First Look: Ian Owens with Signature Sound

(Originally published at 8:37 AM; completely revised and updated at 7:55 PM.)

Ian Owens’ first date as the new bass singer for Ernie Haase and Signature Sound was last night in Portland, Oregon—at the same church, incidentally, which was the Cathedrals’ November 4, 1999 stop on one of the final dates of their Farewell Tour.

Ellen Gerig has posted a number of videos from the concert.

My Heart is a Chapel / Boundless Love

By all appearances, these were Owens’ first moments on stage as a member of Signature Sound.

Step Into the Water

On “Step Into the Water,” you can see baritone Doug Anderson prompting Owens when the time arrives for assorted choreography steps. Since the audience was aware it was Owens’ first night, they took it all in good humor, laughing at one point toward the end when Owens was particularly out of step but appreciating the effort.

I Believe

Intriguingly, rather than introducing Owens to the audience with a Signature Sound bass solo or a Cathedrals classic from the current project, Haase featured Owens in his comfort zone, with a song (“I Believe”) from the Imperials repertoire. His familiarity and confidence with the song leaves little question that he sang it frequently during his six or seven years with the Imperials (Jason Morales iteration). The song got a rousing standing ovation.

An Old Convention Song

Solid performance, even if he missed a few words. It’s a fairly complex arrangement, and he did catch most of his cues.

The Old Rugged Cross

Absolutely the performance of the night. This is the song that shows Owens’ potential. In an interesting subtle twist to history—something that one can often notice Ernie Haase doing—this is the song, and approximately the arrangement, that Tim Duncan sang nightly for several years toward the start of his run with EHSS. While “One God” and some of Owens’ other solos show what he can do with a forward placement reminiscent of Armond Morales, whose shoes he filled for six or seven years, this song shows what he can do with a broader, more open tone, reminiscent of Pat Barker. If Owens goes in this direction, expect to see him named in short lists of Southern Gospel’s premiere bass singers soon.

Other videos from the night: I Pledge My Allegiance, I Thirst, Jesus is Holding My Hand (Doug Anderson solo), three songs with a band intro, and Can’t Help Falling in Love.

Read More

Video: Tribute Quartet in the studio

Part of what I do with Crossroads Music is recording, editing, and posting videos of groups in the studio. For the whole series, keep an eye on the Crossroads blog—enough of you follow each blog that I would be wasting your time to post everything on both.

But I thought this video of Tribute Quartet was also worth featuring here for two reasons. First, it features Riley Clark, and there has been quite a bit of buzz about him since he joined Tribute a few months ago. Second, guitarist Jeremy Medkiff will occasionally get to preachin’, as “Brother Marion,” and since he was preachin’ about me this time, I had to pass it along!

Read More

Video: New Gold City lineup

Here’s our first look at the new Gold City lineup, with tenor Brent Mitchell now in the mix. When he was announced, there were some questions as to how his style and range would work with classic Gold City arrangements, and here’s the first installment of an answer:

Read More

Video: Roy Knight Singers

For several years, I have known that well-known songwriter Sandy Knight tours and sings with a family group called the Roy Knight Singers. But I didn’t know that up-and-coming songwriter Rodney Birch was Sandy’s son-in-law and also tours with the group. Last week, I had a chance to meet them and watch them in the studio, and I put together this video for the Crossroads Music blog:

Read More

Video of the Day: We Shall See Jesus

At some venues, Ernie Haase and Signature Sound has been staging “We Shall See Jesus” with Devin McGlamery singing the first two verses, and a video of Glen Payne singing the third. But sometimes he sings it all the way through. Check this out:

Read More