Avery lives. He just doesn’t write much these days. I’m afraid you’ll have to continue to talk amongst yourselves if you can’t stand the silence for a bit longer. But I promise to be back at some point in the nearish future. And at that point, remind me to tell you why Allison Durham Speer’s “I’m Bound For That City” may be one of the most fabulous new old standards released in a very long time.
In the meantime, let me return to something I’ve probably already wondered about before but nevertheless don’t remember getting a satisfactory answer to. What is up with Steve Hurst and Mark Trammell Trio? It’s one thing for a “quartet” to have more than four people in it when the extras do non-vocal stuff. But Hurst sings a fourth part a good deal of the time with MTT. And he’s obviously not just making a few cameo appearances. His has now been added as an official bio to the group’s website (hat tip, FK), which treats the Hurst situation like he’s always been around and that everybody already knows what Hurst’s role is with the group: “Taking on the mantel of mentors, Mark Trammell and Steve Hurst are now surrounding themselves with two of the brightest young vocalists on the Gospel Music Horizon, Eric Phillips and Dustin Sweatman.” I assume that bit about the mantel of mentors is a slightly self-serving way of saying Hurst brought a big cash infusion with him, if only because when you hear hoof beats, why think zebras. But obviously I could be wrong. No matter, and if even or especially I am wrong, it’s difficult to see what else Hurst brings to the group. The slate of song on the last project sort of obliterates the theory that Hurst is meant to be Rodney Griffin to Mark Trammell’s Gerald Wolfe. And the signals the group sends from the stage are no clearer, with Hurst blustering around between the piano and the frontlines in full high holiness mode while Trammell does his stately man of gospel music thing off to the side. But then again, I’ve always preferred Trammell’s stage presence to Hurst’s brand of emotional spirituality, which means I may simply not “get” something that’s apparent to everyone else. What say you all?
* My point here isn’t that this is new (as Daniel Mount points out in comments). Rather, it’s that it’s gone on for so long with the presumption that everybody always already has known about Hurst’s role.Email this Post