Union Street hits Kickstarter Goal

Union Street, the new quartet from Ryan Seaton, Aaron McCune, Toby Hitchcock, and Andrew Goldman, recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund their debut album. (We covered it here and here.) They are six days away from the end of the fundraising drive. They hit their goal yesterday; they are at over $19,000 raised, 128% of their $15,000 goal. Notably, there have only been two large donors (one at the $1,000 tier and another at the $5,000 tier); most of the other contributors gave $25, $50, or $100.

This is already one of the most successful (if not the most successful) Southern Gospel-related Kickstarter to date, and there is a week to go. Congratulations, Union Street!

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Past the Press Release: An Interview with Andrew Goldman

Past the Press Release is an interview series featuring a new member of a professional Southern Gospel group. It’s a chance to look past the standard “excited to be here” press release comment and learn a little more about them. Meet Union Street baritone Andrew Goldman!

Andrew GoldmanDaniel: Over the last few months, Union Street (formerly The Ryan Seaton Quartet) has generated enough buzz and won enough fans that I thought readers would be interested to see an interview with the group’s newest face. I understand that this isn’t your first time singing with a Southern Gospel group, though. What group(s) have you sung with previously?

Andrew: I’ve been around Gospel music my entire life. I joined the Conquerors Quartet as their lead singer in 2006, when I was a Sophomore in high school. Once, I began my college career at Oakland City University, I joined their ambassador Gospel group, Earthlight. I traveled with both groups during my college years.

Daniel: What or who inspired you to start singing?

Andrew: My family has been my inspiration. My dad started singing with the Conquerors Quartet when I was six months old. I always wanted to be like him, and be a member of the group. I have had the honor of singing alongside of him with the Conquerors since 2009. Not only is he an amazing vocalist, (100 times better than I’ll ever be), he’s completely in tune with what God has in store for each and every one of our concerts. Not only does my father sing, but my mom has one of the smoothest alto voices you have ever heard. She sounds a lot like Karen Carpenter. I’m blessed with such talented parents. I also have had the opportunity to sing with both of them as a trio.

Daniel: Have you had any vocal training, formal or informal?

Andrew: Yes, I actually just graduated with degrees in Music Education and Vocal Performance from Oakland City University. My instructor, Cynthia Retana, has been a tremendous influence in my music. She has helped develop my voice, and helped to take it to the next level. I have studied Italian Arias, Opera, English Oratorio, German Lieder, French, and English Arias under her direction.

Daniel: Readers might be interested to know about a musical connection you share with Ernie Haase, Scott Fowler, Jeremy Lile, and Dusty Barrett. Could you elaborate?

Andrew: Yes, these fantastic artists were once members of Oakland City University’s ambassador Gospel group, Earthlight. I have been a member of Earthlight during my college years.

Daniel: Why the big glasses and bow tie? :)

Andrew: Union Street wants to not only appeal to current Gospel music fans, but we want to appeal to future, younger fans of Gospel music. Our style and sound is more progressive gospel. The glasses set me apart from others, and I’ve always been a huge fan of the bow-tie.

Daniel: I love bow ties, by the way—I wear one myself when I wear a tie! Do you have other musical talents, perhaps playing an instrument, running sound, or something else?

Andrew: I’ve played the drums since I was 11. I’ve had the opportunity to play alongside some great musicians. I actually started with the Conquerors as their fill-in drummer during their time traveling with a live band. I would not consider myself a sound man, but I did run sound during my time with Earthlight.

Daniel: How long have you known Ryan Seaton?

Andrew: I met Ryan during his time with Signature Sound. At the time, I wasn’t aware that he lived, basically just down the road from me. I later found out, we actually graduated from the same high school (He, of course, long before me). We became friends during this time and have kept in touch.

Daniel: When did you first find out about what is now Union Street, and join in?

Andrew: Ryan called me one day on my way home from work asking me if I would be interested in singing for fun at his upcoming solo concert at his home church. He said that he had an itch to sing with a quartet, and thought it would be fun to put a group together as a surprise at the concert. That’s how it all began.

Daniel: Can you fill us in on plans for Union Street’s debut recording?

Andrew: Union Street is hoping to get into the recording studio soon. We are currently raising funds for this. If you or someone you know would like to help, check it out on KickStarter here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/unionstreet/union-streets-debut-recording

I’m also currently working on my first solo project, set to release this summer.

Daniel: How can readers keep up with you and with Union Street?

Andrew: Follow us on Facebook (Union Street). You can also follow us on Twitter @unionstreetqt. You can also follow me @agoldman_12, Tony @TobyHitchcock, Ryan @rseaton1.

Daniel: Thank you for taking the time to do this!

Andrew: Thank you, sir!

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Saturday News Roundup #119

Worth Knowing

  • On Tuesday, Tim Surrett’s bluegrass group, Balsam Range, launched a new membership program, Balsam Nation.
  • Paul’s Journey has hired Joe Kitson as their new lead singer. He has previously sung with the Dixie Melody Boys, the Toney Brothers, Statement of Faith, and In the Vine. The group has also hired Dodd Meadows to add vocals and instrumentation and help run sound.
  • Scott Godsey, who produced Legacy Five’s recent “Ask Me Why” concept video, has launched a media and marketing agency, Godsey & Associates.
  • Danny Funderburk’s father, Bill Funderburk, passed away on Wednesday. He was 82; his health had been declining for some time, and he had suffered a heart attack last month.
  • Channing Eleton’s mother, Janice Eleton, passed away this week after a long battle with cancer (hat tip, DBM).
  • Ryan Seaton’s quartet, Union Street, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to attempt to fund their debut album.

Worth Watching

The Garms Family keeps getting better:
 

Worth Discussing

It’s open thread Saturday—you decide!

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Video: Ryan Seaton Quartet

Last weekend, Roy Webb made a guest appearance with the Ryan Seaton Quartet, playing piano. Here’s a video, where you can hear Roy (and see him at ~1:30):

I have said before that the Ryan Seaton Quartet has the potential to go places quickly, if they so desire. If Roy joined . . . wow.

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Saturday News Roundup #65

In the news:

  • About a week back, I passed the one-year-mark with Crossroads. It’s been a great year! Occasionally, I find that I say everything I have to say in a blog post or album review on the Crossroads site, and thus simply forget to mention it here. (Take, as a great case in point, the album summary for the Talley Trio’s Stories and Songs.) Lest I be entirely remiss in this area, let me catch up on two newsworthy stories here. First, Mark Bishop, who has been recording with Crossroads/Sonlite Records since 2002, just signed a publishing agreement to be on the Chris White Music / Asheville Music Publishing songwriting roster.
  • Second, Crossroads recently rolled out an innovative website feature, the Crossroads Video Vault. Currently, several exclusive concert tapings are available, as are song-by-song downloads of several current DVDs (like NQC Vol. 9 and NQC Vol. 10). The part that excites me the most is the plan to release out-of-print videos through this format—videos you can’t get elsewhere.
  • Singing News is conducting an online poll to determine readers’ all-time favorite cover.
  • Soloist Jessica King has returned to Southern Gospel and has signed with Daywind.
  • Don Butler, a Southern Gospel Hall of Fame member who was a member of the Sons of Song, and then became an industry executive, working in booking with Sumar Talent, passed away on February 3 (Thursday) at age 80.
  • Fellow Asheville-area Southern Gospel blogger Adam Edwards made a move I wish I had thought of making, signing up Brian Crout as a contributor to his blog. Brian, I hope you won’t be a stranger in the comments here! We’d certainly miss you if you were! Either way, though, we wish you the best of success!

In the press:

  • TampaBay.com / The St. Petersburg Times featured a nice interview with Phil Collingsworth and an area host pastor, announcing an area concert.

Featured video:

Word has it that early in the Signature Sound Cathedrals Tribute project process, Ryan Seaton was slated to sing “Champion of Love.” Of course, the plan had to change when he left, but now that the soundtrack has come out, he has started singing it. Here, he sings it with the Ryan Seaton Quartet – Toby Hitchcock, Andrew Goldman, and Aaron McCune – an ensemble solid enough so as to leave assorted observers hoping that they will go farther than merely making occasional appearances.

Also, correspondents have been sending in more videos of the Kingdom Heirs’ new lineup. Via Bryan, here’s a video of Look for Me and He Locked the Gates, and via J.C., here’s He Lifted Me / Fire Away.

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