DVD Review: A Tribute to The Cathedral Quartet

For those who’ve known me for a while, or have at least followed my blog or seen my posts over at SouthernGospelForums.com, you know that my favorite group in Southern Gospel is Ernie Haase & Signaturee Sound. So you can imagine what my anticipation level was for their latest project, “A Tribute to The Cathedral Quartet.” Since receiving my copy in the mail, I have not been disappointed. Here is a quick review of the project. (Note: To view video clips of select songs, click the appropriate underlined song title link)

  • Wedding Music – I love how this song opens up. Some critics may think its overdoing it a bit, but I feel its appropriate and well-done. And when Tim starts to sing that verse, it seems his gets lower and lower every time I listen to the song.
  • Step Into The Water – The second verse shows how great Ernie and Doug are together. Their voices mesh well, and their friendship is even tighter. If I had to guess which one of the other three members will stick with Ernie the longest, I would choose Doug without question. My favorite part of the song is when Ernie, Doug, and Devin go high on the chorus with Tim echoing down low. Their version seems to favor the high part over the low, as opposed to the Cathedrals version. With this group assembled, I think thats a wise choice. I like the alternate ending, though the hand motions may be a bit too much.
  • Boundless Love – The boom-boom-clap rhythm to open the song has been one of the more debated aspects of this project, but I feel it sets the right feel for this song. This is one song I prefer the Cathedrals’ version over the EHSS one, but its not because of the rhythm. I will say that I love the way Ernie, Doug, and Devin blend on the verse.
  • I must say that if you can start out a concert (and taping) by singing three consecutive songs without talking, and still get those responses, you are doing something right. Sometimes, stopping to talk can really kill the spirit of a concert. But I digress….
  • I’m Gonna Live Forever – The incorporate a little two-step swaying action throughout various portions of this part. I’m not a huge fan of it, but it certainly fits with the rhythm of the song. Tim’s note at the end is impressive, and to come back high immediately after even more so.
  • After Ernie introduces Tim, Doug, and Devin, he quick brings Devin up for a quick comedy bit where Ernie says the name McGlamery means “albino porcupine” (in reference to Devin’s hair). I’ve seen this bit so many times now (MN concert, all three NQC appearances, etc.) that its not as funny for me as it once was. (Side Story: They did it at the recent TBN appearances, but substituted “pale” in the place of “albino.” I wonder if someone took offense to the term albino…
  • Old Convention Song – Ernie begins by taking about how he used to sing convention songs with The Cathedrals as he leads into the song. A bit strange considering the song itself is not a convention-style song. It just talks about them. Tracey Phillips moved to the piano for this one, and played the opening so well that they had to start over because Ernie forgot to sing his part.
  • Oh What a Savior – Ernie leads into the song by telling about his first concert with The Cathedrals. This is one of those hidden moments in the concert that I will always come back to later as one of those hidden gems of the night. Ernie delivered the song beautifully, as always. Hearing him sing this never gets old.
  • Wonderful Grace of Jesus – Five part harmony with the addition of keyboard player and producer Wayne Haun. Songs like this make me want EHSS to record an a capella project.
  • Sinner Saved By Grace – Doug Anderson takes the lead on the first verse of this song, and makes it his own. He definitely sets the tone for the song. After the chorus, Devin takes the second verse. Some said after the taping that Devin’s verse seemed weak to start, but I didn’t get that sense at all. Maybe it was edited, but it sounded live the whole way. No matter if he had to go back and redo it or not, this is one of my absolute favorite songs on the project. The ending caught me off-guard, but that’s just one of those things that makes it original and separate from versions by The Cathedrals and the Gaither Vocal Band.
  • Yesterday – Ernie leads into this song from the 1960s by talking about the deaths in the Cathedral family the past ten years. The song is sung with pictures in the backdrop of members of the Cathedrals through the years. I obviously cannot compare this song to its original, but this song was delivered beautifully. Devin surprises me with how low he can go in the beginning of his verse. You can tell by watching Ernie during the song that it really means a lot to him.
  • My Heart Is A Chapel – This is the start of three consecutive songs the Cathedrals never sang. They were each a part of the two Influenced projects from EHSS. They brought out the two standing microphones for these songs.
  • Swingin’ On the Golden Gate – This song fits Doug’s personality and style perfectly, and I’m so glad they finally got it on a video project.
  • Walk With Me – After introducing the band, Ernie decides to bring out “the big gun” on piano, and Bill Gaither walks out on stage. After Ernie and Bill talk for a couple minutes, Bill moves over to the piano. He mentioned how Hovie Lister used to direct the quartet from the piano, so he would do the same. I know Ernie’s signature song is What A Savior, but I think I actually prefer him on this one. As Bill said, this one was about a 14 on a scale of 1 to 10. Quite possibly my number one highlight from the entire DVD.
  • Can He, Could He, Would He – Devin gave one of his best vocal performances of the night on this one. A fun little song, and members of the band (Wayne Haun, Tracy Phillips) showed versatility by playing different intruments.
  • Mexico – Similar to when the Cathedrals sang this on one of the Homecoming DVDs, someone brought out sombreros for the guys. That video even played on the screen behind them. I wish they would have lined the video up with where they were in the song, but it was still effective.
  • Beulah Land – Ernie talks about how he is “indebted to George and Glen, but would have never made it where he is today” without Squire Parsons. Squire then comes out to sing Beulah Land, as EHSS backs him up. Another one of those special moments from this DVD. The background harmonies from EHSS are impeccable.
  • My God Delivers Again – When Ernie sings the solo on his verse, he makes it so easy to visualize it actually happening. I get chills every time I hear this song just thinking about it.
  • He Made A Change – They quickly move into the chorus of He Made A Change. After the chorus, with the band still playing behind him, Ernie begins to introduce the songwriter of the song Joel Lindsey, as well as Dianne Wilkinson, who wrote We Shall See Jesus. Doug then takes off on the second verse, and they go through to the end of the song.
  • Moving Up To Gloryland – Ernie gets everyone on stage involved singing the “moo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hooving” on this one. Included are bass guitarist David Griffith, drummer Zak Shumate, pianist Wayne Haun, and a special appearance from bass singer Tim Duncan. Towards the end, the audience joins in. Just an overall fun, uptempo song.
  • At this time, Ernie goes out into the audience to introduce family members of George, Glen, and Roger. One of my favorite parts is when he introduces Glen’s grandson, Glen Cole Payne. You can definitely tell he’s glad to be there and proud to be Glen’s grandson. He introduces George Lane Younce, who sings the verse of The Laughing Song. Doesn’t get as low, but he’s definitely got his dad’s voice. After a video of George, the storytelling continues. This is another example of what makes this video project so wonderful. The singing is wonderful, but these stories and memories are what make it a great tribute project.
  • I Thirst – This is the first single from the project. The first verse is another example of Doug Anderson’s brilliance when delivering a lyric such as this. Ernie sings the second verse with so much emotion that you can’t help but feel it yourself.
  • Champion of Love – At this time, a microphone drops from above, and audio clips from George introducing this song are intertwined with the group singing the beginning. Wayne Haun takes the solo on this song, much like former Cathedrals’ piano player Gerald Wolfe did when he was with the group. This song has already gone a long ways to making Wayne known as a quality singer. He certainly doesn’t have the depth or range to his voice that Gerald has, but he does a very good job. When Ernie comes in at the end is just amazing.
  • Plan of Salvation – By my count, this is fourth third song so far on the project that EHSS has previously recorded (What a Savior, Wonderful of Grace of Jesus, He Made A Change being the other three two).
  • We Shall See Jesus – Ernie leads into this song with a story of how Devin’s hero growing up was Glen Payne. Devin proceeds to sing the first verse. The whole group joined in for the second verse, and a video of Glen from the Farewell concert was played during the third verse. This was definitely the emotional highlight of the night. There were many camera shots of audience members shedding tears, and even Devin was wiping away tears after the video of Glen played.
  • This Old House – Tim brought the house down to close out the concert with this one. One part that makes me laugh every time is towards the end of the song, when there is a short clip of Doug bouncing up and down while singing. It cracks me up every time!

Well, there you have it! I guess the review wasn’t as quick as I originally planned. If you are still reading this, I hope I haven’t bored you too much.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “DVD Review: A Tribute to The Cathedral Quartet

  1. It’s okay Josh, I wasn’t bored. 🙂 I liked how you found something unique to say about each song. One thing though, aren’t there a couple bonus tracks? I think “Life Will Be Sweeter” and the Gaither medley were both shot as well but just didn’t make it into the regular concert footage. I’ve seen “Life Will Be Sweeter” but not the Gaither medley.

    Oh yes, and I don’t think they’ve previously recorded “Wonderful Grace of Jesus.”

  2. Pingback: Saturday News Roundup #59 | SouthernGospelBlog.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s