- Album – Church In The Kitchen
- Artist – Dunaways
- Label – Custom Records
- Style – Progressive, Country, Bluegrass
- Release Date – 07/08/14
- Available For Digital Download? – No
The Dunaways began singing in 1993. It wasn’t until 2002 when the group released their first mainline album, Born Again Experience. “He Kissed My Heartache” and “With Arms Wide Open” were Southern Gospel listening audiences first introduction to the Dunaways on radio.
Since then the Dunaways have given Southern Gospel listening audiences, Beautiful Day (2003), Revival (2006) and It’s A God Thing (2011). 2014 finds the release of the group’s newest album, Church In The Kitchen.
The Dunaways are a family trio built around the voice of lead vocalist Kanah (daughter). Randall (father) and Tammy (mother) offer harmonies while periodically taking leads on several songs. The group has always had a traditional country style to their music with some progressive Southern Gospel sounds layered in to the music. They are a group that is unique musically in Southern Gospel music and easily identifiable when one of their songs come on the radio.
- Kanah is one of the best female voices in Southern Gospel music. The Dunaways entire sound is built around her lead vocal. She absolutely shows range singing a pure traditional country ballad like “Reassure Me” and then taking on a blues infused spiritual, “Somewhere Around The Throne”.
- The former (“Reassure Me”) is the stand out track on Church In The Kitchen. I love the traditional country sound given to this song and Kanah sings it to perfection. The latter (“Somewhere Around The Throne”), is a blues infused spiritual that Kanah tackles with precision. She gets some background help from Angie Primm and Gayle Mayes to really take this song to another level.
- The story in song, “When My Tears Wash The Scars” is the story of Mary washing the feet of Jesus. This a beautifully written story in song that features Kanah.
- Randall and Tammy is featured on the Dottie Rambo composition, “Let Go Of This World”. It was originally recorded on the Rambos, The Son Is Shining album. It is traditional country at its best. This song reminds the listener of something the Whites would record/perform.
- Tammy closes the album with a haunting ballad, “Never Give Up On You”. This story in song is talking about a friend who doesn’t have a personal relationship with Christ and never giving up on that individual. A must listen!
- I love the ‘hard driving’ country (bluegrass flavored) song, “Better Than My Best Day”. A great hook that uses the saying, …’my worst days saved is better than my best days lost’.
- Ronny Hinson’s #1 hit from 1988 (“Mercy Built A Bridge”) is covered by the Dunaways on Church In The Kitchen. He is also featured on the first verse of the song. Love this cover!
- Strongest songs included in order: “Reassure Me”, “Somewhere Around The Throne”, “Mercy Built A Bridge”, “When My Tears Wash The Scars”, “Again And Again”, “Never Gonna Give Up On You”, “Let Go Of This World (Get Wrapped In God)”, “Better Than My Best Day” and “His Word Is Written In Stone”.
- It is a rarity that I don’t have at least one critique for an album review, but I couldn’t come up with one with Church In The Kitchen. I thought long and hard about giving this an album an (A+) rating. I have said in the past I don’t believe in perfection so I had to settle on (A).
- Outside of that, it is a travesty that this album is currently not available for digital download. Every Southern Gospel listener needs to have access to this recording.
- Weakest songs included in order: “Where Grace Lives” and “Muddy Mississippi (Baptism Of Billy Ray Murray)”.
The Dunaways have always produced their own brand of Southern Gospel music and they absolutely outdid themselves with Church In The Kitchen. This is hands down the best Southern Gospel album I have heard so far in 2014 and maybe the best album of the last several years. Of course, traditionalists will dismiss that statement because of the group’s country style. They will say it is not pure Southern Gospel and shouldn’t be classified as such. They will consider it inferior because of its country style. Well I am dismissing you and claiming this the best album released so far in 2014. If you decide not to add this album to your collection, it is your loss.
SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter: 1. “Again And Again”/Kanah – Tammy Dunaway, Kenna Turner West 2. “Where Grace Lives“/Kanah – Jerry Salley, Kenna Turner West 3. “Church In The Kitchen”/Kanah – Lee Black, Jerry Salley, Sue C Smith 4. “Mercy Built A Bridge”/Ronny Hinson; Tammy – Ronny Hinson 5. “Reassure Me”/Kanah – Ronny Stoots 6. “Let Go Of This World (Get Wrapped Up In God)”/Randall; Tammy – Dottie Rambo 7. “Better Than My Best Day”/Tammy; Kanah – Tammy Dunaway, Marshall McKellar 8. “Muddy Mississippi (Baptism Of Billy Ray Murray)”/Tim Spell; Randall – Drew Baldridge, Jerry Salley 9. “Somewhere Around The Throne”/Kanah; Les Butler; Angie Primm; Gayle Mayes – Public Domain 10. “Your Prayers Were Pulling Me Through”/Randall; Kanah; Tammy – Leonard Barrier, Tammy Dunaway 11. “When My Tears Wash The Scars”/Kanah – Tammy Dunaway 12. “His Word Is Written In Stone”/Kanah – Leonard Barrier, Tammy Dunaway, Chad Ward 13. “Never Gonna Give Up On You”/Tammy – Julie Anne Miller