New album a reason to be happy
Every now and then I have to return to my roots, as it were, and keep in touch with the latest in southern gospel music.
One of my favourite groups in this genre is Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, consisting of Ernie Haase (tenor), Devin McGlamery (lead), Dustin Doyle (Baritone), Paul Harkey (bass), Tyler Vestal (piano), David Griffith (bass guitar) and Wayne Haun (musical director).
Haase, who was a tenor for the legendary Cathedrals, began Signature Sound in 2003. Since then, the quartet has travelled to five of the seven continents and has become very well-known in southern gospel circles. Numerous albums (I counted at least 20) have proven the popularity of this gospel quartet
With its latest release, “Happy People”, Ernie Haase and Signature Sound have created 11 tracks that will remind listeners that “Happy people shine!” According to the album’s liner message, “No matter the culture, or their status within that culture, the happiest people are those who’ve learned the secret of success. That secret is this: The joy of the Lord is our strength! (Nehemiah 8:10)” As always, this quartet sings about the gospel with an infectious energy that cannot help but touch listeners. Even the most quiet, reverent titles have an intensity that reaches listeners with their heartfelt faith.
The album opens with the happy sounds of One of These Mornings, a traditional southern gospel quartet song. It continues into the album’s title track, written by Haase, Haun and Joel Lindsey. Full of the energy listeners have come to expect from Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, the chorus reminds us, “God’s people are happy people/ Happy all of the time/ God’s people are happy people/ Happy people shine.”
Other titles on the album include Thank You for Saving Me, a truly beautiful song that is full of rich harmonies and powerful lyrics. “Oh how sweet the love of Jesus/Oh how far He reached for me/ Let my grateful heart sing louder still/Thank You for saving me.”
Love Walked In refers to the accounts of the woman caught in adultery, the three men who were thrown into the fiery furnace and the disciples after the crucifixion, all of whom were made better when “Love walked in and chased the fear away/ A champion showed up to save the day.” “Happy People” also includes Let Your Love Light Shine, It’s Good to See the Sun, Joshua Led God’s Children and I Do Believe.
“Happy People” is a mix of old and new, with songs from Vep Ellis, Bill and Gloria Gaither and other titles by Haase and other members of Signature Sound. Throughout every title, the sincerity of these musicians shines through. Their “love light shines” to let the listener know that they are truly happy people.... God’s people.
Tracey Evison Sound Bites