Could They Make It? Entry 1: Selah

Just for fun, every now and then, let’s take a video of a group from a different genre and discuss how they would fare if they tried their hands—or, more precisely but less idiomatically, their voices—at Southern Gospel.

Pros: Female vocalist Amy Perry, taking the lead here, has a voice that would fit well in the genre. Unlike the ofttimes overly breathy vocals of some female CCM vocalists, her powerful, confident vocals would fit well. Also, their song selection would generally fit within the genre’s bounds. It could be fairly said that their projects are less progressive than, say, Gold City and Brian Free & Assurance.

Cons: Duos don’t go as far as trios in this genre. It would help if the pianist sang on this song (though, apparently, he either sings or provides some onstage banter, since a microphone was set up for him.)

So . . . what’s the verdict?


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9 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. If a judgment is made solely on the contents of this video, I’d say yes they could make it. However, I am a super-huge fan of Selah (even pre-ordered their new cd, which comes out in less than 2 weeks!!!!!), so I know that their stuff is not always this….calm. =) Having said that, they are very much outside-the-box artists. You can’t pin them down as strictly contemporary because they are oh so much better than the average fare there. You can’t pin them down as strictly inspirational because they are known to pull out some wilder stuff @ times (see: their African songs, Ain’t No Grave w/ Jason & Adam Crabb, etc). You certainly can’t pin them down as Southern Gospel because they just aren’t. And that’s why I love them: they truly are in a class all their own. And Allan (pianist) does sing – he has a beautiful tenor voice and is the more “country” influence in the group. One of the absolute best versions of “Softly and Tenderly” was done by him & Cynthia Clawson a few years back. goose bumps just thinking about it. Give em a try, people…they’re not SG in any sense of the word, but they’re GOOD!

  2. I’d say these guys can do anything they want to do… and do it well.

  3. They are very good, I would like to hear the songs influenced by Allan who “bleeds country and bluegrass”.
    I see they are going to be in Mansfield Nov 7th. Got your tickets yet Daniel? 🙂

    • Actually, I didn’t know they’d be in Mansfield till now. I won’t be sure till closer. 🙂

  4. Selah has been on Gaither videos and have done a great job. I love this group. They are super talented and do alot of hymns. I wish groups in Southern Gospel sounded this good.

  5. First, let me just say that I am a HUGE fan of Selah and absolutely love this new song of theirs, “Unredeemed.” I cannot wait for their new project to come out.

    I, like Elisabeth, love them because they are unique and in a class of their own, which is intriguing to me. I think of them in a similar way as I do the Isaacs, even though the two groups have very different. Their vocals and their tight harmonies are amazing, but they do very contrasting styles of music, often thinking outside the box and often re-vamping traditional hymns and such, also injecting a capella pieces every now and then.

    Yes, I do think they could hold their own in this genre, because this music is very deep and often very theologically sound. They definitely do not have your normal “contemporary” style voices, which often brings with it breathy singers, in my opinion.

    I really enjoy them and the unique things they bring to the table.

  6. Joy FM plays Allan Hall’s version of “Down to the River to Pray” in our playlist. From what I can tell, it’s a solo of his and not necessarily Selah, but with the success of “O Brother Where Art Thou?” … the song is a fan favorite.

  7. I’d like to hear them give it a shot.

  8. They’ve already recorded songs that would be received by fans of Southern Gospel. “If We Never Meet Again” was written by Albert E. Brumley, for example, and has been recorded by numerous SG artists. Selah’s version was unique in that they prefaced it with “In This Life,” and it worked!

    Sadly, though, CCM-centric labels don’t typically send their singles to SG radio, and SG radio isn’t particularly receptive when they do.

    Amy Grant recorded two excellent CDs of hymns several years ago. I don’t know if any of those songs were played on radio at all, but it was the sort of stuff that could have elevated the quality on many SG stations if they had been given any singles to play.