Signature Sound launches blog, announces Cathedrals Tribute

Ernie Haase has launched a new blog. (8/6/11: Broken link removed). I must say that it’s the most impressive graphic design I have seen to date on a blogspot-based blog.

His most recent post is the most newsworthy. A year ago, January 2008, they began work on a Cathedrals Tribute project, singing classic Cathedrals songs Signature Sound style. Haase just posted a YouTube video with clips from several of the songs; they are getting ready to do these songs in live concert settings in preparation for a June 6, 2009 video taping.

On the video:

  • Movin’ Up to Gloryland
  • Life Will Be Sweeter Someday
  • Wonderful Grace of Jesus (the careful attention they’re paying to vocal dynamics and blend on this one will pay off!)

So right now the biggest question is probably which other songs they will be including. We’ll probably be able to piece together at least a partial list from concert reports over the next few months.

It will be particularly interesting to see if they make a point of recording Cathedrals songs they haven’t done yet (e.g., “Death has Died,” and “We Shall See Jesus,” which I think Doug Anderson would tear up!), or if a good number of the songs are tracks they’ve already included on their previous recordings. They have already done quite a few:

  • Telling the World About His Love
  • Oh What a Savior
  • It’s Alright
  • Had it Not Been
  • Mansion Over the Hilltop
  • Gentle Shepherd
  • Heavenly Parade
  • No One Ever Cared For Me
  • Shouting on the Hills
  • Dry Bones
  • Going Home
  • When They Ring the Bells of Heaven
  • I Don’t Know Who Holds Tomorrow
  • He Touched Me
  • When the Saints Go Marching In
  • He Didn’t Come Down
  • Something About That Name / I Will Serve Thee
  • Trying to Get a Glimpse
  • Then Came the Morning
  • Farther Along
  • Plan of Salvation
  • He Made a Change
  • Heaven’s Joy Awaits

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23 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. I am actually looking forward to this project and hoping it will be a good one. I know I’m in the minority when I say this…but in all honesty, I did not enjoy their Dream On CD/DVD project. They have such a great sound, I really appreciate their work more when they do not try to get so artsy and progressive. Although I admire the effort, it was a bit of a disappointment to their true SG fans.

    I still love them though and expect great things to come out of them. I’m excited about this project!

  2. I agree with Meagan. Honestly, I think the last good Signature Sound album was Get Away Jordan. Personally, I think for this next concert, they should just dtick to a pian/rhythm guitar/lead guitar/bass/drums format, non of the brass and other instruments. P{lus, they should record the original arrangement of Boundless Love.

  3. I saw the video on the Gaither program on TV last night and was VERY dissappointed with this project. It didn’t really seem like a Gospel project to me, almost like a Disney production…This is the first Sig Sound project I won’t be getting for myself.

  4. Dream On is AMAZING…if you ask me!!! I love both the dvd and the cd…and all I can say is EHSS gets better with every recording. I LOVE the video of them practicing the Cats songs. Wow…that’s gonna be a great project! Ernie’s blog is reallly great, btw! There’s a hilarious video called “Sleeping In The Studio” that you HAVE to watch!! lol 😀

  5. It hurts to admit it, but I do agree with #1, 2 and 3. It seems like they spend more time on the ‘show’ aspect of their performance than the content and what the SG audience really appreciates. They are very entertaining, but so are other SG groups without all the ‘Disney-type’ additions.

  6. Well, everyone, their TV specials tend to get all the “exciting” moments, and condense out a lot of flat-footed solid singing. When I’ve seen them in concert, 2/3 to 3/4 of their songs have little or no choreography or flashing lights.

    A couple of years ago, before the group signed with Gaither, I was looking at SG history, how groups like the Blackwood Brothers and Statesmen brought in lots of new fans, then a generation later the Happy Goodmans and Kingsmen, and then another generation later, the Cathedrals and Gold City brought a lot of new fans in.

    I’d been wondering if any groups in this generation would fill that role, getting a lot of people interested in solid male quartet-style singing. And then EHSS took off. 🙂 You know, the excitement gets a lot of people curious. But I’ve known a good number of people who first notice EHSS, then get to like their more traditional numbers, and then get into other Southern Gospel groups. And that thrills me, because it means that SG will be around and strong for another generation.

    Do I like every song they’ve ever done? No, though I like many of them. Is Dream On their best project ever? Probably not, but not every project can be their best ever. But I must tip my hat to them for what they’ve done to bring a new generation into our genre.

    • I’ll add a personal note to that Daniel, which is that I discovered the Cathedrals because of Signature Sound. Somebody mentioned the Cats to me a year or so ago. I checked out one video I think, but that was it. Then when I discovered Signature Sound and fell in love with Ernie’s voice, I put the pieces together and realized he had been the Cats’ last tenor. That was when I seriously discovered the group and realized what I had been missing. Had I not gotten into EHSS first, I would never have known. So props to these guys and props especially to Ernie for carrying on the torch. I look forward with great eagerness to their tribute project this year.

  7. Not the biggest Sig Sound fan, but I gotta admit, they know how to market their material. Let’s face it, the livelihood of a quartet or any other gospel group is the selling end. Sig Sound doesn’t do all the dancing moves or wild clothes because they think it’s the way southern gospel should be presented. They do it because it gets peoples’ attention and it sells….at least for now. The saving grace is the fact that they still are good singers. Many have commented angrily on their dance moves. Multiple folks have referred to them as a “boy band”. I’ll be honest, I really don’t get their whole stage presentation either, but I do recognize their ability to somehow recognize a new and unusual way in which they can sell their music, and actually make a good living singing as a gospel quartet. That deserves respect.

  8. Do not get me wrong, I really like EHSS. They’re younger and fresh and that is nice. And they do have a great sound. I just prefer more music along the lines of tradional SG from quartets like this, as opposed to more progressive.

    They are masters at marketing. They discern well what will be favored and popular among their fans.

    And yes, I have seen them live in solo concerts as well as on the Gaither Homecoming stage and they do not do as much of the choreography as you would think.

    It’s very different to talk about them in a concert setting as opposed to talking about their CD/DVD recordings. Two different playing fields there.

  9. Has anyone of you (not counting Meagan and Daniel) met these guys?? Not to sound like a broken record and not to be picky….but they’re some the most sincere, friendly, down to earth, Godly guys you’ll ever meet. And…not that you guys were really saying this exactly; but they are NOT all “show” and “marketing”. They’re singing the gospel truth. I’m good with people saying they don’t quite like they’re style of MUSIC…but when it comes to attacking they’re style and saying they’re all show…I get a bit on the denfensive side. 😛 Consider yourselves warned! haha

    • Martha,

      Did anyone say marketing was a bad thing? (My day job is actually in marketing!) When someone refers to someone having the success they do because they’re good marketers, I at least don’t take it as an insult.

      After all, the best marketing can’t sell you something you don’t want, and anyone in marketing knows that. Marketing is just getting someone in contact with something they already want (or they discover they want after hearing your pitch!)

      ~Daniel

  10. It’s not at all a bad thing! 🙂 Hope I didn’t sound like it was. What I meant was, Signature Sound is not ALL marketing. They’re much more….and ya. Do I make any sense?

    • OK, yes, that makes sense. 🙂

      The thing in marketing is if you’re trying to market a bad product, word of mouth will work against you. And clearly, though not everyone’s an EHSS fan, enough are that that’s not happening.

  11. I still think “Great Love” was their best, followed by a tie between “Get Away Jordan” and their self-titled album. I don’t think “Dream On” is as good as those three, but that it is a fine piece of work. The one thing that has gotten progressively better with each album is Ryan Seaton’s lead vocals.

    • It would be tough to pick a favorite. I might go with self-titled, but I’m also partial to The Ground Is Level. Stand By Me Live was excellent as well.

      The fact is that these guys never really could figure out how to make a really *bad* project. Dream On came closest in my opinion, but there were still 6 or 7 good songs on it. It was a really weak prroject, probably the weakest of their career, but not horrible. Yet strangely, it was their only Grammy-nominated project ever.

      This might be a good topic for a new discussion—why is it that it seems like artists often get prestigious award nominations for their weakest projects? This happened with the GVB and Lovin’ Life too. I have a theory that it’s because the committee figures they’ve had one coming for a while, and now is as good a time as any to give it to them, even if they’ve had better projects in the past.

      • Lack of competition can be a factor.

    • Agree about “Dream On”. By a long way Ernie’s least best project.

      Also agree on Ryan Seaton’s vocals – which since he is not there, and “Dream On” was their most recent live DVD,

      all make the upcoming “Cathedral’s Tribute” DVD/CD most significant indeed!

      • Here’s a fun question. If you had to pick just one best song from each project you know of by EHSS, what would it be? Here’s my list, starting with their most recent and rolling backwards:

        Influenced II: “His Name is Wonderful”

        Every Light That Shines: “Amen” (Yeah. What the title said.)

        Dream On: “Since Jesus Passed By” (awesomeness)

        Influenced I: “Walk With Me” (perfection)

        Get Away Jordan: “Oh What A Savior” (best version ever)

        Self-titled: “Forgiven Again” (goosebumps)

        Christmas self-titled: Very tough. Perhaps “The First Noel”

        Great Love: “This Could Be the Dawning”

        Stand By Me Live: Tough. Perhaps “Little Is Much” or “Gentle Shepherd”

        The Ground Is Level: Again, tough. Maybe “He Touched Me”

        Glory To His Name: “The Old Rugged Cross” (don’t have this album, but after seeing this one done live, I don’t think anything else could touch it)

        Building a Bridge: “Mansion Over the Hilltop” (maybe—I’ve never listened to this album, so I’m relying on what I’ve heard in clips and Youtubes)

        Stand By Me: Very tough. Probably have to go with “I Have Seen the Lord.”

      • Okay, I guess I’ll change my mind on Stand By Me Live. I’m watching “Had It Not Been” right now. I think that’s my new favorite. I think. That was the sort of project where you could have a new favorite every day…

      • How did I not see this 7 months ago? I better add my six cents….

        Tribute: I love hearing “We Shall See Jesus” with Devin singing the last verse.

        Influenced II: I’d also have to say “His Name is Wonderful”

        Every Light That Shines: Probably “All I Want Is You”

        Dream On: “Sundays Are Made For Times Like These”

        Influenced I: “Walk With Me” is up there after that DVD staging. But I’m growing fonder of “O The Glory Did Roll” too.

        Get Away Jordan: “Happy Birthday, Anniversary Too” (hehe, just kidding…my favorite is either “Until We Fly Away” or “I Pledge My Allegiance”

        Self-titled: “Then Came The Morning”

        Christmas self-titled: Its very close. “Tonight” wins, but quickly gaining ground are “Come Make A Place” and “Who Do You Think?”

        Great Love: “Even Now” is probably my favorite EHSS of all-time.

        Stand By Me Live: Probably “Little Is Much”

        The Ground Is Level: “The Other Side Of The Cross”

        Glory To His Name: “Gone”

        Building a Bridge: “Had It Not Been” without a doubt!

        Stand By Me: “Let’s Talk About Jesus, Amen”

  12. When I first watched the “Dream On” Gaither show on tv, I didn’t think I would enjoy the dvd. However, I saw EHSS in concert at the Hartville Kitchen in November and purchased it. I loved it! Also, that concert was outstanding. Ernie gives a performance that would pease everyone. I have seen them many times & this one was their best ever. I can hardly wait for the Cathedrals Tribute. It will be fantastic!

  13. I am so happy that I have been able to book EHSS on this tour October 16 in Dalton, GA. We are looking forward to a great evening. Hope a lot of folks in the Chattanooga, TN area will be there. They are seldom in this area. Looking forward to them getting the project out. Hope it’s not long in the making.

    • Robert, it should release around October 26th. Would make a great Christmas gift IMO! 🙂

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