Kingdom Heirs Announce New Baritone Vocalist

The Kingdom Heirs released an official statement today, the following reads,

screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-42-35-amWith the sudden departure of former baritone Brian Alvey, the Kingdom Heirs were in search of a new baritone.  Andy Stringfield, piano player extraordinaire, 
stepped in vocally and has done an exceptional job doing double duty on the piano and the baritone part as we searched for just the right man for the job.
We are so proud and excited to announce that Loren Harris has accepted the position as the Kingdom Heirs baritone!  We welcome Loren, his wife Cindy, and their children Cameron and Kenidy to the Kingdom Heir family.  Help us make them welcome and show our love and support to this wonderful family.

It took a year and a half, but I’m glad to see The Kingdom Heirs hire the right guy. Loren is an incredible singer, he took part in the group’s audition process and seemed to be the best fit of those who auditioned. So needless to say, I was surprised when the group hired Alvey. Unlike his predecessor, Harris has a record of longevity with the groups he has sang with. He is best known to Gospel Music fans from his tenures with The Wilburns and The Perrys. I am very excited to hear The Kingdom Heirs with Loren, his addition makes this group even better!

RIP Steve French 1959-2016

EDITORS NOTE: As of July 2nd, the a news story was posted here by a North Carolina radio station. 

Former Kingdom Heirs co-owner, baritone and emcee Steve French has passed away at the age of 56. The following statement was released today by The Kingdom Heirs on their Facebook page,

Steve-FrenchIt is with heavy hearts that we regret to inform, former co-owner, baritone and emcee, Steve French has passed away. We are praying for comfort and Gods grace. We ask you to please respect the families privacy during this difficult time.”

We here at Fuson’s Findings join the Kingdom Heirs and Gospel Music fans around the country in prayer for Steve’s family and loved ones, and encourage you to do likewise.

In December of 2014 I wrote regarding Steve’s retirement and career, which can be read here. Though he was never recognized for being a great singer, French was a tremendous part of the success of the Kingdom Heirs. Certainly our music would be much different the influence of Steve French and the Kingdom Heirs. Thanks Steve for the great music and memories you’ve given Gospel Music fans, rest in peace sir.

 

Kingsmen Announce New Tenor

The Kingsmen announced the hiring of Joshua Horrell as their new tenor singer. Horrell replaces Chris Jenkins, who departed the group a few months ago to spend more time at home and is now with The Anchormen. The group released the following statement.

13344578_10154312416438939_6062694955053074696_n“Ray Dean Reese of The Kingsmen Quartet would like to welcome Josh Horrell of Rose Hill, North Carolina, to the Kingsmen family as the new tenor vocalist. Josh, age 24, is no stranger to Southern Gospel, coming from a family with a strong musical history. He has been traveling with the Kingsmen for the past month and will transition to a permanent member immediately. He has been received enthusiastically at concerts across the country. The Kingsmen would like to thank all who applied for this position and want to express gratitude to the “Little Giant,” Ernie Phillips for traveling with them and bringing back many old memories while the audition process was taking place.”

I’m familiar with Horrell from his days with Declaration (now Allegiance Trio) and Adoration Quartet, and this move is very surprising to me. In comparison to his predecessor, Horrell is not in the same ballpark as Jenkins as far as range is concerned; but in all actuality not many tenors are. Truth is, Jenkins set the bar incredibly high for the Kingsmen, as it should be in regards to a group of their stature in the industry, and whoever replaced him would have mighty big shoes to fill. I personally would liked to have seen The Kingsmen hire a more proven, veteran tenor with more range, but Horrell is the guy.

With the widespread acclaim that the group’s previous recording “Battle Cry” received from fans and the industry alike (including myself), it will be very intriguing to see what the group will do with their sound now. Here’s a taste of The Kingsmen with Horrell from a recent concert.

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News & Notes for April 26th

News

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Allegiance Trio L-R Jake Sammons, Kasey Kemp, Heath Pannell

Allegiance Trio announced the addition Heath Pannell as their new tenor singer. Pannell joins the group, replacing TJ Evans. Pannell, 32, is a native of Ripley, MS. Heath’s first performance with Allegiance was on the Praise The Lord program on TBN hosted by David Rives. Allegiance joined David Rives as well as Bass Singer Gene McDonald, Cheri Keaggy and Pastor Ben Graham. Allegiance sang and discussed their upcoming “I WILL STAND TOUR” and Jake joined Pastor Ben Graham to talk about the upcoming “I Will Stand Movie.”

The Crossroads Music Group has announced that their online music store is closing, all of their recordings can be purchased digitally on iTunes. They have also announced all of their performance soundtracks can be purchased at their new website, http://www.crossroadsperformancetracks.com

We wish to express our condolences to the families of Gold City. The group was been dealing with the passing of Barbara Riley, wife of Tim and mother of Danny, passed away on April 20th. Just 2 days later, Sammy West, father of the groups bass vocalist Chris & and grandfather of sound engineer Dillan, passed away. Please pray for both the Riley & West families during this time of grieving.

In the wake of Mrs. Riley’s passing, here is a song that was dedicated to her on Gold City’s 1997 recording, “What A Great Lifestyle“. I hope you enjoy “Between Me And The Storm“.

 

 

 

Jon Epley Departs The Ball Brothers, Joins Lefevre Quartet

21303_912944842083720_787004317313100336_nThe Lefevre Quartet have announced their new bass vocalist will be Jon Epley. Epley replaces Brandon Berry who left the group a few weeks prior. Epley first came to prominence as the baritone for Statement of Faith, a trio with brothers Jacob & Joe Kitson, and The Inspirations. Epley moved from baritone to bass, to fill the void left by Mike Holcomb. Epley left the Inspirations to join the Ball Brothers in early 2015, and did a remarkably good job there. Epley joins a great lineup already with tenor Jeremy Peace and the father & son combo of Jordan (lead) and Mike (baritone) Lefevre, along with pianist Michael Lott.

Group owner Mike Lefevre issued the following statement in a press release, “We are thrilled to have Jon joining The LeFevre Quartet. He brings not only years of experience, but a beautiful bass voice and a sincere heart for God.

Jon issued the following statement about joining the Lefevres, ” I am so excited to be joining The LeFevre Quartet. I have been a fan of Mike LeFevre for many years, and feel that joining the vocal lineup of Mike, Jordan, and Jeremy can yield great things for the glory of the Lord. The guys and their families have welcomed my wife Tiffany and myself with open arms, and that means the world to us! Their heart for the Lord, ministry, and family is an inspiration. We are looking forward to what is in store, and are extremely grateful for this opportunity.”

Meanwhile, The Ball Brothers issued the following statement regarding Epley’s departure.

We want to let everyone know that Jon Epley is leaving the Ball Brothers to join the LeFevre Quartet. We love Jon and Tiffany and want to thank them for the time that they spent with us. We’re sad to see them go, but want them to be where God wants them. Please go out and support Jon and the LeFevre Quartet. At this time, we are not soliciting auditions. We plan to announce a new bass vocalist soon.

God Bless,
Andrew, Daniel and Chad

Epley also commented on his time with the Ball Brothers, “In my time with The Ball Brothers, we went from being friends to brothers. The entire Ball family welcomed my wife and I into their hearts, and we will never forget that. The Ball Brothers took great care of my family and I. Although God is moving us to a different ministry, the Ball Brothers and the Ball Family will always have a special place in our hearts, and we will always count them dear friends. I learned a lot about music and about myself through my tenure with the group. There are big things happening now and upcoming in the Ball Brothers’ ministry, and I wish them all the success in the world. I encourage everyone to check their schedule and go see them any chance you get. To the guys I say this: Daniel, Andrew, Chad, I love you guys. We had some amazing times, and saw God do some great things. Thank you for everything. I’ll see you down the road.

Sincerely,
Jon Epley”

I’ll be completely honest and tell you that this move took me by surprise, I would have never imagined Epley to be a fit with The Lefevre Quartet, but anything can happen. Jon is without a doubt one of the most talented and versatile vocalists in our genre. I am very curious to see what the future holds for this lineup. Make sure you go see The Lefevre Quartet when they’re in your area, and welcome Jon to the group!

 

 

Gold City Announces New Bass Vocalist

Chris West
Chris West

The headline may be a little misleading, but a statement was released by Gold City this weekend, officially naming Chris West as the group’s bass vocalist. Chris has been with the group since July of last year, when began filling in for Tim Riley, who had suffered a stroke. The press release states, “When Tim (on the advice of his physician and with the support of his family and the group) recently made it official that he will be cutting back on the number of tour dates and performances he’s going to do, Chris, who has studied under Tim for the past eight years, was the obvious choice to permanently assume the bass role. So while Tim will be attending special events, some reunion concerts, and will from time to time even hop on the bus and show up at a concert unannounced, the touring bass vocalist fans will see at every concert will be Chris.”

Daniel Riley, the group’s owner/baritone vocalist went on to say, “We’re thrilled to have a bass singer of Chris’ caliber to step up and handle the bass part. We’re not using the term ‘retirement’ for dad. When you are called to do something for the Lord, there is no such thing as retiring. He’s still going to be out there from time to time, thrilling fans as only he can. Obviously, touring at the level we travel does demand more than he can give especially since the stroke. So while we’re so thankful for his healing, we do understand he cannot go at it like he used to, and we want consistency for our fans who have faithfully supported us down through the years. Chris has provided that stability the past year and we are excited to have him permanently filling the bass role.”

Although Chris is the newest member of the group, he is certainly no stranger to long time Gospel Music fans. He got his start in the industry with Danny Funderburk & Silent Power. From there, West also sang with N’Harmony & Mercy’s Mark Quartet, which was owned & managed by former GC pianist/arranger, Garry Jones. There is no doubt that Chris is the right guy for the group, and he’s endeared himself to Gospel Music fans around the country already. If you haven’t heard Chris with the group, here’s a sample of him from a recent concert singing “Farther Along”.

If you get a chance, go out and see Gold City when they’re near you and welcome Chris to the group!

 

Jeremy Peace Joins The Lefevre Quartet

IMG_3059Former Kingsmen, Old Paths tenor vocalist Jeremy Peace is the newest member of The Lefevre Quartet. Although no official statement has been issued by the group, the group shared the above photo from an appearance on The Jim Bakker Show.

Jeremy did post on his Facebook page the following. “Sometimes in life we seem to get the cart before the horse. Often times we attempt to make things happen on our own because we feel it would please the Lord and we jump ahead of Him, trying to open doors and force our way through them. In doing this, we often fail to see the door we were supposed to walk through is right in front of us, but because we are so focused on our own dreams, ambitions and desires to please the Lord, we completely miss the opportunity He has for us to serve Him, how and where He wants us. I must admit I have fallen into this very situation, going on my feelings and own desires to have my own ministry, being at home with my family and serving the Lord in the way that I wanted to. I have no doubts about my calling to evangelize and sing, but it was the vehicle I chose to do so in that was not in the Lord’s plan for my family and I. After almost a month of struggling daily and wrestling within myself, I began to see the direction I was to take. This new direction wasn’t exactly what “I” had envisioned for myself and my family, or for one of my very best friends in the whole world, my little brother, Josh Townsend, but once my wife and I surrendered to the only open door and walked through, we were given peace and resolve. Through this door, I will still be able to preach and give testimony each night as the Lord leads, and my wife and I will still be able to work with others through counseling and retreats. We are excited about these new opportunities for our family, and we look forward to seeing what the Lord has planned for Josh, as our families are still very close. I personally want to thank everyone who prayed and supported our family, Josh, and the ministry, as our only desire was to serve the Lord.

Peace had left The Old Paths and announced the formation of an evangelistic/music ministry with his wife and former Old Paths pianist Josh Townsend supplying vocals and piano. Jeremy is the second former member of TOP to join the LeFevres, bass vocalist Brandon Berry was with the group as well.

Jeremy is without a doubt a fine singer, and a tremendous addition to the Lefevre lineup. The group has known their share of personnel changes over the years, but had found stability recently with both Thomas Nalley and Barry at tenor and bass. Theres a lot of potential with this lineup, definitely something for fans to keep their eyes on. As for Nalley, sources say that a press release is forthcoming. Keep both Peace, Nalley and the group in your prayers.