Smack Down!! – Statesmen – Round 1

This week’s artist album smack down finds a classic albums match up for the Statesmen.  Listen to sound bytes of each recording and then vote for the album you think should win.

  • statesmen1958singswithmaxAlbum – The Statesmen Quartet Sings With Hovie Lister
  • Release Year – 1958
  • Vocal Line Up – Cat Freeman (tenor), Jake Hess (lead), Doy Ott (baritone), Jim Wetherington (bass)
  • Song List – (1) “Nicodemus” (2) “God Is My Shepherd” (3) “It’s A Wonderful Feeling” (4) “Wonderful Is The Lord” (5) “Sea Walker” (6) “I Know He Heard My Prayer” (7) “Ransomed Millions” (8) “My Lord’s Been A Walkin” (9) “When My Master Walks With Me” (10) “If To Gain The World” (11) “Stand By Me” (12) “The Gentle Stranger”


  • statesmenquartet1992revivalmaxAlbum – Revival
  • Release Year – 1992
  • Vocal Line Up – Johnny Cook (tenor), Jake Hess (lead), Biney English (baritone), Bob Caldwell (bass)
  • Song List – (1) “Goodbye World Goodbye” (2) “Death Ain’t No Big Deal” (3) “Come Out With Your Hands Up” (4) “Someday” (5) “I Lost It All To Find Everything” (6) “Glory Train” (7) “Sinner’s Plea” (8) “If The Lord Wasn’t Walking By My Side” (9) “Every Eye Shall See” (10) “I’ve Been There”

12 thoughts on “Smack Down!! – Statesmen – Round 1

  1. This one is easy for me. “Statesmen Sings with Hovie Lister” is one of my top three Statesmen albums of all time.

    “Revival” has a good song selection and is well produced, but I thought the Statesmen of that era were not up to the standards of the earlier years. I liked Johnny Cook, but I never thought his voice fit the Statesmen sound.

  2. Way to pick two of my favorite Statesmen albums Steve! 🙂 I think I’m going to side with Daniel here as well, but I LOVE the Revival album. Still one of my favorite CDs. My vote goes for the ’58 album as well.

  3. I’ll buck the trend and vote for _Revival_. I prefer the modern production quality that Michael English brought to the process, and his solo on “Come Out With Your Hands Up” was a nice touch as well.

    1. Is that Michael English singing “Come Out” or is it his brother Biney?

      I was told that this group of Statesmen didn’t actually meet each other before they assembled in the studio to record “Revival”. Can anyone verify this?

      1. Biney sings verse one and two.

        Michael sings the third verse that starts after the instrumental break: “Now when you go through trials,” etc.

        For comparison, here’s a version with Biney singing it all the way through….

    1. Why do you think Michael sings the 3rd verse on this song? I don’t hear Michael anywhere in this. I hear Biney all the way. There are minor similarities in their voices but I can still easily tell them apart. Liner notes on the album do not help at all.

  4. Interesting you are placed these two up against each other. I voted ’58 as it was one of the best, if not the best Statesmen album ever. I loved “Revival” as well, fantastic recording. However that Cat Freeman vinyl is something every quartet fan should hear at least once in this life.

  5. The Statesmen Quartet Sings is my favorite Statesmen LP, love “When My Master Walks With Me.” So my vote goes for the 1958 LP. i never cared much for the Revival project.

  6. Definitely the LP. That is one my favorite recordings old or modern. I agree with David that the technology is nice but back then they had to do it on thier own. They had no electronics and pitch correction helping them out. I prefer the talent and hard work to electronics. I also agree with Dean about “When My Master Walks With Me” Again one of my favorite tracks of all time. Even if you compare the older Statesmen LPs with something like the Kingdom Heirs tribute CD, I prefer the older stuff. With that particular lineup and LP it is like once voice singing 4 parts. Diction, enunciation, everything is the same. I cant remember who said it (I think it was on the Gaither Statesmen video) but it was said that the only way you could out sing the Statesmen was to get up earlier than them. Now that I think about it, it may have been Jake Hess but I dont know who he was referring to. Maybe James Blackwood.

  7. I found this too late to vote, but I would have voted for the 1958 recording as well. The statement that every quartet fan should hear it at least once in their lifetime is very true. It’s the only Statesmen LP featuring Cat Freeman, who in my opinion is highly underrated. In my opinion, it’s one of the best albums ever released.

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