Guest CD Review: Influenced II (Ernie Haase and Signature Sound)

In a recent discussion in the comments, NewSoGoFan offered to take an item off my to-do list, reviewing Ernie Haase and Signature Sound’s latest CD. Once someone has proven that they can write and have insight to offer, I’m all for giving them a shot to be heard. Plus, the deal includes a day off! So, here’s this site’s first ever guest CD review. ~Daniel

The first thing I noticed when I got home and opened my copy of Influenced: Spirituals and Southern Classics was the design of the CD. They’d literally designed it to look like an old-fashioned record—handsome black grooves and all. It put a smile on my face—just a nice, classy touch. The liner notes are nicely put together as well. There’s a classy new group shot on the back cover with a note from Wayne Haun, then musician and songwriter info on the inside. Lyrics would have been a nice addition, but musician info was certainly a must for this sort of project, so I’m glad they included it. It’s just a cool thing to know exactly who had those sweet banjo licks or that killer fiddle solo, even if I don’t know the name from Adam.

Now without further ado…on to the songs!

  1. The Bible Told Me So (featuring Devin): This is a cute, up-tempo way to get the project going. They always open their concerts with this song, so anybody reading this who’s seen the group recently knows that it’s an Ecclesiastes paraphrase: “There’s a time to laugh and a time to cry/A time to live and there’s a time to die, etc.” Nothing heavy, but it does its job as a nice intro to the record and to Devin’s voice. Tight, polished harmonies as usual.
  2. Who’ll Be a Witness? (featuring Tim): I love how this begins with just a creeping bass and finger-snapping. I do think the whispered “witneeeeess” is a bit distracting. But I like the sudden switch from the initial lean rhythm backbone and unison singing to full instrumentation and harmony. This song isn’t my favorite spiritual—it doesn’t have much of a tune and drags somewhat. But the guys do a good job with it. You can tell they’re having a lot of fun, and for me as a listener, that enhances my own enjoyment of it. Tracey Phillips’s piano work is impeccable and easily steals the show.
  3. If God Didn’t Care (featuring Devin): I just really like how this one flows. It’s a slow, swaying piece with a bit of a Cathedrals sound. I like the precision of the vocals. Devin delivers a very smooth, rich performance. All the guys sound great on this track as a matter of fact. Ernie handles some very high harmony with his usual ease and confidence, Timmy provides some great “basement work,” and Doug and Devin flesh out the sound beautifully.
  4. That’s How Rhythm Was Born (featuring Ernie): This was the probably the most unusual cover choice for the record. For a change, the guys picked something originally done by a female group—the Boswell Sisters. But astonishingly, they make it sound like it was written for them. Just one more piece of evidence that these guys can literally pick anything they like and make it their own. Appropriately, the production on this song has a very strong 40’s feel. The classic, tight-knit band sound and the various instrumental improvisations make me feel like I’m sitting in on the Boswell Sisters’ own recording session. But that’s the idea, of course. The highlight of the song is when Glen Duncan cuts loose on the fiddle during the musical bridge. I was immediately reminded of Joe Venuti, a popular studio violinist in the era this song was pulled from. What with one thing and another, this song literally inspired me to go pull out my collection of Bing Crosby & Andrews Sisters duets—it sounds that authentic. Of course, the lyric makes reference to banjos, so the production wouldn’t be complete without some dexterous pickin’ in the mix—listen closely at the end for some sweet descending licks. Interestingly, I feel like this song actually loses some of its flavor done live, mainly because they’re working with a limited live band, so the more colorful bits of production (banjo, fiddle) get lost in the process.
  5. It’s Good to See the Sun (featuring Ernie): Nothing ground-breaking here, just a nice, slow, mellow piece about enjoying the sunshine of life while you have it. Although it’s arranged to sound like an old song, the lyrics suggest that it’s something newer. It is in fact co-penned by Haase, Haun, and Lindsey. Once again, Tracey Phillips provides the glue that holds the band together, expertly setting the mood with some delicious chords at the intro and closing with a lovely, tumbling waterfall of notes. Recommended listening on a lazy summer’s day.
  6. Walk Over God’s Heaven (featuring Doug): I guessed from the samples that this was going to be a favorite before I ever heard it. I was right. The main instrument is (I believe) an electric guitar, and man,  it just takes it away. I love how it never plays the same lick twice—it’s tweaked a little each time to keep things interesting. And then I love when the upright bass takes over at the end—too sweet! And the b-3 organ spices things up beautifully throughout. Doug is obviously having a ball (as are all the guys) and does a great job. So I think I’ve got this straight now…we’re gonna walk in the shoes, shout in the robe, and dance in the crown. Sounds good. Let’s crank up the volume and hit the road! If this ain’t driving music, I don’t know what is. Roll down the windows? Sure, who’s gonna stop me? I mean the guy next to me is blaring his heavy metal or whatever at 200 decibels, why not blare some good gospel back at him?
  7. My Brother’s Keeper (featuring Devin): Another smooth ballad. I like the acapella “ooooos” to kick it off—bit schmaltzy, but what the heck, I’m a sucker for schmaltz. Lyrically, it’s your typical “my brother is every man” lyric, but I like how it turns around at the end: “Today I’m my brother’s keeper/But tomorrow he may be mine.” Makes you think a little bit. Oh yes, and I’d say this is definitely Devin’s strongest feature on the project. He’s comfortably within his range and sounds very natural and confident, with a nice, full-bodied tone.
  8. Old-Fashioned Love (featuring Ernie): Well, even good projects deserve a little filler…honestly, this is the only track I didn’t import into my iTunes library when I got the CD. This features the famous kazoo solo, which has become the centerpiece of a comedy routine so popular that it’s literally spawned a new product in the EHSS store—plastic kazoos! But let’s be honest…while the routine is very funny done live, the song itself is rather forgettable. And the kazoo…well let’s just say it doesn’t help. Again, makes a good comedy routine, but once you remove the live element, the end product leaves something to be desired.
  9. Let It Go (featuring Tim): I just love songs I can relate to with my own personal life experiences. I love songs that meet me where I am. Case in point, this irresistible little number reminding us to let go of our grudges before we blow our tops. I fondly recall an incident from my early driving years…like a good citizen, I was making a right turn into the nearest available lane. I couldn’t possibly be in anybody’s way—or so I thought. That thought went right out the window when some idiot turned left into the exact same lane, forcing me to practice my defensive driving skills (read: slam the brakes) to avoid an unfortunate scene for all concerned. So you can imagine how moved I was when the following lyric from this song caught my ear: “Somebody at the traffic light/Was turning left as you turned right/They cut you off and drove from sight/So where’s that golden rule?” I couldn’t believe it—God surely must have inspired the writer to write this just for me. It just spoke to my heart. I’m getting a little teary-eyed just thinking about it. Excuse me while I go grab a tissue or two… Okay, just kidding. But let’s just say it struck a little close to home!
  10. It’s My Desire (featuring Devin): This is the “listen to our new lead” number that Ernie’s taken to having Devin sing at each concert. I like the song—though it does come off as a slightly inferior version of “I’d Rather Have Jesus.” But Devin does a nice job with it. Interestingly, they leave off the key change after the first verse when they do this one live. Listening to the studio cut, I can see why—Devin does sound a little strained after the key change. But he finishes strong, and the backup harmonies are just right—they accentuate and complement Devin’s work without being overpowering.
  11. His Name is Wonderful: I pronounce this the gem of the project. It’s completely acapella, which accentuates the harmonic interplay of the vocals. It starts in B flat, which happens to be the same key in which the group has taken to doing “Wonderful Grace of Jesus.” They throw in an unexpected chord shift at the end of the first “almighty God is he”—they hold out a four-three suspension, but instead of immediately resolving to the one, everybody else holds his place while the baritone steps down from a B flat to an A flat for a momentary key change to D flat. Only then do they collapse back to the one for the rest of the chorus. I’m not sure if I’m entirely on board with it yet, but it’s a neat twist. There’s some great moving harmony second time through the chorus, and this time they all change key to D flat together and stay there for the rest of the song. The ending is just gorgeous—wonderfully lush, intricate chords. I can’t say enough good things about this arrangement. I hope they do more acapella work of this caliber on future projects. As of yet, they’ve only begun to dip their toes into it, but here’s hoping they continue to explore this sound. Frankly, I’d like to see them do an entire record acapella one of these days—perhaps an all-hymns project reminiscent of the Cathedrals’ Worship His Glory.

Conclusion: Comparing this project to something like Get Away Jordan or Dream On is like comparing soft chalk to bright marker. As with Influenced I, the guys obviously worked hard to create a deliberately vintage sound. Though the production is crisp and full, there’s a down-to-earth, spontaneous feel to the instrumentation (and the vocals for that matter). It’s precise without being glossy. It doesn’t feel “slick” or “packaged.” I haven’t yet figured out whether they recorded their vocals on only two microphones like they did for Influenced I. Cover art aside, I suspect they may not have, but even if they didn’t, they did an excellent job capturing that same style they were aiming for with I1. However, I think this project is a little tighter since they dropped the whole radio show concept from the first volume (which was cute, but disrupted the flow of the songs somewhat). Plus, if you don’t count the intro, outro, and “poetry corner” track from I1, you’re getting one more song for your money—11 versus 10. So for those reasons, I might give this sequel the edge over the first project, but I’d have to listen to more songs from the first one to be sure.

Ultimately, if you’re looking for big ballads with powerful, deeply moving lyrics, you won’t find them here. This is a pretty light, easy-listening album. But that’s exactly what it was intended to be. It’s not a landmark project, but it’s a solid, enjoyable collection of songs that not only serves as Devin’s major debut, but also showcases the group’s maturing sound. This album is further proof that all “boy band” comparisons are yesterday’s news. It’s the work of a seasoned quartet who’s discovering that sometimes less is more. Until their next big project (which is of course the Cathedrals tribute CD/DVD combo), fans of the group will find plenty to keep them satisfied here in the meanwhile.

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68 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. Really great job, SoGo! I’m serious; you grabbed my attention with some of these.

    • Thanks Amy! I had fun writing it.

  2. Oh, and just for the record, I didn’t write this for NSF, who wanted to be sure I mentioned that!

    I have little enough time to spare to write reviews of my own, so I certainly wouldn’t write a review and blame it on anyone else! 🙂 Especially if it was as good as this one!

    • He didn’t need to worry – You guys have very different voices, and I don’t think I’d confuse anything by one of you with the other’s work! Of course, I’m a pretty regular reader here.

      • I really didn’t think anyone could confuse our voices, either.

        I’ll say this – NSF absolutely has potential to be better than me. This would be especially in addressing aspects of production, while I think I have a strength in analyzing songwriting aspects.

      • We certainly do have different voices, that’s for sure!

        I’d say Daniel’s completely right that he’s better at analyzing songwriting…he’s written almost 600 songs himself after all.

        The one thing I’ll say is that it was more the production than the songwriting that caught my attention on this particular album, so that’s why I didn’t discuss the writing as much. Obviously I could in a different context (though not nearly as fluently as Daniel, I’m sure).

  3. A nice review, New Sogo Fan. I appreciated the commentary on each song infused with your own “voice.”

  4. Very interesting review. Thanks for taking the time to do such a thorough job.

    I think it’s interesting to note that three of the eleven songs on this CD were originally released on the album “The Bible Told Me So” by the Statesmen Quartet. This RCA Victor album was released in 1957.
    Songs are: The Bible Told Me So, My Brother’s Keeper, and If God Didn’t Care

    Two songs from the first “Influenced” CD were also on that album. (Climbing Higher and Higher & My Heart is a Chapel)

    • Interesting! I wondered where some of those songs had come from. I knew “The Bible Told Me So” was a Statesmen original, but not the other two.

      I was also under the (false) impression that “Climbing Higher and Higher” was a Cats original. I can see I need to brush up a bit on my SG history…

  5. Wonderful review. It held my attention to the last syllable 🙂
    I’m now totally convinced I have to get this CD as soon as possible! :))

    • 🙂 That’s so cool! I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. I personally found it refreshing and very easy on the ears. For me, the light production touch is a breath of fresh air.

  6. Already have it, already love it!

    I was a little worried in your review of Thats How Rhythm Was Born when you mentioned Glen Duncan. I was reading too fast and thought you had the names of EHSS’s and L5’s basses mixed up…guess I better read better.

    • 🙂 I actually wondered if somebody would notice that! I was actually thinking of Glen Payne, but you’re right, it’s even funnier because Glen and Tim are both basses.

  7. SoGoBro’s debut as a reviewer in Daniel’s Den kicks off a little tentatively, and with a slight ‘hiccup’ when he spells the Bible Book wrongly. Stage nerves probably.

    A little staccato, maybe a touch of diffidence on the first 3 numbers, but he really hits his stride on the 4th, “That’s How Rhythm was Born”. A lovely cover version and we really get a feel for Ernie’s solo.

    “Walk over God’s Heaven” and “Let it Go” SGF really gets into the driving seat, and upshifts with alacrity. Sitting at my desk, I had the urge to open the window and honk my hooter in time to Timmy’s bass notes! Rattle the parcel shelf, scare the scooter commuters – this is southern gospel road music – and we ain’t even heard the singin’ yet! Way to go, so go bro!!

    The piece de resistance is the finale though. On “His Name is Wonderful”, a familiar lyric, he launches into a slew of techno-vibe that leaves the man in the street gaspig at the tour de force of suspensions and slides, hung flats and sharp twists, like a Colorado rocky road, the view from the summit leaves me well influenced to go get the CD.

    The curtain call is a fitting finale, though he lowers the tone half a step by “Boy Band” references, excused as it is couched in positive terms.

    All in all a brilliant first album. Can’t wait for the self titled CD and DVD combo soon to come!

    A “Together” style project on the “Tribute” double header would be a welcome follow on.

    Congrats all round. Impressed & Influenced in equal parts!

    • Funny that… I could have sworn…I checked it twice… I really…

      methinks the Den Meister sneaked in and did a fiddle…[the posts count is outa synch too?] LOL. 🙂

    • Hehehe. Hi, David. Welcome back. I wondered when you would would pop your head back through the door. Missed ya. Only you could make so many bad puns in less than ten paragraphs… 😆

      Oh, and the reason I didn’t say a whole lot about the first three songs wasn’t diffidence…I just didn’t have as much to say about them! The first song that I really could sink my teeth into as far as description was concerned was #4.

      I think Daniel plans to review the tribute project on his own (he is, after all, planning to be at the taping personally and can offer plenty of insights I probably couldn’t even if I heard the project as well).

      I would love to review self-titled as well, but I’m not sure if you’ll get your wish soon…at some point maybe.

      Oh by the way, that analysis on “His Name is Wonderful…” I did it away from the piano. I only double-checked to confirm that I was right. I also asked somebody for a technical clarification. (I was referring to the four-three suspension as a “suspended fourth.”) But that was it. 😉

  8. David,

    Don’t leave us in suspense — how do you spell “Ecclesiastes”?


    • Depends which Bible I’m trying to read, lots of things are possible – including that I blew it:-) and well past bedtime I read the right spelling wrong!!!

      It is right. Now. Foot in mouth then? LOL

      • It was right before too. I checked the review as it was on my own computer. 🙂 Thanks for the review of the review though…fun read!

  9. I didn´t notice anything when I read it early on, but I was going pretty fast. Daniel? SoGoFan?

  10. I’m not overly generous with the superlatives but this is the most interesting review I have ever read! The guest reviewer has such an appreciation for all aspects of the songs. I am a casual listener and either like or don’t like what I hear–no clue about what notes are being hit and differences in “licks” etc.

    Love EHSS but most of these songs are not my style. I do like Devin’s rendition of My Desire though and don’t consider it a poor man’s version of I’d Rather Have Jesus. However I “listen” to his performance of the song on YouTube, which the reviewer notes doesn’t have the key change that seems a vocal challenge.

    I purchased and downloaded the CD from their website when it was released so am going to go back and give it another listen with this “Listening Guide”!

    • Wow. Thanks for the feedback. And I can completely understand your respecting the review but deciding the songs aren’t your style. To each his own. You might not even necessarily change your mind after going back and listening to the album again…though I will certainly be interested if you do!

  11. love the CD, listen to it at work all the time, and love all the songs,as you say, the harmonies are fabulous. Well worth the purchase, and am so looking forward to the taping in Anderson in a couple of weeks

    • You mean you got tickets before they sold out? Oh man… have fun. Don’t mind me, I’ll just stay over here being jealous. 😆

  12. I have this CD and though some love it, I prefer the first one. [EDIT]

  13. When Influenced2 was released I purchased Influenced1 at the same time. I’m a fairly new EH&SS fan and have collected there CDs. The music on both Influenced CDs was a refreshing change to what I had been listing to. Their rich harmonies are phenomenal to listen to and I had the pleasure to see them in concert earlier this year at the Gospel Church in Hawthorne NJ. Nothing beats them live as they’re an audience driven show and what a show!!
    As for Daniels in-depth review, positive indeed but way to wordy. A simple phenomenal job guys would have been enough for me lol. I’m looking forward to seeing them again when the get close to Long Island area, yeah Jersey is close.
    Have a great day, peace and God Bless!

    • I recently saw them in concert recently too. Agreed: They put on a phenomenal show. I’d say they’re the finest quartet on the road today. Wonderful, sweet-hearted guys to boot—I got to meet them all. You won’t find a nicer, more gracious group of fellows.

      • Whoops, extra “recently” snuck in there, that’s what I get for typing too fast…

  14. Frank,

    Glad you like both CDs! Two quick points:

    (1) Daniel didn’t write the review: it’s NewSoGoFan’s work.

    (2) “Phenomenal job guys” might have satisfied you, since you already own this release, but it wouldn’t have given potential purchasers any real guidance as to what is on the CD and what to listen for. That’s what a review is supposed to do. This one does it — in spades.

    • Hey Tim,

      OK so NewSoGoFan wrote it, got it.

      I didn’t have a review to go by when I purchased the 2 CDs so think about that. I’m a fairly new fan of these guys and it was by chance that I came upon them on YouTube. Ever since then I’ve added there music to my collection. When it was posted that Influenced 2 was being released, the day of the release I purchased both 1 & 2 and I never heard any of the songs on 1. It was on faith that I knew that these were phenomenal works of art.

      I also sing in church as a cantor and I have found some sheet music of some songs that they do. No I can’t reach that high “C” note that Ernie reaches lol but there are songs I can do solo. As a tenor I can’t go as low as Tim Duncan either lol.

      They have songbooks for 2 of their CDs and I’m praying that they release songbooks for both Influenced CDs. Yeah these guys are best quartet I’ve ever heard. Live was the best for me and yes I met them after-wards also.

      Have a great day, peace and God Bless!

      • Frank, I understand what you’re saying, and believe me, I agree these guys are terrific, and I’m collecting their stuff as well. But you might want to consider that not everybody likes to buy music “on faith.” I don’t anyway. I look for in-depth reviews like this to let me know what I’m buying before I buy it. Maybe that’s not what you do, and that’s fine, everybody’s different, but this was geared towards potential buyers who do want more info. And a couple of them have actually stopped by on this thread, so obviously the review did what it needed to do in their cases! 🙂

        And of course, Ernie really liked it too… 😉

      • Different strokes…

        If we are running a straw poll to se who likes EHSS or other SGM project,

        then, “Awesome” “Me too…” is fine. Any of us can – and may – contribute.

        If we are looking for something that ‘paints’ the concert on paper, or reviews the CD in such a way that we feel as if we had heard it, we can then make an objective decision about adding to our personal collection.

        That depth and quality of review is the capability of a few, count me out.

        It seems that the reaction overall is, count SGF in.

      • Why thanks David! I’m humbled and happy to be “counted in.” It does feel good to be appreciated!

      • Thanks Josh! I saw that too, but a little bird had already told me Ernie liked the review… 😉

      • Way to Go, SoGoBro!!

        Famous already – complimentary ticket to the taping in the mail….. 🙂


        LOL. Nice Ernie passed by, nice he appreciated it, and highlighted it too.

        Nice one!

      • Alas and alack, the concert is sold-out, and I am left out in the cold! Absolutely plan on getting the CD/DVD though, really pumped about it.

        Isn’t it nice, though? Not only that he read it, but that he appreciated it. I noticed that some eager fans were a little affronted that I said anything negative at all…rather sweet, but then again, I guess I wasn’t writing it for them! And if Ernie liked it, that’s all that matters.

  15. I have this CD and I love it. When Ernie gets loose on ” Thats How Rhythm Was Born” , it is priceless!.. Also love the Kazoo. Love Tim’s rattling. All of the guys are great. . From Florida I would walk to Anderson if I could get inside. Can’t wait for the DVD!. Love you Ernie !.. ALWAYS!

    • “Rattling.” LOL. I love it! Actually though, in all seriousness, one of the things I like most about Timmy is that he doesn’t just “rattle.” It’s really a very clear, rich, melodious voice. He doesn’t make “noise.” He sings. We need more basses like that!

      • Tim will probably never get into the Record Books as “lowest human noise” or whatever. I guess Ernie didn’t hire Tim to ‘rattle’ the floorboards, he hired him to sing – bass.

        He does superbly – SING – bass, and lead bass too when required. How often in a review does the Bass singer get tagged with “Featuring”, when it actually means he sings a lead section, not just “growl around down there”, as I think Glenn Payne once said!

      • Well being featured can mean “leading” a song too. For example, Doug leads “Walk Over God’s Heaven,” so that’s why I said it featured him. It showcases his voice, if you will.

  16. Oh Yes! -When I said “rattling” I meant it in the best way ! .Tim is extremely talented as a bass singer. He is the Best I have ever heard. – btw I expreciate this objective review.. If I had reviewed it , it would have read: Perfect ..Great..Amazing..Awesome.. Love Ernie. How’s THAT for a review?

    • Yep, he da best, no question about it. 😀

      Thanks! I assume that means you think my review is better… 😉

      Actually, in general I completely agree—EHSS is great, amazing, and awesome, and I love Ernie too. So there. 🙂

      • The reviewers objectivity here is awesome! 🙂

        “We love Ernie soooo much!” [Reprise]

        The upper regions of the thread read better bro, we descending into syco-fancy here!! LOL.

    • By the way, what is it with basses named Tim? I mean we’ve got Tim Duncan, Tim Riley, Tim Storms… we should just start saying that good bass singers have the “Tim gene!”

      Speaking of Tim Riley, I think Tim Duncan resembles him a lot. Anybody else think so too? I think Tim Riley is the bomb by the way…maybe even better than George Younce? Just an amazing bass.

      • “Tim-Gene”? [filler filler]

  17. I meant to type that I appreciate your review. I am glad that we share in our admiration for EHSS. YOUR review was good 🙂

  18. Serious comment, reference SGF comments on Track 8 and semi-comedy routines etc, which don’t really work on CD.

    A telling comment “..didn’t download to my itunes”.

    It is a mild irritant, even to an ardent SGM fan, that certain track do not translate for ‘live’ or DVD to CD. All the recitation stuff from GVB & Gloria gets ticked out on our communal itunes library, and skipped on CD player.

    Nothing wrong with the variety of routine in concert, but most of this stuff does NOT translate to listening only mode.

    The “Church Triumphant” on Better Day DVD works fine, as a finale, for example. on CD /itunes it does not.

    Maybe this is an area artists could look into – it is one aspect of an excellent review that has not generated a lot of comment.

    • Thanks for picking up on that David. That’s exactly what I was trying to communicate, and like you said, this doesn’t just apply to EHSS. There are a lot of cases where something just works live and then just…doesn’t work in the studio.

      Oh yes, and to be honest [whispering] I always skip Gloria’s recitations live too… well, most of them anyway. Her set-up of “Then Came the Morning” is amazing!

      • “Great Minds Think Alike” strikes again!

        (whisper) There was a comment on another thread (Roundup #53) that kinda made me think about what y’all were telling me the other day.

      • Yes? We’re all ears, Amy, elaborate away! 🙂

      • Ya think I’m gonna risk that? I haven’t been edited yet, or even had any other commenters get mad at me that I remember, and I think I’ll keep it that way.

        (Isn’t it strange that Firefox’s dictionary isn’t up-to-date with the internet age? It wants me to say “commentators.”

  19. The lower regions of this thread are just as important because after that nice objective, partly technical review, some people will just want to know “what do the fans think”. 🙂

    • Honestly, actually I do want to know what the fans think, since I’m one of them! I hope I’ve been able to communicate that sufficiently well throughout this thread…I don’t want people to think I’m just a snotty reviewer, if you know what I mean. 🙂

      • “Snooty” maybe? Surely “snot” is wot Geroge Yonce did, as well as sing bass?

        NewSnotyGospelFan now bro?

  20. Old Fashioned Love is definitely one of those songs that is better staged than recorded in studio. As has been said previously, Ernie seems to think visually, and some of his song choices reflect that. However, I still like the studio recording of OFL. Maybe its just because I visualize their comedy routine in my head as I’m listening to it.

    My Favorite 3 Songs:
    3. It’s My Desire – I fell in love with this song and with Devin the first time I heard this song on Youtube.

    2. Walk Over God’s Heaven – To me, this is the “Swingin’ On The Golden Gate” of this project. A great, fun song. Not sure if this one’s being as heavily staged as “Swinging'” though. Definitely a hidden gem.

    1. His Name Is Wonderful – Some of the harmonies in this songs are absolutely stunning, and Tim’s solo is spectacular.

    • I REALLY wish they would stage “Walk Over God’s Heaven.” Plus, it would translate really well even with their live band because instrumentally speaking, it relies most heavily on the electric guitar. Then again, I guess they don’t have a guitarist come to think of it—just a bass, piano and drums. Perhaps they should consider adding one? In any case, another great Doug feature.

      Did I ever tell you what he told me at the concert? Basically, I told him how impressed I was with his range, and he said, “I love to do that, because I get bored real quick.” So now every time I hear something where Doug hits the roof (like that one verse on “Happy Rhythm”) I think, “Well, I guess he got bored…” 😉

  21. Many of us “fanatic” EHSS fans are not musically trained, so we can not speak to that aspect of this or any other project. – But we know what .we like and we know what soothe and bless our Souls… THIS CD will do just that!.. As many of us “fanatics” have stated over the years, we enjoy and love the routines and interactions between the guys.. Be it lived or taped. It is a huge plus for us. – I give this CD “5 ” stars. And for the extra effort of the cover design, “6”!!

  22. After the Review, we ALL may contribute and comment. After all. A review is simply one person’s straw poll!. For many listeners and readers, chords and keys mean little . Things like tone, emotion, spirit, interaction and yes..”awesome” mean so much more . There is room at the table and on this thread for all.

    • You’re exactly right Yvonne. A review is simply one person’s straw poll. That’s exactly why I tried to view and describe the album as objectively as possible. Certainly, there is room for describing what a particular song meant to you or how it moved your spirit, but I generally find that I’m not left with a really clear idea of what the song *sounds* like when I read such a description.

      Every album a singer or group of singers puts together is a piece of art. When I go to review something, one of the first questions I’m striving to answer is, is it a good piece of art? In this case, the answer is a solid yes. Spiritual testimonies may naturally follow, and all are welcome to share in that, but my job as a reviewer is to get into the heart of the music and, as David Mac put it, allow the reader to feel as though he’s already heard the album.

      • Virtually every Gospel song could bless somebody.

        A Gospel song that’s well-executed is far likely to bless a lot more people.

      • That’s what I was trying to get at, but I wasn’t sure how to word it. 🙂

        For that matter, one could say that about a number of genres. I’m sure Toby-Mac’s rapping has blessed somebody…somewhere…somehow. Is that any excuse for the poor quality of his art? Absolutely not. All I can say is, the Lord surely moves in mysterious ways…

      • scraping barrel bottom noises….

        scrrch, scrrrcch.

      • Poor quality? LOL, I’m not even going to start because all we’ll do is argue, but that is funny.

        The art form is different, but its certainly not a poor quality. Everyone has their tastes.

        JD Sumner hated the sound of a B3 organ (I think that’s what it was). I don’t think you’d hear him say its poor art quality though, just not his taste.

      • It is my humble opinion that rap should not even be considered an “art form” at all. The same is true of things like screamo and heavy metal. Just sayin’… 🙂

  23. I enjoyed your review as it was nicely done. This was not about the review. My point was about AFTER your review ; the importance of tolerating diverse personal opinions and comments.

    • I believe I never argued that point. 🙂


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