arranger the genre has ever seen.  He touched so many different artists’ careers that it would be impossible to name them all.  I will say that his fingerprints are all over the albums that were voted on this site a couple of years ago as the top 2 projects in SG: Pillars of Faith by Gold City and Symphony of Praise by The Cathedrals.  He was also a driving force behind the group I’ve long felt should have been more successful, Friends IV, whose arrangements to this day are unparalleled in gospel music.  In recent years, he produced the landmark recording Declaration by the Booth Brothers, which was met with much critical acclaim.  Lari was truly one of a kind.

Enjoy your much deserved reward, Lari.  Southern Gospel music will never be the same without your musical genius.

New Recordings From Gold City, Working With Goss?

According to this comment over on Daniel’s blog, Gold City will begin work soon on two new recordings.  One will be the long awaited tribute to Doug Riley, and the other a studio album that will have the group working with producer extraordinaire, Lari Goss.  This would be a major step in the right direction for the group, so I’m waiting with baited breath to see what comes of it.

Good News For Lari Goss

Those of you who have read my blog for a while will recognize my affinity for Lari Goss and his work with many artists in our genre.  This thread on the SN forums details that Goss has apparently gone into complete remission from stage 3 tracheal cancer.  We serve a good God.  Goss is truly one of our visionaries and arguably the greatest producer/arranger that SG has ever seen.

Saved, Saved!: Why Mix And Good Headphones Matter

One of my all time favorite albums is the one pictured to the right, Voices In Praise/Acappella from the Cathedrals.  This LP and Gold City’s Acappella Gold set the standard for SG acappella albums.  The arrangements from Lari Goss and performed by Talley, Payne, Trammell, Younce, and Bennett(?) are impeccable.  With what I thought was one exception: the track “Saved, Saved!” referenced in the title of this blog post.  On the tag to this song, they build the intensity on the 5 chord, loud and high, but then I always thought they dropped the inversion of the resolving I chord back down, which made the song seem to lose all of the power and intensity it had just built.  Notice I said “seemed”.  I just ripped this album to CD the other night and cleaned it up.  (I had ripped it previously, but hadn’t figured out yet how to clean it up and do some simple mastering.)  I have a pretty decent set of headphones that came with my 128MB RCA mp3 player I got several years ago.  I was listening to this song something made me pay close attention to the tag.  Buried way down in the mix, on the last chord, Kirk Talley does not drop down as I had previously thought, but actually jumps up to the higher octave to hit the root of the chord and the other voices are stacked below him.  The other voices are so loud, I’d never actually heard Kirk’s top note before.  The arrangement now makes more sense, but it took a good set of headphones to hear what was previously hidden in the mix.  I have never heard the note on my car stereo, and had to hold the headphones against my ears to make sure I was hearing it this morning.  Someone needs to go remix this album and bring Kirk’s note to the forefront on the tag of this song.  The mix on a project and a good set of headphones can often times totally change your listening experience!

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