Ernie Haase and Signature Sound – A Diamond Tribute

Ernie Haase and Signature Sound
Ernie Haase and Signature Sound

Coastal Media, parent company of SGNScoops and SGMRadio, is the proud host of the annual Diamond Awards held at Creekside Gospel Music Convention. In October 2013, Ernie Haase and Signature Sound were honored at the Diamond Awards, winning 2013 Quartet Of The Year. SGMRadio is proud to highlight the ministry of Ernie Haase and Signature Sound with a republication of this 2013 SGNScoops feature written by Rhonda Frye, editor and writer for SGNScoops.

“Catching Up With Ernie Haase” – By Rhonda Frye

Generally speaking, attending an Ernie Haase and Signature Sound concert is good for the spirit and soul- not to mention it is just GREAT FUN! I had the honor of meeting the guys in Birmingham and they did not disappoint! As always, the concert was filled with great music and testimonies but also that high level energy and humor that only Signature Sound can produce! What could be better? Getting there early to hang out with our friends as they caught me up on all the latest happenings with Signature Sound. The icing on the cake was that Beyond The Ashes along with everyone’s good friend, Dusty Wells were there too! It was a great night of music, laughter and spiritual renewal.

I had a chance to chat with Ernie before the concert about their latest project, newest group member, plans for summer as well as what is going on with Stow Town Records.

CONVERSATION WITH ERNIE HAASE

ehss twoRhonda: In light of having completed numerous recording projects in your career, what keeps the idea of releasing a new project fresh and exciting?
Ernie: I think it starts with love and that is scriptural. Everything you do should be based out of love. I’m not going to sit here and say there haven’t been times I haven’t been moved by keeping the boat a float so to speak- meaning the quartet… We have to do things for the economy of it, but nine times out of 10 it is driven by love. Whether it is a song, an idea or concept for a project or maybe even a concept of a photoshoot- It is the love of it that keeps me going.
Rhonda: Let’s talk about your latest project, GLORIOUS DAY. I personally love your rendition of “When The Saints Go Marching In.” Tell us about the making of that and how are people responding to it.

Ernie: Wayne {Haun} was cracking the whip in the studio that day! To take a song that has been done a jillion times and to be able to put your spin and personality to it is easier said than done. That arrangement-what we ended coming up with -we’re very happy with it. It’s like the song had been cooking in the studio for about a year. We were always working on the harmonies, even during sound checks and what we wanted just finally came out. The people are loving it- it’s a great opener. Everybody knows it and with this group being one that sings internationally, certain songs don’t translate across the pond there. But, that song translates everywhere. Wherever we go, people know it. It gets everybody on the same page real quick. It’s a lot of fun and I love singing it.

Rhonda: Is there a song on the project that is particularly meaningful to you and why?

Ernie: “That’s Why I Love Him So” is one that I wrote with Wayne Haun and Joel Lindsey. We were just sitting around talking about the goodness of the Lord and how He always seems to give you exactly what you need- even when we don’t know what we need.
We talked about how we pray and ask for these things and how we were glad that He doesn’t even answer our prayer the way we want Him to answer. There are times when we say, ‘Lord, I need you….Money is tight, or I’m feeling a little low here help me- I want to be on the Mountain,’ but He always gives us what we need. When He does that, it grows us into more of His likeness. Once the light comes in, you see that you didn’t really need more money or didn’t need more technology, or a bigger business, a better relationship or a new car. He always gives us what we need
and most of the time its mercy, grace and compassion. When He shows His mercy, love and compassion it makes us more like Him. Those are all the things we were talking about that day and we wrote the song. He knew we needed a Savior and that’s what He sent us and that’s why I
love Him so.

Rhonda: When you co-write with others, I assume you would have to be on the same page theologically and be similar when it comes to belief systems. I’m not sure exactly how to ask the question- I guess I’m curious to know if you team up with writers that share your theological
beliefs?

Ernie: I’ve been blessed with people in my life and I’m talking way back- even with my grandfather- he would have been 95 today. He was such a gentle soul. He put a lot of good things in me. I’ve been blessed by a lot of good people like that personally and also in my career. One thing I’ve learned is that you can’t always be right.ehss 3
You have a belief system, you have a theology, you have all these things and preferences, but….I have to know-I could be wrong! I know there are some absolutes- but if I learned anything from the mini-series, “The Bible” everybody thought they were right. Everybody thought they were hearing the voice of God and obeying His word. When Jesus came, even the rabbis thought they were protecting the law and the temple. So… I write with people who don’t think exactly the way I think on many issues, but we agree on one thing- Jesus! Jesus is the central theme in what we do. I don’t have to get up and say that on every song, but our spirits in our songs reflect that. When you do that, then you can sing to the world and that’s my goal. I want to touch this world and I want to change this world with the love of Jesus and that’s enough and it’s still
enough. That’s what Jesus did. He said to the disciples, go into all the world and preach the good news. Sometimes we think it is all about us and our preferences and I’m as guilty as anybody. But- it is all about Jesus and His love.

Rhonda: Can you tell us the latest about Stow Town Records? I’m hearing that Beyond the Ashes released a project under your label.

Ernie: {laughs} Even though the miles don’t come as easily and maybe the notes don’t come out as easily as they used to, for some reason my mind continues to be fertile with ideas. That has been the great thing not only for Signature Sound, but also partnering with Wayne {Haun} and Stow Town. I am able to take ideas and songs that wouldn’t necessarily fit Signature Sound and be able to foster that with some younger and newer artists and help them. Wayne and I have this great relationship in the fact that I can have these great ideas and come in and no one not even the musicians understand it- they think I’m crazy. Wayne is able to take that idea and make it work mathematically with the music and all that stuff. He trusts me and I trust him and it works.

ehss five
Rhonda Frye of SGN Scoops and Ernie Haase

Beyond the Ashes is one of the examples. I came to Wayne and said… “One of my favorite songs right now- that is probably the most spiritual songs helping me in my walk of faith is from an artist that isn’t a blatant Christian artist. It’s a song called “Living in the Moment.” I said to Wayne, ‘To me, that’s so scriptural and so needed in Christianity today! We should do what Paul said-forget looking back at the past and keep pressing on!’ “Living in the Moment” has brought me peace and has caused me to appreciate the things and people around me on a deeper level. That song would never fit Signature Sound but it would fit Beyond the Ashes. They fell in love with it, they recorded it and it became the title of the album. That’s how it happens… Hopefully God will keep sending the ideas and the people to be the vehicle for the ideas.

Rhonda: Paul Harkey is the newest member of Signature Sound. How is he fitting in with the guys and how are people responding this addition?

Ernie: Paul Harkey is just the foundation of this group! Everybody has to have a foundation- every business, every group, ever building- everything has to have a foundation. When you say the word bass, you think the word sub – the foundation. For a quartet, the foundation is not the tenor, it’s the bass! I’m so thankful that God has sent us a big ole foundation in a gentle spirit. He is so perfect for us in more levels than just singing. It’s his appearance on stage, his presence on stage and his persona after a concert with people. Everybody feels like they know him and can come up and hug him and love him. From a team standpoint, I feel like we’ve got the best team on the court than we’ve had in a long time. I’m not saying that against anybody that’s ever been here – it’s just that you’ve got to have chemistry and Paul has just fit in naturally.

Rhonda: Doug Anderson and Devin McGlamery have told me that you all are slowing down just a little bit in the summer. Doug and Devin are planning solo dates, so what are you planning to do during this time?

Ernie: All this summer I will be writing whether it is blogging or writing newsletters or songs. Writing just takes time. Once I’ve experienced something and it’s touched my heart, then I have to write. Writing takes time and it takes solitude. I have a lot of writing ideas, but it takes not being on the road to get it done. What people may find odd with me is that I get empty. I empty out when I’m on the road ministering. When I’m out singing, I enjoy it and it thrills me, but after a certain amount of days I’m done in every level of my being. I don’t get filled when I’m on the road is what I’m trying to say. I get filled at home when I’m in that place where what the Bible calls your sanctuary. You’ve got to have your place where it’s just you and the Lord and you meditate, you read, you pray, you listen to music, and even see a great movie.

ehss one
Rob Patz of Coastal Media/SGN Scoops and Ernie Haase and Signature Sound

Some of the most touching moments I’ve had in my life lately have been from Hollywood. An example of that is ‘Les Mis.’ What a big picture of grace! Inspiration can come from many places, but you’ve got to carve out time for that. One thing I hear people say all the time and I say it too is: ‘There’s not enough hours in the day to do what I need to do!’ Well, the problem is, you’ve gotta quit doing. To say there are not enough hours is almost a slap in God’s face saying, ‘You didn’t create enough hours in the day!’ We have enough hours – we’ve got to carve time to hear God’s voice!
Thank you to Ernie Haase for taking a few minutes to share your heart and the latest happenings in your ministry. For more information about Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, their music and tour schedule, visit http://www.erniehaase. com/. Also, connect with EHSS on Facebook and twitter. For more information about Stow Town Records, visit: http://www.stowtownrecords.com/.

The Creekside Gospel Music Convention featuring the 2014 Diamond Awards will be held November 3rd through 6th, 2014 at Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. For more information please visit http://www.creeksidegospelmusicconvention.com/

For current issues of the SGN Scoops digital magazine, please visit http://www.sgnscoops.com/