Thursday, May 23, 2013

Playing Catch Up

I have been gone for a little over a week with limited Internet access, and it's good to be back! I had some posts scheduled, but I knew things would probably come up while I was gone, but didn't realize how much! Some things I suspected, but some things definitely not!

Here's my attempt to play catch up of what I missed while I was gone:

Kellan Monroe Departs Beyond the Ashes

I had the chance to see Beyond the Ashes right before I left, and Tyler Vestal was at baritone. I wasn't sure if Kellan just happened to be off that weekend and didn't want to jump to conclusions. However, he posted this to his Facebook page last week:

As of May 1, I have stepped down from my position with Beyond The Ashes. The past three years have been nothing short of incredible and I am forever grateful that God allowed me to live my dream! I sang with the greatest guys in all the world, on stage and off. I am very excited about this new season and direction in my life and thankful for all God is doing. Thank you to Anthony Facello, Dustin Doyle, Dusty Wells, Rob Estep and all of the BTA team who helped me grow, learn, and love like Jesus. Your impact on my life is invaluable. 
Thank you to the countless friends, fans and family I made on the road for your love and support! Keep up with the guys and watch God do some amazing things in the ministry of BTA. Love y’all!
Kellan was with the group for three years. I'm sure there will be a process to finding a new baritone singer, but after hearing Tyler with the group, I think he would be a great fit!

Mark Trammell Quartet Hires Dustin Black

I thought this might happen while I was gone, since the group hinted at news coming last week on its Facebook page and Dustin had been traveling with the group for a while now. Here's the full release from the quartet:

Gadsden, AL - GREAT NEWS!!!!! On his 26th birthday, Dustin David Black has accepted the position as the new tenor vocalist for Mark Trammell Quartet! Dustin is from Saginaw, Michigan, and will soon become a "southern boy." 
Mark shares the following..."We are SO excited about Dustin coming on board and we look forward to what is in store for both Dustin and MTQ. I am still convinced that God knows exactly what we need and when we need it." Dustin has been traveling with the group on a 90 day trial basis. He is a brand new face to gospel music and has already made many new friends across the country with his winning smile and warm personality. He has proven to be a true Christian Gentleman in every way. Mark continues, "I was immediately impressed with this young man and his ability to just be one of the boys. Dustin had only been to one gospel concert prior to walking on our bus. It was a Gaither event in California a few years back while he was finishing his Masters degree in music at West Coast Baptist College." 
When Mark was asked about having a "yankee" on his bus, he smiled and replied, "It's certainly a first for me, but we will eventually get accustomed to the smell!" 
When you see MTQ in concert in the coming days, make it a point to stop by their table and welcome this fine young man to the world of gospel music.

I had the chance to see with group with Dustin in April and was really impressed with how well he fit with the quartet already! Look forward to seeing them again in Arkansas in June!

Joseph Habedank Leaves the Perrys

This the one I definitely did not see coming!! Joseph has been a mainstay in the Perrys for 10 years. He's grown into not only an incredible lead singer but gifted songwriter as well. I know this was not an easy decision especially with Tracy's situation, but he feels that this is what the Lord is leading him to right now. Here are the statements from Joseph and Libbi:

Dear Friends,

After 10 years of having the great privilege to serve with the Perrys, I have decided to step down as Lead Singer at this time. Libbi and I talked earlier this week, and while I would never want to abandon her in such a great time of need, sometimes The Lord has other plans. There aren't enough words for me to express how truly grateful I am for both Tracy and Libbi giving me the opportunity that they have. They are like parents to me and I love them dearly. I will miss them.

To the Gospel Music community, thank you all for loving and accepting me over the years. I never dreamed that The Lord would allow me to feel so loved by the fans of Gospel Music. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!
As for my future, only The Lord knows what He has in store. I am confident of this one thing tho; I am absolutely nothing without Him and I only want His perfect will for my life. My wife, Lindsay, and I both covet your prayers in this time of transition. We love you all.

With a grateful heart,Joseph Habedank

A personal note from Libbi,
While it saddens me that Joseph is leaving, we definitely respect his and Lindsay's need to reevaluate their lives and future. He has been like a son to me and Tracy. Although he is leaving our group, we will always consider him part of our family.

As for the Perry's, we will continue on. It is my plan to be back on the road as soon and as much as possible. I don't have all the answers right now, but God is in control. Thank you for your love and prayers for me, Tracy, Jared, Bryan, and Leah; and your continued support of the group. 
In His Grip,  
Joseph will most certainly be missed with the Perrys! I hope that if the Lord does not lead him to continue singing full-time, we will still have his presence in the industry as a songwriter!

Mike Rogers Leaves Dixie Melody Boys and Joins Brian Free and Assurance

It seems that this was a pretty fast transition for Brian Free and Assurance. Glad to see that they were able to find someone so quickly! Here's the release from Brian Free:
Douglasville, GA – May 22, 2013 Brian Free announced today a decision has been made in filling the baritone position. Joining the BFA family will be Mike Rogers of Kinston, NC who fans will recognize from his recent position as lead singer for the Dixie Melody Boys. Mike will join the group on June 20 at the Memphis Quartet Show. 
Twenty-four year old Mike shares, “The warmth and humility from Brian and the guys when I auditioned made me feel this was truly a God-thing, and confirmed for me that I wanted to be a part of their ministry. BFA is very family-oriented, which means a lot to me. Ministry is important, but after God, family is top priority. Quartet music doesn’t get any better than BFA. They are top notch, and I am honored to join them." 

Brian states, “When I received the audition info for Mike I was very impressed with his vocal ability and the gift to deliver a song. After spending some time with him, his wife Bekki and daughter Coraline at my home, I knew he was the one God had sent to be a member of our family. I love his heart and the love he has for people. He will be a wonderful addition to BFA. 

Having over 300 people apply for the job, it was a hard decision due to all the talent I heard. I want to thank each person who took their time and effort to apply for the position. I am truly honored that so many wanted to be a part of our ministry. I know God has a place and time for you to use your talent for him.” 

Brian Free & Assurance’s first single I Want To Be That Man off their current project, Nothing But Love, went to number one the month of February on the Singing News Charts. Their follow up single, Calvary’s Cry has quickly climbed the charts and currently holds number six for the month of May. 

To keep up to date with Brian Free & Assurance visit their website at:
Look forward to seeing this new lineup of Brian Free and Assurance!

It's been a couple of weeks full of group changes! Any thing else I've missed?

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