Concert Review By Phil Boles
Ernie Haase & Signature sound wrapped up their European Tour by playing Belfast, Northern Ireland. Ever since ”A
Tribute To The Cathedral Quartet” hit the market, I knew the resulting tour would be something special. I was not disappointed.
In total EHSS sang over thirty-five songs, which for the last night of any tour, is simply incredible. What was so clear to me during the concert was the professionalism, dedication and enthusiasm that EHSS pour into each show. I’m sure they had tired voices and bodies, but you could not have guessed it from the energy that was shown. EHSS sang for nearly and hour and a half before calling an intermission. It was just one of those nights.
A special guest appearance by Colet Selwyn was a great moment. This young fella, who just turned 17, walked to the stage and sang his heart out with a great version of “Happy Rhythm” backed by EHSS. He could also moonwalk whilst singing, it was brilliant! Check out his performance on YouTube. Colet has been to the Stamps Baxter School of Music and it certainly has only made this young bass singer better equipped for the future.
Ian Owens has stepped into the bass position with ease. I’m not going to compare Tim to Ian. Every singer has different strengths and styles. The singers have to be appreciated for what they are, and not who they “replaced”. Ian has a massive voice, very similar to Armond Morales from the Imperials. He has a fantastic tone and a great quality, plus you can hear each word that he sings! Similar to Devin, once Ian settles in, and gels even more, this line-up will be extremely capable.
Ian rattled the sub woofer on a few songs, “Happy Rhythm” and an encore performance of “Glory to God in The Highest” to name a few. Ernie featured Ian with his audition song, “I Believe”. Wow! It was such a simple, yet honest arrangement and with the great “Jordanaire” style backing vocals it was fantastic. Ian comes from a rich heritage when it comes to bass singers, His grandfather and father are bass singers. Ian also shared how we tend to glorify our problems rather than glorify our solution. A great message to take with us everyday!
Doug Anderson was very solid on the baritone part, I enjoyed his interpretations of “I Thirst, “Sinner Saved By Grace” and “Swingin’ On The Golden Gate”. The highlight though for me was hearing Doug sing, “Until We Fly Away”. This song was interlinked with a video from the “Get Away Jordan” DVD, which added another dimension to the performance. Big song and an equally big rendition from Doug. The harmony between Doug and Ernie on a few lines of “Step Into The Water” was brilliant, they have voices which blend and compliment each other very well. Doug has a solo project coming out later in the year, this will be a good one!
Devin McGlamery was really in good form on saturday night. The first time I saw Devin was nearly a year ago and it is amazing to see just what a year does, settling in, getting used to the songs and how it all works. “Changed By a Baby Boy”, “Sinner Saved by Grace” and “We Shall See Jesus” were all well sung, with plenty of variety and freshness due to his unique vocal style. Devin has a great presence as a lead singer and he truly has one of the best voices in gospel music.
“We Shall See Jesus” deserves a special mention. The clip from a “Farewell Celebration” was blended in with the live performance and it really made it one of the performances of the night. To hear Devin nail the first part, then introduce his hero, Glen Payne, was truly special. Watching Glen fill up the two huge screens at Whitewell was another experience entirely, I had goosebumps! When EHSS and the Cathedrals joined together for the big finish, well you simply have to be there to appreciate it properly.
Ernie Haase was in great form during the concert. It can’t be easy on a tenor voice to do all the emcee work, meet and greet with hundreds of people and sing the thirty plus songs that EHSS chose to do. Vocally, Ernie was strong, “Oh What a Savior” had to be one of the best renditions I have heard live. It is probably my favourite song and nothing beats it when done properly and in EHSS style. Ernie is a good reader of the crowd and really was good at picking out songs to match the mood.
“Old Fashioned Love” is also a great crowd pleaser, especially with the kazoo! ” Boundless Love” was also well received, and on a personal level I couldn’t get it out of my head for at least a day afterward! Ernie is also a pretty good Elvis tribute artist, “Can’t Help Falling In Love” was performed with the customary cape throwing finale. Great Stuff.
Ernie Haase had a great education when he was with the Cathedrals. Naturally it was his “dream job” to stand on a stage every night and sing with the Cathedrals, but to live with George and Glen on the bus and to know these pillars of Southern Gospel intimately, has led to the shaping of a desire to see the Cathedral legacy remembered.
A legacy that will continue to touch thousands, bless people and ultimately change lives. This legacy will never die, thanks to the classy and sincere way EHSS decided to honour the Cathedral Quartet and the groups who influenced the Cathedrals.
Ian, Doug, Devin and Ernie: George and Glen would have been truly proud.