The master has signed an “exclusive agreement” with River Bend, the studio run by the former Goodman Johnny Minick and his son, Aaron. Now, “exclusive agreement” is a loaded and often deeply misleading term as it gets used in a lot of music-industry press releases (esp small-time southern gospel, where “X has signed an exclusive agreement with Y” often means that Y has agreed to ingratiate himself to the more famous X and then take credit in his own publicity for any success X reaps from Y’s work). But all this notwithstanding, my first reaction to this Goss thing is, What thuh …?
Seriously. Goss is probably the most talented orchestrator and arranger in the styles of Christian music he works in, and it’s hard to see what he gets out of an “exclusive arrangement” with a second or third tier production company like River Bend (if you want evidence, pick up Allison Durham Speer’s latest album, This Old House … it’s mostly a River Bend production … listen to the risibly shoddy keyboard work on “Had it Not Been,” which tries to be acoustical but only ends up sounding amateurish. Note, too, that I said mostly: I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the best track on the project – “I’m Bound for that City” – is also the one track for which Speer farmed out arrangement and orchestration to Wayne Haun, which probably means she couldn’t afford to have Haun do the whole thing).
It could be that River Bend is going to function as more of a management team in the arrangement: Goss will still work for all the people he used to work for but they’ll be booked through the Minicks. But even this doesn’t make a lot of sense for Goss, because the Minicks are not going to bring him any work he couldn’t otherwise get on his own. I’ve heard River Bend is really trying hard to get into film music, and maybe Goss wants to get into film scoring through them, but if this is the case (and I don’t know for sure that it is), Goss would seem better positioned to go about this by himself than with River Bend, which would appear to have an outside chance in this line at best. So yeah. What thuh …?
Update: Turns out there’s an “exclusive” problem with the original press release. Namely, the agreement with Goss is not exclusive at all. It’s just an agreement for Goss to do some contract and piece work for River Bend. A corrected version is here at sogospelnews. Seems a lot less dramatic, huh? I mean, Goss agrees to work on projects all the time and that’s really all that happened here. But at least we got a teachable moment out of all this - namely, the first lesson of PR: ring the bell at high noon and then when it turns out to be wrong, make a half-hearted attempt to correct the mistake late at night for not being able to unring it (notice the SN release, by far the most widely read, is still all about “exclusivity”).Email this Post