Southern Gospel: Weekly Chatter

Happy Easter everyone!  I am heading out for vacation, so I thought now would be a good time for some weekly chatter.  See y’all in ten days.

  1. What do you consider the best Easter song introduced in the Southern Gospel genre?
  2. Have you been listening to the 2019 Southern Gospel album releases?  The year is shaping up to be one of the best in several years.

With the competition over, in our search for Southern Gospel’s best album of the 1990’s, here is the top ten finishers by the total number of votes received throughout the entire competition.

  1. Pillars Of Faith (1992) – Gold City
  2. Windows Of Home (1990) – Gold City
  3. High And Lifted Up (1993) – Cathedrals
  4. Far Beyond This Place (1999) – Greater Vision
  5. What A Great Lifestyle (1997) – Gold City
  6. The Best Of Times (1991) – Cathedrals
  7. Heavenly Sunrise (1991) – Hoppers
  8. Live In Dayton (1990) – Kingsmen
  9. God Is Good (1999) – Gaither Vocal Band
  10. Radio Days (1996) – Cathedrals
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VOTE: Best Southern Gospel Album Of The 1990’s: Championship

We have arrived to the championship round, in our search for  the best Southern Gospel album of the 1990’s.  It has come down to a Gold City final (Windows Of Home) Vs (Pillars Of Faith).

Each reader is allowed ONE VOTE PER DAY.  Polls for the championship round will remain open through Monday (04/15/18).

VOTE: Best Southern Gospel Album Of The 1990’s: Final 4

We’ve made it to the final four, in our search for the best Southern Gospel album of the 1990’s.  Gold City dominated the last round advancing all three of their albums to the final four.

Each reader is allowed ONE VOTE PER DAY.  Polls for the final 4 will remain open through Wednesday (04/10/19).

VOTE: Best Southern Gospel Album Of The 1990’s: Round 4

Today begins voting in round four, in our search for the best Southern Gospel album of the 1990’s.  Eight albums remain.

Each reader is allowed ONE VOTE PER DAY.  Polls for round 4 will remain open through Friday (04/05/19).

Southern Gospel: Weekly Chatter

Hello All.  I, like many of you, have questions from time to time about certain Southern Gospel topics.  It is now your turn, the reader, to give me answers to current questions I have.

Periodically I will be presenting this new weekly chatter segment where I ask the questions and you give me the answers.  So here goes.

  1. Anyone have any idea when we’ll get a new album from the Bowling Family?  We’re working on four years since they gave Southern Gospel listeners a new recording.
  2. What is up with the Isaacs getting new radio singles out?  Haven’t heard a new song at radio since “Yours Amen”.
  3. Any early odds on the Legacy Five vocal replacements (tenor and baritone)?

VOTE: Best Southern Gospel Album Of The 1990’s: Round 3

Today begins voting in round three, in our search for the best Southern Gospel album of the 1990’s.

Each reader is allowed ONE VOTE PER DAY.  Polls for round 3 will close Sunday (03/31/18).

It’s Real: Old Paths

GRADE:  B+

  • Album:  It’s Real
  • Artist:  Old Paths
  • Label:  Sonlite
  • Style:  Progressive
  • Release Date:  03/22/19
  • Digital Download:  Yes (Apple Music/Spotify)
  • Running Time:  25 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

2019 is shaping up to be a great year for Southern Gospel music.  Today, we take a look at the new EP from the Old Paths; It’s Real.

Since returning to the recording scene in 2017 with Long Run, the Old Paths gives listeners a second EP with It’s Real.  This new recording has 7 new songs, all with a progressive Southern Gospel style.

The 2019 edition of the Old Paths is composed of Steve Ladd (tenor vocalist), Tim Rackley (lead vocalist), Doug Roark (baritone vocalist) and Daniel Ashmore (bass vocalist).

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • No doubt the Old Paths chose seven songs from the industry’s biggest writers.
  • The Old Paths have had success with Rodney Birch songs in the past (“Battle Stand”/’God’s Great”).  Tim is featured on another Rodney penned song, “When It Comes To Jesus”.  This has to be a future radio single!
  • Speaking of singles, the first from the EP is the up tempo, “Lord Knows”.  Didn’t take long for this song to make my musical playlists.  A great feature from bass vocalist Daniel Ashmore.
  • With only seven songs, the album moves along at a pretty fast clip.  Total listening time clocks in at 25 minutes.  One of those up tempo songs that deserves a listen is the album’s opening track, “I Need Jesus To Walk On The Water”.
  • The only ballad on It’s Real is the Tim feature, “The God I Know”.  A definite Southern Gospel friendly song from the pens of Lee Black and Jerry Salley.
  • The EP closes with a strong Steve Ladd feature, “Come Sunday Morning”.
  • Strongest songs included in order: “When It Comes To Jesus”, “Lord Knows”, “Come Sunday Morning”, “The God I Know” and “I Need Jesus To Walk On The Water”.
CRITIQUE:
  • Now that they have given listeners two EP recordings in a row, it is time for the Old Paths to give listeners a full length album.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “The Truth Comes Shining Through”.

WRAP UP:

Progressive Southern Gospel quartet enthusiasts will have this album on repeat.  All seven songs could easily find a home in your musical playlists.  It’s Real is another strong recording released in 2019.

SONG (tempo)/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “I Need Jesus To Walk On The Water” (Fast)/Tim – Sandy Knight  2. “The Truth Comes Shining Through” (Fast)/Steve – Rebecca J Peck, Dianne Wilkinson  3. “Lord Knows” (Fast)/Daniel – Larry McCoy, Jason Cox, Kenna West  4. “The God I Know” (Slow)/Tim – Lee Black, Jerry Salley  5. “It’s Real” (Mid)/Doug – Janice Crowe, Kenna West  6. “When It Comes To Jesus” (Mid)/Tim – Rodney Birch  7. “Come Sunday Morning” (Mid)/Steve – Jason Cox, Kenna West

Blank Page: Dunaways

GRADE:  A-

  • Album:  Blank Page
  • Artist:  Dunaways
  • Label:  Custom
  • Style:  Country
  • Release Date:  02/22/19
  • Digital Download:  Yes (Apple Music/Spotify)
  • Running Time:  46 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

It is time for the first album review of a 2019 release.  Today, we take a look at the new album from the Dunaways; Blank Page.

It has been five years since the Dunaways released one of the best albums of the decade, Church In The KitchenBlank Page continues the Dunaways country-style of Southern Gospel music.  The group provides listeners with 12 new songs.

The 2019 edition of the Dunaways is composed of Kannah Dunaway Lovern (soprano vocalist), Tammy Dunaway (alto vocalist), Randall Dunaway (baritone) and newest member Landon Villines (tenor/lead vocalist).

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Tammy is featured on one of the album’s stand out tracks, the title track (“Blank Page”).  This song is country to the core and one that would do well at Southern Gospel radio.  A great song from the pens of Lee Black, Devin McGlamery and Nathan Woodard.
  • Tammy contributed to 4 of the 12 songs on Blank Page.  She and Kannah trade verses on one of those songs; the album’s first single, “Faith Like That”.  This up-tempo country-style song will have you singing along and hitting repeat.
  • Tammy and Kannah also close the album with a ‘hard-driving’ country tune that is a must listen, “There’s A Morning Coming”.
  • Newest member, Landon Villines stands out on a song that could fit alongside some of the best Southern Gospel songs from the 1980’s.  It is fitting that Larry Petree penned “Where There’s No Fire”.
  • Another radio single possibility is the Kannah feature, “We’re All Broken”.  This Southern Gospel friendly ballad has a message every listener can relate.
  • Don’t want to leave the review without giving a shout out to Randall’s pure country vocal.  Always enjoy his feature on each new album.  Give “Taking No Baggage With Me” a listen!  A great song from the pen of Gerald Crabb.
  • The production value of Blank Page could stand up against any mainstream country album.
  • Strongest songs included in order: “Blank Page”, “Faith Like That”, “We’re All Broken”, “There’s A Morning Coming”, “Here’s My Goodbye”, “Taking No Baggage With Me”, “Where There’s No Fire” and “Sometimes Mercy Hurts”.
CRITIQUE:
  • I think it is a good thing it has been so long between album releases.  Church In The Kitchen was a landmark album for the Dunaways that is nearly impossible to top.
  • Blank Page could have had at least one more up tempo song.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “You Never Know”.

WRAP UP:

The Dunaways have consistently been one of the best groups in Southern Gospel music.  Each album the group has released can stand up against the best of the genre.  Blank Page is another stellar recording from the Dunaways that every listener needs to add to your musical playlists/library.

SONG (tempo)/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Faith Like That” (Fast)/Tammy; Kannah – Tammy Dunaway  2. “We’re All Broken” (Slow)/Kannah – Matthew Lawson  3. “Where There’s No Fire” (Mid)/Landon – Larry Petree  4. “Blank Page” (Slow)/Tammy – Lee Black, Devin McGlamery, Nathan Woodard  5. “Here’s My Goodbye” (Mid/Fast)/Kannah – Tammy Dunaway  6. “Taking No Baggage With Me” (Mid)/Randall – Gerald Crabb  7. “You Never Know” (Slow)/Kannah – Rebecca J Peck  8. “Harvest Time” (Mid)/Landon – Gerald Crabb  9. “Noah Saved The World” (Fast)/Tammy; Kannah – Leonard Barrier, Tammy Dunaway  10. “Sometimes Mercy Hurts” (Slow)/Landon – Tammy Dunaway  11. “You’re Still You” (Slow)/Kannah – Billy Fields  12. “There’s A Morning Coming” (Mid/Fast)/Tammy; Kannah – Jason Cox, Kenna West