Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, A Tribute to the Cathedral Quartet
By Wendy Lee Nentwig, contributing writer, gmclife.com
Your earliest exposure to music usually comes at the hand of your parents. For me, that meant my younger years were spent listening to my mom’s cassettes of Simon & Garfunkel and Neil Diamond. It wasn’t until I moved from California to the South in the late ‘90s that I realized other kids grew up on groups like The Happy Goodmans or The Cathedral Quartet. Southern Gospel, with its quartet conventions, big hair, down-home values and matching outfits was something completely foreign to me.
Years later, I’m still more likely to tune in to ‘70s lite rock than I am to crank up the Gaithers, but I’ve come to admire artists like Russ Taff and the late Vestal Goodman and to truly appreciate the genre as a whole. The Southern Gospel world is like a tight-knit family, and the care and respect they show each other is nothing short of heartwarming. The music itself conjures up wholesome images from days gone by of church suppers and sing-alongs around the piano, days when you could actually name a singing group The Spiritualaires.
That’s why I was predisposed to like the latest from Ernie Haase & Signature Sound. It’s not just a tribute to The Cathedrals, a group Haase was a member of for many years, it’s also a tribute to Cathedrals founder George Younce, Haase’s late father-in-law.
These revival-ready old songs – tunes like “Wedding Music,” “Step Into the Water,” “Can He, Could He, Would He” and “Moving Up to Gloryland” – feature straightforward Christian messages wrapped in rich harmonies. God’s boundless love, the need for His followers to tell others about His great gift of salvation and the dangers of sin are all covered here. You get 19 new studio recordings and two bonus live tracks – 21 songs in all – which adds up to a lot of music for the money. So if you want to be transported back to a simpler time or just get to know this traditional genre better, this disc is a great place to start.
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