Bryan Hutson joins Soul’d Out Quartet

Soul'd Out Quartet: Dusty Barrett, Matt Fouch, Michael Howard, Bryan Hutson, Matt Rankin

Soul'd Out Quartet: (standing) Dusty Barrett, Matt Fouch, Michael Howard; (seated) Bryan Hutson, Matt Rankin

Kingsmen Quartet lead singer Bryan Hutson will be leaving the Kingsmen at the end of this month. He will be joining Georgetown, Ohio’s Soul’d Out Quartet, sharing lead duties with current lead singer Matt Rankin. He gave the following open letter to explain his motivation behind the move:

I want to thank the many friends that I have made while being involved in Gospel Music as well as Worship Ministry. You have embraced me since I began singing with my brother in “The New Generation” in 1985. I started traveling fulltime with “The Heartland Quartet” in 1993. Your continued support, love and encouragement through both my tenures with “The Kingsmen” is deeply appreciated.

In early November, I decided to follow God’s leading and give my resignation with “The Kingsmen.” January of 2012 will mark a new chapter in my gospel music career. I will be joining one of America’s best new groups, Soul’d Out Quartet. In fact, the group was awarded “Horizon Group of The Year” (Favorite New Group) in the Singing News Magazine Fan Awards in 2010. Matt Rankin (lead), Dusty Barrett (tenor), Matt Fouch (bass) and Michael Howard (piano) make up “Soul’d Out Quartet”. I will share lead vocalist duties with Matt Rankin.

SOQT is a solid quartet who sings straight ahead Southern Gospel Music with a progressive sound. I’m very excited to see what God has in store for our future! Over the past several years, I have developed a friendship with members of the group. I believe the men of “Soul’d Out” are men of integrity and have a heart for ministry that mirrors my own passion. I know my friends and family will love the music and ministry of “Soul’d Out” as much as I do.

My wife, Yvonne, and I have been seeking God and wise counsel about this decision and feel that this is a door God has opened. The tour schedule for “Soul’d Out” is a better fit for me as a husband and father. This opportunity will also allow us to reach our long term goals as a family.

I joined my all-time favorite group, The Kingsmen, in 1996, under the late Eldridge and Greg Fox. The five years that I spent learning from the Fox’s, the late Jim Hamill, and Ray Reese were some of the best years of my life. Upon returning for my second run with The Kingsmen in 2007, we have seen lives changed through our music. I want to thank Ray and Brandon Reese and The Kingsmen for allowing me to be a part of the continuing Kingsmen legacy.

I would like to ask for your continued support, encouragement and prayers for my family and both groups. I am looking forward to seeing each of you at upcoming Soul’d Out Quartet concerts. Please check our website for upcoming performances

Brandon Reese of the Kingsmen also issued a statement:

Brandon Reese states, “In November, Bryan came to me and stated that he felt it was time to make a change in his professional career. He also told me that he had been seeking God’s will in an opportunity to stay home more with his family. I commended him for letting the Lord lead in his life. The door opened for Bryan to join Matt Rankin and the rest of Soul’d Out (who are based out of Columbus, OH) and, as many of you know, is only an hour or 2 from where Brian grew up in Batesville, IN. Bryan stated to me that joining Soul’d Out is perfect for the long term goals of his family and until then will maintain his residence in Asheville, NC with his wife Yvonne and four children, Alexa, Jake, Bailey and Jordan.  I, along with the other Kingsmen members, wish to thank Bryan for his two tenures here and his continuing friendship.”

UPDATE: Matt Rankin also chimes in:

We would like to inform everyone that Tanner will be leaving Sould Out Quartet and will be pursuing other interests. He will be missed by many and SOQT would like to thank Tanner for being part of this ministry for four and a half years. We ask that you pray for Tanner and his family as he is starting a new path. We believe that God has orchestrated this change and we pray that he will continue to bless Tanner as well as SOQT.

Coming the first of 2012, Matt Rankin will be assuming the baritone position and Bryan Hutson, a Kingsmen Quartet icon, will be taking the lead. We are excited that God has placed us together and we look forward to seeing how the Lord blesses the new line up. As always, the heartbeat of the ministry is to reach the lost, encourage the saints, and make a difference in people’s lives.

We will be releasing two new recordings after the first of the year. Coming the first part of January will be a hymns and old songs CD called “Soulace.” Then a brand new CD with all original songs called “What the World Doesn’t Know” at the end of January. We are very excited about both of these projects and we pray they will spiritually effect the lives of those who listen.

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41 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. Bryan ought to just about have time to get settled in real well before I get to see them the 3rd weekend of January! Now we need to know is who is going to take Bryan’s place.

    • I don’t think that has been decided yet.

  2. And NOW I see why you waited to announce the guy’s name!

    • I waited because of my relationships / friendships with members in both groups, actually.

      • You have friends, Daniel???? Wow, go you! 🙂

      • I assume that was tongue-in-cheek? 🙂

      • Very much so. . . 🙂

      • OK. 🙂

  3. This is definitely a suprise move. Bryan will be missed from the Kingsmen for sure. I’m very interested in who they will hire.

  4. I was in the studio last week as Soul’d Out was cutting vocals, and had the chance to talk with Bryan about the move. I’m not going to speak on his behalf, but the reasons he gave in his open letter are the reasons for the move.

    Another blog has posted some gossip which could easily lead to assumptions that the Kingsmen are, at best, on the ropes, and, at worst, about to quit. That’s both not the reason Bryan left and not true.

    Now it’s not like the last two years have been without challenges for the Kingsmen. It’s never fun to deal with the expenses and paperwork from a bus accident. But that was over two years ago; they’ve had plenty of time to rebound. And rebound they have – they’re currently at the #1 spot on the Singing News charts, with “He’s Everything I Need.” 🙂 (Yes, that song is a Hutson feature – talk about leaving at the top!)

    • I saw that blog too, but I honestly never figured it to be true.

      Soul’d Out must be a Crossroads artist? I’m assuming that both projects will have Hutson’s vocals?

      • On your two questions:

        (1) Yes, and be watching for an official announcement.

        (2) Yes, they will!

    • Hey Daniel. Just so you know, there was a big mistake/misunderstanding that everyone is still trying to unravel. I have personally gotten in touch with Bryan himself, and I think we’re on the same page now. I’ve edited my post according to what has been confirmed, and meanwhile I’m looking into the root of the problem. Thanks.

      • I’m glad to hear / see the edits.

      • yankeegospelgirl- Thank you for making the changes on your blog page. However “I have personally gotten in touch with Bryan himself.” Well, THAT never happened. I have talked to a few friends today and received texts from male friends congratulating me on my move to Soul’d Out, but we never talked, texted nor emailed today, or ever.

      • I’m sorry that you felt my wording was unclear. I’ve always used the phrase “make contact,” “get in touch,” etc., to refer to me making a move to contact the person. I knew that we would be in communication soon, and that we were in fact on the same page.

        I’m very tired, a little confused and irritated (not with you) and wanted this to be resolved as smoothly as possible… it was a stressful day but I wanted to make the effort. Please understand help me with that.

      • It wasn’t just Bryan’s feelings – the wording was, objectively, unclear.

      • I need to clarify that I e-mailed Bryan apologizing immediately this morning. Now, he did not respond right away, but I assumed he had read it. I don’t know if Bryan read my e-mail before posting his comment here, but I needed to make that clear.

      • I see.

  5. I’m going to guess that SOQ will get a NQC mainstage appearance in 2012.

    • Up through several weeks after Thanksgiving, NQC had a notice on their site that the schedule would be posted by Thanksgiving. Now the notice on their site says that it will be posted by the end of the year. 🙂

  6. I do not blame Bryan for wanting to spend more time with his family. He has been traveling for so many years and I can tell by keeping up with him on Facebook that his family means more to him than anything. He loves to sing and does a fantastic job at it but I think it is apparent that he has spent much time praying over this decision and that it is the right decision. I am anxiously awaiting the announcement of the new lead for the Kingsmen but on Soul’d Out’s new lineup, they are going to be a force to be reckoned with. They already had a solid sound but you put Bryan’s singing ability along with his business experience and I think that we will be seeing a lot more of Soul’d Out! I’ve loved these guys for a long time. I got to hear them in a Baptist church in Tupelo, MS before they got big and my little brother and I both thought they were awesome! Congratulations Bryan on this new move and I am looking forward to hearing the new sound! Thanks Daniel for keeping us up to date as well!

    • You’re welcome. Yes, this move has been a month or more in the making.

  7. Does it seem like a possibility that Randy Crawford will move to the lead slot, leaving the Kingsmen with the need to fill the baritone position? That seems like a sensible move–not the ONLY sensible move, but a sensible one all the same.

    • He has already been sharing lead duties with Bryan, moving to lead on any songs he is featured on (at a minimum).

      • For sure. It only seems like a naturally choice.

  8. The Kingsmen have always had a history of moving up musicians to vocalists. Maybe Brandon can sing baritone?

  9. Bryan jumped groups. Good for him and his family. Why do we even feel the need to know more or speculate as to why? (before or after he announced.)

    As for the Kingsmen, should be interesting to see who they find.

    • I don’t know whether Bob Sellers would be available full-time, but he’s done well the times he’s filled in with them.

  10. I fully support Bryan’s decision. I hate that He is leaving The Kingsmen but I fully respect His decision. I will continue to pray for and support The Kingsmen(my favorite group) and I will also pray for Bryan and Soul’d Out Quartet and will support them.

  11. Olaneljonoisle I am honored that you would say I might have a chance at singing at all but I am exactly where I need to be (My plate is full as it is). I am looking forward to obeying God’s will in my life and I feel Running this group for the next 40 or so years is (as I stated before) what I will be doing.

    Also practicing those drums for a big comeback one of these days.:)

    • I have a friend that plays bass that would like to audition would the chance ever arise…who would he contact?

    • Brandon,

      I was introduced to the Kingsmen in the early 1990’s. As I started collecting music I noticed that many of the vocalists were members of the band at one time (Wayne Manard, Ed Crawford, Arthur Rice, Tim Surrett, Jason Selph & Mark Trammell). For a while in high school my plan was to learn the bass guitar and learn to drive a bus so that I could get a job with the Kingsmen and eventually work up to be the baritone for the group. God had a different plan but figured I had a pretty good shot going that route.

  12. I really hate to see Bryan leave the Kingsmen at this time. With Ray’s health battles in the last few months, Bryan’s experience and leadership were invaluable to them, especially now that they seem to be reaching the heights of their former glorydays again. Two people who would fit in nicely with them is Sam Parsons, son of the great Squire Parsons and a young man from Charleston, WV by the name of Charleton Jordan. A dream pick in the short term would be Mark Bishop.

  13. A few thoughts about a replacement for Brian.. Randy Crawford is where he needs to be, I don’t think he is strong enough vocally to replace Brian, he makes a good baritone. Mark Bishop? Not gonna happen. Mark has a great solo ministry, and why in the world would he want to stay on the road all the time when he can work much less and make more and showcase all his wonderful songs. Sam Parson? Vocally, yes. But would you ask Brandon to leave Ray Reese? I would think Sam is just as vital, maybe more so to Squires ministry. Sam should stay with Squire as long as Squire wants him. 🙂 I am thinking more along the line of someone currently not on the road or in a regional group. I doubt he would want to come back on the road, but Loren Harris lives just a few miles up the road. 🙂

    • Randy used to sing lead, I believe, and I think he has the vocal talent and range to easily pull it off again. I was in the studio as they were working on arrangements, cutting tracks, and cutting vocals for the last project, and when he swapped parts with Bryan, he did it with ease and confidence.

      • I thought he did a SUPERB job when he sang lead for BF&A many years ago!! He has an incredible range and showcased it well when BF&A sang “Who is this King.”

    • Isn’t Loren Harris still singing some with Ricky Atkinson and Compassion? I know Ricky does a lot of solo stuff but I thought they were still doing some trio dates as well. Loren is one of my favorite lead singers and I would love to see him go to the Kingsmen. He has a powerful lead voice! That would be a great fit I think!

  14. Randy replaced Bryan when he had left the group after the album I Will. He remained lead then on all three of the Carolina Boys albums, leaving shortly before the release of Ready…if my memory serves me.

    • That sounds right – thanks!