CD Review: The News is Out, by Driven Quartet

Driven Quartet is a young men’s group currently signed to Chapel Records. They’ve been around for a while, even if you may not recognize their name. Their roots run deep in southern gospel, and lead singer Jason Funderburk is the son of legendary Cathedrals tenor Danny Funderburk. In 2009, David Bruce Murray said their self-titled record was the best non-label release he had heard that year. Now they have returned with a new project. Click below the fold for my review. Continue reading

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Monday Morning Humor: Barney Fife Recites the Preamble to the Constitution

Well, technically the 4th celebrates the Declaration, but it’s become a tradition for celebrating the legacy of America’s independence in general, so here’s Barney Fife’s classic stab at reciting the Constitution’s preamble by heart:

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Youtube Find: Gospel Music in India

Folks may not know that there is a thriving community of Indian Christians who sing many of the same old American praise choruses and gospel songs we do. I was first introduced to this phenomenon at the wedding of a friend who married a young Indian man after meeting him at Moody Bible College. His father serenaded the couple and chose a Maranatha praise chorus. At the reception, a family friend performed the Scott Wesley Brown wedding song “This is the Day” with his younger brother—another blast from the 70s past.

Recently, I was looking for a good cover of a John W. Peterson song and found not one, but two covers originating in India. That led me to find more videos of one particular family who recorded a family hymn sing. They could have stolen my hymnal! Songs they cover include “There is Power in the Blood,” “Heaven Came Down,” and “Because He Lives.” The young man has also uploaded some guitar/vocal videos with more gospel covers, including “This World is Not My Home” and “I Just Keep Trusting My Lord.” It’s very heart-warming to see several generations gathered around to belt out the old hymns. In the words of another hymn:

Thee let old men, thee let young men, thee let boys in chorus sing;
Matrons, virgins, little maidens, with glad voices answering:
Let their guileless songs re-echo,
And the heart its music bring, evermore and evermore.

Enjoy a few of my favorite clips! Continue reading

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Old Paths Quartet Receives Two BMI Awards

Crossroads has just sent out this press release. Congrats to the Old Paths! This must be a nice encouragement as they’re still struggling to recoup their recent financial losses.

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With two BMI® awards and three #1 hits, the Old Paths have exploded on the scene as a leading presence in Christian radio.

At the 2014 BMI® Christian Music Awards this month, two Old Paths singles, “Battle Stand” (written by Rodney Birch) and “The I Of the Storm” (written by Kenny Kuykendall), received Citations of Achievement for being among the most-played songs on U.S. Christian radio.

In the last two years, three of their singles have reached the #1 position on the Singing News Radio Airplay Chart: “Battle Stand” (December 2012), “God’s Great” (June 2013), and “Long Live the King” (July 2014).

Their success is poised to continue with their new single, “Love Them To Jesus,” already the #1 top add on the August 2014 Singing News New Releases chart. The song was inspired by Old Paths baritone/manager Doug Roark’s testimony. “Over 20 years ago,” he shares, “I was a drug dealer/addict outside of Atlanta Georgia when an old preacher man loved me to Jesus. He didn’t condemn me or judge me; he just took me in and showed me the love of Christ. The songwriter Rodney Birch came to hear us one night, and after hearing my testimony, came back to us with this great song.”

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Who Should StowTown Records Add Next?

As of yesterday, Triumphant Quartet has joined the ever-growing ranks of old and new artists to fill out the StowTown Records roster. This particular choice makes sense given Wayne Haun’s involvement in arranging and writing for StowTown in the past. It seems like a win-win either way you slice it, given StowTown’s ground-breaking marketing and Triumphant’s enduring popularity with fans of the traditional male quartet.

With the Perrys and now Triumphant, StowTown has snagged two of the biggest ticket draws in the business, proving they’re more than just a launch-pad label for up and comers. They’re becoming a force to be reckoned with alongside other major distributors like Daywind. So, the question is—who will Ernie sign next? Who do you think he should sign next? I have a few thoughts, but I’ll let you speculate in comments.

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Monday Morning Humor: Radio Promotion Done Right

The Centricity record label (home to popular CCM artists like Aaron Shust, Andrew Peterson, and DownHere) has created some very cute promotional videos for its artists. I featured one before, but I thought I’d feature a couple more for Monday Morning Humor. Label owner John Mays (whose illustrious resumee you can look up for yourself online) runs his own Radio 101 course… in his basement. Here’s the episode featuring Jason Gray.

“I’m the big bad wolf of radio success, and I EAT cute little artists like you for BREAKFAST.”

Check out Part II, also guest starring Jason, where John Mays runs for President of… something. Keep watching to the end!

“I sent an e-mail to Bono. At u2.com. Is that his e-mail address?”

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Andrew Goldman Ties the Knot

Wedding bells have been ringing with some frequency around StowTown Records lately, as Phil Jr. recently took himself a bride, Adam Brown did the same on the 20th, and this week young phenom Andrew Goldman has followed their example. Andrew shares:

What a whirlwind of a week! I finally got to marry my best friend. I have been in love with her since the day we met, and now that she is my wife, I love her even more. She’s my whole life, and I’m so glad to have her by my side. I know that life will throw us curveballs, but we will have each other to get through them. I have the best wife in the world, and she’s only been a wife for four days! I love you Baby!

Congratulations and best wishes to the happy couple!

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Youtube Find: George Younce, Cynthia Clawson and Rich Mullins Co-Hosting the Dove Awards

From the looks of this video, the 1989 Dove Awards was a rather clumsily orchestrated affair, but it did honor some great musicians, and for one hour, it brought together a co-hosting team I never would have pictured in my head: George Younce, Cynthia Clawson and Rich Mullins. As Russ Taff says while introducing them over his scripted pages: “I think that the next hosts are very strange. That’s what it says in here.” It’s quite funny to watch. George is far and away the most comfortable person up there, what with Cynthia smirking and cringing over her myriad tongue slips and Rich squirming in his tuxedo (complete with cummerbund and bow tie, and yet he has a mullet also, which is just weird).

Notable moments:

*At 1:04:00, after a couple of his trademark corny jokes, George says a few personal words about Cynthia and Rich.

*This segment includes three of Take 6′s 5 (!!) Dove wins and is very entertaining, prompting more than one joke from George—Contemporary Black Gospel Album of the Year at 1:14:22, back-to-back with Contemporary Black Gospel Recorded Song of the Year for “If We Ever” at 1:18:50, then Group of the Year a bit later at 1:54:10. The bass singer is especially entertaining on Recorded Song: “Doom-doom-doom, skiddly-skiddly, bank-bank. Oh, translated, we’d like to thank all of our parents…” George: “I wonder how old that bass singer is.” They keep having to think of more people to thank at each award. For Group of the Year, the bass singer is sure to include “my dog Spot, who’s in the audience.”

*At 1:21:00, Gold City performs “Midnight Cry,” but it’s George’s intro that’s pure gold as he casually throws the script out the window. “And these young friends of mine… [pauses, looks up]. Let me re-phrase that. I hate young people.” Continue reading

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Ernie Haase & Signature Sound Take Your Questions

The guys from EHSS are enjoying some summer time off right now, and Ernie has opened the floor for fans to send in questions for the group. Your question could even appear in a future newsletter! Here is how it will work:

For all of you who have had a question for one of the guys that you’ve been wanting to ask, but haven’t had the chance, well here’s your chance to do just that!
For the rest of the Summer we want you to send in your questions to us and we’ll compile them and send them on to the guys who will answer them as they’re able!
In future newsletters we’ll pluck some of the best questions/answers and let you see them … we promise to protect your privacy and won’t use real names…
So … here’s the deal … if you want your question to be considered please email webmaster@erniehaase.com and use either “Ernie Question” … “Doug Question” … “Devin Question” … “Paul Question” … “Wayne Question” or “David Question” as the subject line depending who you are asking the question of … this will allow us to manage the influx of questions ..
So … here’s your chance …. GO!

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Monday Morning Humor: A Star Trek Cliffhanger

Spock: “On the bright side, it appears that the hand-holding team-building exercise we did at the retreat last month is now becoming quite useful.”

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