Posts Tagged ‘Jeff & Sheri Easter’

This week brings the final set of album covers to rank.  Next week, you, the reader will vote on the best and worst Southern Gospel album covers.  In the comments section, rank each album from 1 to 6 (1 being best, 6 being worst).  Click on thumbnail for larger image.

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Sittin On Cloud Nine – Jeff & Sheri Easter (1999)

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Our Inspiration – Inspirations (1971)

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I Love To Tell The Story, A Hymns Collection – Mark Lowry (2007)

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Pilgrim Song, Volume 7 – Poet Voices (1999)

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Prophets – Prophets (1962)

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Life Worth Living – Whisnants (2009)

Best Of 2012 – #13

Posted: December 11, 2012 by Steve Eaton in Best of 2012
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EastersThe best of 2012 continues today with the Southern Gospel album and recorded song at #13.  Jeff and Sheri Easter had another consistent year with another top album release.

Eyes Wide Open is the album to rank 13th among the best Southern Gospel albums released in 2012.  Giving the listener their long tradition of country/bluegrass flavored Southern Gospel music.  Sheri’s performance of “I Know How It Feels To Survive” is the stand out moment on Eyes Wide Open.

Consistency keeps Jeff and Sheri Easter at the forefront of Southern Gospel music.

Personal favorites from this recording include:  “I Know How It Feels To Survive”, “I’ll Take It”, “I Won’t Have To Worry”, “Standing Here Wondering”, “I Wonder If He Ever Cries” and “Sitting On Top Of The World”.

Hoppers#13 among the best recorded Southern Gospel songs of 2012 is “I’ll Take You Home”, a song originally recorded by the Greenes in 1984 on their recording Greenehouse.

It was the Hoppers to cover this song on their 2012 album, Count Me In.  I mentioned in my review of this album, how the Hoppers went back to a sound reminiscent of their rise in Southern Gospel music in the early 1990’s.

Their treatment of “I’ll Take You Home”, penned by Jean Canter, captures that sound more than any other on the album.  That is why the song lands at #13 among the best of the year.  Listen to a clip of “I’ll Take You Home”.

Tomorrow:  #12.

Best Of 2012 – #15

Posted: December 8, 2012 by Steve Eaton in Best of 2012
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This first week of December closes with the album and recorded song ranked #15 among the year’s best.  Yesterday, the Nelons had the #16 recorded song of 2012.

Today, the album of the same name, Come On Home, ranks #15 among the best Southern Gospel albums released in 2012.  Produced by Bill Gaither, Come On Home is an easy listening type recording.  Reminiscent of what the Bill Gaither Trio would record, this album is dominated by slower, more reflective type songs.

What sets it apart is the power house vocal work put in by all three members of the Nelons.  As a result, Come On Home is one of the best Southern Gospel albums released in 2012.

Personal favorites from this recording include:  “Come On Home”, “Jesus, I Just Want To Say I’m Sorry”, “Come To The River”, “The Sun’s Coming Up”, “I Choose The Lord” and “Morning Has Broken”.

The song ranked #15 among the best songs recorded in 2012, is one of the most personal you’ll find in the entire list.

Everyone in Southern Gospel music is aware of the battle Sheri Easter faced with breast cancer several years ago.  Now that she in on the other side of that battle, she recorded a song on the group’s 2012 album, Eyes Wide Open, titled “I Know How It Feels To Survive”.

Penned by Sheri and son Madison Easter, Sheri delivers this song with assurance.  The listener can believe every word she is singing.  Listen to a clip of #15 among the best recorded songs of 2012; “I Know How It Feels To Survive”.

The countdown continues Monday with #14.

My goal is to have 20 sets of album covers to rank before we begin the voting of best and worst Southern Gospel album covers of all time.  This week I need you to rank set 14.  In the comments section rank each from 1 to 6 (1 being best and 6 being worst).  Also, if there is an album cover you think hasn’t been included yet, please let me know because I don’t want to miss any.  Click on thumbnail for larger image.

Canton Junction – Canton Junction (2012)

Colors Of His Love – Cathedrals (1981)

Picture Perfect Love – Jeff & Sheri Easter (1989)

Naturally: An Almost A Cappella Collection – Isaacs (2009)

Inseparable – Ivan Parker (2008)

Black And White – Singing Americans (1985)

Eyes Wide Open – Jeff And Sheri Easter

Posted: September 21, 2012 by Steve Eaton in Album Reviews
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GRADE:  B

  • Album – Eyes Wide Open
  • Artist – Jeff And Sheri Easter
  • Label – Spring Hill Music Group
  • Style – Country
  • Release Date – 09/18/12
  • Available For Digital Download? – Yes (Amazon,iTunes,Rhapsody)

SYNOPSIS:

Jeff And Sheri Easter enter their 26th year, touring the Southern Gospel circuit, with the release of their newest album Eyes Wide Open.  Hitting retail on Tuesday (09/18/12), Eyes Wide Open is country to the core, but would the listener expect anything less from the Easters.

Eyes Wide Open doesn’t tackle any new ground musically, instead it builds upon the group’s country-style by offering up some modern country arrangements.  The listener is even treated to two country love songs that could find a place on any mainstream country radio station.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Sheri Easter stands out on two of the biggest songs found on Eyes Wide Open.  “I Know How It Feels To Survive” is sung with conviction and would make a great radio single choice from this recording.
  • The other Sheri Easter stand out is the song “Standing Here Wondering”.  This song is different from anything found on Eyes Wide Open in that it takes a Gospel spiritual approach.  Sheri shines on this song, reminiscent of something you might hear from Lynda Randle.
  • Jeff Easter turns in one of his best vocals on another stand out track, “I’ll Take It”.  Similar to “Born To Climb” and “Over And Over”, this song would also make a strong radio single choice.
  • Morgan also turns in one of her best vocal performances on the cover of the Jeff and Sheri Easter classic, “I Wonder If He Ever Cries”.  Madison and Shannon Easter join Morgan, adding the perfect harmony vocals to this strong re-make.
  • Of the two country love songs found on Eyes Wide Open, the strongest is “Sitting On Top Of The World”.  They should really consider releasing this to mainstream country radio.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “I Know How It Feels To Survive”, “I’ll Take It”, “Standing Here Wondering”, “I Wonder If He Ever Cries”, “I Won’t Have To Worry”, “Anything But Happy” and “Sitting On Top Of The World”.
DISLIKES:
  • If you are not already a fan of Jeff and Sheri Easter’s country-style, this new album will probably not change your mind.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “It Must Have Been You”, “Love Is” and “A Good Old Gospel Song”.

WRAP UP:

Eyes Wide Open is another solid effort for Jeff and Sheri Easter fans to add to their collections.  I don’t think the group will garner any new fans with this effort.  I also found the group’s previous effort Expecting Good Things to be stronger.

SONG/FEATURED VOCALIST – SONGWRITER:  1. “A Little Bit Of Sunshine”/Sheri – Jan Crutchfield  2. “I’ll Take It”/Jeff – Joseph Habedank/Lindsay Habedank  3. “Sitting On Top Of The World”/Ensemble  4. “I Know How It Feels To Survive”/Sheri – Madison Easter/Sheri Easter  5. “It Must Have Been You”/Jeff – Wayne Haun/Joel Lindsey  6. “I Wonder If He Ever Cries”/Morgan – Bonita Stevens  7. “Anything But Happy”/Sheri – Sheri Easter  8. “Love Is”/Morgan  9. “I Won’t Have To Worry”/Jeff; James Easter – James Goss/Jimmy Jones  10. “There Is A Purpose”/Ensemble – Jonathan Azzarello  11. “Standing Here Wondering”/Sheri – Thomas Dorsey  12. “A Good Old Gospel Song”/Jeff – Jeff Easter/Jimmy Yeary

Ten On Ten – Jeff & Sheri Easter

Posted: August 6, 2012 by Steve Eaton in Ten On Ten
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Born out of two bluegrass families, Jeff and Sheri Easter began their career in 1986.  Celebrating 26 years in Southern Gospel music, Jeff and Sheri Easter have just over 20 albums in their discography.  This week I will attempt to rank the group’s ten best recordings.

Jeff and Sheri Easter held on to their bluegrass roots while adding a traditional/modern country sound that has endeared them to fans for the last 26 years.

Jeff and Sheri Easter’s top ten recordings are as follows:

  1. Thread Of Hope (1994)
  2. Expecting Good Things (2009)
  3. Shining Through (1991)
  4. Brand New Love (1990)
  5. Pickin’ The Best Live (1992)
  6. Life Is Great And Getting Better (2006)
  7. Sittin’ On Cloud Nine (1999)
  8. Ordinary Day (2000)
  9. Sunshine (2004)
  10. The Gift (1993)
  • The early 1990’s was the prime years in bringing Jeff and Sheri Easter to the forefront of Southern Gospel music.  The music they released during this time period is still some of the best of their career.  Every recording released between the years 1990 and 1994 made the top ten list.
  • The pinnacle in the duo’s discography is the 1994 album Thread Of Hope.  The title track is still one of the greatest songs Jeff and Sheri Easter has recorded.  “Runnin’ In The Rain”, “Something Wonderful Happened To Me Last Night”, “A Shepherd In Search Of A Lamb”, “By His Love” and “I Need You” also lend to the strength of this recording.
  • The group’s most recent mainline release, Expecting Good Things, ranks #2 among the group’s ten best.  Some of the strongest radio singles of the group’s career is found on this album (see “Born To Climb”, “I Need You More Today” and “Hear My Heart”).
  • The early 1990’s dominate the rest of the top five.  The 1991 album Shining Through ranks #3, the 1990 album Brand New Love ranks #4 and the 1992 album Pickin’ The Best Live ranks #5.
  • Just look at the signature songs created from these three recordings:  “Dying To Live”, “He’s Been There”, “I Wonder If He Ever Cries”, “It Still Takes A Wise Man To Pray”, “I’ve Been Touched”, “Lord Send Revival Again” and “Roses Will Bloom Again” to name a few.
  • Jeff and Sheri Easter has built their sound around the duo’s vocals with some harmony singing from other vocalists.  Early in their career, the group picked up harmony from Jeff’s brother Steve Easter.  Later on it would be Charlotte Ritchie who added that harmony vocal.
  • The group now travels as a family unit with daughter Morgan Easter singing harmony/soprano and Madison playing lead guitar.
  • The gem in the duo’s discography is their 2004 album Sunshine.  There was not much buzz surrounding this recording but it was a strong album in term of song selection.
  • Jeff and Sheri Easter also has that album that should be forgotten.  In this case I would go with the 1995 recording Ever Faithful To You.
  • Jeff and Sheri Easter already have a chance to change this top ten list with the release of a new album in several months.  I don’t know if any period in the group’s recording career will outshine the music the group released in the early 1990’s.

***NEXT UP ON TEN ON TEN:  TEDDY HUFFAM AND THE GEMS***

Saturday (05/05/12), I had the chance to attend a concert in Lexington NC put on by Facing Reality Music Group.  I have attended several of this particular promoter’s concerts in the past and this was definitely his best.  He has learned as a promoter and the concert flowed seamlessly.  Each artist brought on the next and the entire first half was uninterrupted music.  Here are highlights in order of appearance.

NELONS – The Nelons opened the program with the Gaither used tune “Come To The River”.  Great opening selection.  The Nelons wowed the crowd with an a cappella rendition of “Christ The Lord Is Risen Today”.  The group also performed another selection with just acoustic guitar.  The vocals were the true stars of each song.  Perfection!  The Nelons then closed with the big power house “There Is A Way” right in to the crowd pleasing “I’m Going Home With Jesus”.  The Nelons set the pace for the entire night in probably my favorite set.

ADAM CRABB – Adam, just like brother Jason, is touring as a solo artist.  Adam is missing the full band aspect of a live show that Jason has perfected so well.  Adam has become a lot more comfortable performing in the solo setting.  The crowd enjoyed his performances of “Try Walking On The Water”, “Unforgiven”, “Jesus Messiah” and “Can’t Nobody Do Me Like Jesus”.  I enjoyed “Unforgiven” the most from his set.

BRIAN FREE & ASSURANCE – Brian Free & Assurance continue to delight crowds with their progressive Southern Gospel quartet sounds.  No difference in song selection from the last time I seen the group.  They did leave “Never Walk Alone” off the set list.  I would have liked to have heard that one.  The crowd enjoyed the group on the quartet classic “Glory Road”.  It received one of the largest responses of any song in their set.  The group also gave the crowd “Anything Is Possible”, “I Believe” and “The Part Where You Come In”.  Brian Free & Assurance closed with their one, two punch of “For God So Loved” and “Long As I Got King Jesus”.

JEFF & SHERI EASTER – Jeff & Sheri Easter closed the program with great song choices.  They used several different selections from the various other times I have seen the group over the last couple of years.  They opened with “Over And Over” to an enthusiastic crowd response and followed that up with “She Loved” in honor of Mother’s Day.  Morgan performed her latest song “God Knows What He’s Doing” and they had Madison perform with them on “Workin’ On A Road”.  I also never tire of hearing Sheri perform “Hear My Heart”.  Great close to a great evening of music.

Concert Review – Jeff & Sheri Easter

Posted: July 31, 2011 by Steve Eaton in Concert Reviews
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I had the opportunity to get out to another concert on Friday (07/29/11).  Hickory NC was the location; Jeff & Sheri Easter the artist.  The Easters have made it to this area of the country plenty in the last two years.  I believe this was the 7th time in the last two years I have seen the group live.

It was the first time, though, that only Jeff & Sheri were on the program.  They performed for over two hours to a packed house of about 450.  They rolled out all their recent hit songs; “Born To Climb”, “I Need You More Today”, “Hear My Heart”, “Praise His Name” and older hits “Roses Will Bloom Again” and “Thread Of Hope”.

The biggest highlight for me was the spontaneity of the group during the second half of the program.  I have rarely seen that at a Jeff & Sheri concert.  Charles Burke (former owner of Singing Americans) was in attendance and Jeff told the story of how Charles gave him his first job with the Singing Americans back in 1984.  Jeff then called Charles to the stage.  Jeff made a comment to Charlie about how he always told everyone else how to sing and Jeff had never heard Charlie sing before.  Charles Burke along with Jeff & Sheri ended up singing Beulah Land.  It brought the house down.

The entire second half reminded me of an ‘unplugged’ performance where the group shared stories and intertwined songs;  at times off the cuff.  This may have well been my favorite live concert performance of Jeff & Sheri Easter.