Heritage and tradition is incredibly important in the Southern gospel music field. The quartets of today often look to groups of old for inspiration, while putting their own spin on their style of music. One of the groups leading the way is fittingly named Tribute Quartet. This dynamic quartet, founded in 2006 by Gary Casto and Josh Singletary, honors those who have come before and is dedicated to sharing the Gospel through their music. Their mission statement is simple: “preserving the heritage and promoting the future of gospel music.”
Tribute Quartet will be celebrating their 13th year in full time Southern gospel music this year. Over the years, this powerhouse group has been delighting fans with their energetic style, humor, courtesy of Josh Singletary, and the message of the Gospel via incredible songs. The current lineup is comprised of lead singer and founder Gary Casto, baritone and pianist Josh Singletary, bass singer Anthony Davis, and the newest member, tenor Gus Gaches.
Casto has been singing full time in gospel music for 36 years and his classic lead voice has captivated audiences all over the country. He also serves as the group’s emcee at their concerts.
Josh Singletary has been singing in gospel music for 18 years. His unique, crooner- style voice adds a great dynamic to the group, as does his crazy sense of humor. Anthony Davis has been with the group since 2011, for eight years of experience in Southern gospel music. His smooth bass voice has cemented him as one of the most popular bass singers on the road today. Gus Gaches is no stranger to Southern gospel music, having traveled with both the LeFevre Quartet and Legacy Five. Gaches, who joined the group in January, has 19 years of experience and has become a fan favorite tenor.
These talented vocalists are inspired by many of Southern gospel music’s finest. Casto states, “To name them all would take a novel. We all have a vast variety of musical influences. But the group as a whole has influences from the Cathedrals, Wilburns, and Statesmen, to the Imperials, Oak Ridge Boys, and a plethora of others.”
These influences are definitely apparent in their unique sound which can be heard on their latest album. Their latest CD is titled, “Tribute Quartet’s Quartet Tribute Vol. 1.”
“We paid tribute to quartets and their songs from the past,” says Casto. “It was an honor to have Gerald Wolfe as producer on this project.”
This exciting project is the group’s mission statement in CD form. The current single from this project is doing well on the charts. Casto explains,“Our latest release is “Everybody Come See Jesus” written by Sue C. Smith, Dianne Wilkinson, Donna King, Marcia Henry and Gina Boe. This song is a fantastic way to tell how Jesus impacted the lives of towns and individuals alike. It would’ve been amazing to have lived then, hear of his appearances, and to actually follow him wherever he went.”
“We are currently in the production process of a new CD,” says Casto, as he looks ahead. “(It will) be released under Daywind Records and produced by Wayne Haun, later this year.”
Tribute Quartet has been blessed with many accolades and more importantly meaningful experiences. In 2008, Tribute Quartet was named Breakthrough Artist of the Year and was also voted the Horizon Group of the Year. In recent years, the quartet has experienced great success earning several industry awards including 2013 Traditional Song of the Year for “Homecoming Day,” which featured former member Riley Harrison Clark, and in 2014 Traditional Song of the Year for “Good News From Jerusalem,” featuring Josh Singletary. The group has been nominated for several awards including the Diamond Award for Quartet of the Year.
However, these awards are not the reason the group sings. In their 13-year career as a group, they have been blessed to travel the world and meet and minister to many people. Singing gospel music full time has made a great impact on the members of Tribute.
Casto states, “It’s given us great hope and a deeper appreciation for the word and the gospel of Jesus Christ. It has also allowed us to grow new relationships with many around the world.”
There have been many occasions where their music has helped people through difficult times. It is each member’s hope that they can help people through hard times by sharing the Gospel.
Casto recalls a particularly meaningful story. “I must say one (occasion) would be the time we learned that our song, “God of the Storms” (Gerald Crabb/Savannah Foust) was instrumental in helping deter the already planned suicide of someone that had never heard our music. It was quite humbling.”
It is stories like this one that remind the group of there mission to spread God’s word and show his love to all people. “We’re constantly being reminded of the trust that we have to put in our Father,” Casto reflects. They hope that through their concerts and music that people see Christ and that he loves you no matter the circumstance.
This ministry-minded group shows no signs of slowing down. God continues to bless them with the ability to sing and communicate his Word. Their future is looking brighter with a lot of great things in store for 2019. This incredible group is leading the way for the younger generation of Southern gospel music in a mighty way. As their website states, “Tribute has remained steadfast in their goal to make great music that is both timely and relevant to the current musical scene and their loyal fan base while never wavering from their God-called mission to share Jesus with everyone with whom they come in contact.” (www.tributequartet.com ). True to the call, this dynamic quartet preserves the legacy of groups past and carries this music into the future.
By Justin Gilmore
First published by SGNScoops Magazine in April 2019
Read the May SGNScoops Magazine Online HERE