Pat Barker joins Mark Trammell Quartet

Mark Trammell announced yesterday that the first bass singer for the Mark Trammell Quartet will be Pat Barker.

He could not have made a better pick.

(There were a few others who may have been as good, if they were interested, but none better.)

Barker can rattle the subwoofers, but he is primarily a singer’s singer. The bass richness into his tones carries fully into a high baritone. As discussed here, when he recorded “It is Well with my Soul” with the Diplomats, he carried the melody all the way through the song—and keyed it only one note lower than the hymnal standard. Just by way of comparison, Barker recorded it in B-flat, while Triumphant Quartet’s lead singer Clayton Inman recently recorded it one key full step higher, in C.

Besides his incredible singing voice, though, Barker is simply a great guy. It was a lot of fun to watch him cheering on other groups at last year’s National Quartet Convention; one of his group mates described him as the biggest fan there, and that was pretty accurate.

Via the Dixie Echoes’ press release:

Pat shares, “My years with the Dixie Echoes have been some of the greatest years I’ve known in ministry.  I have met some of the most wonderful people on the Planet.  No one has shown me more kindness than Randy, Scoot, Stewart, Wesley, and the Gospel Music family as a whole.  I am very sad to be leaving, but excited about the new ministry opportunities that await me.  My prayer is that God will bless the Dixie Echoes more this coming year than He has in all 50 years combined.  I never imagined my time with the Dixie Echoes would have been so short, but I also never imagined almost 3 years ago that I would get back on the road, leave my hometown, and start a new life in Pensacola, FL.  The Lord moves in mysterious ways.  I love you all.  Continue to lift up the Dixie Echoes in your prayers.  And please say a prayer for me and my family as we continue to follow God wherever He leads.”

“Members come and go in every group. This was an unexpected change for us, but I know Pat’s heart, and if there’s one thing that I can tell anyone about him, it is that he lives what he sings about,” shares Stewart. “We will miss Pat, his wife Kesha, son Andy, and daughter Breelyn. They have become our extended family, and I wish him the best. Mark Trammell and I have been friends for many years and I know that Pat will be working with a great guy.”

The Dixie Echoes will be accepting auditions at

And from Trammell’s release:

George Younce said it best: Mark Trammell is a “quartet man” period. And after two years of soul searching and watching the craft of the traditional gospel quartet become scarce, Mark has decided to move from trio status to realizing his life long dream of having his own traditional style all male gospel quartet.

“This is not a decision that was made flippantly,” Mark states, “and all I’m really doing is simply returning to my roots. I was trained by some of the greatest men to ever take a quartet to the stage and I’m very excited about MTQ endeavoring to raise the bar when it comes our music and being able to minister to, as well as entertain our friends and fans.”

For any who wonder how Barker might sound on the sort of song the Mark Trammell Trio sings, here is a good taste:

Other videos:

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5 Letters to the Editor

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  1. I am sorry to hear this. The Dixie Echoes have become my favorite quartet and Pat Barker’s great bass singing was one of the many reasons.

    • I agree…but he has to go where he feels led by God. I am sure the DE’s will find a new bass that is as good or better.

  2. The hymnbooks I have seen have It Is Well in Db. As far as Bb to C, that is actually two notes away and two keys up. 🙂

    • Thanks for the catch—I updated the post to the more specific “full step,” which is what I’d intended all along. I had just been using informal terminology, which is not always the wisest course with how intelligent my readership is!

  3. I know this is a pretty old post but hey, I just had to…

    I love this bass, Pat. He’s so small. You quickly get drawn to his way of singing. I first saw him when MTQ was featured in that Tribute to Lari Goss video and my oh my, I was hooked. He’s one of the best I think, and sure does go way up high.
    From a Southern Gospel fan in South Africa