Question of the Week: Ernie Haase

I had the opportunity to catch up with Ernie Haase at last night’s concert about Signature Sound’s upcoming Cathedrals Tribute project. It’s a 3-minute mini-interview:

[audio:/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/qotwerniehaase1.mp3|titles=Question of the Week – Ernie Haase]

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110 Letters to the Editor

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  1. Good job , Daniel!

  2. Good interview!

  3. Enjoyed listening to that, Daniel. I am not a huge fan of Signature Sound, but I am looking forward to getting their Cathedrals Tribute project.

    • Me too!

      (That was to the second part. With how much I weigh I’m a huge fan of anything I’m a fan of. πŸ˜› )

  4. Nic interview Daniel.

    That will be a good project.

  5. Just got around to reading this; short, sweet and informational. Great job! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks! That’s my goal exactly with these things.

  6. Way cool! You’re so good at asking just the right questions with limited time.

    So who do you think is going to sing “We Shall See Jesus?” Makes sense Ernie would say wait for the project, but I think it’s pretty clear that he’s gonna give it to Devin.

    I seem to recall reading somewhere that Ernie actually said he had “found his Glen Payne” in Devin. Maybe he didn’t, that’s just a passing thing I saw.

    But now here’s another question: Do you think Devin *could* do “We Shall See Jesus?” I mean certainly he could “do” it in the sense that it would be a solid performance. But when somebody like Glen Payne has left his stamp on a song…it’s just tough to come along and do it again, if you know what I mean. But we’ll see…

    • I think it’s interesting that EHSS and Legacy Five are releasing this song at the same time. It will be interesting to see how it all pans out…

      • I think they’ll end up being 6-12 months apart. L5 will probably have their table project out quite quickly, while EHSS hasn’t even taped the video portion of their product yet.

      • Since Scott Fowler is the lead singer for L5, does that mean he would get “We Shall See Jesus” for the table project? No offense to Devin, but it seems like Scott might actually be a better fit for the song.

      • L5 fans are supposed to think that. πŸ˜‰

      • Oops, I thought I was answering Naomi on that one.

      • I’d probably prefer Scott’s rendition to Devin’s . . . but now Doug Anderson, that’s another story.

        I can’t help but wonder if Ernie or Tim might give it a try, though. That would certainly fulfill the “different” part, and maybe be different enough for people to accept it!

      • Yes! I would absolutely love to see Doug get the lead on this one. He could just *nail* it.

        Hmmm, hadn’t thought of Ernie or Tim. It might work to have Timmy sing the first verse, then hand it over to Ernie for the climax. Maybe change the key so that Ernie is hitting something more dramatic. πŸ˜€

        Come to think of it, that might be kind of cool. I could definitely see Ernie taking this home. The thing about Ernie is that he’s really not your ordinary gospel tenor. A lot of gospel tenors I find are like mosquitoes—they zoom around way up there, you know, but there’s not a whole lot of substance to the voice. Not so with Ernie. Very balanced singer with depth and body.

        In fact, I seem to recall his saying in an old interview he did with you that if he woke up in the morning and his lower notes were full-bodied and substantial, then he knew his high notes would be good. I think that’s fascinating, and there’s good advice for aspiring tenors in there, namely work on enriching the voice *before* tackling the high stuff!

      • I don’t know if any lead singer in the future will dare to tackle that song . . . but maybe a bass and tenor could really knock it out of the park. πŸ™‚

      • I think We Shall See Jesus is low enough (at least at first) that Tim could do it great. I can actually hear him singing it now!

    • Yes, it would be tough for anyone to try.

      I’ve been wondering if they’re going to do one of the things Gaither has been doing recently, and play a Homecoming video of Glen singing the song and join in on the chorus. I kind of hope they don’t; I love the original, but let the original be the original and do your own rendition. πŸ™‚

      • What a horrifying thought! (I mean, I love Glen, but gosh, how cheesy would that be??) I trust Ernie not to do something like that…though he did say that about “bringing George and Glen back via technology.” Hmmm…

        But he seemed to be implying that they were going to do something different with the song in the interview. “A little bit different, but very respectful.” That implies their own arrangement. Gotta say though, I’m all for fresh arrangements, but I hope they don’t make it *too* different. I mean, the way he was talking, it was almost like he meant they had changed something in the lyric. Let’s hope not!

        Here’s a thought I’ve had for a while…wouldn’t that song work great with the hymn “When We See Christ?” It just seems like it would be a really neat thing for a group to segue into that hymn after the song—sort of a medley type thing. Dunno, maybe I’m off-base and it would totally not work, but just a thought…

      • The “little bit different” thing with technology could be as simple as the type of thing they did in the beginning of Champion of Love

  7. That’s good… maybe it won’t be like “Truth Is Marching On” at NQC πŸ˜‰ LOL. Still, it is on both of their newest projects. It will definitely make for some interesting comparison πŸ˜‰ . Yeah, I’m sorry… but I think Scott is gonna nail this one! (Yep, I’m biased πŸ˜€ ) . I can’t wait to hear it!! A Bass/Tenor version could be pretty neat too πŸ˜‰

    • Wow.. lotsa smilies goin’ on! LOL

    • …and that proves my point, actually.

      If EHSS has the lead singer do it because it’s a lead singer’s song, people will be comparing it to Glenn and to Scott. But if he does it as a tenor/bass thing, L5 fans, Cathedrals fans, everyone could like both. πŸ™‚

      • My, my, my, we’re all full of advice today! I’ve got so much advice for all my favorite singers…now if I could just sit them down and make them listen to me…

        But doggonit, we’ve got good ideas. Why shouldn’t they listen to us? LOL πŸ˜€

        Regarding Scott, I think it’s interesting to see how his voice has matured over the years (Doug at Averyfineline has actually pointed this out). Ever notice that that little “squeak” he used to have has all but disappeared now? I think he’s been quietly improving his singing while everybody else was looking the other way. I do feel he’s a rather underrated singer.

      • I completely agree!!! Scott is the BOMB and he really doesn’t get much recognition for his abilities.

        Very good point, Daniel! That would definitely be a smart move on Ernie’s part.

      • πŸ˜€ Nice to see somebody who agrees with me.

        Well, Scott is up for favorite lead at the SN awards…got a feeling Ronnie Booth’s gonna take it home though. Nothing against Ronnie, I like him quite a bit, but…it would just be nice to see Scott win something for once! I love his work on “When They Found Nothing”—terrific!

      • Oh yes, and not to mention that Scott is just a really great guy! I know that doesn’t have anything to do with his voice…but I just really like *him* as a person. I personally find it very refreshing that he’s so outspoken about his politics. I know he gets some flak for that, but I just want to say that I appreciate his willingness to speak truth unabashedly where it needs to be spoken. In the culture war we’re facing today where our faith and our values are being assaulted on every hand, we need more soldiers like him.

      • Oh yes, and you can pass that on next time you bump into the group Daniel…just FYI. πŸ˜€

  8. I love EHSS and I Ernie Haase!!.. Regardless of how he choose to line things up, My money is always on Ernie!! … Btw people have always exazzerated.. EHSS never did a LOT of choreograpy.. .. And yes, Devin is a better fit at lead.. I LOVE ERNIE!!

    • πŸ™‚ Me too. Pure voice, heart of gold. And loves, loves kids. I have a theory that Ernie + kids go together like milk and cookies…or peanut butter and jelly…or something.

  9. I really love Ernie …. EHSS is sooooo Awesome!.. I CAN HARDLY WAIT FOR THE NEXT DVD.. Any dvd of EHSS !

  10. Besides being extremely blessed, gifted , talented and creative , Ernie is just a great all around fun loving guy , who does not take himself too seriously .. And does not take his fans for granted .. BEST Artist _ Group of all time ? .. I THINK SO !!

    • “Does not take his fans for granted.” I love that—so true! The small one in our house has a Texas-sized crush on him…and I doubt she’s alone either. πŸ˜‰

  11. No, your little one is not alone . I am fifty-thee years old am I absolutely love Ernie! … He is the Best of the best .. My husband told me that I am to old to be a Groupie.. Lol.

    • Ah…but you are young at heart! πŸ˜‰

  12. Is Ernie Haase of Jewish ancestry ?

    • Possibly, but the name could also be German or Dutch.

  13. I went to an EHSS concert a few weeks agp … Awesome!!. The “Bad Beans On The Bus” on EHSS youtube shows how great these guys are at having good fun !.. Can’t wait for Ernie’s next DVD !

  14. OK guys, back here for the EHSS Appreciation Society discussion on:

    Keeping Traditional SGM Alive, with specific reference to the Cathedrals Living Alumni.

    The floor is open…

    [or The Ground is Level]

  15. Where to we stand on the trail of the 20 Elusive Cat’s Songs 2 CD Set?

    In no particular order of reference:

    1. Boundless Love

    2. Wedding Music

    3. This Old House

    4. Sinner Saved by Grace

    5. My God Delivers Again

    6. I Thirst

    7. Mexico

    8. Champion of Love

    9. Step into the Water

    10. Life will be Sweeter Some Day

    11. Can He Could He Would He

    12. Moving Up to Gloryland

    13. I’m Gonna Live Forever

    14. Wonderful Grace of Jesus

    15. Old Convention Song

    16. Yesterday

    17. We Shall See Jesus

  16. [I think something ate a post?] Nevermind!

    Resume on the EHSS Tribute Double CD Song List, thus far:

    1. Boundless Love

    2. Wedding Music

    3. This Old House

    4. Sinner Saved by Grace

    5. My God Delivers Again

    6. I Thirst

    7. Mexico

    8. Step Into the Water

    9. Life Will be Sweeter Someday

    10. Can He Could He Would He

    11. Champion of Love

    12. Moving Up to Gloryland

    13. I’m Gonna Live Forever

    14. Wonderful Grace of Jesus

    15. Old Convention Song

    16. We Shall See Jesus

    17. Yesterday

    • Hey David, I’d forgotten “Wedding Music,” so that would take my list to 16…but where are you getting “Sinner Saved By Grace?”

      • Did not the worn out creaking baritone Ernie person allude to it in his interview with the Den Meister?

      • I must have missed it. That should be great! I assume Timmy would get the lead…? They seem to have changed the lead around in so many of these songs that I guess we can’t be sure.

        No comments on the “worn out creaking baritone Ernie person” by the way! πŸ˜‰

      • I like that they’ve changed the lead around, at least most of the time. You can’t outdo the original by doing an identical rendition – the highest target to aim for, I think, is doing a rendition that’s quite good in a different way.

      • Yes. And besides, what’s the point if you’re just going to copy the original? That would just get dull. You have to give people a reason for buying *your* version as opposed to just listening to the original.

      • Well a lotta the guys who think he’s past it, will I hope and trust get huge helpings of humble pie to eat next month!

        I believe Ernie has been working up to this for, he himself says 2 years, I would say more like 10.

        Maybe the whole 30 years!!

      • I tell you … I hadn’t been losing a bit of sleep waiting for this project. I hadn’t spent many moments thinking about it. It hasn’t been on my buy list.

        But listening to you guys is about like listening to iPhone owners … I’m starting to feel kinda hyped about it myself! πŸ˜€

      • AMY!!

        You kiddin, again!

        This CD / DVD set should be the biggest thing, definitively, in Ernie’e career since he quit singing in the Old Age Home!

      • Oh David bro, I assume you mean 20 years, not 30 years? Unless you’re thinking Ernie started when he was 15? πŸ˜‰

      • I’m really not; I mean, I’ve got Glen Payne and George Younce doing most of these, for cryin’ out loud! I can’t listen to “I Thirst” whenever I please, so that one I really want to have.

        I eventually did get the Perry’s tribute to the Goodmans (only because it was on a deep discount), but I rarely listen to most of the songs that I have the original versions. I’m just that way.

      • Amy…WHAT? You mean you haven’t lost *any* sleep over this project? What kind of a fan are you? πŸ˜†

        This one’s going on my Christmas list, for sure!

      • None … But I’ve been lying awake half the night, every night, trying to think what might be on Jubilee 2.


      • Well, if we get you excited enough, maybe you’ll pick it up and get a nice surprise…

        By the way, a note about “We Shall See Jesus.” I know that you heretically said that’s not a favorite of yours. It occurred to me that it might be because it moves so slowly. Perhaps you just got bored. But I saw EHSS do their version live in concert recently, and I think it actually improves on the original in that respect because it moves along better. So you may even find yourself liking songs you didn’t even know you liked before. πŸ˜‰

      • I’m telling you, I’m susceptible to this. I want an iPhone more all the time to. πŸ˜€

        And I think you nailed part of the reason for my heretical aberration.

      • And really I do know where to use “to” or “too.”

      • That’s okay, we understand!

        And honestly, maybe the reason why I pegged the problem for you on that one was because [shhhh, don’t tell] I had the same issue with it at first too. But then it grew on me, and now I think I like the EHSS version even better… although Glen’s voice can’t be matched.

      • Ernie did start singing more than 30 years ago – in a Nursing Home!

        I didn’t say professionally, Didn’t he say it was where he learned to sing with ‘old folks’?

      • Besides, he was singing professionally (with Squire Parsons) by 1986 or so.

    • So David, looking at our expanded list here…what are you getting most excited about? Me, “This Ole House” has got to be right up there. By the way, not to make you jealous or anything…but I bumped into Timmy Duncan the other day at the concert…Wished him luck on the taping as I did for all of them. Then I said, “Don’t mess up on ‘This Old House!'” He’d been real quiet, but he got a gleam in his eye when I said that and replied, “Oh no.” I say that’s a classic in good hands right there!

      • Hey SoGoBro,

        You said all that in a previous post, on another Thread!!

        [Yes Daniel, I know my 1,2,3 list went up 1,2 times!!]

        Anyway; We Shall See Jesus & Sinner Saved by Grace and Boundless Love – my top 3.

      • Yeah, I just realized that myself…whatever. Great story anyway. πŸ˜‰

        I should probably separate out favorite up-tempo, favorite slow ballad, and favorite big ballad. Honestly, it’s actually impossible for me to pick just one favorite. So let’s say “This Ole House” is favorite up-tempo. But then I’ll add “Yesterday” for my favorite slower one, and “We Shall See Jesus” as my favorite big ballad. There we go!

      • Should add that I’m really looking forward to “Boundless Love” too. As Daniel said, that’s a good example of a true “SG classic.” Lots of people have put their spin on it—it kind of belongs to the genre now. But I can’t wait to see what “da boyz” come up with. Would love to hear Ernie belt it out again like he used to! I remember watching a clip from the Cats Reunion where they rotated tenors on the last couple choruses. Ernie blew everybody else away (IMHO).

  17. This Old House is GOOOOD! However, it is very difficult for me to pick a favorite. So far, I’d say God Delivers Again. But that may change.

    • I’d never heard “God Delivers Again” before finding EHSS doing it on Youtube. I then went back and found the Cats original with Kirk Talley. Honestly, no comp. in my book. EHSS is making it their own and making it better than ever! Terrific song!

      • Same hear, and yes, its not even close

      • ….or here, oooops.

  18. BTW small mice musical detective bros,

    Are you certain, Standing by the River and Climbing Higher and Higher are NOT on the list – because they have been done already by EHSS?

    • I’m just going by what Ernie said in the interview… “We done ‘Trying to Get a Glimpse,’ we done that for years.” That’s a clue to me that they consider that one “done” at this point. And really, for that one it would make even less sense to include it than “Climbing Higher and Higher” because they’ve done it in the studio and on a video.

  19. By the way, any ideas as to what Ernie meant when he talked about “bringing George and Glen back via technology?”

    • Yeah. Listen to the video on “Champion of Love.”

      They might do a sing-a-long with the video, Homecoming style, for a song or two. Not sure.

      • (Groans.) To be perfectly honest [whispering] I thought the over-dub of George on “Champion of Love” was kind of cheesy. By the way, I didn’t recognize the voice as George’s at first. But I guess I have part of my answer now…

      • Don’t like it!!!

        A very little of video would be OK, the thing where they have George ‘feed’ the lyric on Champion of Love is totally cheesy!! Not good!

      • That’s okay…I love them anyway. I’ll just skip that one, is all! Let’s focus on the positive (as Daniel would say).

    • As I said earlier,

      The β€œlittle bit different” thing with technology could be as simple as the type of thing they did in the beginning of Champion of Love with Georges intro

    • Dangit Danny beat me

  20. Okay guys, here’s a question…what are some songs you’d really like to see on the project but that it looks like they might not include?

    Here are a couple faves I’m going to miss…

    “Everyday, Every Hour”

    “Hard Trials” (can’t you just see them rocking out on this one?)

    “High And Lifted Up” (I know that it’s real similar to “We Shall See Jesus,” and since they’re doing that one, they probably feel like it would be redundant to do both. But man, what a great song…)

    And then there are a couple that featured Ernie but never really got the exposure they deserved, like “Death Has Died” and “I Want to See Jesus.” They probably won’t include those because 1. They’re not well-known and 2. Ernie’s probably deliberately trying to avoid “Ernie-centric” stuff, for which I actually applaud him. But if we’re talking about the best songs the Cats ever did…those two are right up there, especially “I Want to See Jesus.” (This is pretty heretical, but I’ll take that one over “I Bowed On My Kness and Cried Holy” any day.)

    • EHSS has “Trying to Get a Glimpse” off, possibly, better than the Cat’s –

      I know they have featured it, but i kinda think the CD set would be good with it on.

      Also Ernie singing lead on, Somebody Touched Me.

      It doesn’t have to be Danny’s sig-song!

      • I agree actually—I saw a review sneering at that arrangement of “Trying To Get a Glimpse” saying that if it was meant to be a tribute, it was poorly conceived, and if it was meant to be carrying on the flag, the flag was dragging the ground, or something like that. What utter and complete rubbish! Timmy does it to perfection, and it’s a classic arrangement all ’round. One of the first songs that got me into EHSS as a matter of fact.

      • Actually it was the Sig Sound rendition of that song that convinced me they could, with maturity, equal the Cat’s.

        To play the two groups performances back to back is amazing. They capture the Cat’s sound to a ‘T’!

        BTW: As well as Cat’s ‘tributes’ I think they could handle nearly any quartet sound-alike. Have you heard the early EHSS singing a Statlers take-off on “The Other Side of the Cross”. It’s like George guesting for Harold in a Statlers line up!

      • Indeed! I own that album. Good stuff. Interesting to hear the production difference pre- and post-Gaither. But the song selection is great, and yeah, that one’s definitely a highlight. Love Ryan’s voice on that one…miss Ryan.

      • Ooooh, hadn’t thought of that! Or perhaps “I’ve Just Started Living?” But then we’d get all kinds of nonsense about how Danny can sing circles around Ernie and it was a joke for Ernie to try to do one of his signature songs… spare me. But I suspect he may not anyway.

  21. We still short 3 songs, at least?

    • Alas, we are, and I have no more to offer! Oh well…17 out of 20 ain’t bad.

      • Who knows the other 3 might just be suprises… I personally really liked the song “Saved, Saved” off the Cats last studio album… I could see Timmy nailing that first first and then Doug taking home Fowlers part… With Ernie doing his thing at the end! πŸ™‚ I love that song!

      • I meant Timmy nailing that *First Verse* πŸ™‚

      • I believe I’ve never heard that one. I was only able to find “I Want to See Jesus” from that album—but from the clips I’ve heard, I think I got the best one!

        The only two Cats albums I own are High and Lifted Up (autographed by Ernie Haase—and no, I’m not selling!) and Alive! Deep in the Heart of Texas. Other songs I’ve picked up around Youtube, but let’s just say there are a *lot* of Cats songs I have yet to discover! And some I’ve discovered through EHSS. I’m not sure what they plan to do with those last three, but I can’t wait to find out!

      • I enjoy “Come Out of the Wilderness” off that album. Something didn’t click with me on “I Want to See Jesus,” at least listening to it over speakers. It felt like a song that had a lot of potential, but didn’t maintain the feeling quite right over the course of the song.

  22. Just for fun, I thought I’d compile a list of all the Cats songs EHSS has already done on previous projects:

    First, there are two that are traditionals, but for which they did the Cats’ arrangements of them, and those are “Mansion Over the Hilltop” and the “Something About That Name/I Will Serve Thee” medley.

    Then, there’s “Going Home…”

    “He Didn’t Come Down”

    “Trying To Get a Glimpse”

    “He Made a Change”

    “Plan of Salvation”

    “Climbing Higher and Higher”

    Cats arrangement of “God Rest Ye Merry”

    And that’s it I think, unless you want to count “Then Came the Morning” (which I identify more with the GVB) and “Oh What a Savior” (which we already agreed is more an “Ernie” song than a “Cats” song.

  23. I wonder if Going Home will be included on this project. I know they’ve done it previously on the Stand By Me Live project, but the arrangement is slightly different this time around with the background vocals.

    Not only that, but they are even doing it around the piano like the Cathedrals Farewell concert.

    • Good question. I’ve actually seen a different clip where they didn’t do it around the piano, so I don’t know if they would for the project.

      I think I prefer the arrangement with Ryan, personally. This one has a bit more of a swing to it, sounds good, but…just not the same. They might do it though.

      • Yep. I think Devin’s performance is a bit affected, but good. I would expect a bit more from him if they actually put it on the tribute album.

  24. I had one come on my Shuffle this morning that I thought would have been a good fit for a tribute. “God Himself the Lamb” – It features Glen, but it never achieved “signature song”; I can imagine a smooth baritone pulling it off. It is a slow song that I like – anybody know if it’s a ballad or not? πŸ˜€

    • It sure is!

      • Very well. I would say that a song like that, IF it’s pulled off right, is going to be one I really like. But there is a delicate balance there before it degenerates into just “a really long time to be listening to the same voice.”

        Glen pulled it off. Gerald pulls it off. The lyric is also going to be really important, and easily the make-it-or-break-it point for me. That’s probably why, on these songs, I end up disagreeing with others’ opinions so often. If I don’t connect with the message, the musical quality on one of these songs is hardly even going to matter.

    • “God Himself the Lamb” is probably one of my top five-or-so Cathedrals songs. It’s one of Glen’s greatest performances, and I wish it had been more of a “featured” song for them.

      • I’ll have to check it out. Glen could sing to me all day…

      • You might as well do yourself a favor and get the whole Symphony of Praise album. It’s only the greatest album in southern gospel history. Well, IMO anyway. πŸ˜‰ But I don’t think I’m alone in that opinion.

      • I’ve heard that’s a really great one…but it would have to top High and Lifted Up for it to be the greatest, IMO.

      • On the song under discussion: After recording the track, the London Symphony orchestra (many of whom, I assume, were not Christians) stood and applauded the Cathedrals’ rendition. It was the first time in years they had given a standing ovation to an artist they were backing.

      • I don’t have the entire album of either one of those. πŸ™ However, if I looked through the song lists, I’d probably find I was familiar with 90% of the songs through compilations.

      • You can find most of the songs from High and Lifted Up in live versions on Youtube. The quality isn’t optimal, but it’s better than nothing! Here’s one of my faves—“Jesus Has Risen”:

        You can hear samples from all the songs here. This will also give you more titles to search for on Youtube:

  25. Oh yes, and you can find quite a few songs from Symphony of Praise—studio cuts— uploaded to Youtube. Here’s “God Himself the Lamb”:

    You’ll see more on the right.

  26. One thing I hope doesn’t happen with this project is that they dont overdo the technology and bringing George and Glen back stuff. Its one thing I’ve seen Bill do a lot of in the recent videos. I like it, but only to a certain point.

    Its good to honor them and remember them with technology, but just don’t do it too much. I think maybe only on a few songs they should do it. No more than 5 for sure.

    • Well we already know that the “bringing George back” is the voice-over on “Champion of Love.” I don’t know if they’re planning to do more…

      • Yeah, I know that. And I like how they did Champion of Love. I just don’t want them to overdo it, especially with video overlays during songs. If you do it too often, it loses its effect.

  27. Well, i know i will get both Legacy 5’s and Signature Sounds projects!


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