Ernie Haase + Signature Sound has released Something Beautiful: Our Favorite Songs of Bill & Gloria Gaither. The Gaither Music Group project is available now across all music platforms.
Haase, Bill Gaither and Wayne Haun poured through Gaither catalog of over 700 popular songs and decided to reimagine several standards. Ernie Haase + Signature Sound's rendition of "Because He Lives" recently landed on the Spotify New Music Friday Christian playlist while The Christian Post exclusively premiered the group's "Then Came the Morning" video leading up to Easter.
Something Beautiful also includes collaborations with both Gospel Music Hall of Fame members, who have collectively garnered eight GRAMMY® Awards and 40 Gospel Music Association DOVE Awards. Bill Gaither joins Ernie Haase + Signature Sound on "It's Beginning to Rain" while Gloria Gaither lends her voice to the quartet's medley of Gaither classics.
Q: Ernie, thanks as always for doing this interview. How are you doing in the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic?
Ernie: We've been doing okay. Losing your source of income for three to four months is a major stress point, but we know our God is faithful in the past, and He will be faithful in this present craziness.
Q: You have given us a gorgeous gift --- your new album "Something Beautiful" --- to listen to during quarantine. Why did you decide to revisit the Bill and Gloria Gaither songbook?
Ernie: Practically every Signature Sound record has had a Gaither tune on it. This new project has been a bucket list project for me. The release of this project was perfect timing that we had no way of knowing.
Q: Tell us a little about your friendship with Bill and Gloria Gaither.
Ernie: My first concert with The Cathedrals (April of 1990) was an evening with the Gaithers. Bill and Gloria have been my mentors for years, and that mentorship has evolved into an intimate friendship that I wouldn't trade for anything.
Q: Bill and Gloria have released so many songs over the years, how did you manage to narrow down your song choices?
Ernie: I knew in my heart what songs I wanted to cover, and more importantly I knew in my heart how they would be reimagined musically. This guided our choice of songs.
Q: In what ways were Bill and Gloria involved in the making of this record?
Ernie: Bill and Gloria both gave us direction, ideas and, more importantly, their blessing. They were involved from the very beginning all the way to the last approval of the mixes and the cover artwork.
Q: Was it difficult for you to have to re-interpret these songs?
Ernie: It was more a feeling of pressure than of being difficult. I didn't want to just cover a song. I wanted to reimagine it and make something beautiful for the body of Christ. I could never have pulled this off without the creative mind of my longtime friend and business partner Wayne Haun. We both felt the pressure together and are thrilled with the way it turned out.
Q: Being a fan of the Gaithers, can you recall a time when one of their songs had helped you in your walk with Christ?
Ernie: I can think of many times when I couldn't find words to pray when I would say, "I Believe Help Thou My Unbelief." And there have been many times that I've been haunted with the past mistakes I have made. That is when the lyric "He made something beautiful of my life" reminds me that He is in the business of taking broken lives and making them whole again. Just about every song on this record has a special meaning to me like the two songs I just mentioned.
Q: What words of encouragement do you have for all of us in this pandemic?
Ernie: Our only hope is in Christ! We have said this and heard this so many times, but in times like this we are being taught this in a personal way. We all have hopes. Each day we wake up and hope it doesn't rain or that we feel good, or we hope for a job interview and so on. Our days are filled with hopes which means we have something to look forward to with great expectations. The greatest hope of all is Jesus Christ the hope of all the ages. All our little hopes rest in Him. "Because He Lives" we can face these uncertain days. We are looking forward to not only this crisis ending but to the coming of our Lord. I hope these songs (and the Covid-19 crisis) refocus our attention and affections to our HOPE--Jesus the risen Savior!
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