Have You Heard – Dixie Melody Boys

dmb2013haveyouheardGRADE:  A-

  • Album – Have You Heard
  • Artist – Dixie Melody Boys
  • Label – Song Garden Music Group
  • Style – Traditional
  • Release Date – 09/10/13
  • Available For Digital Download? – No

 

SYNOPSIS:

My final album review of 2013 is the Dixie Melody Boys, Have You Heard.  This new album by the Dixie Melody Boys was released during NQC week.

Following up the highly acclaimed 50 Years: The Call Is Still The Same album from 2011, Have You Heard surpasses that and gives the Dixie Melody Boys one of the biggest albums of their career.

Traditional Southern Gospel quartet music with some light country overtones fill Have You Heard.  The vocal line-up heard on this new effort is Matt Felts (tenor), Josh Garner (lead), Aaron Dishman (baritone) and Ed O’Neal (bass).

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Ed O’ Neal has a knack for hiring talented young people to the Dixie Melody Boys, as can be proven with the many Southern Gospel artists who have passed through the group.  Ed has done it again with the hire of Aaron Dishman.
  • Aaron steps up to the plate and delivers the stand out track on Have You Heard; “Valley Of Tears”.  Aaron’s almost timid performance on the verses melds so well with the power house lead voice of Josh Garner on the chorus.  This song is a must listen!
  • Speaking of Josh Garner, who is most remembered for his work with the Florida Boys, has added that extra vocal punch the Dixie Melody Boys needed.  Josh stands out on “When I Called His Name” and the opening barn burner, “Praise The Lord Hallelujah Amen”.
  • Ed O’Neal delivers what could be the most touching and strongest song of his entire career.  His deep bass voice can still deliver a message and his heartfelt delivery on “What Remains Of Me” stays with you long after the song ends.
  • Matt Felts strength at the tenor vocal is evident on “What I Lost In The Flood” and the closing track, “Haven Called Heaven”.  Many listeners may remember the latter being recorded by the Hoppers on their The Ride album.  The Dixie Melody Boys give it a nice quartet treatment.
  • There are two strong up tempo numbers that also deserve a shout out.  They include “Muddy Water” (I like the message delivered in this song!) and “That Story Is Mine”.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Valley Of Tears”, “What Remains Of Me”, “When I Called His Name”, “That Story Is Mine”, “Haven Called Heaven”, “Muddy Water” and “Praise The Lord Hallelujah Amen”.
CRITIQUE:
  • Another album released in 2013 that is not yet available for digital download.  Here’s hoping 2014 finally brings a time in Southern Gospel music where all new albums are also available via digital download.
  • While Have You Heard is one of the best quartet albums you will hear in 2013, there were a couple of songs that didn’t match the caliber of the rest of the album.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Rhythm Of Heaven” and “God’s Gonna Give You A Testimony”.

 

WRAP UP:

The Dixie Melody Boys outdid themselves with the release of Have You Heard.  They’ve proven that they should still be counted among the best quartets in Southern Gospel music.  Go ahead and add this album to your Christmas list, because there is no reason this album should not be part of any Southern Gospel listener’s collection.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Praise The Lord Hallelujah Amen”/Josh – Ben Scroggs  2. “What I Lost In The Flood“/Matt – Joseph Habedank, Lyndsey Habedank  3. “Roll Back”/Josh – Matt Felts, David Staton  4. “When I Called His Name”/Josh – Lee Black, Kenna Turner West  5. “God’s Gonna Give You A Testimony”/Aaron – Michael Jason Frost  6. “Valley Of Tears”/Aaron – Rodney Griffin, Joseph Habedank  7. “Muddy Water”/Aaron – Carma Schwartz Kelley, Jesse Schwartz  8. “What Remains Of Me”/Ed – Marty Funderburk, Jeff Pearles  9. “Rhythm Of Heaven”/Ensemble – Toni Clay, Jeff Ferguson  10. “Death Has Died”/Matt – Carolyn Cross, Ernie Haase  11. “That Story Is Mine”/Ensemble – Lee Black, David Moffitt, Sue C Smith  12. “Haven Called Heaven”/Matt – Marty Funderburk, Jeff Pearles

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