CD Review: Sounds of Sunday (Dixie Echoes)

The Dixie Echoes recently released Sounds of Sunday. This independent release features 10 classic songs and introduces their new tenor, Dallas Rogers. Most groups use studio musicians on their recordings instead of group members, because the cost of paying for studio time makes paying someone whose skill is a technically perfect first or second take…

Horizon Group of the Year and the NQC Mainstage

My post on the LeFevre Quartet’s dissatisfaction with not being invited to appear on the main stage at last year’s National Quartet Convention sparked an interesting discussion. Several people have made interesting comments, but one in particular was thought-provoking enough that it deserves a post of its own. In answer to the assumption (inherent in…

On the Minor Leagues

Contemporary Christian Music is a genre comparable to professional football, where there are no minor leagues. You’ve either made it or you haven’t, but you rarely move from one group to another. Group turnover is rare; it is more common for a group with differences to simply disband. On the other hand, Southern Gospel is…

On Perfect Blends

Hearing the Colonial City Quartet’s smooth blend last Saturday got me to thinking. Every now and then, a quartet will assemble four voices that harmonize perfectly as one. Quartets with what I describe as “perfect blends” have singers who individually have strong voices, but can blend those voices to produce a distinctive group sound much…

An Interview with the Ball Brothers

The Ball Brothers learned to sing harmony while growing up Central Illinois. After hearing an uncle’s Cathedrals records and cassettes, they learned to pick out the parts and started to sing songs for their church. The four brothers, Andrew (tenor), Daniel (lead), Stephen (baritone), and Josh (sound engineer), released their first CD in February. Their…

On Liner Notes

Sometimes liner notes can be more interesting than the music they describe. It’s not that the music is boring or forgettable (usually); it’s that liner notes can get pretty interesting. Liner notes, both today and back in the days when a 33 1/3 rpm record cover provided plenty of room for prolixity, often contain interesting…