Video: “Walk with Me” (Signature Sound)

Last night, I came across this video of Signature Sound singing the classic “Walk With Me”:

Two comments:

(1) It seems that, of late, Signature Sound has been making a point of doing significant portions of their program without fully produced soundtracks and stacks. Some of their critics charge that they over-rely on those, and it seems that perhaps because of this they have been making more of a point of late to emphasize several songs in the program without any accompaniment other than piano. (Incidentally, this was a video that the group themselves uploaded to YouTube.)

(2) It looks like they have finally sold enough videos to afford full-length ties. 🙂


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32 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. I would figure that the reason they were using the tracks so much was the lack of a full-time piano player. Now this begs the question….WHO’S PLAYING???

  2. As George Younce said…”if that don’t light your fire, your wood’s wet.” Now that is how southern gospel was supposed to sound!

  3. Wow! I love it!!! Now people who don’t like over-produced tracks and short ties will have to look for something else to complain about (trust me, they will). I heard that Wayne Haun is playing for them on this summer’s tour, Kyle.

  4. The Dixie Echoes have been doing this song for months. It’s funny. All of the sudden everybody’s getting all excited about SSQ doing some of their show with two mics….and my question is….where were all these people when the Dixie Echoes started doing it 5 years ago?? They’ve done it consistently WELL for FIVE years….and all they’ve gotten was a bunch of flack saying how they’re gimmicky and cheesy. Now….SSQ is doing the SAME thing and it’s the most wonderful thing ever. HA!!!!!!

    Go hear the Dixie Echoes do this song. Ernie ain’t got nothin’ on Wesley!! :o)

  5. LaShay, haven’t you noticed the many, many people who have said positive things about the Dixie Echoes doing it? 🙂

    Sure, a few people said it was gimmicky, and probably the same people are saying it about EHSS. But quite a few of us like the classic style and speak positively of any major group that will give it a try. 🙂

  6. Yep, sure, I’ve noticed all three people who’ve said how they like the old style.

    I’ve also noticed allllll the ones who’ve said time and time again that it won’t sell, it doesn’t work, its out-dated. I believe they’re the ones who speak highly of the tracks and stacks and short ties and spiked hair and choreographed moves and whatever else you get at a concert that involves more thanfour guys, two mics and a piano. Yeah, they’re the ones who said groups need to move to a more progressive era because that’s what the fans want.

    Trust me, I’ve had this conversation a thousand and one times.

    While I appreciate the people who have stood behind the older and more traditional style of Southern Gospel, I just have to sit back and laugh at those who will absolutely fall in love with this style JUST BECAUSE it’s SSQ who’s doing it now.

  7. I think I’ve seen a lot more than three people at Dixie Echoes concerts, loving every minute of it. And I see some of those same people when the Blackwood Brothers come to town. I’m sure I’d see them if the Melody Boys or Chuck Wagon Gang came to town, too. 🙂

    And as to your last paragraph–there is actually a lot to what you say. EHSS has the huge reach of the Gaither platform behind them. Sure, they’re doing some progressive numbers–that’s what the Gaither audience is used to. But they are also doing (and have been doing from the start) some good old-fashioned male quartet singing. They’ve been doing the two-microphone thing for a few years. They’re just doing more of it now.

  8. That video was from their concert here in Chattanooga. That song is on their “Influenced: A Vintage Quartet Session with Ernie Haase and Signature Sound” CD. That CD was created to sound like an old radio show from the 40’s and 50’s. All of the songs on it were recorded using just 2 microphones and no stacks. When they perform those songs in concert, they only use the 2 microphones.

    Wayne Haun is their full time piano player-not just for the summer. He has been their piano player for a while now.

  9. The thing I noticed is that their spacing and staging using two mics is not as polished as the Dixie Echoes or the Blackwood Brothers.

  10. I think everyone’s missing the point here. It’s not how the song is staged, what group’s singing but it about getting the message out.

    I make no excuses about being a EH&SS fan but I also like the Isaacs, Lordsong, GVB, the Martins, the Hayes family, the Easters, the Blackwood Brothers, Ivan Parker and a host of others. We have some great singers at our church who have varied styles but it’s always the message that moves me.

    Carolina Girl

  11. Everything old is new again. I have no issues with however a group tries to pull off their best effort. I did notice however that the vocal mix left somewhat to be desired. Where was the bass singer in the mix until the last word? Current recording techniques often have pitfalls and the two mic system has never been perfect either.

    I’ve lived through a lot of changes in this wacky industry and this seems to be a hark back to another era. Not perfect, but refreshing.

    The Kingsmen also do a few songs ala the old days on two mics in their program.

    They’re all great singers and it is a great song. SSQ has tried to plow some new ground with their dress, choreography and now revertiing to the old arrangement of microphones.

    I know that they are men of Godly integrity with a deep desire to see souls saved. If they’re winning souls, I’m all for them.

  12. Speaking of the Dixie Echoes…my question is this: How come, after all these years of Gaither videos are the Dixie Echoes the ONLY major group to have never been on a Gaither production? Every other group that had ever been on the Gospel Singing Jubilee has been on the videos except the Dixie Echoes.

    I “Echo” what has been said before. The Dixie Echoes have the 2 mic traditional quartet style polished and delivered exactly the way it should be. For some reason they don’t get the credit they deserve from the general sgm fan base. But just as LaShay said when someone like SSQ or others come along they’ll get the credit for “bringing it back”. Lets give credit where credit is due.

  13. #12 – There are actually several major groups that have never been on a Gaither production. I believe Triumphant Quartet and the Mark Trammell Trio are two such examples.

  14. Daniel,
    I believe ‘curious george’ was stating that of all the original Gospel Singing Jubilee artists, the Dixie Echoes are the only ones that haven’t been featured on a Gaither production.

    I want to echo that the Dixie Echoes are one of the finest quartets on the road today. They ‘own’ the two mic stage presentation in today’s quartet market. It is funny, the Dixie Echoes have done it long enough now that anybody else I see doing it makes me think; why are they copying the Dixie Echoes.

  15. Granted, but what Curious George actually said, in the initial statement, was “ONLY major group.” (There are major groups today other than Gospel Singing Jubilee groups.)

    I agree that the Dixie Echoes are one of the best out there. They only come up to Ohio once every two or three years, but I love ’em anyhow! 🙂

  16. I very much like their sound. Now, Christian ‘entertainment’ is not my thing, but if that’s what they’re going to do – as long as they are honest about it – I have no problem with it.

    However, as far as the no fully produced soundtrack thing goes… anyone who has ever gotten to sing with those tracks or that knows the technical side to all of it will understand – it is something that they hide behind at times. Do I have a problem with it? No. It sounds great. But especially a group like SSQ – they cannot do what they do, (jumping all over the place, running back and forth, sliding all over the stage) and have enough breath and vocal control to sing up to par with what they hope to deliver. That’s when those vocal stacks really help.

    However, SSQ has obviously proved that they have the talent and the discipline to sing quite well indeed. This video is proof of that. When there are no stacked vocals, no heavy instrumental soundtracks behind them – just piano and singing – it sounds great.

    But don’t lie to yourself and say that the soundtracks don’t act as a crutch for them, because it does. I’m not saying they don’t work at what they do. All that on stage gymnastic stuff takes a lot of effort. But don’t tell me that their singing is top-notch while they’re doing all of that. Let’s be honest with one another.

  17. George sees what I’m trying to say. I never meant to come across as meaning that the Dixie Echoes didn’t have fans at their concerts. Fact of the business, why would I say something to that point when they just sang to 1200 people on Friday night alone? The crowd at Marcus Point was on their feet several times during that concert…and get this…the only microphones other than the two that were being used to sing into were the ones that were in the piano! Go figure!

    Back to topic, though. The Dixie Echoes never get the credit that’s due them. I’m not whining or complaining or whatever…I’m just telling the truth. This whole two mic thing is probably going to be a hit with SSQ…people will say how fresh and exciting and different it is….and to a person who’s seen a group be very successful at doing the same exact thing for FIVE years…it’s frustrating.

    I’m not much on the whole Gaither thing. Sure, I’d be elated for the Dixie Echoes should they get an invite to be part of a show, but I don’t think they’re holding their breath hoping that’s going to happen. They’ve been around for 45+ years. That right there ought to get them some sort of applause from the SGM world and/or Gaither.

    Looks like for now they can keep on doing what they’re doing while doing it well and remain professional about it. And I’ll keep screaming to the top of my lungs that they deserve more credit than they get. :o)

  18. [quote](2) It looks like they have finally sold enough videos to afford full-length ties. [/quote]

    WHAT! Full-length ties!???? What’s the world comin’ to? J/K LOL! 🙂 That is different though. I wonder why they weren’t wearing their “signature” ties? 🙂

  19. Tim Duncan’s tie was still short.

  20. Does it matter how long their ties are????

  21. I’m trying to locate the lyrics to an old Dixie Echoes song titled, “Lord I’m Depending on You.” Does anyone know where I might find them. Thanks, Betty

  22. The Dixie Echoes’ site is http://www.dixieechoes.com ; all the group members have their emails on the site. I’d suggest emailing Stewart and Randy, since they’re the two most likely.

  23. This is *exceptionally* good. Ernie is fantastic on this one! As for the stacks, I was a little disappointed when I realized this group used them. Does anybody wonder (like me) why they began using them in the first place? I mean they’ve proved over and over again that they don’t really need them (particularly on their early stuff). They all have good, powerful voices. They can stand on their own (case in point, this vid).

    I guess I’m still trying to convince myself that they didn’t ever use stacks, but some of the stuff on Get Away Jordan makes me wonder…Especially “Oh What A Savior.” That performance sounded *uncannily* similar to the studio version. Now I realize it would sound similar anyway, but…not *that* similar I would think! And it sure seems to me like I can hear Ernie’s voice holding out “on Calvaryyyy” behind himself while he’s pausing for the spoken, “For you, for you and me.” And yet, I know that he wasn’t just lip-synching because he doesn’t resolve at the same time as the other guys for the final note…

    So, I guess I’m just confused. And a little saddened, since that particular rendition was my favorite performance of the song Ernie’s ever done…Oh well, at least all the solo work was completely live, and that’s really what matters most anyway in this case. 🙂

    • Practically everyone uses at least a few stacks. The rationale is that being able to not have to oversing the big endings helps their voices last for more years.

      • Yeah, that’s what I figured. I guess I can understand the desire not to wear out the voices…but there’s a part of me that sort of wishes for *live* to really mean pure, unadulterated live!

        One question I have is whether there’s a difference between official DVD’s and normal concert performances as far as stacks are concerned. I’ve seen plenty of fan-filmed Youtube clips from EHSS concerts where I could not detect any stacks (including “Oh What a Savior”). The DVD’s, on the other hand, sound almost suspiciously “polished.” Could over-dubbing be a factor there as well?

        In any case, it really does seem like the stacks are dwindling for this group as they move more towards a two-mic repertoire. And I for one think that ain’t a bad thing.

      • Virtually every group is pure, unadulterated live 90%+ of the time.

        Yes, their stacks tend to not be over-heavy during their concerts. For DVDs, it is standard practice (for virtually all groups) to go back and fix any audio issues before releasing a DVD – and sometimes if there was a mistake fixed, it can be picked up faintly on someone else’s microphone.

      • Thanks, that makes me feel better. 😀

        Here’s something interesting, though. I have the Cathedrals album Alive! Deep in the Heart of Texas, and I’ve also seen most of the videos of the performances from that album. Correct me if I’m wrong, but to me, it sounds like everything was left just the way it was that night. For me, that’s a huge part of the charm of that project. The very fact that it’s a little rough around the edges almost makes me love it more.

      • After-the-fact corrections are far more prevalent in the digital era.

      • Too true…though if I’m not mistaken there was quite a bit of over-dubbing on the CD of Travelin’ Live for that famous fluff of “Boundless Love.” 😀

      • Actually, I don’t think it was overdubs – they either took audio from elsewhere in that cut or totally re-cut in the studio.

  24. Oh, okay, maybe “over-dubbing” wasn’t the right word. I just meant tinkering with the raw product after the fact so that what was supposed to be a live rendition ended up being a live* rendition. 😉

    • Sure. Well, there, they had to! 🙂