- Album – It Made News
- Artist – Freedom Quartet
- Label – Custom
- Style – Traditional
- Release Date – 02/11/14
- Available For Digital Download? – Yes (iTunes/Spotify)
Just last week I wrote a commentary regarding whether fans and industry members care about the history of Southern Gospel music. That same day I had a chance to hear the new album by Freedom Quartet titled It Made News.
The group has had the album available since November 2013, but it finally made its way to retail last week making it a 2014 release in my view. John Rulapaugh (tenor), Dale Shipley (lead), Preston Garner (baritone) and Burman Porter (bass) combine to create a new traditional Southern Gospel quartet that could rival some of the big names.
It Made News is traditional Southern Gospel quartet music at its finest. The album is filled with ten previously recorded songs, but they are done in a way that I felt I was putting on a great vinyl record album from the 1970’s and listening to the sounds that made that decade one of the greatest in the genre’s history.
- The title track is the Gordon Jensen (originally recorded by the Kingsmen) classic that is done perfectly by Freedom Quartet. Dale Shipley proves he has still the vocal prowess and power to deliver this great gem. I love how they kept the ending similar to the original Kingsmen cut from 1976.
- The album kicks off with another 1970’s classic, “One Way Flight”. This Telestials classic is a great way to let the listener know exactly what they are getting with the recording.
- Lead singer Dale Shipley spent the early 1990’s with Perfect Heart. His signature song was “Somebody Touched The Lord”. Dale tackles that classic once again on It Made News. While it doesn’t have the same punch as the original, Dale still turned in a strong performance.
- The Speers classic, “What Sins Are You Talking About” also garnered several repeats before moving on to the rest of the album. Another forgotten 1970’s hit song that is great hearing sung/performed again.
- Also worth a shout out is Freedom Quartet’s treatment of the Hinson’s 1970’s classic “I Won’t Walk Without Jesus” and the Happy Goodmans, “I Believe He’s Coming Back”.
- Strongest songs included in order: “It Made News In Heaven”, “What Sins Are You Talking About”, “One Way Flight”, “I Won’t Walk Without Jesus”, “I Believe He’s Coming Back” and “Somebody Touched The Lord”.
- Freedom Quartet tackles Greater Vision’s hit song from the early 1990’s, “On A Journey”. I found this the only weak spot, in terms of song selection, on this classics album.
- Listeners are also treated to “He Loves Me” and “Learning To Lean”. Both are a bit over used.
- Weakest songs included in order: “On A Journey” and “He Loves Me”.
Don’t let my rating (B-) of this classics album scare you away. The album only received such a rating because it was an album of all previously recorded music. I thoroughly enjoyed this overall tribute to the Southern Gospel sounds of the 1970’s by Freedom Quartet. I believe the talent is already in place to make Freedom Quartet a house hold name among Southern Gospel listeners. I can’t wait to hear what the group brings on their first album of new material.
SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter: 1. “One Way Flight”/Ensemble – Roger Holmes, Jim Woods 2. “Somebody Touched The Lord“/Dale – Sandy Knight 3. “He Loves Me”/Preston – George Amon Webster 4. “It Made News In Heaven”/Dale – Gordon Jensen 5. “What Sins Are You Talking About”/Dale – Harold Lane 6. “I Won’t Walk Without Jesus”/John – Ronny Hinson 7. “Learning To Lean”/Ensemble – John Stallings 8. “On A Journey”/Preston – Joe DiQuattro 9. “I Believe He’s Coming Back”/Ensemble – Rusty Goodman 10. “Closer To You”/John – Dave Clark