Gaither Studios posts video clips of new GVB

Gaither Studios has posted some video footage from the first concert with the full five-man lineup of the new Gaither Vocal Band in action:

A reader points out that “Let Freedom Ring” has been lowered by a half-step, to end in C. Very interesting!

For more about —and other Southern Gospel news and commentary—follow our RSS feed or sign up for our email updates!

53 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. Vocally – it would sound much better with Marshall Hall, but I guess Bill’s history with Mark is much more valuable. Still – a great sounding group.

  2. I can’t believe ANYONE would think Marshall Hall could sing something better than Mark Lowery. I almost always turn the radio down or off when Marshall is singing. His voice turns me off totally. I enjoy Mark’s singing voice as well as his humor, although he can get carried away with the humor at times.

  3. If I had a guess the change was for English like for 1:57 on the clip.

  4. Yes, I feel bad for Mike… his voice has degraded so badly in the last 10 years. ๐Ÿ™

  5. Listen to Temporary Home or The King is Coming from 90-93 on Youtube, and you will notice how much better his voice was during those years… it’s no wonder he was so popular, he was 10 years ahead of his time.

  6. Mike may not be where he was 15 years ago, but he still kicks it.

  7. The new/old group sounds good but it just doesn’t have the same fullness/depth as with Guy and Marshall. I really like Michael and loved hearing him sing “I dreamed of a city called Glory” in the past (I revisit it on You Tube often) but for some reason he just looks like he doesn’t belong in this group (or is it just me)?

  8. I think Mike definitely looks the part and still sings great. Just not as high which is fine.

  9. OilInMyLamp – I think Michael will come around. He’s already sounding better than he did in the reunion video. Like any singer, his voice will get back into shape to fit where’s he at in this new group. I do agree, though, that he doesn’t have what he once did vocally – but still does a great job.

    Nadine Vent – I’m sorry that Marshall’s voice isn’t down your alley. However, vocal ability isn’t gauged by whether or not you like the sound. Marshall Hall is an extremely more talented vocalist than Mark Lowery is – hands down. I’m not at all saying that Mark isn’t a great vocalist – some of my favorite GVB albums consist of Mark singing baritone and he has his own, unique talent that he brings to the table. But sadly, when comparing vocal ability there is just no comparison.

    Michael English, Marshall Hall and David Phelps would sound GREAT together.

  10. David Mann,
    One’s vocal ability, in the eyes of someone else, is only opinion…please do not try to correct one’s opinion. Thanks.

  11. I’ll chime in, too. While I recognize that Marsh is a very talented singer, I simply prefer Mark’s voice. His tone has gotten richer over the years, and I’m glad to see him back.

  12. I, personally, just have never been much of a ME fan,
    but you can tell he is really trying hard, and giving it his
    all! You have to give him credit for that!

  13. Paul said …
    “Oneโ€™s vocal ability, in the eyes of someone else, is only opinion.”

    Well, Paul – I guess that’s just your opinion.

    So I say to you, in your own words, “Pease do not try to correct oneโ€™s (being mine) opinion. Thanks.”

  14. David Mann,
    I am not trying to correct your opinion. I simply felt that you were trying to state facts about “vocal ability” to all of us. Sorry to offend you. You certainly can have your own opinion, but don’t feel we all have to share it. That’s all. Thanks.

  15. While thinking about opinions…mine is that while Mark and Marsh are both awesome singers…I also feel that Mark is the “better” vocalist, in that, he has a “distinct voice” where as, from what I have personally seen of Marsh, he is more like many of today’s singers…more of the same. To me at least. What ever happened to voice like Cecil Blackwood, Kenny Hinson, Ernie Phillips, JD Sumner, and so on…the voices that when heard them on the radio, you knew who were listening to, even if the announcer didn’t tell you their names? I miss those types of voices. Fortunately, we still have some today…Lauren Talley, Ray Reese, Ivan Parker, Jimmy Blackwood, Mark Trammell, and so on.

  16. I’m not trying to upset you, Paul – but you’re the only one who is saying that I feel that way.

    You singled out my post that was simply a response to Nadine’s, who was telling me my opinion was wrong concerning Marshall and Mark.

    I guess you choose and pick your battles, and for some reason – you chose to pick me. I’m sorry if you don’t like the way I post. Maybe I should just cater my comments to your preferences – if that’s what you’d like.

  17. OK. I said was sorry. I will not go back and forth on this. I did not mean to single you out or pick a battle with you. Not sure why you feel I did. I, again, will say I am sorry. Final Post.

  18. No. Paul, no. Wait! Come back. Noooooooooooo!!!

  19. I guess my problem with the new/old-old/new GVB is as a group they just don’t speak to my heart the way they did with Guy and Marshall and I have been listening since it was the Bill Gaither Trio. I even have a Praise Gathering LP. Somehow it just doesn’t have the depth it had especially without Guy. There is a flatness to the sound and I don’t mean vocally flat. Oh well it’s probably just me. I will keep listening. Maybe the new sound will grow on me.

  20. I know what you mean OilInMyLamp. Guy and Marshall had a minister type heart and that was relayed during there singing. Personally, this (how did you put it) new/old-old/new group will put on a better show and perform at a higher level I believe – but the worship won’t be there. But, that’s not what most people go for anyway, to be frank with you.

  21. The absence of Guy, I think, has hit the GVB pretty hard…I agree there is a lacking depth without Guy…even with David Phelps back, it is still missing.

  22. But only time will tell, I am sure that the GVB will, with time, create good “things” in the future…still a very, very good quartet…oops, quintet.

  23. Sorry, I just couldn’t stay away.

  24. I too think time will tell. And does anyone know what exactly is going on with Guy anyway? Is there more to his departure than looking to a solo career? I don’t mean any rift with Bill or anything like that just is there something personal going on ? I don’t know why I keep thinking there is something else to this.
    If there is they sure know how to keep it quiet.

  25. The only things Marshall has on Mark are licks and soul. Not sure about now since he’s older (his voice has probably moved down a bit) but as far as vocal ability goes at one time Mark could sing all 4 parts. So he definitely has a great range. And he has the perfect blending voice for a quartet. Clear, deep, and smooth as silk. Besides you can’t tell from that clip how his voice is plus they don’t even show him singing a solo.
    That said I do think Marshall is a better soloist (his version of “Jesus Loves Me” is one of my favorite performances of all time) but as far as blending goes Mark is one the best.
    And I agree with Paul, Marsh has a voice like many artists today. Mark has a distinct way of phrasing songs; very similar to the unique way Jake Hess would phrase the lyrics.

    And as far as the New GVB goes…
    I really think it’s too early to expect the greatness they are capable of. Guy was my favorite lead of the GVB and I’m sad he left but I think this group could definitely create the same power they had with Penrod. See them in about 6 months and I think it will be a different story. I can’t wait for a new record from them. The harmonies should be awesome!

  26. Good question…I too wish I knew what was going on with Guy.

  27. I guess you have to understand, I’m saying Marshall is a better vocalist than Mark Lowery. At the same time, not stating an obvious fact which is – that doesn’t mean that Mark can’t do some things better than Marshall. Sorry. I guess I was assuming the readers would automatically take that into consideration. It seems most have taken it as me saying Marshall is better at absolutely every single little thing concerning music. Which is just not true.

    I believe Mark is a better blender. However, I do think Marshall’s voice would fit better with voices like Michael English and David Phelps.

    Katie – let’s also remember that Mark had to be taught, upon joinging the GVB, how to sing parts. That says alot about his vocal ability, but on the flip side says alot about the other reasons Bill wanted him on board. This further supports my very first comment on this thread.

  28. #27 “I believe Mark is a better blender. However, I do think Marshallโ€™s voice would fit better with voices like Michael English and David Phelps.”

    I AGREE 100%!

  29. I agree 100% as well.. as much as I like Mark, Marshall has a more contemporary voice, much like Mike and David.

  30. hey… they could get toegther and make another 4Him!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  31. I think every poster has acknowledged that you think Marsh is better vocalist. Which is why I said the only thing Hall has on Lowry is the ability to run all over the place on a song. If that makes him a better vocalist then okay. But as far as range goes Mark is right there with him.

    Which if I’m getting what you’re saying, it is because Marsh can do the runs that he would be better with Michael and David (Who both love to do the runs). Am I right?
    In that case I agree.
    But less we forget that Mark has sung with both of them in a group before and has sounded great. So only time will tell.

    Having to be taught parts doesn’t say anything about his ability except that he had to be taught. Learning parts from Baylor University (David Phelps) or straight from Bill Gaither himself doesn’t really have any reflection on your capabilities. You have to learn sometime.

    Anyways on another note… Did Michael English sing “Prisoners” on ‘Let Freedom Ring’?

  32. Hey, someone was saying Archie Watkins was going to put together a part-time quartet. Just maybe he’ll hire Guy and Marsh. ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

  33. I don’t really want to have to take the time to get you to understand. Let me lay it out simply for you. Some people don’t have to be taught parts – some people do. Some people can hear harmonies – some people can’t. That doesn’t mean that you can’t learn them, but there is a HUGE difference in the ability of someone who can naturally hear harmonies and someone who has to be taught to hear them – like Mark Lowery had to be. That’s all I’m saying.

  34. Mark had to be taught harmonies? Where did you hear that? I would have thought that Mark, the way he writes and sings, would already be able to sing harmonies. I like to find the source of that if you know where it can be found…

  35. Here is an interview with Bill gaither, where he mentions that Mark didn’t know Harmony

  36. Yes Mark says it in one of his old Comedy albums.. maybe “This is the Life” that he had to be taught.

    I am able to pick up harmonies VERY easily, and can easily tell when something tis wrong, BUT I am a horrible singer. The ability to pick up a tune means NOTHING.

  37. True QwertyJuan – but when judging two people who can both sing quite well, you take other things into considerations when comparing their vocal ability. That’s just a given.

  38. Thanks for the info on Mark’s having to learn to sing harmony.

  39. Definitely sounds like Guy on “At the Cross” in that clip!!

  40. Someone, anyone tell me when Guy Penrod re-appears as a soloist! That’s one concert I will not miss!

  41. I also wonder how long it will take for “the fifth wheel” to be ousted? I feel so bad know…the extra!

  42. Matt – it gives you another viewpoint at just how high a note Guy is hitting when he’s singing that song. Somehow – David makes it sound so much higher, but that’s what Guy was hitting every time.

  43. I can’t believe nobody has commented yet on how out of place Wes looks here. He’s just looks so LITTLE standing next to the rest of them. Lol.

  44. lol, he does look little standing next to the rest of them. Then again, in that case, Guy Penrod must have looked out of place for a while too, being so tall compared to the others.
    Hmmm… Nope, don’t think for a minute either of them are/were out of place… ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Have a nice day!

  45. Correct, neither of them were out of place – just looked it.

    Have a nicer day.

  46. That is a funny thought, David.

  47. Thanks David, had a great day so far. ๐Ÿ™‚
    By the way, I agree with you. I think it especially looks that way ’cause Wes is standing in between Michael English and David Phelps. Well, and of course the fact that he just isn’t a tall person. lol

  48. I think what David has been trying to say is that Marsh is a better MUSICIAN than Mark. There’s more to being a musician than playing instruments. It has to do with the ear. Marsh has a musician’s ear. Mark doesn’t. He’ll be the first to admit it to you.

    Take an example: I sing. I’ve been told I’m really good. I’ve never had a professional singer hear me sing so I can’t tell you what a professional’s opinion of my voice would be, but my choir director in high school and several in church have all told me what a fine voice I have, and that I could really go places with it. But I don’t have a musician’s ear. I can’t “hear” harmony. I can sing it, but I have to be taught. I have to learn the harmony part the way one would a solo.

    My brother, on the other hand, has a fine singing voice and is in fact the lead singer for his band. But I think even he would admit that I have a stronger singing voice and a wider range. He’s got the musician’s ear 100%. He can harmonize without thinking about it. He also has an ability to pick up an instrument and learn how to play it in a single afternoon. When we’re sitting around visiting and he and I start to sing a song together, not only can he sing an improvised harmony without thinking about it, and can even pick up his guitar or sit down at his piano and, even if he’s never played the song before, figure it out in a very short time and accompany us.

    I’m like Mark. He’s like Marsh. But it has nothing to do with singing ability.

  49. I think you are making it more complicated than it is… I think David means what he said… he feels Marshall is the better singer. There is nothing wrong with that. I ‘personally’ think Marshall has the ‘stronger’ singing voice(can you imagine Mark singing ‘Give it Away’) there is no way it would carry that same ‘punch’ as Mark’s voice is soooo much softer. On the other hand can you imagine Marsh singing “Home Where I Belong”?? He could sing it, but his voice would (IMO) be to strong and Harsh….

    Then again, this is all my opinion, and you can take it or leave it! :p

  50. P.S. I still prefer Russ Taff to both of them! ๐Ÿ˜€

  51. I could easily imagine him singing “Give it Away”. I’ve got a few of Mark’s solo albums. He can kick it! He’s got a very strong voice.

    I also love Marshall’s voice, and I agree he’s probably more of a power singer than Mark is. If the two of them were in a quartet together, Mark would be the baritone and Marsh the lead.

    BTW, I wasn’t trying to say that Mark’s voice is stronger than Marsh’s. I was talking about my brother and myself and trying to say that being a better singer has nothing to do with being a better musician.

    Marsh is a great singer and a wonderful musician. Mark is a great singer and not really a musician at all.

  52. Hmm …

  53. Maybe Mark could do give it away… but I still couldn’t imagine it… I, as well, have all of Mark’s recordings, and I still don’t think he has that ‘forcefulness’ that Marshall has. Russ Taff has it as well… so does Kirk Sullivan(formerly of 4Him). Mark Harris(also formerly of 4Him) doesn’t have it either.. he would be more comparable to Mark Lowry… soft and fluid… a very SMOOTH sounding baritone(or lead depending on the setting). It would be like comparing Tim Riley, and Jeremy Lile…