The Kingsmen recently released their first new album since 2011’s Grace Says. Front Row Live is in fact a greatest hits album of previously recorded Kingsmen songs sung by the current line-up. Speaking of the current vocal line-up, members include Chris Jenkins (tenor), Bob Sellers (lead), Randy Crawford (baritone) and Kingsmen veteran Ray Reese (bass).
Front Row Live has been available since 06/18/13. The album is a live recording made up of performances from the 2012 National Quartet Convention.
Song list: (1) “Traveling Home” – Luther G Presley (2) “One Way Trip” – Doris May (3) “He’s Everything I Need” – Joseph Habedank (4) “Justified” – Chris Binion (5) “Oh What A Savior” – Marvin Dalton (6) “The Judgement” – Lois Gail Sybolt (7) “The Next Cloud” – Sandy Knight (8) “Loving Shepherd, Gracious God” – Dianne Wilkinson (9) “Land Of The Free” – Phil Cross (10) “Stand Up” – Bruce Channel, Ricky Rector, James Throckmorton
- I tend to stay away from albums filled with previously recorded songs. Front Row Live allows the listener to hear how the current line-up handles Kingsmen classics.
- The brightest spots on Front Row Live are the classic ‘3 chords and a cloud of dust’ up tempo numbers the Kingsmen have been known. Listen to “Traveling Home”, “One Way Trip”, “He’s Everything I Need” and “Stand Up” (both former #1 Kingsmen songs).
- Chris Jenkins is the perfect style (high) tenor Kingsmen listeners will love. He is a Kingsmen style tenor that hearken listeners back to their glory days.
- Listeners shouldn’t tire of a recent Kingsmen hit, “Loving Shepherd Gracious God.” Give it another listen on Front Row Live.
DAVID BRUCE MURRAY
- All of the vocal performances on Front Row Live are solid.
- Chris Jenkins has the sort of range that brings back memories of great Kingsmen tenors like Jerry Martin, Ernie Phillips and Johnny Parrack.
- The a cappella work on “The Judgment” is spot on. This is the only song on Front Row Live that also appeared on their 2010 live recording.
- The CD ends with “Land Of The Free” (with it’s repeated line “stand for the land of the free”) followed by “Stand Up.” Even though I wasn’t in Louisville, KY last fall for the actual live performances, it was easy to envision the dramatic patriotic song getting the crowd up on their feet and the up-tempo song keeping them there.
- Southern Gospel live albums are so sanitized nowadays I really don’t consider them live. Front Row Live uses the formula of taking the live moments and cleaning up the vocals with overdubs and interspersing audience clapping clips at various spots in the recording. Definitely not the live albums the Kingsmen were known for in the ’70s/’80s.
- Can we as a Southern Gospel industry make a unanimous decision to not record “Oh What A Savior” for at least another 20 years. That is not the only Southern Gospel classic to showcase the tenor singer.
DAVID BRUCE MURRAY
- Someday, a tenor’s head is going to pop right off of his body when he goes for a high note on “Oh What A Savior.”
No songwriters are credited on the CD’s printed insert. I realize all the songs have been recorded by the Kingsmen in the past, but it’s still disrespectful to ignore the writers.EDIT: I was working from a PDF copy of the artwork when I wrote this review, and failed to scroll down to the second page of the tray card art file where the songwriters ARE CREDITED. Please disregard this complaint. My bad! – DBM
- The best live Kingsmen recordings from the past are remembered because audience’s were reacting to great new songs they were hearing for the very first time. The Kingmen played it safe on Front Row Live by re-recording past hits rather than introducing new material.
- NO – From an individual that owns all the original recordings of these songs, I can’t give it a ‘must buy’. If you are a new listener to Southern Gospel and want to get some Kingsmen classics performed by the current group, then Front Row Live may be what you are looking for.
DAVID BRUCE MURRAY
- YES – I am giving Front Row Live a slight “Yes” since it’s the only Kingsmen CD at this point that features the current lineup. That being said, I am way past ready to hear these guys tackle some new material.