I trust everyone had a wonderful Christmas holiday. As we close out 2011 and look ahead to 2012, there is an annual count down to finish. One more day will crown the #1 album and recorded song of 2011. First, lets honor the album and recorded song that rank #2 among the best of the year.
Wilburn and Wilburn released their debut album in September; Family Ties. There was anticipation surrounding this recording, wondering what would be offered to the listener considering Jonathan’s quartet background. At first listen, I was blown away by how different this recording was compared to what I was expecting. It far exceeded my expectation because Wilburn and Wilburn threw hard-driving country melodies, bluegrass tinged tracks and even blues flavored vocals into a stellar Southern Gospel recording.
Ben Isaacs should be commended on his production work. He brought out the best in each musical track and they seemed to fit the vocals perfectly. I am glad Jonathan Wilburn didn’t take the easy road and record/release just another average Southern Gospel album that would be long forgotten after a few listens. This album has remained in my iPod rotation since the first listen. Wilburn and Wilburn does have a huge hurdle in front of them; how are they going to top this debut effort? This album just missed being named the #1 album of 2011 by a thin margin. What album beat it to claim the #1 spot? Find out tomorrow.
Personal favorite songs from this recording include: ”Devil Be Gone”, “Jesus Will”, “A Cross Became My Saving Grace”, “It’s A Shore Thing”, “I Ain’t Giving Up On Jesus”, “You’ll Still Be There”, “I John”, “Family Ties” and “Things I’ve Never Done”.
I guess it is fitting that Wilburn and Wilburn would also have the song ranked at #2 among the best recorded songs of 2011. ”Devil Be Gone” was an instant ‘hit repeat’ song when first listening to Family Ties. The slick production and hard-driving country melody could land it on any mainstream country music station. What disqualifies it from mainstream country radio is the straight ahead Gospel lyric.
Kelly Garner and Dianne Wilkinson should be commended on writing a great song. Ben Isaacs also has to be given kudos on the musical direction he took this song. The musical interlude in the middle of this song is one of the best you’ll hear on any song all year. #2 among the best recorded songs of 2011 is “Devil Be Gone” by Wilburn and Wilburn. Take a listen to the second verse, chorus and musical interlude.
Tomorrow: the #1 album and recorded song of 2011.