Dan Gilbert leaves Liberty Quartet

Today, Liberty Quartet announced the departure of their long-time lead singer, Dan Gilbert. He had been with them for almost nine of their fifteen years on the road—nearly two-thirds of the group’s ministry, and longer than any other member besides founder/manager Royce Mitchell. His resignation will take place effective June 1.

Keith Waggoner and Royce Mitchell of Liberty Quartet were in North Carolina yesterday; SouthernGospelBlog.com had the opportunity to get some exclusive footage of them discussing Dan’s departure, and how much he will be missed:

Click “more” for a transcript.”

Transcript

Keith: Well, it’s good to be back with Daniel Mount again, Royce. Every time we’re here at Crossroads, we get to see Daniel, and really about the only other time we get a chance to sit down and chat’s at National Quartet Convention. He always has that video camera rolling.

Royce: This is a new camera.

Keith: Yeah, it’s a little bit newer.

Royce: Does it make my face look puffy?

Keith: Well, you’ve lost a lot of weight—

Royce: —thank you for mentioning that—

Keith: Anyway, well, this is a big week for Liberty Quartet. And as some of you will find out—I know we’re not as well known back East as we are in the West—but just this past weekend, we got word that our lead singer, Dan Gilbert, who has been with our group for, what is it, Royce, eight and a half, nine years?

Royce: Yep.

Keith: Going on nine years. Dan is stepping down. Man, we hate to see that happen! You know, we all read the press releases—people coming off the road for this reason and that reason—and here’s the deal: We’re like brothers with the Liberty Quartet, and losing Dan is just like—

Royce: Losing a family member.

Keith: Yeah, losing a family member. So it’s going to be a big loss. He’s been such a big part of our ministry. He has a huge voice, and he’s been great to work with. He’s an expert when it comes to bus repair, when it comes to driving the bus. He did a lot of driving for us. And then he was our sound man. And so, that’s gonna leave a huge void.

Royce: Is that why he was back by the mixer all the time?

Keith: What’s that?

Royce: Is that why he was back by the mixer all the time?

Keith: Yeah. You didn’t realize that? [Laughs] Royce normally does all the emcee work, and some of these details, on and off the stage, kinda escape my buddy here.

Royce: Just the little things, like sound, who’s driving the bus!

Keith: So this is a new area for us. Fifteen years this year – this is going to be fifteen years for Liberty Quartet. For nearly two-thirds of that time, Dan was part of our ministry. So we’re going into a new phase, and we know that just like God led us up to that point, God’s gonna be with us in the future. And so, now, finding a new guy, finding a new guy. What are some qualifications you’re looking for, Royce?

Royce: We’re actually here at Crossroads working on our next recording. The new lead singer would be a part of that project.

Keith: Right.

Royce: So we can’t wait too long before we [find someone]. Nobody can take Dan’s place, but we’ve gotta find someone to sing that lead part.

Keith: Yeah. And I’ve heard Royce say this: “With Liberty Quartet, nobody really takes a guy’s place. You just get a new guy that has his own personality, his own skill set, and he brings what he has to the table.” But I would say, for a lead singer for Liberty Quartet, they’ve gotta be a good lead singer.

Royce: And good looking.

Keith: Good looking—is that what you’re looking for?

Royce: Yeah.

Keith: Well, look at us—we have kind of set the bar high!

Royce: That’s right.

Keith: That’s gonna be tough for you guys to live up to, for anyone that’s looking to audition for the group. Also, he needs to be able to interact with the crowd, have a good personality. That’s something else we’re looking for.

Royce: Right.

Keith: And I’d like to be the only bald guy in the group, so he has to have hair! Has to drive the bus, right?

Royce: Right. And it’d be nice to get somebody who’s older than me.

Keith: Who’s older than Royce, and so if there’s any 82-year-old lead singers out there, we would love for you to audition to Liberty Quartet!

Royce: I heard that! I heard that!

Keith: So anyway, in all seriousness, if there are people out there, we don’t know right now where’s God’s directing, where He’s leading, but if you are interested in trying out, we are setting up an [email], auditions@libertyquartet.com. And send in your resume, a demo CD/mp3, give us a picture—you and your family; if you’re married, we’d like to see your family—and then just a testimony of what God’s done in your life.

But hey, it’s gonna be an exciting time for us. Our hearts are a little heavy right now, but God’s not through with Liberty Quartet. Just like He’s always done, He’ll send the right person at the right time, and it’ll be good.


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35 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. Daniel, I honestly believe you have unwittingly raised the bar on how a SG group can announce that a member is leaving. The video is clear, concise, and leaves no doubt as to the love that these guys have for each other.

    I’ve not seen Liberty Quartet, I suppose because they are based in the west. But I pray that their ministry does not stumble, and they will be led to the ‘one’ that God has prepared for this next phase of ministry.

    • Thank you! I hope that this does indeed raise the bar. They were speaking so fondly of Dan that I thought, “We just need to catch some of this on video!”

  2. Ha, it doesn’t look like you ever had to say anything! 😀

    • Not with these guys . . . they’re some of the best spontaneous, natural comedians in our genre, and they play off of each other incredibly well.

  3. How do I watch the Video? It says “sorry the creator has not given you permission to embed it on this domain”

    • How/where are you watching it? It can only be viewed on southerngospeljournal.com itself; for example, it won’t play in Google reader.

      • I get the same message as well and I’m on the Southerngospelblog.com.

  4. This is a big disappointment for me as I just saw the Liberty Quartet in a full concert in LA at Jordans home church a few weeks ago and enjoyed these guys in concert as much as anyone in SG music. They all have great personalities together and sing very well together, and Dan was a big part of that. He will be hard to replace as he seemed to me to be an all-around great quartet man. Praying the Lord will send just the right man!!

    • Totally agreed, especially with:

      >>They all have great personalities together and sing very well together, and Dan was a big part of that.

      and

      >>He will be hard to replace as he seemed to me to be an all-around great quartet man.

  5. Will get to see Dan one more time at the Fan Fest in Visalia Ca. on the last three days of April. If any one can come,its great music from all the bast groups.

  6. Will get to see Dan one more time at the Fan Fest in Visalia Ca. on the last three days of April. If any one can come,its great music from all the bast groups.

  7. Sorry dodn’t mean to post it two times

  8. i understand why he had to come off the road..owning and running the cleveland cavaliers can’t be easy…especially since they are so bad this year lol

    • What? I assume you’re referring to some sports team?

    • LOL!

      (Daniel, Dan Gilbert is the Owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team)

      • Must be a different Dan Gilbert. The REAL Dan Gilbert is one of the best lead singers on the road. 😛

        (And yes, that last sentence was totally tongue-in-cheek!)

    • I was totally thinking the same thing… beloved in Cleveland.

  9. Liberty Quartet just posted the following on Facebook: “How fitting that on the day we announce Dans retirement from Liberty he cements his legacy as a hero! Dan who is driving the bus (by himself) from Houston to Reno walked on the bus to find a stranger standing in the hallway with two suitcases full of goodies. After the thief jumped through the window dan chased him for half a mile before losing him. Thats why we will miss you dan!”

    • WOW! Incredible!

  10. Hate to hear/see this they really had a great sound..

    So Daniel where is the part of the video where you asked them who they had picked to replace him?? Come on, do share!

    • You must not have watched through to the end of this one! 🙂

  11. No…Oh…No… I meant the part where you asked them “Ok guys I know you all have someone picked already, so who is it?” and they looked at each other and smiled and said “___________________ ___________________” That’s what I want to see! 🙂

    What a great interview, I really like these guys! Seem to be legit.

    • Actually, they are legit, and as such aren’t lying when they say they are actively looking.

      • Good.. Praise God! Christians should be!

  12. We have been fortunate here on the West Coast to see and enjoy the ministry of Liberty Quartet several times.
    We will sorely miss Dan, but I thank God for the cd’s we have that will continue to minister to us with his beautiful voice.
    Dan we wish you the best in the next chapter of your life. God bless you and thank you for the past 9 years. Look forward to seeing you this Saturday night in Escalon, CA

  13. Dan, I’m already missing you like a mother whose child is leaving home. I’m praying for God to have something truly wonderful ready for you.I’ve been following Liberty for almost 8 years, and will miss your amazing voice. We ask a blessing for the new singer, and pray for the Bus!If you’re ever visiting your Uncle in SoCal when there’s a concert here, maybe we’ll see you. Love-Jane

  14. Dan you cant leave us here in UTAH. My son Eric really liked you and when I told him you were leaving he was sad. My dad really liked you if he was here he would say the best of luck to you. You are a sweet person and you will be missed by all of us. I wish you could all come back to Utah so we could see you before you leave.
    I wish you all the best and we love you.
    Jeanne, Shayla, Tia Eric and Dolores And Rick Pullen and the Walkers :}

  15. My goodness, thank you all for the wonderful comments. Ive been on the bus for the last 5 or 6 days and havent had access to a computer so Im a little behind. Being with Liberty has been one of the most exciting times of my life, one of those “once in a life time opportunities” everyone has always been so gracious and spoiled us rotten at every chance they had.
    First I would like to give God praise for his protection of my family while being gone from home, that was always my prayer and he was faithful.
    Secondly, to Royce for seeing in me what I could not see myself.At first The road was not what I had in my dreams, alittle reality check goes a long way, but as time went on all the pieces came together and all of a sudden nine years had gone by, WOW!.
    Im looking forward to going to church on sundays and hangin out at the lake with my hommies in the summer. I will always be singing somewhere,when God gives you a song youve gotta sing it.
    Well I could go on and on, just know I love you all and will miss the road and the platform tremendously (boy I hope I spelled that right) Farewell for now.

    • Thank you for stopping by – and for nine years of great singing!

    • Dan,
      It’s been many many years since we have seen each other, Courtesy of family and the internet I have been able to enjoy your music. Have not been fortunate to see you perform with the other guys. I know whatever your reason for leaving it was a direction that is right for you and did not come easily. God will lead you where he needs you and know that you can be of great service. Now I need to collect more of the CD’s. God Bless you and Liberty as they begin a new chapter.

      Your Southern Cousin,

      Alan

  16. Heard you guys in concert a few weeks ago at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, and you were fabulous. Dan, I have no doubt that the group will miss you terribly, and that you’ll be very hard to replace. I also have faith that the Liberty Quartet will continue in its wonderful ministry through whoever God brings into the group. All of you are such a blessing to this sorry world, and we are so thankful for what you do.

    Blessings,

    Susan

  17. I learned of Dan leaving the Liberty Quartet while we were in Church this past Sunday. It is with a heavy heart that I write to you all this evening.
    I heven’t read all the preceding comments, nor do I need to. I only want to say to Dan that he will be missed very much by both your Canadian and your American friends. You are a great lead singer and a great friend to everyone you met along the way. Those will be big shoes to fill, Dan. We always looked forward to hearing your voice and talking with you at every concert location we saw you guys perform. We considered you a personal friend just as we do all the guys in the group. Change is always difficult and when you get to my age it is even tougher. Sometimes change is good, but time will tell in this case. We wish you good health, God speed and much happiness in whatever you have choosen to do with your life. God be with you my friend.
    St Andrews United Church wants to hear from you again in the future, You made a lot of friends every time you visited our church in Niagara Falls.

    To the rest of Liberty Quartet we know God is looking out for you and only wants the best for his faithful servants. We too want the best for you all and look forward to seeing you in the very near future,

    Blessings,

    Tom & Janet

  18. According to the latest Liberty newsletter I just got this afternoon, Dan has decided to stay with the Liberty Quartet after all!

    • Yes; I just got in and saw the newsletter, so I made a new post to that effect. 🙂

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