- Album – Adopted
- Artist – Butler, Hughes & Hayes
- Label – Custom
- Style – Traditional, Progressive
- Release Date – 09/23/14
- Available For Digital Download? – Yes (iTunes/Spotify)
Based in Salemburg NC, Butler, Hughes & Hayes is a new group to me. Receiving this new CD from the group gave me my first introduction to their music.
Since the group is new to me, I am going to guess they are also new to my readers. Let me introduce the group to you. Michael Hayes sings tenor and at one time performed as tenor for both Heaven Bound and the Anchormen. Lamar Butler sings lead as Darren Hughes (also pens most of the group’s material) holds down the baritone spot. Bass vocalist Matt Parker rounds out this new quartet.
The group mixes traditional and progressive Southern Gospel music. Adopted consists of seven original songs (penned by either Darren Hughes or Michael Hayes) and five covers. The group also got the talent of Wesley Pritchard to produce this new album.
- For a regional artist, Butler Hughes & Hayes already has a strong group dynamic and harmony that some more well-known artists would envy.
- The first song that stood out to me is the traditional Southern Gospel song; “He Came As A Child”. The song was written and features tenor vocalist Michael Hayes. This is the strongest song on the album in terms of Southern Gospel radio single possibilities.
- Another strong traditional Southern Gospel number is the song, “Jesus Is Better”. This song utilizes all members to create a song that will have you singing along before the song is over. You may even have to hit repeat before moving on to the rest of the album.
- Butler, Huges & Hayes also has the Southern Gospel up tempo crowd pleasing type song in “Marriage Supper”. Another Michael Hayes penned song, this song would translate well to the live concert setting.
- Of the five song covers found on Adopted, the strongest is the group’s cover of the Gordon Jensen classic, “Jesus Will Outshine Them All”. The harmony on this song is the strongest of any song on the album. Great!
- The harmonies are also really strong on the album’s opening track, “The Beatitudes (You Are Blessed)”. This soothing mid tempo style tune is reminiscent of what the Booth Brothers might provide listeners.
- Strongest songs included in order: “He Came As A Child”, “Jesus Will Outshine Them All”, “The Beatitudes (You Are Blessed)”, “Marriage Supper”, “Jesus Is Better”, “Around The Cross” and “Jesus Is Lord”.
- There were several songs that didn’t measure up to the stronger songs on the recording.
- “I Love You” was probably the weakest song on the album in terms of performance. Also of the song covers, I thought they could have done without “Carry The Glorious Gospel”. This cover didn’t add anything that separated it from other versions.
- Weakest songs included in order: “I Love You” and “Carry The Glorious Gospel”.
If Butler, Hughes & Hayes intent was to get Southern Gospel listeners to recognize them outside of their regional artist status, they accomplished that with Adopted. I always enjoy being introduced to quality new artists. While there is still growth heard in Adopted, the group is already ahead of some of the more well-known artists I have heard. Now that Butler, Hughes & Hayes in on my radar I will definitely keep up with what this group has to offer Southern Gospel listeners in the future.
SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter: 1. “The Beatitudes (You Are Blessed)”/Ensemble – Darren Hughes 2. “Jesus Is Lord“/Ensemble – Andrae Crouch, Patrick Henderson 3. “He Came As A Child”/Michael – Michael Hayes 4. “The Dearest Friend I Ever Had”/Ensemble; Matt – George Speer 5. “Adopted”/Darren – Darren Hughes 6. “Marriage Supper”/Lamar – Michael Hayes 7. “Jesus Will Outshine Them All”/Lamar – Gordon Jensen 8. “Carry The Glorious Gospel”/Matt – Daryl Williams 9. “Jesus Is Better”/Darren; Lamar; Michael – Darren Hughes 10. “I Love You”/Darren – Darren Hughes 11. “He Washed My Eyes With Tears”/Darren – Ira Stanphill 12. “Around The Cross”/Michael; Lamar – Michael Hayes