Clear Skies: Ernie Haase + Signature Sound

GRADE:  B+

  • Album:  Clear Skies
  • Artist:  Ernie Haase and Signature Sound
  • Label:  Stow Town
  • Style:  Traditional; Progressive
  • Release Date:  01/26/18
  • Digital Download:  Yes (Apple Music)
  • Running Time:  50 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

Today, it is time to take a look at the new album from Ernie Haase and Signature Sound; Clear Skies.

The group takes the listener on a voyage of various Southern Gospel quartet sounds.  One moment you’re listening to a song that could’ve been recorded by the Statesmen in the 1950’s, to the funky late 1970’s sound of the Imperials, to a classic Cathedrals sound from the 1980’s.

The 2018 edition of Signature Sound remains unchanged from their last recording; Ernie Haase (tenor), Devin McGlamery (lead), Dustin Doyle (baritone) and Paul Harkey (bass).

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • EHSS has already had one big hit from the album with “Give Me Jesus”.  Taking unpublished lyrics from Fanny Crosby to come up with a masterpiece.  A must listen!
  • I’ve been singing the praises of Lee Black’s songwriting before others took notice.  Glad to see now he is recognized as one of the best Southern Gospel songwriters.  He teamed up with Sue C Smith to pen “Heaven Is”.  Great song!
  • Paul turns in a stand out performance on the traditional ballad, “Long Line Of Love”.  A song that could have found a home in the Cathedrals repertoire.
  • There are a couple strong up-tempo Southern Gospel quartet songs.  The first is the big band treatment given to “As For Me And My House”.  Fun song.
  • The second is the modern style, “You’ll Find Him There”.  This would make a great radio single.
  • Devin turns in a nice performance on a song he co-wrote, “Walking Through Fire”.
  • The songwriting trio of Ernie Haase, Wayne Haun and Joel Lindsey contributed seven of the thirteen songs on Clear Skies.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Give Me Jesus”, “Long Line Of Love”, “Heaven Is”, “You’ll Find Him There”, “As For Me And My House”, “Walking Through Fire”, “Clear Skies” and “Love Took His Breath Away”.
CRITIQUE:
  • Sadly the really strong moments get offset by a couple weak moments.  “My Hallelujah” threw off the pace of the recording.  It sounded like something that should be in a really cheesy movie about a church choir competition.  Already been done.
  • The songwriting of “Sailing With Jesus” doesn’t match the caliber of the rest of the recording.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “My Hallelujah” and “Sailing With Jesus”.

WRAP UP:

Clear Skies is a great Southern Gospel quartet album to start 2018.  “Give Me Jesus” is a true masterpiece.  The strong moments far outweigh the weak.

SONG (tempo)/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Clear Skies” (Mid/Up)/Devin; Dustin – Ernie Haase, Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey  2. “Heaven Is” (Fast)/Ensemble – Lee Black, Sue C Smith  3. “Give Me Jesus” (Slow)/Ensemble; Paul; Ernie – Fanny Crosby, Ernie Haase, Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey  4. “Sailing With Jesus” (Mid/Up)/Dustin – Ernie Haase, Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey  5. “As For Me And My House” (Up)/Ensemble – Karen Whitt  6. “Give Them All To Jesus” (Mid)/Devin with Booth Brothers – Bob Benson, Phillip Johnson  7. “Long Line Of Love” (Slow)/Paul – Jeff Bumgardner  8. “Love Took His Breath Away” (Slow)/Ernie – Ernie Haase, Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey  9. “Three Men On A Mountain” (Slow)/Paul – Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey  10. “You’ll Find Him There” (Fast)/Ensemble; Devin – Ernie Haase, Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey  11. “My Hallelujah” (Fast)/Ensemble; Ernie and Voices Of Lee – Ernie Haase, Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey  12. “Walking Through Fire” (Slow)/Devin – Devin McGlamery, Lee Black, Sue C Smith  13. “Longing For Home” (Mid)/Ernie – Ernie Haase, Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey

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One thought on “Clear Skies: Ernie Haase + Signature Sound

  1. Wow, I am not a huge fan of Sig Sound but found this recording very enjoyable and cohesive sounding through the variety of styles. The older songs like As For Me And My House we’re given a fresh treatment that sounded like something from a Michael Buble album. One of your least favorites is one of my favorites.
    Even though I usually don’t care for aquatic themed songs about lighthouses or how the gospel becomes a ship, I loved the message and vibe on Sailing With Jesus. It sounded like a Jason Mraz tune and the message being about being close to Jesus after having been dissolutioned with religion. Great message in a sea (pun intended) of cliche ridden genre of songs about trials, Heaven and Lazarus.

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