The Only One: Doug Anderson

DougAndersonGRADE:  B

  • Album – The Only One
  • Artist – Doug Anderson
  • Label – Stow Town Records
  • Style – Country, Modern Country, Progressive
  • Release Date – 05/13/16
  • Available For Digital Download? – Yes (Apple Music/Spotify)

SYNOPSIS:

The Only One is the first solo album for Doug Anderson since departing Ernie Haase and Signature Sound.  Doug, since that time, has also become one-third of the new trio, Cana’s Voice.

The Only One released about ten days ago on the Stow Town Records label.  Doug melds modern country, country and progressive Southern Gospel sounds on this twelve song recording.

All twelve songs found on The Only One are new songs from some of Southern Gospel’s greatest writers: Lee Black, Marcia Henry, Joel Lindsey, Rachel McCutcheon, Sue C Smith, Kenna West and Tony Wood to name a few.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The stand out track from The Only One is the progressive Southern Gospel, blues infused “Jesus Saved Me (When I Could Not Save Myself)”.  This is also the best choice from the album for radio single possibilities.
  • Another song, in the same style of the former is “I Don’t Know How He Did It”.  This progressive tune shows Doug Anderson at his best vocally.
  • The first single from the recording is the album’s opening track, “The Only One”.  This modern country mid-tempo song is one that will have you singing along before the song concludes.
  • Doug records a song that would translate to mainstream country radio.  “Thirsty World” has no true religious connotations, but could fit Christian radio as well.  A definite stand out on the album.  It doesn’t take long for the listener to hear that love is the main theme of the entire recording.
  • The Cajun country-style given to “Little White Church House” makes for one that deserves a listen.  This is a fun song that would also translate well to Southern Gospel radio.
  • With the cultural shifts happening across the world over the course of the last decade and within the United States; I was pleased to hear a song like “Only Room For Love”.  While there never may be mutual ground with these cultural shifts and a certain group of the American Christian, love is all that is needed.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Jesus Saved Me (When I Could Not Save Myself)”, “I Don’t Know How He Did It”, “Thirsty World”, “The Only One”, “Only Room For Love”, “Little White Church House” and “Thorns”.
CRITIQUE:
  • With love being the central theme of The Only One, you had several ‘love’ songs bleed into one another.  One such case was “Only Room For Love” flowing right into “Enough Love To Go Around”.
  • As is the case with every solo artist album, lack of vocal variation can lead to listener fatigue.  I think it would have been best to cut the two weakest songs and left the album to ten songs.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Don’t Miss The Sunset” and “Tell Me That’s Not God”.

WRAP UP:

Doug Anderson rose to prominence with his time spent with Ernie Haase and Signature Sound.  He’s ready to step out on his own and The Only One is his first attempt at accomplishing that feat.  Of the three solo artist recordings I have had a chance to review so far in 2016, this is the best.

SONG (Style) – Songwriter:  1. “The Only One” (Modern Country) – Ray Davis, Scott Mills, David Williford  2. “Little White Church House” (Country) – Marcia Henry, Dennis Livingston, Rachel McCutcheon  3. “Jesus Saved Me (When I Could Not Save Myself)” (Progressive SG) – Chad Cates, Linda Cates, William Cates  4. “Tell Me That’s Not God” (Pop) – Steven Dean, Barry Weeks, Tony Wood  5. “Thirsty World” (Country) – Jason Blaine, Steve Bogard  6. “God Speed The Day” (Progressive SG) – Lee Black, Joel Lindsey  7. “Only Room For Love” (Country) – Michael Fordinal, Joel Lindsey  8. “Enough Love To Go Around” (Progressive SG) – Donna Brooks, Jeffrey Bumgardner, Darryl Johnson   9. “I Don’t Know How He Did It” (Progressive SG) – Brent Ellison, Wayne Haun, Darryl Johnson  10. “Remember That He Loves You” (Pop) – Rachel McCutcheon, Sue C Smith  11. “Thorns” (Progressive SG) – Lee Black, Kenna West, Tony Wood  12. “Don’t Miss The Sunset” (Progressive SG) – Helga Kaefer, Rachel McCutcheon

*Video Credit (Doug Anderson – Topic)

!!Free Music Monday!!

bowlingfamily2013safestormAnother Monday, another chance to win some free music.  Up for grabs today is the Bowling Family’s 2013 release, Safe After The Storm.

Song Listing:

  1. “Somebody’s Believing”
  2. “Drinking From The Well”
  3. “That’s What I Miss The Most”
  4. “Everything’s Gonna Turn Out Right”
  5. “Victory’s Coming”
  6. “I Know Enough”
  7. “Come Along, Let’s Fly”
  8. “Just What I Need”
  9. “I’m Glad I’m Saved”
  10. “When All I Can Cry Is Holy”
  11. “God Sent Angels”

The first person to email me (sogospelbackrow@gmail.com) the answer to the following trivia question will win the Bowling Family’s, Safe After The Storm.

**A couple of weeks ago in a Southern Gospel Tidbits post, I mentioned Mike Bowling got his Southern Gospel start with this particular group.  Who was that group?

*Video Credit (Absolutely Gospel Music)

***CONTEST NOW OVER***

Congratulations to Damon who was the first to correctly guess Alphus LeFevre and the LeFevres as the group where Mike Bowling got his start.  More free music every Monday.

Southern Gospel Tidbits

DID YOU KNOW?:  Squire Parsons has had a long and storied career.  Being known as a songwriter in the Southern Gospel industry as far back as the early 1970’s, Squire garnered the attention of the Southern Gospel audience in the four years he spent with the Kingsmen between 1975 and 1979.  Squire embarked on a solo career after leaving the Kingsmen.  In 1983, Squire couldn’t stay away from quartet music, and recorded an album with his brothers Virgil and Thomas Parsons and father Squire Parsons Sr titled Family Reunion.  A year after, Squire would put together Redeemed with Ernie Phillips and Jim McCauley.

*Video Credits (Southern Gospel Views from the Back Row)

Southern Gospel’s Best Songs: Down East Boys

Several weeks ago I started a new series that highlights the ten best songs an artist recorded during their career.  We’ve seen lists for the Steeles, Anchormen and last week, the Downings.  Today, I wanted to look at the best songs recorded by the Down East Boys.

1.”He Had Time For Me” (Phil Mozingo; Carolina Live, 1988)

2. “Beautiful Valley” (Marcia Henry; Miles Of Smiles, 1989)

3. “I Won’t Trade My Crown” (Rich Adkins/Gina Vera; Amen, 2011)

4.  “The Mountains Will Be Shaken” (Wayne Haun/Joel Lindsey; The Cross Still Stands, 2007)

5. “Sweet Glory There” (Stuart Cary; Mercy, 2005)

6. “That Wonderful Land” (Joshua Jordan; Ransomed, 2016)

7. “Holy All Over Again” (Joseph Habedank/Sue C Smith; Beyond The Blue, 2014)

8. “Seeing Things In A Different Light” (Steven Curtis Chapman/Jerry Salley; Carolina Live, 1988)

9. “I Remember The Time” (John Stilley; Remember The Time, 2003)

10. “I Know Your God” (Matt Rankin; One Day, 2009)

SWOT Analysis: Canton Junction

CantonJunction (300x300)The last SWOT analysis feature I presented was February 2013.  In my reader survey a couple of weeks ago, a reader asked if I would bring this feature back.  You ask, I listen.  You are the only reason I continue this blog.

Working in the business world, the SWOT analysis is used to determine the strengths and weaknesses of an organization while also looking at opportunities and threats the organization could face.

This SWOT analysis return will look at the strengths and weaknesses of new quartet sensation Canton Junction.  They burst on the scene with a progressive Southern Gospel quartet sound that has caught listener’s attention.

STRENGTHS

  • With the backing of Difference Media (John Hagee Ministries), it is hard to not be successful.  The built-in audience/listener base is huge.
  • Matthew Hagee made it a point to find some prominent Southern Gospel quartet men in Tim Duncan and Ryan Seaton to fill vocal spots.  Casey Rivers at lead is no slouch either.
  • Their progressive Southern Gospel quartet sound puts them in a league with artists like the Gaither Vocal Band and Ernie Haase and Signature Sound.
  • They  put on a performance.  When the group tours, they are serious.  When I saw them live in the fall of 2015, they came with a five piece band, sound, lights and they weren’t afraid to entertain.

swotWEAKNESSES

  • At the moment, their limited tour schedule inhibits more Southern Gospel listeners from seeing them live.
  • Trying to create their own identity along power house artists like the Gaither Vocal Band and Ernie Haase and Signature Sound.

OPPORTUNITIES

  • A nationwide tour:  the group should plan on at least a thirty city tour this year.  Hitting new areas and defining your group as more than just the house band for John Hagee’s church would be beneficial for a wider audience.
  • Getting spots on all the major concert series would be helpful also.

THREATS

  • As with any Southern Gospel quartet, if the group suffers from consistent personnel changes, it will only hurt them with audiences.  Keeping a stable vocal line-up is key (see Triumphant Quartet).
  • The one downside of being affiliated with a major televangelist, is if scandal would arise, it would most likely hurt the reputation of the group.

***NEXT SWOT ANALYSIS:  11th Hour***

*Video Credit (Clarke Beasley)

The Favorite Hymns Of Fanny Crosby: Ernie Haase & Signature Sound

EHSSGRADE:  B-

  • Album – The Favorite Hymns Of Fanny Crosby
  • Artist – Ernie Haase & Signature Sound
  • Label – Stow Town Records
  • Style – Traditional, Progressive
  • Release Date – 05/06/16
  • Available For Digital Download? – Yes (Apple Music/Spotify)

SYNOPSIS:

Ernie Haase and Signature Sound are consistent with trying to get one new album out per year.  2016 gives listeners a tribute album with the group re-recording eight of Fanny Crosby’s most loved compositions.

On several selections, Signature Sound tend to add fresh arrangements while other selections try to stay true to the original interpretation of the song.

Will a hymns recording be strong enough to add to your musical playlists?  Lets find out.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The freshest and most different arrangement is found on “Redeemed How I Love To Proclaim It”.  If you’re a listener of folk rock group, The Lumineers, you are familiar with their song, “Ho Hey”.  Well, Signature Sound lend their own Hey, Ho to the chorus of the song.  This is my favorite selection from the recording.
  • I enjoyed the Celtic feel of the opening track, “Praise Him Praise Him”.  I’m sure you’ve heard this song performed countless times over the course of your lifetime.  This arrangement lends to a new listening experience.
  • Signature Sound’s take on Fanny’s most well-known composition, “Blessed Assurance” gives the listener an arrangement that hearkens to Tennessee Ernie Ford.  It is fitting that Paul Harkey is featured on the first verse.
  • I have to give kudos to the art director of the group’s album covers.  The stand out appeal of a good album cover can draw your attention before you even give the album a listen.  The color palette used in most of Signature Sound’s album covers should be commended.
  • I was happy the group kept the album to only eight songs as to not tire out the listener on songs that have been heard hundred of times before.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Redeemed How I Love To Proclaim It”, “Blessed Assurance”, “I Am Thine Oh Lord/Draw Me Nearer”, “Pass Me Not O Gentle Savior” and “Praise Him Praise Him”.
CRITIQUE:
  • As an artist, you always paint yourself in to a corner when attempting a hymns recording.  You are re-recording songs that have already been heard hundred of times before.  Being able to add fresh touch is tough.  The group was able to accomplish that with nearly half the recording.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Jesus Keep Me Near The Cross/In The Cross” and “He Hideth My Soul”.

WRAP UP:

From a production stand point, The Favorite Hymns Of Fanny Crosby is one of the best albums you’ll hear all year.  The only thing that may keep you away is that it is a collection of songs heard countless times before.  I would give the songs the group added fresh arrangements to a listen.  You won’t be disappointed.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Praise Him Praise Him”/Ensemble; Devin – Chester Allen, Fanny Crosby  2. “Redeemed How I Love To Proclaim It“/Dustin – Fanny Crosby, William Kirkpatrick  3. “Pass Me Not O Gentle Savior”/Ensemble – Fanny Crosby, William Doane  4. “Jesus Keep Me Near The Cross/In The Cross”/Ernie – Fanny Crosby, William Doane  5. “Blessed Assurance”/Paul; Ernie – Fanny Crosby, Joseph Knapp  6. “I Am Thine Oh Lord/Draw Me Nearer”/Devin – Fanny Crosby, William Doane  7. “He Hideth My Soul”/Ernie – Fanny Crosby, William Kirkpatrick  8. “Tell Me The Story Of Jesus”/Paul; Ensemble – Fanny Crosby, John Sweney

*Video Credit (Ernie Haase & Signature Sound – Topic)

!!Free Music Monday!!

taylors2014measureofgrace300I trust everyone has a great weekend.  Lets give away some free music to help alleviate  those Monday morning blues.

Today, you have a chance to win the Taylors 2014 recording, Measure Of Grace.  This recording featured the four siblings on traditional/progressive Southern Gospel songs.

Song Listing:

  1. “I’m Committed To You Lord”
  2. “He’s My Guide”
  3. “Measure Of Grace”
  4. “I Want The World To See (Jesus Lives In Me)”
  5. “I Tremble”
  6. “The Least I Can Do”
  7. “The Cross Is Calling”
  8. “He Goes Before Me”
  9. “The Greatest Wonder”
  10. “Heaven Is Ready And Waiting For Me”
  11. “That Will Be Heaven To Me”

The first person to email me (sogospelbackrow@gmail.com) the answer to the following trivia question will win.

**In 2008, on the Taylors first recording (Rivers Crossed), the group recorded a song that would later (2011) be recorded by the Booth Brothers and become a big hit song.  Can you name the song?  Research is allowed.

*Video Credit (The Taylors – Topic)

***CONTEST NOW OVER***

Congratulations to Bobbie for being the first to answer “She Still Remembers Jesus’ Name” as first being recorded by the Taylors and then later became a big hit for the Booth Brothers.  More free music next Monday.

Southern Gospel Tidbits

DID YOU KNOW?: Tim and Dixie McKeithen were part of the original Singing Hemphills group, where Tim sang baritone and Dixie played piano and sang some soprano.  Did you know there was a familial connection in that Tim was Joel Hemphill’s nephew.  In the late 1970’s, Tim and Dixie started their own family group (McKeithens) that would have a run a success in the 1980’s.

*Video Credits (Southern Gospel Views From The Back Row)

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