Not too long ago I posted a 3-part series about some changes in the King’s Heralds. I’ve had the chance to hear some of their new stuff now, so we’re going to revisit the subject.

A friend attended a concert and snuck some low-rez video clips which he of course sent to me. Then today I discovered you can listen to nearly their entire new album (Encores) at!

Some brief thoughts: I really really like most of their arrangements, very cool. They even go back and redo a couple of tunes on the “It’s Spiritual” recording from 1974, Walk That Milky White Way and Children Keep in the Middle of the Road! They stay pretty true to the original arrangements but make just a few little changes here and there. Pretty cool! Oh yes, and Jerry Patton returns for a lead vocal on Milky White Way.

My main concern earlier was with the addition of Jeff Pearles as very-southern-gospel bass. It turns out that with this first exposure to the latest incarnation of the group, I don’t know that he’s the source of the few issues I have with them. Not to sound negative, overall I really liked what I heard.

With any personnel change in a group, there’s going to be changes. Even if the group is dedicated to remaining on the same musical course they’ve always charted, there will still be a slightly different feel and direction. Not that that’s necessarily bad, often it’s a good thing. But in a group with a track record like the Heralds, I’d think you’d want to be pretty careful about alienating your fan base with too much new direction. On the other side of the coin, they’ve always been astonishingly, unfairly obscure. So who knows, maybe they need to change things up a little.

I’m actually a little impressed with how Jeff seems to be fitting in. This new album is completely a cappella save for one track, so that’s an excellent way to get on my good side! But really, I think he did a pretty good job. However, there are a few other areas my attention and concern were drawn to.

Please understand this is my initial impressions from a quick, lower-quality listen to one album, and some low-rez videoclips from a concert. I’m afraid their musicality has slipped. They’re a little less flexible, more straight dynamically, a little square in spots. They stacked way too much. And unless I’m hearing something incorrectly, they WAY over-tuned this thing. Oh my. Far too much.

More later. I don’t like ending on a negative note, but I have chicken to barbecue!