The legendary a cappella group, now made up of Rob Barnes, Wayne Hereford, Rufus Lauderdale, E.C. Foster and Cathy Barnes, is celebrating the release of its newest album. The CD features some of the last recordings with Charles Richardson, the group’s founding member who died in 2001.
“We’re just trying to figure out a way to keep the legacy going,” Rob Barnes said.
Through the years
The first line-up of the Lane Chapel Quartet started at the Lane Chapel CME Church in 1975. Barnes joined in 1977, and he said the group has seen about five major line-up changes since then.
“We’re making sure we can sound as good as we did in the past,” Barnes said.
The Lane Chapel Quintet, based now out of the Springhill MB Church in Tupelo, stays in high demand.
The group keeps a steady roster of appearances throughout North Mississippi and the southeast, with highlights being its performances at 1984 World’s Fair in New Orleans and the “Bobby Jones Gospel Hour” in Nashville.
With so many performances keeping the quintet busy, studio time is almost out of the question.
The group records many of its performances, and it’s the best of these live shows that go into making its CDs.
The Quintet’s fourth album, “Home Going,” is especially close to members’ hearts, as founding member Richardson’s voice graces many of the songs.
“I’m glad that we had the foresight to record (with Richardson),” Barnes said. “The legacy’s still there; the legacy’s still going.”
Releasing this record is also another step in preserving the legacy of quartet and quintet a cappella groups, and an art form that is dying out, Barnes said.
“It’s unique, and it’s a lost art,” Lauderdale said.
Hereford agreed. “It’s old school,” he said.
The Lane Chapel Quintet is optimistic about the future.
Plotting more appearances and landing big opportunities are on the group’s agenda for 2010.
While the current line-up is proud of its accomplishments so far, the members realize they owe everything to the original Lane Chapel Quartet members.
“I think we have a lot to live up to,” Hereford said. “I don’t think we could ever top the originals. That’s a pretty special group right there.”
The Lane Chapel Quintet’s new album, “Home Going,” is available now. Pick up a copy in the men’s department at Reed’s or by calling (662) 346-9315 or (662) 401-1454.