- 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)
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.
- 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”.
- 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”.
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