Video: Gold City with Brent Mitchell

When Gold City announced that they were hiring Brent Mitchell, I was immediately concerned whether his voice would be able to handle the extremely high notes that Gold City arrangements require. Well, it appears that Gold City has settled on the perfect song to spotlight his strengths, the eleven-year-old title track to their Are You Ready? project. This is easily the strongest we’ve seen Brent with Gold City yetβ€”strong enough to bring the house down!

Check it out:

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45 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. Thanks for the video! Brent does a great job!

  2. WOW….that was really good!

  3. Hmmmmmmmmm….that’s all I’ll say.

    • J.C. and Adam, let’s just start humming “Are You Ready” in three-part harmony… πŸ™‚

  4. I thought it was a little thin and squeaky, but he really came on strong in the end particularly. His high notes there reminded me of Wes Hampton.

  5. We saw them a few weeks ago and I had the chance to talk to Brent before the concert. He was very nice and easy to talk to, not rude or standoffish as I have read on other comments.

    As nice a guy as he is I don’t think that he can tackle these power tenor features that were originally done by Jay or Brian. It doesn’t sound like he has the range to do them comfortably. He can hit those higher notes but it looks as if he is really straining.

    Unfortunately when you are the new guy and you perform a well know song from the group you are going to be compared. The goal would be to make it your own so that a listener can appreciate the differences and not try to compare you to the original. A good example of this would be Gus Gaches’ version of I Stand Redeemed. He does the song in a lower key and with a different approach compared to the Josh Cobb/Frank Seamans renditions.

    In this case Brent doesn’t change it up enough to avoid the comparison to Jay Parrack. And IMHO BM version falls short. Hopefully the new mainline recording will feature him in more comfortable ranges for his voice.

  6. I think he sounds pretty good; he’s a good fit with the “new” sound. Admittedly Brent he doesn’t have big tones, but he’s solid and seems to have very little trouble handling the part.

  7. Brent reminds me of Danny Funderburk. I think he is more of a Cathedral tenor than a Gold City tenor. That is why I was concerned about him hitting the notes required for Gold City. However, he sounds really good on this song. I am planning to see Gold City tomorrow. This will be my first time to see Brent and Craig, and I am really looking forward to it.

    • Brent has cited Danny as a major influence. I thought he sounded like Danny from the first time I saw him. However, I would say that he has a more pleasing sound, albeit less forceful and strong.

  8. Is Tim not singing bass again?

    • Well, the plan was that he would, but I haven’t heard if he is.

  9. I thought the most impressive part of this video was the West brothers!
    They are great!

    • The West brothers are top class, as Phil in Ireland would say. πŸ˜€ I like my basses a little more velvety than Chris, but he’s fine, and Craig is amazing.

      • New SoGo Fan, we have some brilliant sayings over here!!

      • Yes, and some brilliant accents too. πŸ˜‰

  10. Where is Tim? I am going to see them in about a month and I was looking forward to hearing him.

    • He had bronchitis when this was filmed.

  11. Brent is not anywhere near Funderburk. [edit] Maybe he’ll grow more into the GC role, and GC will adapt to his strengths [edit] To my ear, he appears to strain, and has trouble with his intonation.

    [Matt, I understand where you’re going, but I don’t want a firefight to break out here!]

    • No offense to anyone intended, but Brent sounds nothing like Funderburk that I heard in this clip. This was pretty good, but he is no Danny Funderburk. Then again, who is> Funderburk is like Phelps in they made huge contributions to their groups and in the industry.

      Funny thing, there was a tenor (I believe in Heaven Bound) who I thought DID sound a bit like Danny (or at least on the song I heard decades ago).

      • “but Brent sounds nothing like Funderburk that I heard in this clip. This was pretty good, but he is no Danny Funderburk”

        Nothing like – is fine! Nobody sounds like DF anyway, or at least objectively.

        “He is no…” is a wee bit different. Each to his own strengths, and gift. Same position, different voice. Top quality, and well able to sing acceptably in full voice.

        BTW, v subjectively, I wouldn’t compare Danny to David. Both have made a mark, for sure. DP is – at this stage in his career – the ‘non pareil’. A phenomena to wonder at when he is through.

      • Maybe, though I think folks should stop calling him “the Voice.” He knows it a little too well. πŸ˜‰

      • If I could sing, like that, in full voice; it would go to MY head.

        BUT, yea NSF, DP is a ‘person’ however much that annoys lesser mortals. Not a ‘voice’, whether crying in the wilderness or not!

      • I just think that even if you’re exceptionally gifted, it’s not necessarily good for you to have a host of “Phans” incessantly expressing their infatuated awe and reverence for your greatness. In fact, it’s almost worse when you really are good, because you have some reason to believe them. πŸ™‚

        Now, take my appreciation of Ernie Haase: I think he’s fantastic, and I’ve said so in so many words, but would I reverently call him “the Voice” to the exclusion of every other tenor who’s walked the face of the earth?

        (Well, I wouldn’t anyway, though others might… :-P)

      • If it is full voice, how did it go to his head? πŸ˜‰

      • NSF: He is not THAT good, but he is an amazing guy. The Ern that is.

        Q-M: Thanks bro! pun intended. glad you got it!! πŸ™‚

      • Amen, NSF. (Without any specific singers in mind on my part.)

      • Rick Busby is probably the Heavenbound tenor you’re thinking of. He had some similarities to Danny and actually filled in with the Cathedrals on occasion.

      • I am familiar with him by name. I just remembered hearing a song of theirs once and noticing the similarities.

  12. I think Brent has potential. He does sound like Danny, but I’m sure after Kirk Talley finished with the Cats, Danny wasn’t received well, either. However, in time, that sound defined the Cats. I’ll never forget when I first heard Jay sing with Gold City, on the Renewed project, and I wasn’t exactly impressed, however, he did become a powerhouse for the group. Give it time, and Brent will do the same, and people will love him, too!

  13. matt, try not to have a strong opinoin here…please….
    the funderburk comparisons are true…but if he’s expected to hit some really high notes on a nightly basis, like brian, jay, and the others, peaking with josh…i just don’t see how he could keep up…

    • It’s OK to have strong opinions – just express them in a diplomatic way. πŸ™‚

  14. Still settlin’ in, a wee bit of a ‘scrap-iron’ feel, and a fill-in bass makes the comparisons more difficult too.

    Overall it is NOT a classic “Gold City” soound, the comparisons between Brent and Danny F are in relation to ‘influence’ not sound.

    Brent is not – on this showing – a Jay P, Brian F, or even a Wes Hampton, ‘screaming tenor’.

    ‘Mosquito’ he is never, which is a good thing :-). He is, however, in my uncultured opinion, a top notch second tenor singing lead, which he can do, even inhabit the first tenor position, BUT, not in the classic GC 1st tenor mould.

    As himself he is, excellent. Sound only he reminds me of Ryan Seaton. Video on he LOOKS like Danny F, the fit is soemwhere between but the guy is good, and – with Tim back this is a GOOD line up.

    • Just a thought, TR might gracefully retire by degrees and bring in another TIM to replace him long term, even staying around to mentor/emcee.

      THAT Tim would fit this quartet – to a T πŸ™‚

      • I agree with you whole-heartedly!!! It would be perfect on so many levels.

    • I am a huge Tim Riley fan. He is one of my three favorite basses (with George Younce and Richard Sterban being the other two if anyone is interested). However, Chris is really good. I liked Aaron McCune, but Chris is great also. I think he outshines most every other bass out there.

      • I liked Richard better hen he looked sensible :-), though NOT in my top 3 Q-M, nor to be honest probably not in most guys ‘Top 5’.

        But we been there before…..

        Iwasn’t criticising Chris, but making a couple of points – and this is important –
        a) to measure anything, even subjectively, the other elements need to remain constant.
        b) Chris is fine, but if GC go down this road they will have a totally different first tenor, AND a totally different bass sound.

        Tim Riley [110% respect, Top 3 sure] can’t go on forever. GC need his influence/stability/continuity as long as possible. to see a SG Quartet [at last!!] mentor in a new member over a long stretch would be wonderful, AND…

        the other Tim goes in MY Top 5, so a good trade!

        BTW. I also think IO is very good for EHSS. He is a SOLID guy – every which way and should anchor the line from the left wing hugely πŸ™‚

    • Brent reminds you of Ryan Seaton? Sorry, but that doesn’t make much sense to me. πŸ˜›

      I don’t think I’d say Wes is a “screaming tenor.” I definitely think he has a thicker sound than Brent at any rate.

      Brent reminds me a little of Kirk Talley, come to think of it.

      • Kirk Talley?

        Wow, Kirk would be among the last 5 tenors or so that I’d expect someone to bring up by way of comparison to Brent (along with Jay Parrack, Ernie Phillips, Garry Sheppard, and Brian Free!)

        What aspect of his voice suggests the comparison to you?

        His voice isn’t a photocopy of Danny Funderburk’s – we all know that. Yet Danny is his hero, and he tries to sing like Danny (and, with some groups, covers Danny’s songs in concert).

      • Well it wasn’t a strong resemblance, it was just something about his high notes that struck me as similar.

        He doesn’t really sound that much like Danny either. Really, I can’t think of any one tenor for whom he’s an exact match.

      • Ah.

        You know, I think there’s a similarity somewhere bouncing around the back of my mind, and I can’t pin it down right now.

  15. Y’all are cracking me up. Good thing I’m not a space shuttle, even if I feel like one sometimes!

  16. I’ve got to travel and sing with both Chris and Brent. My singing with Brent was only a fill in situation, but I heard him sing Somebody Touched me in the same key as Danny and he absolutely killed it. Imagine the rendition you can remember where Danny hit the higher notes than his recording and that was what Brent was doing. It was also one of the most fun times I had singing then, because I got to sing a Cathedrals song and do Mark Trammells part, lol.

    As far as Chris West is concerned, he is both a great guy and not just a great bass, but an amazing vocalist. In my opinion, there is none that compares closer to Tim than Chris. I sang with Chris for about 6 months and even though he was never properly featured, he still blew me away. Hearing him now, doing these Gold City songs thrills me.

    • Very cool!

      But . . . even Jeff Chapman? πŸ™‚

      • Jeff is a great bass. I guess what I meant by saying that is that no one sounds more like Tim Riley than Chris West.

      • OK, I see. πŸ™‚