A Changing View Of Albums

We’ve talked a lot on this and other blogs about how the digital age will prompt a change in philosophy in terms of SG recordings.  We’ve talked about the return of the single, and early radio releases from projects that are not commercially available yet, and other such topics.  Those thoughts and points of view are now starting to place themselves in front of artists more directly, and as Gus Gaches notes in Legacy Five’s latest blog post, may begin to change the way artists approach their recordings.  Gus’s anecdote is amusing, but his discussion that follows is very much thought provoking.  In fact, an artist I talked to recently, whose new CD I will be reviewing shortly, said that they had changed their philosophy for this recording along these same lines.  Give the L5 post a read, it’s worth your time to get an artist’s perspective on the changing times.

Trey Ivey Joins Legacy Five

Legacy Five has announced via press release that Trey Ivey, formerly of the Lefevre Quartet and Old Paths, is the group’s new pianist.  This is a bit of a change for Legacy Five, as they had two established veterans in Roger Bennett and Tim Parton previously.  Ivey is a young, up and coming talent in SG circles, so it will be interesting to see how he gels with the group.  Incidentally, Ivey was pianist for the Lefevre Quartet when Gus Gaches was the tenor, so the two are reuniting with Legacy Five.  Also, it will be interesting to see if Ivey will continue in Parton’s tradition of adding a 5th vocal part occasionally.  I don’t know anything about Ivey’s vocal ability, but prior to his L5 tenure, I’d have said the same thing about Tim Parton.  You can read the full press release here.

Tim Parton Departs Legacy Five

Tim Parton has announced his departure from Legacy Five.  Tim has accepted a position with 3ABN Broadcasting, a Christian television station based in Frankfurt, IL.  Parton has served as Legacy Five’s pianist since Roger Bennett’s death in 2007, and has really endeared himself to the group’s fans.  Following a legend like Bennett is never easy, and to his credit, Parton never tried to become Bennett, but was simply himself.  Tim’s piano mastery is well documented, and he is also an excellent producer/arranger.  His contributions to the group will definitely be missed.  Best wishes to Tim as he starts this new chapter in his life, and to Legacy Five as they begin searching for Tim’s replacement.

Legacy Five’s Election Day Special

Legacy Five has a free mp3 available at their blog, a song recorded specifically for Election Day.  Go give it a listen.  Oh, and GET OUT AND VOTE!!!!!

Review: Legacy Five – Just Stand

This project is interesting in that there are two versions available.  It was originally released with Frank Seamans late last year, and then when Frank left the group, Gus Gaches re-recorded the tenor vocals and the project was re-released with Gus, keeping the existing vocals by Scott Fowler, Scott Howard, Glenn Dustin, and Tim Parton.  Gus told me he was given the masters to the project, and he recorded his vocals at his home studio over a period of several weeks between traveling dates.  Lari Goss produced the album for Legacy 5.  The only copy I have is the Gus version.

Tracks:

  1. Newborn Feeling – This is an upbeat, jazzy rendition of the old classic.  It’s very reminiscent of the arrangement that Goss did back in the 90s for Friends IV.  It’s a great arrangement, and the chorus puts the melody in the tenor line, so the difference in sound between Gus and Frank is quickly obvious.  Frank had sharper, more forceful tones, while Gus has a more rounded, smoother sound.  This is a great album opener.  9/10
  2. Great Is Thy Faithfulness – This hymn, one of my favorites, and is given the epic Lari Goss ballad treatment.  They actually start with the chorus full force then ratchet down to a trio of Glenn Dustin, Scott Howard, and Scott Fowler for the first verse.  The melody actually moves in and out between the two Scotts.  The key changes and Gus sings the second verse solo, and he absolutely drills it while showing some nice upper range.  His smoother tones don’t indicate a lack of power in his voice, and that is easily illustrated here.  The chorus is reprised once with the full quartet, then again with the two Scotts taking the first two lines as solos, then the key changes again.  They build to a false tag, another key change and then use a couple of solo lines from Scott Fowler and Gus Gaches before tagging the song.  It’s a HUGE arrangement, and is absolutely incredible.  A highlight of the album.  10/10
  3. One Thing God Can’t Do – This song is a total departure from the previous cut.  This is an acoustic driven mid-tempo ballad style song that features Tim Parton.  While Tim may not have the most polished voice that you’ve ever heard, his voice carries a genuineness and raw emotional quality that makes him a very effective communicator.  It’s a great lyric by Kelly Goolsby and Kristopher Horton that is given a beautiful treatment.  8.5/10
  4. Just Stand – Written by Doran Ritchey, this song was originally recorded a couple of years ago by the Liberty Quartet.  Legacy Five gives it a bit fuller arrangement that is brass and guitar driven.  It’s a mid to up tempo song that features some great bass singing from Glenn Dustin with the quartet providing backing vocals on the chorus.  This song seems to have been written for Dustin, he really carries it well and it comes through on the recording that he’s having a blast with it.  After the second chorus there’s an instrumental break, then the melody and countermelody are reversed between Dustin and the rest of the quartet, and Glenn smacks a really nice low note before the key changes, the parts revert back to the original sequencing and the song builds to the tag.  Great cut.  9.5/10
  5. Faithful To The Cross – Another big ballad  that starts softly and gradually builds through the song.    Kenna Turner West and Lee Black contributed this song, and it’s an incredibly strong lyric that points to the Cross and call of Christ being the most important thing in our lives.  Scott Fowler sings the first verse, then Gus Gaches takes the melody on the chorus.  Fowler again takes the lead on the second chorus, and it’s an interesting dynamic between his voice on the verses and Gaches’ on the chorus, and it works very well.  Fowler sells the verses very well, and Gaches nails the chorus.   There’s a really powerful bridge that features Gaches singing some solo lines, changing keys and repeating the chorus leading to a great tag.  The harmony is gorgeous and the arrangement builds at just the right pace.  This may be my favorite song on the disc.  10/10
  6. Above All Circumstances – This is a flowing mid tempo number that features Scott Howard.  I’ve long though that Howard reminded me a bit of Mark Trammell both in vocal sound and approach when Trammell is staying in the baritone range.  Stephanie McKenna and Debbie Ponceti contributed this song, and it’s a great message that is performed very well by Howard and the rest of the group.  There’s not anything really flashy here, but it’s a very solid song.  8/10
  7. When They Found Nothing – This is another “epic” style ballad written by Marty Funderburk, Beverly Lowry, James Isaac Elliot and Melissa R. Bishop.  There is at least one powerful YouTube of the group with Gaches singing this song, with Fowler reading some scripture during the extended introduction.  Fowler sings the first verse solo, and it includes an unexpected and non-traditional key change leading into the chorus with Gus taking the melody.  This is a GREAT song with an incredibly powerful message and arrangement.  After the chorus, Gus leads the group into a powerful bridge that changes the key again, and not to an expected key again.  It’s a very interesting arrangement with some unexpected twists in the chord progression.  Another one of my favorites on the disc.  10/10
  8. My Soul Is Firmly Anchored – This uptempo song was written by Woody Wright, and was also recorded by Paid In Full on their latest disc.  Where Paid In Full uses a slower, more driving country sound, Legacy Five speeds the song up and gives it more of a convention style feel.  There’s some nice background harmonies behind Scott Fowler on the first verse.  After a chorus, Scott Howard and Gus Gaches split the second verse with some nice harmony behind Gaches when he takes the lead.  This is a great toe-tapper, and is sure to be a big hit in concert.  There’s a nice false ending leading to a true convention chorus with all 4 parts splitting into different directions and coming back together for the tag.  9.5/10
  9. Statement Of Faith – Clocking in at over 7 minutes, this ballad from Wes Tuttle features Legacy Five, the Booth Brothers, Greater Vision, and the Hoppers.  It’s an interesting idea to include this song, as it seems to be almost a “state of the ministry” address from these artists.  The verses are split between various singers as solo lines, but there are so many I am not even going to try and hazard a guess as to who is doing what.  Lyrically this is a strong statement about the basic tenets of the Christian faith.  I can’t help but be reminded of Michael Booth’s comments about wanting to find songs that were more doctrinally focused for their Declaration project, which includes this song, but with the verses rerecorded by the Booth Brothers themselves.  This may not get much radio play due to its length, but it’s a very important song as a “creed” for each of the participating groups.  9/10
  10. Thankful For The Change – This is a nice uptempo from Mark Chadwick, Landy Gardner, and Michael D. Popham that provides a nice change of pace from the previous song.  It moves along at a nice clip with some nice chord progressions in the song.  It’s got just a hint of a jazzy feel with some brass backing.  Again there’s not a lot flashy here, but it’s just a solid, enjoyable song.  8.5/10
  11. ‘Til We Meet Again – Elizabeth Goodine and Lacy Schwien contribute this pretty song that serves as a great album closer.  Scott Howard, Scott Fowler and Gus Gaches share solo lines on the first verse.  The chorus features some softer, pretty harmony from the quartet.  Gus takes the second verse solo, and delivers a great performance.  It’s somewhat similar to his feature on the Lefevre Quartet’s Nothing But Good CD, “You’re Never Too Far Away”, which is still one of my favorite songs that he sings.  The song builds throughout the bridge to a higher level of intensity, only to come back down to a soft tag with some nice harmony.  It’s a great close to the disc.  8.5/10

Overall:  9.5 Once again a group has struck gold by working with Lari Goss on an album.  This is easily Legacy Five’s best CD since at least Monuments, and really it even surpasses that album.  Gus told me that it was a bit of a challenge for him, as he had to record his parts on this album on his own, without the interaction that is normally found with the other group members in the studio.  Well Gus, you met and handily defeated that challenge.  This is an album full of strong songs.  Lari Goss and Legacy Five did a masterful job of picking out songs that fit the group, and stretched themselves a bit musically.  While these songs were chosen for Frank Seamans to record, Gus Gaches does a masterful job of making the songs sound like his own.  Scott Fowler does a masterful job carrying the lead, and I’ll admit I wasn’t a huge Scott Howard fan in the earlier days of Legacy Five, but he has proven himself as a great baritone in recent days.  Glenn Dustin is a top-notch bass singer, and Tim Parton has really excelled in the challenge of succeeding Roger Bennett with the group.  There isn’t a weak link in this group.  There’s enough variety on this disc that anyone can find songs that they like.  The arrangements are great, the lyrics are strong, the messages are timely, and it all comes together for a great CD, one that should definitely be added to your collection.  Great job by all who were involved.

Catching Up Is Hard To Do

Wow, where to start.  I spend a little less than a week on vacation and everything goes to pot.  First off, thanks to Nate for doing the wonderful job of keeping things posted for me while I was gone.  I also want to thank DeeAnn for the report from the first concert with the new Gold City lineup.  I guess I’ll just jump right in:

  • EHSS Changes. This came as quite a surprise.  EH&SS is riding high right now, so any changes are unexpected, but not too surprising.  Out of the four vocalists, I probably would have pegged Ryan Seaton as the first to leave, no real reason for that, just my hunch.  I think McGlamery is a great addition for the group.  Devin has been to my church with the Dixie Melody Boys a couple of times in the past, and he is a great quartet lead singer.  Even though KP&NR is a different dynamic as a mixed trio, traveling with Karen can only help one’s vocal ability and stage presence, as Karen is truly one of the greats.  Don’t expect EHSS to miss a beat (pun intended, of course) with the change.
  • Gold City 2010. I really enjoyed DeeAnn’s report, and after watching the videos posted on various blogs, I am genuinely excited to see what is in store for this group.  For one three hour practice, Josh Cobb did rather well, he struggled with lyrics and his part in a couple of places, but did a great job considering.  I was also surprised at how clear and strong his upper register seemed to be, as Legacy Five didn’t really pitch their songs high enough for me to get a good handle on his range.  I also appreciated Daniel Riley’s candor in this interview when he states that he knew he had to make a big splash with this transition, as that he knew the fans were questioning the group’s viability.  I’m sure it wasn’t hard to see, but I appreciate his honesty instead of glossing over the concern.  This particular lineup has a world of potential, and I’m a bit eased by the fact that he specifically mentioned Roy Webb’s commitment to the quartet, and his comments to me sounded like Roy is fulfilling his previous engagements, and will schedule solo concerts around GC’s schedule, instead of making the GC dates around his solo schedule.  I’m looking for big things from these guys.
  • Gus Gaches/Legacy Five. Brandon’s blog post is worth reading, and the videos on Daniel’s blog tell the story.  Gus will become one of the top tenors in SG with Legacy Five.  He already was with Priority, but with the increased exposure he will get with Legacy Five, he will cement himself in the top tier of tenors.  Yes, he’s that good.

That’s all I can think of for right now, but I’m sure I’ll come up with some more things that I missed while enjoying sunny and mild (if not warm) Florida.  By the way, Mickey said to tell all of you hello, and don’t look for Donald to hit the quartet ranks any time soon!

More From Gus Gaches

Legacy Five has a blog post up with a light hearted “interview” with Gus Gaches.  I don’t think Tim Parton will be challenging Oprah or Geraldo for interviews any time soon, but it is a nice entertaining read.

YouTube Clip Revisited – Gus Gaches

Here is a great song featuring Legacy Five’s new tenor, Gus Gaches.  This was originally posted on September 9, 2009.

https://burkesbrainwork.wordpress.com/2009/09/09/youtube-clip-28-priority-quartet/

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