Happy Friday to everybody and I hope your weekend is off to a great start! Today’s post is the very first in a new segment here on Fuson’s Findings that I’m very excited about, called Behind The Music. I will be interviewing some of the top artists in Southern Gospel, to ask them about their newest recordings and go a bit behind the scenes. I hope you enjoy these conversations with your favorite artists. The subject of my first interview is one of the top groups in our industry today. There is no doubt among fans in Southern Gospel Music that Triumphant is their favorite male quartet. In the 12 years since their formation, Triumphant has been delighting audiences all across the country and recording some of the finest albums you will ever hear. For the last five years consecutively, the group has been voted Favorite Quartet by the readers of the Singing News Magazine. The groups new project, “Awesome God”, is without a doubt the most interesting recording in the Triumphant catalog. It’s a unique concept, 10 anthems of the church old and new, done in the unmistakable style that only Triumphant can deliver. Triumphant baritone, Scotty Inman, took a few moments to talk with Fuson’s Findings about this exciting new recording.
Brian Fuson (BF) Where did the concept come from for Awesome God?
Scotty Inman (SI) Mike Speck had the idea. We were at a Bailey Smith Conference, we were the special music and Mike was leading the choir. As we were setting up our sound, there was music playing over the church’s sound system. He (Speck) looked at Eric (Bennett) and myself and said, “Somebody needs to sing those songs in Southern Gospel, and do them the way you would do them”. And we thought, “that would be kinda cool”, and we kinda just let it go. Well, it wasn’t six months later that Eric kinda brought it back up to the group. We called Mike, and he was on board immediately. So we went in the studio, and picked ten songs that we thought would work the best for how we sound and who we sing to, and we’re very proud of it.
BF How different was it to work with a new producer in Mike Speck?
SI We’ve had incredible success with Wayne Haun, and we look forward to many more years of that. Mike is very animated in the studio, so it brings out alot of stuff that you’re holding in. He’s not afraid to jump in the control room and try and pep you up. He’s used to hearing a hundred voice choir, so he’s trying to pull a hundred voices out of four of us. But we needed that push. I think he enjoyed the challenge of a quartet as well.
BF With this being a different project stylistically than anything Triumphant has done in the past, were there any songs that Mike brought to you guys that really excited you?
SI. There’s three that stick out in my mind. The song “I Will Rise” is a very popular song, and its had a long life span. When you hear my Dad (Clayton Inman) sing it, as if he’s singing “Welcome To Heaven” or anything like that. It makes the song completely different, so its great to hear a traditional take on that song. There’s also a song David (Sutton) sings called “This Blood”, we sang it twice this weekend. Both times, it got the response that we hoped we would get from the audience. “I Can Only Imagine”, is probably the most played or sung song in that genre (CCM), but it has never had four-part harmony on the chorus. So that’s what makes it very unique to me, is now that it has harmony on the chorus.
BF What songs have you been staging from the project so far?
SI At this point, we are staging “I Can Only Imagine”, “This Blood”, “I Will Rise”, and “Put On A Crown”, and all of them are doing exactly what we thought they would do. It’s amazing to watch. You sing the first line of those sings and you see the people say, “Oh wow!” And they start mouthing the words, and you see that in people of all ages. Its pretty neat.
We were very careful in the song selection process, we wanted to make sure that the songs we picked had the format that we thought would work in our genre. Most all the songs are verse, chorus, verse, chorus format. We didn’t want to do anything that was too big of a stretch or shock. The medley that we do is more chorus driven, but its a neat spin for a quartet to sing a song like that.
As we closed our interview, Scott told me “I’m very proud to sing in a group that is willing and open to sing these songs”. I firmly believe that Awesome God has the potential to open new doors for Southern Gospel Music. If you have not heard Awesome God, you can order it here from Triumphant. You may also download it on iTunes or from Triumphant’s Digital Store as well. Thank You again to Scott Inman for taking us Behind The Music. Be sure to leave to comment below and let us know that you enjoyed this segment!