Old Time Gospel Hour Quartet set to release new albums

The Old Time Gospel Hour Quartet is set to release a new recording, The Word is Out, in March 2007. [EDIT, 11/8/10: The link is broken and has been removed.] This is being billed as their “first independent project,” an interesting billing since their Hymns and Classics recordings originally only available directly from the quartet. When I called Song Garden asking about them, the secretary told me that I could only purchase the projects straight from the quartet. Even though I believe the label picked them up later, it seems as though the two were originally independent table projects.

Tenor Tony Jarman said of the new album: “It will be totally different than any of our prior projects. We are thrilled at the list of songwriters and musical styles that this new project has.” An announcement like that typically signifies that a group is going to try a more progressive tack, because an old-fashioned quartet album is usually clearly labeled and promoted as such.

If I was a consultant for the Old Time Gospel Hour Quartet, I’d tell them that introducing three new vocalists is enough of a challenge for one recording, and they they would be best off recording one or two albums in the group’s familiar style before trying something “totally different.”

Introducing three new vocalists and a totally different style is so risky that some would call it a gamble. Who knows, gambles occasionally pay off, and let’s hope it does here.

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2 Letters to the Editor

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  1. I personally think the Old Time Gospel Hour Quartet is really hurting for a sonic identity right now. To me, what they’re doing makes perfect sense. This group burst on the scene with a traditional quartet song and a novelty number. When Jeff Pearles joined the group, they made adjustments for him and carried on. However, with the more recent changes, they’ve continued doing the same songs using the new vocalists. This is rarely effective….so they’re overdue for a sonic shift to songs that emphasize the strengths of the singers in the group now.

  2. Granted, but this essentially means they have to start again from square one.