A Gathering: The Hits Of Then & Now – Hoskins Family

hoskinsfamily2014agatheringGRADE:  B

  • Album – A Gathering: The Hits Of Then & Now
  • Artist – Hoskins Family
  • Label – Daywind Records
  • Style – Traditional, Progressive
  • Release Date – 01/21/14
  • Available For Digital Download? – Yes (iTunes/Spotify)

 

SYNOPSIS:

Can I tell you how great it is to hear the Hoskins Family are recording again.  Not only that, they are also doing a limited tour schedule.  The Hoskins Family burst on the Southern Gospel scene with their 2000 album Hope and their first major radio hit, “Joyful Morning”.

The group would go on to record three albums with Daywind Records including the album that contained the group’s #1  song, “Safe Thus Far”.  The group came off the road in 2006.  Now eight years later, the Hoskins Family release a greatest hits album with a couple new songs with old label, Daywind Records.

A Gathering is a collection of eight songs the group recorded while with Daywind Records including that #1 smash, “Safe Thus Far”.  The album also contains three new songs that are sure to be future hits for this family.  The current group consists of Angie Aldridge (lead), Abigail Aldridge (soprano), Reva Hoskins (alto), Ricky Hoskins (tenor), Rick Smith (baritone), Jimmy Williams (piano) and Noah Smith (drums).

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • One of the three new songs is worth getting the entire project.  The group’s current radio single, “Whenever I Hear His Name” is a Hoskins Family gem that features Angie Aldridge.  Reminiscent of their other major hits, this song is already #6 on the Singing News radio singles chart.  If nothing else go buy this song, it will be one of the biggest songs of 2014.
  • It is hard to believe Angie’s daughter Abigail is now 16 years old and singing with the group.  She turns in a great performance on another of the new songs, “God Is Big”.  This up tempo number is sure to be the next single from this album to hit radio.
  • I have to mention all three new songs because they are all really strong.  “Land Of Endless Tomorrow” also features Angie and is a great song of promise.  This is Jason Cox/Marty Funderburk gold.
  • What was nice about A Gathering is they didn’t just place all their major hits but included some other songs like “You Keep Loving Me”, “Heaven Awaits” and “What About His Grace”.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Whenever I Hear His Name”, “Safe Thus Far”, “When The Savior Wipes The Tears From Our Eyes”, “Land Of Endless Tomorrow”, “You Keep Loving Me” and “God Is Big”.
CRITIQUE:
  • One thing I couldn’t tell as a listener is if all the previously recorded songs included on A Gathering were the original cuts or a new version by the current group.  After listening to the recording several times I would venture to say they were all the original versions.  It would have been nice to hear a few of those re-done with the newer group.
  • Now that Abigail is 16, it would have been nice to hear a new version of “God Gave You To Me” instead of the original cut where Abigail was much younger.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “God Gave You To Me”.

 

WRAP UP:

This album is perfect for new listeners to get introduced to the music of the Hoskins Family.  I would venture to say that many reading this weren’t listeners when the Hoskins Family had their first go around in Southern Gospel music.  They are mixed quartet Southern Gospel music at its finest.  It is good to have them back!

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Heaven Awaits”/Angie – Kevin Lawson, Michael Puryear  2. “You Keep Loving Me“/Angie – Angie Aldridge  3. “Safe Thus Far”/Angie – Kyla Rowland  4. “God Is Big”/Abigail – Annie McRae  5. “Whenever I Hear His Name”/Angie – Joseph Habedank, Marty Funderburk  6. “What About His Grace”/Angie; Jim Mahalick (former member) – Kelly Skidmore, Gina Vera  7. “Written In Heaven”/Angie – Belinda Smith, Tony Wood  8. “Places To Go, People To See”/Angie – Gerald Crabb  9. “Lane Of Endless Tomorrow”/Angie – Jason Cox, Marty Funderburk  10. “God Gave You To Me”/Angie; Abigail; Reva – Angie Aldridge  11. “When The Savior Wipes The Tears From Our Eyes”/Angie – Sue C Smith, Wayne Haun

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2 thoughts on “A Gathering: The Hits Of Then & Now – Hoskins Family

  1. I really didn’t see the point of putting this CD out as a major label release. It will sell at their concerts, for sure. It’s great they can have the high quality packaging and so forth for that purpose, but I think it would have been better to do a completely new CD for their first major label “comeback” collection. This collection will sell, but it would have been better to treat it as a table project with two more of their old songs on it instead of the two new ones.

    1. I agree, David. This would cut the cost of selling their previous albums with a different non-family member, Jim Mahalick. Considering the current lineup, I’m surprised that they included the 2 cuts, “What about His Grace” and “God Gave You to Me.” Having Jim Mahalick sing a solo, but having a different guy on the cover could be confusing to potentially new fans. I agree with Steve about their choice of “God Gave You to Me.” Things have changed in the 12 years since that was first recorded, and certainly they could have pulled their first ‘big’ hit, “Joyful Morning,” or something more relevant to Angie or Abby’s current vocal style.

      However, if my memory serves me correctly, this ‘best of’ album was in the making in 2006 when they stopped singing. They projected that it would be a collection of previous hits with 3 new songs. That idea was working for some groups back then. The Talleys did this in 2005 for their ‘Anthology’ project. Were they locked in to this project financially or by contract? Maybe this is just the final efforts that have been 7-8 years in the making.

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