On Thursday night, November 3rd, at the Graceland Gospel Music Festival in Memphis, the Kingsmen Quartet officially debuted their current lineup of vocalists…consisting of Hall of Famer Ray Dean Reese (bass and CEO), Brandon Reese (manager, production coordinator, drummer and band leader), Alan Kendall (baritone and emcee), Cole Watson (lead), Thomas Nalley (tenor), and Drew Laney (utility bass vocalist).
Baritone and frontman Alan Kendall shares, “It was both an exciting and a very unusual night, when you have three new members, a new radio single, and hits and requests to share in a 30 minute stand, but these men are professionals in the truest form. Ray unselfishly stepped aside for a few songs just so the fans could have a chance to enjoy the talents of his young ‘student’ bass singer, and Drew Laney certainly arose to the occasion.”
Ray Dean Reese, continuing his 55-year role as bass vocalist, is excited to welcome the 20-year-old bass vocalist from Monroe, North Carolina, whom Ray has been mentoring since August. Reese states, “Allow me to quell all rumors and state that I am NOT retiring! In fact, I am excited that God has given me the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of my friends Eldridge Fox and Jim Hamill in introducing a new and talented young vocalist to the stage. The fans are already loving this fine young man, and I am thoroughly enjoying a new added role as mentor and teacher.” Drew adds, “It’s an honor and blessing to be a part of the Kingsmen. I have admired and loved this group since I was a small child. Through prayer and listening for the Lord’s Will, I am excited to be able to live this dream and share the Good News through song.”
Longtime fan favorite tenor Thomas Nalley from Jefferson, Georgia, assumes the tenor role. “Following Thomas’s long stand with Gold City, he shared with us that he felt that God was not finished with his music ministry yet, so we took him along for a couple weeks to fill in,” shares Alan Kendall, “Thomas came prepared. His ability at communicating a song lyric is unmatched. He loves the fans, and the fans love him back. From the moment he delivered his interpretation of ‘The Judgement’ and ‘God Saw a Cross’, we knew we had our man. We look forward to many exciting years together with this truly gifted vocalist.” Thomas states, “I’m extremely excited to be a part of the Kingsmen legacy! I look forward to building the vision we have planned with this great group of men.”
26-year-old lead vocalist Cole Watson of Gadsden, Alabama, brings a lifetime of experience in singing gospel music. He grew up singing with his late father Mike Watson in the Gadsden-based group, Exodus, and eventually found himself singing alongside veteran artists including the Troy Burns Family and Gold City. Kendall states, “Earlier this month, Cole notified us that he was available to fill in if needed, and he blew us away during his first weekend out with us. He comes highly recommended by our friends Joseph Habedank and Troy & Tammy Burns, and we are thrilled to welcome one of gospel music’s brightest young talents to the Kingsmen.” Cole shared, “I am beyond excited to start this new journey with The Kingsmen. When you think of southern gospel, you can’t help but think of this group! I am honored to be a part of this great team! And honored to be traveling with a legend such as Ray Dean Reese!
I can’t wait to share the stage every night with these guys.”
Brandon Reese shared his appreciation in stating, “We want to thank our friends Phillip Hughes, Bob Sellers, Andrew Goldman, Eric Chastain, and Greg Bentley, who all stepped in and helped us during this time of transition. Thank you to our staff members, our bus driver Daniel Branscum and our office manager Wendi Gregg, for their continued dedication to our ministry. And of course, we thank our many fans and industry friends for their constant prayers and encouragement. We count ourselves truly blessed, and are both excited and prepared for a bright future.”
Singing News TV is saving this historic concert performance for air at a special time to be announced in the coming days.
The group will soon enter Crossroads Recording Studio for what will be their 150th studio album. The Kingsmen and Crossroads are also preparing a new compilation series entitled Decades, featuring some of their most popular and requested songs, plus songs from the archives never before released to digital outlets, which will be released in early 2023.