The Stone – Steel Bridge

steelbridge2013thestone250GRADE:  B

  • Album – The Stone
  • Artist – Steel Bridge
  • Label – Custom
  • Style – Acoustical Country, Bluegrass
  • Release Date – 04/02/13
  • Available For Digital Download? – Yes (iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody)

SYNOPSIS:

My first introduction to Steel Bridge’s music was a recent radio single titled “It’s Gonna Take Surrender”.  The song became a top 20 hit on the Singing News chart.  The group released their new album, The Stone, on April 2nd, 2013.

Based in Tennessee, Steel Bridge is a full musical band composed of Chris Key (lead/harmony vocals, Dobro/piano player), Andrea Key (lead vocals), Caleb Langford (harmony vocals, acoustic guitar), Michael Peters (drums), Andrew Buckner (harmony vocals, lead guitar/mandolin player) and Michael Buckner (bass guitar).

Steel Bridge mixes bluegrass and acoustical country styles that work well with a full band.  No studio musicians were used for the recording as all active band members played.  Also, for anyone that has been a listener of Southern Gospel music for any length of time, may remember Chris Key played piano for the Bishops in the mid 1990’s.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The back to back punch of “Anchor” and “The Stone” highlight the best of The Stone.  The former features Andrea Key and is a nice acoustical style ballad while the latter features Chris Key and is the group’s current radio single.
  • Steel Bridge’s first top 20 hit, “It’s Gonna Take Surrender” kicks off the album.  Andrea also gets the feature on this mid tempo bluegrass flavored song.  The message talks about throwing up our hands and surrendering, but not in a defeated manner as one would expect.  Great message!
  • There were a couple up tempo highlights on The Stone.  “God Revives Me” features Caleb on the lead and is a straight ahead up tempo bluegrass number.  Chris is featured on the closing track which takes more of a blues approach.  The Michael English cover, “A Place Called Hope” is worth a listen.
  • The group recorded two mainstream style tunes that may find a home on either bluegrass or country radio.  They include “Tree Of Hearts” and “I Blinked”.  The latter is a heartfelt ballad from the pen of member Chris Key, inspired by the passing of his mother from cancer.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Anchor”, “The Stone”, “It’s Gonna Take Surrender”, “I Blinked”, “God Revives Me” and “A Place Called Hope”.
CRITIQUE:
  • The Stone favored slower to mid tempo songs over up tempo selections.  I am a sucker for better pacing to an album.
  • I enjoy the new music Steel Bridge provides on The Stone.  I would have preferred another new song over the cover of “Sweet By And By”.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Sweet By And By” and “The Old Steel Bridge”.

WRAP UP:

I made a promise at the start of 2013 to promote ‘live’ music in Southern Gospel.  I am glad I was introduced to Steel Bridge’s music, a group that features live music in the concert setting.  If you enjoy acoustical music of the country/bluegrass flavored variety, you should give Steel Bridge a listen.  The Stone is a strong start to the group’s recording career.  I found a YouTube clip, published by SteelBridgeMusic, of the group rehearsing the hit song, “It’s Gonna Take Surrender”.  Enjoy!

SONG/Featured Vocalist – SONGWRITER:  1. “It’s Gonna Take Surrender”/Andrea – Chris Key, Michael Peters  2. “The Right Road”/Caleb – Chris Key, Michael Peters  3. “Anchor”/Andrea – Michael Peters  4. “The Stone”/Chris – Chris Key, Michael Peters  5. “Tree Of Hearts”/Andrea – Skip Ewing, Don Sampson  6. “God Revives Me”/Caleb – Chris Key, Darrell Key  7. “I Blinked”/Caleb – Chris Key  8. “The Old Steel Bridge”/Chris – Chris Key  9. “Sweet By And By”/Andrea – Sanford Bennett, Joseph Webster  10. “A Place Called Hope”/Chris – Babbie Mason

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s