Jeremy Peace

He’s back on the road with the Old Paths Quartet, “and we don’t know why.” That last bit of barbed wire is from Chuck Peters over at southerngospelreporter.com, who appears to relish sticking it to Jeremy Peace just a scosh too much. But there is something admittedly strange about the way this has all played out.

When Peace left the Kingsmen in April, he went out with a gust of hot air – his own:

Being on the road, and dealing with other recording studios and the business as a whole, has brought a lot to my attention. Southern Gospel is not exploding, but simply imploding on itself. Do you realize that our only media outlets for information and marketing are the Singing News, a handful of AM radio stations that will play ANYTHING, and various internet web sites that seem to scramble for any tid-bits of news information so that they can play news reporter and release the news first? Some say Southern Gospel is the best kept secret … its true, because we keep it that way. Let’s think out of the box here. Fox News doesn’t report us, Wal-mart doesn’t carry most of our stuff, churches have moved past our style of music and into other forms of worship. Lets let the world know about this great music. Lets be honest here, and rid ourselves of the mom and pop groups that can cut a record at joe blow studio and get on their label for $10,000, and release a single to the 200 AM stations that will play everybody, that nobody listens to. If you can’t sing or play, then the truth is, you can’t go to Nashville to get a record deal, so you shouldn’t be able to get one in Southern Gospel!

Erm, ok. Strip away the ax-grinding (did Peace get burned by an AM station once or what?) and the overheated rhetoric of disillusionment here, and he has a decent point about the erosion of artistic standards and ability. But it’s stuff that’s all been said before and more eloquently, persuasively, and less shrilly elsewhere. Perhaps Peace missed these discussions whilst he was obsessively monitoring those 200 AM stations that nobody listens to (except for him?).

So minus the bluster and bombast what’s left? It seems pretty clear that something painful and difficult pushed Peace from the road originally. He seemed genuinely torn at the time anyway, if he did perhaps overindulge his inner pontificator (and yes, I know whereof I speak here). But it’s forgivable, if only because it’s understandable for someone in Peace’s situation then to try to make the best of a bad situation by spinning a potentially embarrassing departure into a PR occasion to strike a pose of wisdom and plain-spokenness born of whatever trial or struggle forced him off the road.

And then lo! a chance to get back on the road. In the Singing News, Peace says of his joining the Old Paths:

I am excited about this decision, and after spending some time with them on stage, I know that they are real about their convictions and seeing lost souls saved. Their touring schedule allows me to continue my education, and to keep a full schedule here in the studio. But most important, they are only a short drive from my home, which allows me to have the best of both worlds…my family, and my love for Gospel music.

Translation: Erm, all that stuff about imploding? Yeah, maybe not so much.

I’m not sure this makes him a hypocrite or any of the other brands of fraud that Peters seems to be trying to make him out to be with his barbs (evidently Chuck took Peace’s bit about scrambling for crumbs of news personally, and thus shows us another patch of his ever thinning skin). But unfortunately Peace does look a little foolish in hindsight dispensing lectures about singing ability. Because “lets [sic] be honest here,” Peace surrendered the high ground of music criticism when he decided to take his place in the long gospel tradition of KM tenors screaming and cat-calling for Christ with Ray Dean and the Boys. And now he’s joined up with a group that – were you to do the old music-school needle-drop randomly on one their records – might easily be mistaken for one of the “mom and pop groups that can cut a record at joe blow studio.” So yeah, Peace might want to see if any of those AM stations has a cooking show or recipe hour with Sister Shoemaker that might offer suggestions about how best to prepare and serve himself some crow.

But no matter. Peace may well be at a place a lot of young guys end up when they “make it” (or so they think) into what they thought was a BIG group: their expectations get shattered. They leave the road, stay home for a bit, and then get back on a bus with a lesser group and justify it by convincing themselves that this new place is truly all about God and the ministry and saving souls. And so the implosion continues, one self-embattled singer at a time.

Update: A response from Jeremy Peace here.

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Comments

  1. KB wrote:

    My question is this….Is the Old Path’s schedule also allowing Jeremy to keep a part (or full) time job elsewhere….??? Otherwise, I’d think that they wouldn’t be able to offer him anywhere near as much as Ray Dean and the Boys did…

  2. quartet-man wrote:

    Averyfineline said “So yeah, Peace might want to see if any of those AM stations has a cooking show or recipe hour with Sister Shoemaker that might offer suggestions about how best to prepare and serve himself some crow”

    Now THAT is funny.

  3. SG wrote:

    I would like to do something I have never done on this site before…come to the defense of someone, namely Jeremy Peace. Last year at NQC I did a little work with Jeremy and we hit it off. Later we sat and talked for about 3 hours at the hotel we were both staying at. I found him to be one of the most genuine people I’ve ever met in the industry, and I’ve been a part of this industry professionally for 13 years now. Imagine for a moment that you grow up with a dream your entire life. You work hard singing with local and regional groups for years working toward that dream…and one day you finally achieve your dream of singing full-time in a professional group… a legendary group for that matter. Imagine then the pain and confusion you would feel when fulfilling that dream costs you your marriage…not due to anyones infidelities or bad habits, or any of the other many things that lead to divorce…but because the demanding schedule of being gone from Wednesday night till Sunday night week after week…plus other days out of town for recording, photo shoots etc… is more than a wife can handle. Most people don’t think about the fact that in order for us to go hear our favorite group at a concert on any given Thursday thru Sunday night, there is usually a wife, and in most cases children…home alone without their husband/dad that whole time! That’s not something most women I know could handle for long…even if you know that this is his “calling”, it wouldn’t make them not being there easy to bear…and for some they can’t and they leave. Imagine how confusing and painful that situation had to be for a young man trying to do what he felt God had called him to do.
    As for what he said about the low-talent groups and small AM stations that play anything…he was 100% dead-on about that being a big problem in our industry. So many people I run into have been exposed to more of that type of SG than the cream of the crop, and so THAT’s what they think SG is, and understandably they say they don’t like SG. You don’t see the same thing happening with CCM or P&W, and it’s frustrating for it to be such a big part of SG.
    As for KB’s question about Jeremy being able to work a full or part-time job to make up the difference in what Old Paths could pay versus the Kingsmen…an important part of Jeremy’s reasoning for going on the road with Old Paths was left off in this post…namely “Their touring schedule allows me to continue my education, and to keep a full schedule here in the studio. But most important, they are only a short drive from my home, which allows me to have the best of both worlds…my family, and my love for Gospel music.”
    Since he lives in Rome Georgia and the group is based in Oxford Georgia they are very close, and their schedule is MUCH LESS demanding than the Kingsmen’s was.
    I know everyone loves the rumor mill, and to gossip and wonder all the reasons why someone comes off the road, then goes back on with another group etc… This is one of the rare cases where the person has been transparent about it all from the beginning, and continues to be.
    Whatever you may think of Jeremy as a tenor (we all have different tastes there) he is a sincere young Christian man who is trying to get it right in this life. Keep him in your prayers.

  4. dkd wrote:

    Having been the wife of a Owner and singer of a gospel group for many years, SG’s comments hit home with me. It is very difficult to be alone every weekend plus some Thursdays & Fridays. To say nothing of the constant battles with record company’s, promoters, booking agent’s, the list goes on..I can understand and empathize with both Jeremy and his family. The problem is that even with all of the above issues ( and those are just a few) a man has to do what a man has to do. His family needs to be supported and taken care of. I think that is why so many of them burn out and quit the road even if it’s temporary. Many will return to sing just because they love it and they need to support themselves and their family’s.

  5. jb wrote:

    SG: Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. It was well written and right on. A lot of people do not understand or care what full time people go through or the “full-time-weekenders” for that matter. I married into a christian singing family and it was all wonderful and fun when it was just the 4 guys/wifes traveling. We left on Fridays after everyone got off work and got back home late Sunday night to go to work on Monday. Then the babies started coming. I went for 2 weekends after our baby was born and that was enough for me. We chose, as a family, to come off the road and get involved in our church. 25 yrs. later, we are singing again with one of our boys. Gods sometimes says “WAIT”. If we are faithful, he is faithful. God Bless Jeremy.

  6. Jeremy wrote:

    Avery,

    For the past few years, I have enjoyed checking your site and reading your take on sg issues. I have even become furious with you at times, but I respect and otherwise enjoy your writings. As I woke this morning I found you had wrote about me… and what is funny is that I enjoyed reading what you had to say… Very thought provoking. I would like to clarify some things though… I left the Kingsmen only because I had become miserable with the decision I made to stay on the road instead of taking care of my family. After losing my wife, I began to resent the road and my choice to stay… it was apparent that I should move back home and settle the personal issues in my life… Now, my writings on my website, and my reasons for leaving are not connected…. I am working in a studio here in Rome, and with being on the road, I have seen a lot of bull go on with local radio stations playing bad music from bad groups… it has over-saturated our market and caused a lot of people to turn from sg music…I say this because I’ve seen it happen… of course these issues have been hashed and rehashed many times…. but for that month… that was my thoughts… as for being let down about singing with a big group…. that never happened. The Kingsmen were and always will be my favorite group… no, things are not what they once were for the group, but for me it was still a dream come true… sure, they’ve not been known for great singing…but that’s their style. I adapted to that style to fit them… doesn’t mean I actually sing that way outside of the group… and for me…joining the Old Paths was a perfect move… not a lot of travelling, they are great singers…and they have seen over 200 people saved in the past year…all of these things are great for me…I will be able to work and go fishing…lol…and really have time to begin a relationship again one day. I never looked at it as going to a lesser group… I’m not trying to make it to the top…I just want to use my talents again and sing…that’s all… nothing more and nothing less… I’m sorry if anyone got offended by my thoughts, but hey…its my opinion, and I’m entitled to that. Thanks Avery for speaking the truth and shedding light on the important issues…good or bad.

    Jeremy

  7. dkd wrote:

    Jeremy-Good post!

  8. thom wrote:

    Are we to assume that Jeremy is saying the Kingsmen are not great singers bu the Old Path’s are? And that he ‘adapted’ to singly ‘not great’ -changed the way he sang - so he could sing badly to fit in with the Kingsmen? see this quote from his post…….

    “things are not what they once were for the group, but for me it was still a dream come true… sure, they’ve not been known for great singing…but that’s their style. I adapted to that style to fit them… doesn’t mean I actually sing that way outside of the group… and for me…joining the Old Paths was a perfect move… not a lot of travelling, they are great singers…”

    not picking on you Jeremy, but please clarify this part of your comments for me. Do you sing some other way now - that you did not sing before?

  9. thom wrote:

    p.s. - I always thought that “Tony Peace” was your Dad and you left the Kingsmen because he did.

    showing my ignorance here I guess!

  10. Jeremy Peace wrote:

    I can see where you would question that, Thom…I’m not always great with words, so what I meant was that the Kingsmen hayday was in the 70’s, 80’s, and early 90’s. They are still big now, but just not the same as it once was. As far as singing, they have always been known to be rough around the edges… Never 100% polished… never payed much attention to word pronounciation, or diction… they were from the world of lets sing and get them up on their feet…generate some excitement… I knew that coming into the group… Sure, most of the vocalist that were there in the past, and now present, are great singers… but in order to generate the Kingsmen sound that Hamill helped create, you have to adapt to that particular style. That was what was expected of me. Outside of the group, I may not sound as shrill or harsh. I’m a stickler when it comes to diction and tone placement… the vocals synchronizing, and knowing your limits… it was just a little different there. Nothing bad, just different. As for the Old Paths being better singers… I believe they are great vocalist as a group, and individually. They work hard to have a polished sound. Its just a different style of singing… not better or worse…just different.

    And no, thank God that Tony is not my father… lol…

  11. youngartist wrote:

    Hey Jeremy, thanks for posting. I think you were perfectly clear, courteous and honest. Don’t let a few naysayers get you down. I understood what you were saying about the Kingmsen and I don’t think you meant that the OPT were any better singers, but that they had a different style.

    This guy has been through alot people, let’s cut him some rope…

    p.s. Remember me from the SN boards?

  12. Rhonda Berry wrote:

    Being the wife of a “full-time weekender” singer and one who loves SG let me just say bravo to SG for that post. We started in this after we had kids (5 to be exact) and it is tough. What makes it easier for me is that my kids were older and I get to go and am very involved, but not onstage. My kids were old enough that it was easier to do, but young enough that they have been influenced by the music. Our daughter has Downs and goes with us to almost all our events. She is our biggest cheerleader. It is hard, though, to be gone almost every weekend after a long week of work, but it is also essential to support my husband in what he does. To men like my husband (and obviously Jeremy too) it is a part of who they are. They may have to leave it for awhile to take care of things, but they always go back. Knowing this, I can’t fault anyone or question them for that.

    Jeremy,
    Bravo to you on your comments about AM stations and the standards they are destroying in SG. We (even as a part time group) have been discussing and blogging about this for a long time. We have no problem being a weekend group because we want the standards even for us to be high. We sang at a church a few years ago where several of the members sang as well. Every song was SG-oriented. When we mentioned this, we were told not to say that because they thought SG meant bad. So keep saying it Jeremy, hopefully someone will eventually listen.

  13. thom wrote:

    Jeremy - thanks for clarifying, I understand what you are saying.

    went to your website - nice job, maybe you should re-do mine! looking fwd to when you get your audio clips posted. will check back

    and I agree. . . thank God that TP is not yo daddy! lol

    later man

  14. Joe wrote:

    I knew Jeremy long before he was a member of the KQ. He and I played a two-keyboard duet at a SG concert in PA, and I got to back up the Relations Quartet from Texas one night when he was their tenor.

    I am truly saddened to hear that a full-time schedule with a great quartet cost him his marriage. That is not remotely close to being an even trade.

    SG- I agree with your take on him totally. That was a great post.

    And Jeremy- You know who I am, even though I am using a “pen name” here. We’ve talked many times on the phone, and you’ve listened to my songs- give me a call. Keep your chin up- I will be praying for you.

  15. quartet-man wrote:

    Jeremy, I don’t know you and am not sure I even heard any of the stuff you did with them (don’t listen to much Kingsmen….sorry. :-) ) but your posts were great and I am glad you posted them.
    I appreciate your heart and honesty and the spirit with which you answered what could seem like criticism. I pray that God works mightily in your life and that you find His will in career and life, and even another wife if you want one. :-)

  16. GLenn wrote:

    Although I have never known anything about Jeremy’s personal struggles, I do know that I really enjoyed his voice, and I think his contribution to the current Kingsmen was more than any other member. I was not familiar with the Kingsmen during the Hamill days, but I do think that the Kingmen with Bryan Huston, Jerry Martin, Jonathan Parker, and of course, Ray Reese was the best southern gospel group that I have heard in the last 10 years or so. Their “Proven” album is one that I still listen to on a regular basis. Their turnover in the last few years to me is a mystery. They have all left for many different reasons, but the common demoninator seems to me to be Reese. I am also a little surprised that you would be this critical about someone who really was just a “telling it like it is” type person, or at least telling it like he thinks it is.

  17. jb wrote:

    I aprreciate Jeremy’s honesty about his situation. I believe when you are honest, and that doesn’t mean you have to give every detail, people understand and sympathize. I admire him for trying to get things back on track. God will give us the desires of our hearts. Maybe not right when we want it, but, when we need it. Sounds to me like “all Jeremy wants to do is SING”……

  18. Monica wrote:

    I applaud Jeremy for his step of faith- ESPECIALLY with The Old Paths. I know for a fact that those guys are true to the ministry and sing the Word of God. They may not be “mainstream” yet, but they are seeing souls saved and build The Kingdom. And I believe that God does and will honor that. I look forward to the amazing things that God is going to do with and thru these young men- Jeremy included.

  19. Mary wrote:

    Jermey, I never cared for the screaming, squeaky type of tenor. So, I’m glad that you’re with a “vocally smother” group.
    Of the past Kingsmen tenors between Ernie Phillips (except Jerry Martin) and the current, you are my favorite. I’ll not make an assessmemt on Harold Reed yet since he is still new with them.
    Ignore all of the fussers and the nit-pickers out there and keep singing.
    God bless you.

  20. TOP Fan wrote:

    I have not read your comments before as I am not into the whole gossip thing but this was brought to my attention and I have to say it somewhat bothers me. You said and I quote… ” They leave the road, stay home for a bit, and then get back on a bus with a lesser group and justify it by convincing themselves that this new place is truly all about God and the ministry and saving souls.” (end quote) If singing about the Lord who came to save a lost and dying world is not what it’s all about then what is it all about??? The Old Paths may be a lesser group to you but a group that sees souls saved through their singing and testimony every time they are on stage is far from “lesser” in God’s eyes and in the end THAT is what is important and will count at the Judgment Seat! Jeremy is a good, godly and talented young man. He has had some trials and God is going to use him and those trials to bring people to Him. The Old Paths are a very talented group but more than that God is using them in a mighty way and Jeremy will be both blessed and a blessing with this group.

  21. Brandon wrote:

    Hey guys. My name is Brandon Barry I sing bass for the Old Paths. First off I would like to thank all of those who are open minded and are really encouraging Jeremy on his new ministry opportunity. We enjoy having him around and really love his heart for the Lord. We get alot of slack from alot of people. Most who think we are not a “professional” group because we sing in alot of churches and not as much concert events or because we don’t do alot of promotion to radio or singing news or whatever.Even though every single we have released has gone to the Top 30 in singing news chart and even Top 10 in u.s. gospel news its like it doesn’t count because we are “The Old Paths” but that doesn’t bother me. What bothers me is when a ministry,any ministry, is put down because they aren’t “Industry Standard”. What is “Industry Standard” anyway? I do agree that their are alot of groups out there that need some help…lol! Us Being one of them!!! lol I just wish that,before rumors and put down occur, they would get facts straight ya know? We love people. We love the Lord. The Lord is blessing our ministry for staying faithful to Him. Seeing over 300 souls saved in the past year and a half has been absolutley awesome to see! Even though we are doing more concert dates this year than in the past..we still do alot of churches, Evangelism Conferences and tent revivals. We even had the priviledge of singing at First Baptist Woodstock in Atlanta for a Power in the Pulpit Conference for Dr. Jerry Vines who uses us now in all his events. Please pray for our ministry…thank you so much for supporting gospel music and keeping it alive!
    “The truest mark of a man’s character is how he treats those he does not need”
    -Junior Hill

  22. Trent wrote:

    I simply must share that “alot” in the way you are using it is not one word; it is two words. You should be saying “a lot” not “alot”.

  23. brandon wrote:

    thank you trent…lol…i type short hand from my phone and wrote this while on the road…like I am now. forgive me for the grammar and spelling and thank you for the correction!

  24. sg wrote:

    glad you posted comments brandon. I’ve only seen the old paths in concert once and I must say i was impressed! You could see from the stage and from them sitting in the audience (supporting the other artists), that they love the Lord and are trying to do His work. And yes, i know we can’t always tell by “outward showings”, but sometimes your spirit just bears witness. Adding Jeremy, I personally think, is a great direction to go. I’ve only had the opportunity to talk with jeremy a handful of times at kingsmen concerts. During those times, you could just tell that he loves Christ and wants to do things that edify and minister. Its great to see young folks doing that…it really encourages other young talent that want in the industry (hey..i’m in my 20’s myself). Adding Jeremy REALLY strengthens them at the tenor position…i think they’ll be even better and go even farther. They have (not just because he just posted) one of the hidden great bass singers in the industry, imho. Of course, lead and baritone are great too! Keep up the great works old paths. And thanks avery for keeping us informed with your views and news.

  25. jamey evans wrote:

    AVERY
    ARE YOU OFF OF YOUR ROCKER OR WHAT? LET ME START OUT BY SAYING THAT I LOVE EVERYONE IN THE OLD PATHS AS STRONG AS ANY FAMILY MEMBER. I WOULD DIE FOR ANY ONE OF THEM. I WOULD SUGGEST THAT NEXT TIME YOU HAVE A LITTLE BRAIN THOUGHT THAT YOU JUST DON’T SHARE IT. JEREMY PEACE HAS MORE TALENT IN ONE NOSE HAIR THAN YOU PROBABLY DO IN YOUR WHOLE BODY. FOR SOMEONE WHO REMAINS UNKNOWN YOU SURE DO LIKE TO COMMENT ON OTHERS AS IF YOU KNOW THEM. BRINGING JEREMYS PERSONAL LIFE INTO THE MIX IS AS LOW AS IT GETS. TRUST ME I HAVE THE MONEY AND TIME TO SET UP A SITE AND SLAM YOU AND YOUR KIND ALL DAY LONG. YOU ARE NOTHING BUT A GLORIFIED GOSSIP PIMP.
    NOW AS FAR AS JEREMYS MOTIVES GOES, IT IS SIMPLE. HE GOT TIRED OF A SHOW AND THE SILLY POLITICS IN THIS BUSINESS AND WANTED TO SEE SOULS SAVED. THAT GOES FOR EVERY SINGLE MEMBER OF THE OLD PATHS. IT HAS NEARLY BEEN 300 SOULS SAVED IN A YEAR. THATS ALMOST ONE A DAY. THEY MAY NOT BE ON THE ROAD 300 DAYS OUT OF THE YEAR AND THEY MAY NOT BE GETTING RICH LIKE SOME, BUT THE SOULS SAVED THROUGH THIS MINISTRY AND THE LIVES IMPACTED ARE FAR BEYOND SMOKE SCREENS AND RHINE STONE SUITS. I PERSONALY SAW 4 PEOPLE SAVED THE VERY FIRST NIGHT THAT JEREMY WAS ON THE STAGE WITH THE OLD PATHS. AN 82 YEAR OLD MAN, HIS DAUGHTER, AND HER SON, ALONG WITH ANOTHER BOY. IN ONE PLACE IN SC THERE WAS A 71, 75, AND 82 YEAR OLD WOMEN SAVED. HOW MANY GOSPEL GROUPS CAN SAY THAT.
    THE OLD PATHS MINISTRY IS NOT SINGING ABOUT JESUS ITS ABOUT SINGING FOR JESUS. RADIO STATIONS, CHARTS AND PUBLIC ANOUCEMENTS GO OUT THE WINDOW IN GODS EYES. IT IS ABOUT WINNING SOULS. I CHALLENGE ANYONE WHO HAS OR HAS NOT SEEN THE OLD PATHS TO CHECK OUT THEIR WEB SITE A COME TO A MEETING. IT WOULD PROBABLY HELP SOME IN THE BUSINESS GET RIGHT WITH THE LORD.
    THEIR VOCALS ARE THE BEST IN THE BUSINESS. NO LEAD SINGER HAS THE RANGE THAT TIM HAS. BRANDONS TESTIMONY AND BASS IS UNTOUCHED. DOUGS MINISTERING AND TESTIMONY GETS MORE AMENS THAN SOME SURMONS, JERMEYS MUSICAL TALANT AND VOICE CAN NOT BE COMPARED, AND MATTS PIANO IS LIKE A BUILDING FIRE. EVERYONE COME SEE FOR YOURSELVES.
    DO NOT BOTHER RESPONDING I WILL NOT SEE IT OR EVEN CHECK IT OUT. SLAMMING THEM ANY FURTHER AS A LESSER GROUP ONLY MAKES THE BOND TIGHTER AND MAKES THEM WORK HARDER TO MINISTER AND SEE SOULS SAVED. THANKS FOR THE NOTORIETY OF THIS GROUP AND THANKS FOR THE PUBLISITY
    JAMEY 678)414-4816

  26. Chris wrote:

    It’s great to see Jeremy using his talents, and it appears the road has make him a little wiser for the wear. I remember when I first saw him with the Relations on a tour to California. He was young and scared (cause he thought I was Chris Collins-same name, same ugly face), but I could tell he was going to be in SG for a while with a voice like his. Now he has the experience for SG and, apparantly, for life. Good luck, and we hope to see you on left coast again.

  27. Awtrey Peace wrote:

    Jeremy: I am so happy that you are with a great group now, and I am waiting for a concert in NW Florida. Keep your head high Brother, and continue to look forward. The good Lord will provide. We are possibly related! God bless.

    Awtrey Peace

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