CD Review: Blue Skies (The Perrys), part 2

Last September, the Perrys issued a pre-release version of their newest recording, Blue Skies. I posted a review here: /archives/8209

After I’d written the review, but the day before it was scheduled to load, baritone Troy Peach left the Perrys. He would be replaced by Bryan Walker. Walker returned to the studio with producer Wayne Haun to record new vocals on the two baritone solos, “He Loves to Save” and “End of the Aisle.” And, after a five-month delay, the CD is finally ready to arrive to retail, next Tuesday.

Walker’s vocals complement the other group members ably, and his two solos are on par with the originals. That’s especially notable since the songs weren’t selected or arranged for his voice. Since the baritone part tends to be the least noticeable in most vocal mixes, swapping out one baritone part for another makes little difference in the remainder of the songs.

The recording remains strong enough to retain its original five-star rating. It gives us enough taste of what this lineup can do vocally to raise anticipation for their next release, with songs selected for this lineup.

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15 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. Wasn’t “End of the Aisle” also a baritone solo?

    • Oops! Yes, and I guess I just flipped song titles 10 and 11. I’ll edit shortly.

  2. Is Gold City ever going to release “Somebody’s Coming”?

    • I sure hope so!

    • Here’s a Link to sneek peek at the Gold City Project.!/video/video.php?v=1890918557790&comments

      • I wholeheartedly disagree that with the notion that a change in baritone singer doesn’t alter the sound much in ensemble work. The baritone part being different can considerably alter the sound of a song, particularly with the inflections that a baritone sings a given song with (and vibrato and timing and numerous other vocal variables). Now, sure, you can go in the studio and wash the baritone out in the mix, but the Perrys are not the type group who tend to do that as they seem to take a lot of pride in quite simply, their ability to sing. It’s obvious that there is a lot more emotion in the way that Troy Peach sings a song in comparison to the way that Bryan Walker sings a song, but Walker seems to have a lot more smoothness to his voice. Both are gifted in their own respect, and in more ways than what I mentioned in the previous sentence. It just comes down to a matter of taste. I know which one I prefer, but the majority may disagree with my assessment. However, there is a significant difference in the sound of songs with the switching of baritones, even if it is the part that is most difficult to distinguish.

      • Oh, I’m not denying that it makes any difference – and I’d have to agree that it makes a huge difference live. But it makes less of a difference in the studio, where everything is precisely tuned and phrased to perfectly fit the other parts.

      • Anybody who doesn’t feel a change in baritone changes the sound of a group should compare William Lee Golden and Steve Sanders in the Oaks. 🙂 They were about as different as night and day, but both had their own strengths.

        I also preferred Ed Enoch as baritone in the Stamps. Now, I love him on lead too, but there was something special about the combination of Bill Baize, Donnie Sumner, Ed Enoch and Richard Sterban.

      • Yes, but is that the norm or the exception?

        I can think of any number of baritone changes that didn’t make a huge difference – at least to the tuned and phrased studio project, which was the topic of discussion here.

      • You are right that some baritone changes are less noticeable than others. Also, some who aren’t into it as much or don’t have the ear to hear the baritone part as well as others might not notice either. Part might be how distinctive the baritone’s voice is, how well they blend etc. William Lee Golden, Steve Sanders, Ed Enoch, Mark Trammell, Scott Fowler, Mark Lowry, Russ Taff, Marshall Hall, Bill Gaither are some baritones who were/are distinctive voices.

      • Logan, that’s a familiar song – are you sure that’s from their mainline, not their table project?

      • I know it’s not off the Favorites album their latest Table Project. “I Have An Anchor” is one of the tracks listed for the “Somebody’s Coming” project. So my guess is they’re FINALLY going to release it.

  3. Oh…BTW…speaking of Baritones…THEY RULE!!!! 😀

  4. The only time I’ve heard a studio release where I truly noticed there was a different baritone was when Russ Taff replaced Mark Lowry, and I think thats only because the contrast in vocal stylings. Mark’s “happy”, smooth sound as to Russ’ soulful rasp. But it wasn’t a BIG difference.

    • Russ replacing Mark was a huge difference as well.