An Interview with Gerald Wolfe on A Jubilee Christmas A Cappella

CD Interviews feature artist insight into their own new releases. Gerald Wolfe was gracious enough to share some insight into A Jubilee Christmas A Cappella, a new EP from the Booth Brothers, Greater Vision, and Legacy Five. (EP is an abbreviation for Extended Play, which, ironically, refers to a release that contains more music than a single but not enough to count as a full release.)

Daniel: Has this acapella project been planned for a while, or was it a relatively spur-of-the-moment idea?

Gerald: Actually, the idea for the A’Cappella project came about in much the same way as the original “Jubilee” recording. During last year’s Tour, we did “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” every night. It was one of the major highlights of the first half of the program. One night, during intermission, Michael Booth said “we should do a whole project of A’Cappella Christmas stuff.” That’s all it took!

Earlier this year, I contacted Lari Goss, set up the studio time, and told Michael and the rest of the guys when to show up. We spent two, very long days in the studio, bringing the project to life, in time to get it finished for this year’s Tour.

Daniel: Was the song selection a pretty collaborative process, or did each of the member groups bring a couple of favorites?

Gerald: Honestly, because of our schedules, it’s very difficult to get all of us together for pre-production meetings, so all the guys trusted Scott Fowler and I with picking the songs.

Daniel: Who did the vocal arrangements?

Gerald: Lari Goss did vocal arrangements, and Trey Ivey transcribed all the parts into print for us, plus he made a “rehearsal track” for each vocal part. There’s no way we could have recorded these difficult arrangements in two days, without Trey. He’s developing into a great Producer/Arranger with a great future.

Daniel: Most top five or ten all-time Southern Gospel a capella album lists include The Cathedrals’ A Cappella Christmas. Seeing the song selection and sequence, and hearing the arrangements, it seems as though there may have been a few little tributes to that landmark recording. Were these intentional?

Gerald: Of course! All of us agree the Cathedrals’ A’Cappella Christmas recording was one of, if not the best, Christmas recordings ever put together by a Gospel group. It would be futile to attempt a recording like this, without acknowledging and paying tribute to one or two of their masterful arrangements.

Daniel: Are there any plans for non-Christmas acapella material from the Jubilee team?

Gerald: We haven’t discussed anything like that, but if history has taught us anything, it’s taught us to be ready to try something different. After all, that’s how the whole “Jubilee thing” came about in the first place.

Daniel: How can this recording be purchased?

Gerald: The CD is available on any of the Jubilee Gang’s websites, and for a limited time, is FREE with the purchased of the new “Jubilee Christmas” DVD! It can also be purchased separately. It won’t be available on iTunes, or any other digital download site this year… at least it won’t be available that way legally. If someone sees it offered in digital format, it’s most assuredly pirated.

Daniel: Thank you for doing this!

Here’s a video preview with sound clips from the EP: