CD Review: A New Perspective (Torchmen Quartet)

The Torchmen are probably Canada’s best-known Southern Gospel Quartet; in certain years, they have even been invited to a mainstage slot at the National Quartet Convention. Since their 2011 mainline release (Step Up, reviewed here), they have a new lead singer and bass singer. This album, A New Perspective, introduces the new lineup with a mixture of classics, covers of songs major groups introduced, and a few new songs.

The group did a good job of avoiding the obvious and over-done when selecting their song covers. They pull from major groups like the Cathedrals (“Over the Door”) and Larry Gatlin or the Blue Ridge Quartet (“Light at the End of the Darkness”), and they also revisit songs from lesser-known groups like the Cumberland Quartet (“I’ll Keep on Leaning”).

“I’d Rather Have Jesus,” “Wish You Were Here,” and “I Can Tell You the Time” are easily the three most recorded tracks, but only the first is one of Southern Gospel’s 200 most-recorded songs

The strongest new songs are “In the Cross,” written by Richard Ash, and “I Will Pray,” written by Rebecca Peck and Christina DeGazio. Interestingly, “I Will Pray” already had a Canadian connection: As we found out in this November post, DeGazio is Canadian. (DeGazio is perhaps best-known for co-writing Legacy Five’s first mega-hit, “I Stand Redeemed.”)

Traditional or Progressive: Middle-of-the-road.

Group Members: Sandy McGregor (tenor), Mike Moran (baritone), Jeff Tritton (lead), Jon Hisey (bass).

Credits: Produced and mixed by Jon Hisey. Recorded at Grant Avenue Studios. Engineered by Bob Doidge and Amy King White. Review copy provided.

Song List: I Want to Make a Difference (written by Phil Cross); I’ll Keep on Leaning (written by D Britt); Just One More Song (written by Rebecca Peck); I Will Pray (written by Rebecca Peck and Christina DeGazio); Fair Exchange (written by D Leach); Wish You Were Here (written by Michael Williams and Jim Stover); City in the Sky (written by R Ash); Light at the End of Darkness (written by Gatlin); I Can Tell You the Time (written by Adger M. Pace); In the Cross (written by R Ash); Over the Door (Squire Parsons); I’d Rather Have Jesus (written by Rhea Miller and George Beverly Shea.

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9 Letters to the Editor

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  1. I have several of this groups recordings. John Hisey is the bass singer. He was with the group some time ago, then left, but is now back. Not sure what part Jeff Tritton sings.

    • Thanks, nber!

    • Jeff Tritton is the lead singer, although he’s previously sung tenor with the group.

      • Thanks! I wish all groups would name all group members in the liner notes, and include which part they sing. But it’s especially important for groups who are either new or, as in this case, breaking into new regions.

  2. I love these guys. Always enjoy hanging out with them when opportunity presents itself.

  3. Sorry Daniel, please delete the previous one under “Q” lol. I guess I never moved the arrow down to catch my name.
    Mister Q really makes me sound anonymous. 😉

    “Light at the End of the Darkness” is a great tune and Larry Gatlin wrote it. However, you missed mentioning how probably had the most popular cut of it, the Imperials.

    • OK. 🙂

      I don’t think I have their version. Believe it or not, my collection is still a LONG ways off from every major SG album ever recorded. 🙂

      • It was from around ’75 06 ’76 I think. I believe it was on the “No Shortage” album.

      • I have that song on a compilation, I think, but not the album itself. I’ve focused my Imperials collecting efforts on their first 5-8 years.