CD Review: Soulace 2 (Soul’d Out Quartet)

Soul'd Out Quartet - Soulace 2Last August, Soul’d Out bass singer Matt Fouch left to join Legacy Five; in October, Soul’d Out announced that his replacement would be Ian Owens, who had recently left Ernie Haase & Signature Sound. The group introduces Owens to their fans with a reissue their most recent mainline release with Owens’ vocals added, and with this table project.

Losing a bass singer of Fouch’s caliber would be a blow to any group, but Soulace 2 shows that they’re as strong as ever. Signature Sound fans who were hoping that Ian Owens would be the next Tim Duncan were disappointed, but Owens is no disappointment here. He fits Soul’d Out’s sound and style.

The project is filled with highlight performances. Among the fast songs, “I Can Tell You Now the Time” gives Owens a chance to shine, while “I’ve Never Been This Homesick Before” spotlights lead singer Bryan Hutson. Hutson, lead/baritone Matt Rankin, and tenor Dusty Barrett shine on “I Stand Amazed (My Savior’s Love).” Bryan Hutson’s years on the Kingsmen bus help towards a solid rendition of the forgotten Kingsmen gem “Say a Prayer.” But perhaps the strongest track of all is the tender closer, “Untitled Hymn (Come to Jesus).”

Soulace 2 avoids over-done songs; it strikes a solid balance between classics familiar to casual fans and forgotten gems that deserve another turn in the spotlight. It’s one of the strongest Southern Gospel table projects of 2013.

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

Group Members: Dusty Barrett (tenor), Bryan Hutson (lead/baritone), Matt Rankin (lead/baritone), Ian Owens (bass), Michael Hayes (pianist).

Credits: Producer: None credited. Musicians: None credited. Engineer: None credited. Mixed and Mastered by: None credited.

Song List: Old Gospel Ship; I Stand Amazed; Say a Prayer; I’ve Never Been This Homesick Before; I’d Rather Have Jesus; I Can Tell You The Time; Standing On The Solid Rock; I Will Serve Thee; Jesus is Coming Soon; Untitled Hymn (Come to Jesus).

Song Selection Creativity Meter: 90%. In place of radio single picks and an album rating, table projects are measured by a different metric—what percent of the songs on the album are pulled from outside of the 200 Most Frequently Recorded Southern Gospel songs.

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11 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. Soul’d Out sang at my church a few weeks back and I must say they are now one of my favorite groups. They are the total package and in my opinion do not have a weak link in the group. With Dusty Barrett’s powerhouse tenor, Matt Rankin’s smooth, clear lead (not to mention his excellent songwriting abilities), Bryan Hutson’s (who I personally believe is a leading top caliber gospel singer out there today that, given his years of experience, brings a level of stability to this group) impeccable range and ability to deliver a song, Ian Owens’ smooth and easy on the ears bass singing, and Michael Howard’s excellent piano skills, they create a unit that in my opinion cannot be topped. I was equally impressed with their heart for the ministry in presenting the gospel of Christ and their genuine attitudes. I have this album in my truck right now and I would have to agree with the review with one minor correction – this is one of the strongest Southern Gospel projects (table or mainstream release) I personally have heard so far in 2013.

  2. I got the opportunity to meet these guys about a year and a half ago at a concert in Nashville. At that time I was working with the Dove’s and those guys did an excellent job. Bryan Hutson had just came with them and he’s the only one I knew at the time. He got into gospel music when I did ( a long time ago). These guys have it and I wish all the success in the world for them. They deserve it.

  3. As a concert promoter, I booked “The Soul’d Out Quartet” to be a part of “A Pella Iowa Southern Gospel Weekend” this past March…”The Booth Brothers” presented a concert on Friday evening, “The Soul’d Out Quartet” on Saturday afternoon, and “The Collingsworth Family” on Saturday evening. When many of the people were purchasing advanced “combination tickets” to attend all of the concerts, several were telling me, “We have never heard the Soul’d Out Quartet, but since we will be there for the other concerts, we will attend their concert too.” I’ll tell ya, I heard nothing but great compliments for “The Soul’d Out Quartet” after their concert. The audience of all ages absolutely loved them! My husband and I have booked them again for next year.

    • Very neat!

    • Thank you Cindy for your kind comments about Soul’d Out. I am honored to represent them and am very grateful to you for promoting them in Pella!

  4. I’m confused. Was I Can Tell You Now The Time a bass feature or a lead feature? 🙂

  5. I’ve never seen them in person but I’ve seen and talked to Bryan Hutson when he was with the Kingsmen. My wife and I were really impressed with him and, as Brett said earlier, he really has a heart for ministry. If they ever get out to the West Coast, we’d love to go to one of their concerts. For now I’ll just buy some of their new music.

  6. Love this album! I won it (and three others) at a Soul’d Out/Kingsmen concert a couple months ago. Some of my favorites are “Untitled Hymn,” “Old Gospel Ship,” and “I’ve Never Been This Homesick Before.”

  7. We have this group at our church every year and we anticipate the joy of having them. We have been blessed beyond measure with their ministry and talent. These guys sing to win souls for Jesus Christ. When Dusty gets his tenor on he sings for the Lord…it wouldn’t even matter is no one was in the room…He gives thanks to the Lord through his wonderful voice. I have never met a group who seem to blend together like these guys do and they practice what they preach!!! My all time favorite group!!

  8. One of my favorite Cd’s I have purchased this year. Really enjoy Say a Prayer (Their antics on stage between Ian the the rest are good light hearted fun while singing this one) Jesus is Coming Soon is another personal favorite. Agreed with the review the ending of Untitled Hymn is a great and tender closing cut. Man that is one more powerful song in my opinion.

    Have had the honor a couple of times of hosting these gentlemen, and I will say without a doubt, these guys are the genuine article. Practice what they are singing about. No different on or off stage. They have been good to us when we have hosted them, and have been very encouraging in their words . We really appreciate them.

    Another thing I really like is that you can tell these guys really like one another off stage. The carrying on and banter is fun between them. Great group with a great sound, and most importantly, godly men.. I truly believe these fellas are out to win souls for the Lord, and know that if this occurs through one of their concerts, they have done what they are supposed to be doing. I love that about Soul’d Out…