It is time to begin my annual count down of counting down the best Southern Gospel albums and recorded songs of the year. As mentioned yesterday, there were 44 new albums listened to and/or reviewed by me in 2014. Of those, I chose what I felt to be the twenty best.
To kick off the count down at #20 is Akins; Vintage. Akins left the comforts of a record label (Crossroads) to produce and record Vintage. As the title suggests, Vintage is a 12 song collection of all previously recorded songs. What sets this apart from the run-of-the-mill Southern Gospel table project is the arrangements Akins gives to these classic songs, making them sound original.
Akins not only recorded the vocals, but laid down all the musical tracks as well to produce one of the best “vintage” albums I have heard. The way they took the classic “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee” and made it sound Akins (country), makes the song sound brand new.
Personal favorites from this recording include: “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee”; “Revive Us Again”; “In The Sweet By And By”; “There Is Power In The Blood”, “He Looked Beyond My Fault”; “Nothing But The Blood”.
When the dust settled, the song to kick off the count down is a Dianne Wilkinson, quartet standard. The Mark Trammell Quartet also left the comforts of a major record label (Daywind) to release the best quartet album of their career in 2014; Your Walk Talks.
The one song that stood out to me is “When The King Comes To Claim His Throne”. From the first note you can hear Dianne all over it. It is reminiscent of a song she would have penned for the Cathedrals. This up tempo quartet standard even has the obligatory reprise that has you singing along before the song ends. I am glad Dianne is still pitching these style quartet songs.
Here is a YouTube clip (published by Nathan Shaw) of Mark Trammell Quartet performing the song ranked 20th among the best recorded in 2014. Enjoy!