Safe After The Storm – Bowling Family

bowlingfamily2013safestormGRADE:  A-

  • Album – Safe After The Strom
  • Artist – Bowling Family
  • Label – RiverHill Music Group
  • Style – Traditional, Progressive, Country
  • Release Date – 10/01/13
  • Available For Digital Download? – Yes (iTunes)

 

SYNOPSIS:

The Bowling Family release their first album of new music since the 2010 recording, Shine.  Safe After The Storm is also the first album to feature the new vocal line up of Mike Bowling, Kelly Bowling, Hope Bowling and Troy Peach.

I named the 2010 album, Shine, the top Southern Gospel album released in the year 2010.  So, I was anticipating this new album for well over a year.  The group pulled out all the punches by offering songs by some of the industry’s biggest writers (Lee Black, Becky Bowman, Jason Cox, Marcia Henry, Ronny Hinson, Sonya Isaacs, Joel Lindsey, Belinda Smith, Kenna Turner West, Jimmy Yeary and more).

The Bowling Family stick to what listeners are already familiar with regarding the style presented on Safe After The Storm.  They meld traditional mixed quartet Southern Gospel sounds with country and progressive Southern Gospel overtones.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The bluegrass track used on “Victory’s Coming” sets it apart from any song on Safe After The Storm.  Mike is featured on this Larry Petree song that turns in to a Southern Gospel barn burner before the song ends.
  • Mike is also featured on the album’s first radio single; “Somebody’s Believing”.  This mid-tempo number is a song Bowling Family fan’s will love.  Mike also resurrects “God Sent Angels”, a song he recorded (and co-wrote) when he was with the Perrys in the mid 1990’s.  This cover is definitely worth a listen!
  • Kelly and daughter Hope combine to bring listeners the best country-style tune on the album; “Just What I Need”.  The instrumentation chosen to lead off the track takes the listener back to the sounds of the Happy Goodmans in the 1970’s.
  • Kelly also takes the lead on the best up tempo song on Safe After The Storm, “I’m Glad I’m Saved”.  This song is Hinson-esque in its style and delivery.  The song deserves a few repeats.  Kelly’s feature on “I Know Enough” would be a strong radio single choice.
  • Troy Peach is a Southern  Gospel utility player.  He has been a member of quite a few Southern Gospel artists during the course of his career.  He shines on “When All I Can Cry Is Holy”.
  • Young, Hope Bowling gets her first feature on the song “Everything’s Gonna Turn Out Right”.  This country-style song fits her maturing voice perfectly.  I am sure her parents are proud.
  • I rarely give kudos for items like album art design, but in this case I say congrats to the graphic designer for some awesome album artwork.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Victory’s Coming”, “Just What I Need”, “Somebody’s Believing”, “I’m Glad I’m Saved”, “I Know Enough”, “When All I Can Cry Is Holy” and “God Sent Angels”.
CRITIQUE:
  • It is a rarity when I have zero critiques regarding an album review, but in the case of Safe After The Storm, I am hard pressed to find one.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Drinking From The Well”.

 

WRAP UP:

The Bowling Family’s Safe After The Storm is hands down the best mixed quartet Southern Gospel album released in 2013.  I wouldn’t be surprised if it also found a place up near the top of my annual countdown of the year’s best Southern Gospel album releases.  There really is no reason every Southern Gospel listener should not have a copy of this album in their collection.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Somebody’s Believing”/Mike – Lee Black, John Darin Rowsey, Kenna Turner West  2. “Drinking From The Well“/Kelly – Jason Cox, Belinda Smith, Kenna Turner West  3. “That’s What I Miss The Most”/Mike – Chip Davis, Jimmy Yeary  4. “Everything’s Gonna Turn Out Right”/Hope – Rebecca Bowman, Sonya Isaacs  5. “Victory’s Coming”/Mike – Larry Petree  6. “I Know Enough”/Kelly – Marcia Henry, Belinda Smith  7. “Come Along Let’s Fly”/Ensemble; Troy – Ronny Hinson  8. “Just What I Need”/Kelly; Hope – Lynn Robins  9. “I’m Glad I’m Saved”/Kelly – Sandy Blythe  10. “When All I Can Cry Is Holy”/Troy – Jeffrey Bumgardner, Joel Lindsey  11. “God Sent Angels”/Mike – Mike Bowling, Vickey Joan Robinson 

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6 thoughts on “Safe After The Storm – Bowling Family

  1. I’ve got to agree Steve. While I’m not sure the album is quite as strong as Shine, this is definitely one of the Top 5 recordings I’ve heard all year. I disagree about “Drinking From the Well” – I really like it and it has a cool, Little Big Town feel to it.

    My least favorite is probably “Everything’s Gonna Turn Out Right.” Hope does an incredible job on the song, but it’s not my favorite from a musical standpoint.

    Overall, it’s an excellent follow-up to Shine!

  2. Since this is one of the best albums of 2013 and everyone should add it to their collection, why would it receive a grade of A- instead of an A? Because of one potentially weak song? I look forward to hearing the CD.

    1. If you follow my reviews, you will notice I am very hard pressed in giving out stellar ratings because I don’t believe anything is ever perfect. I don’t believe I will ever hear an album that I would give an A+ rating. The 2012 album to receive an ‘A’ rating was Through The Night by the Perrys and it ended up landing at #1 on my annual countdown for 2012.

      So if you go back through my reviews for 2013, you will find there have only been a few selected albums that have gotten an A- rating and only one to receive an ‘A’ rating; Living In The Moment by Beyond The Ashes.

  3. Yes the album art is great, they really look like they’re safe after the storm. First time I heard Kelly’s voice on a Crabb Family song I was like “man, that woman can really sing.” That thought still comes to mind whenever I hear her voice. It is a shame and an embarrassment that I possess no complete Bowling Family album, save a few songs here and there. But after reading this rave review, I have realised I need to gird up my loins and do quickly what I need to do.

  4. The best southern gospel cd I have heard in years! I have listened to it probably 100 times. Not exaggerating. I totally disagree with the “Drinking from the Well” comment. It is one of my favorites. 1) Somebody’s Believing 2) That’s What I Miss the Most (awesome!) 3) Drinking from the Well. Not a bad song on the whole cd! Most of all, it is anointed by the Holy Spirit, which is the greatest thing about it. Keep on in the power of HIS might Bowling Family!

  5. I love this CD. These people always record great music. They are such an inspiration to me. The best is yet to come for them. I love watching the children grow up too.

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