Sometimes He Whispers: Jay Parrack & Vocal Event

vocalevent2015whispersGRADE:  B+

  • Album – Sometimes He Whispers
  • Artist – Jay Parrack & Vocal Event
  • Label – Morris Music Group
  • Style – Traditional, , Country, Progressive
  • Release Date – 02/03/15
  • Available For Digital Download? – Yes (iTunes/Spotify)

SYNOPSIS:

Jay Parrack has been off the Southern Gospel scene since exiting Gold City over a decade ago. After performing at some regional events the last couple years, it looks like Jay Parrack & Vocal Event is ready to launch to the entire Southern Gospel music community.

2015 brings the first mainstream release for the trio to Southern Gospel listening audiences; Sometimes He Whispers.  This eleven song collection is a nice mix of new material and covers that fit the group’s vocal presentation.

Since Jay Parrack & Vocal Event are introducing their music to us, let me introduce you to the group. The trio is composed of Jay Parrack (tenor), Anthony Hallman (lead) and Darren Morton (baritone).

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Lead vocalist Anthony Hallman’s country vocal really sets up the sound/style found on Sometimes He Whispers. He comes out of the gate with the best cover of the Kenny Hinson composition, “Since You Gave Me A Song” I have heard to date.
  • He follows that up with another up-tempo must listen, “I Have Decided”. Anthony’s country flavored lead vocal combined with Jay Parrack’s straight ahead Southern Gospel tenor makes for some enjoyable moments. This song was a definite repeat!
  • Jay gets the feature vocal on the group’s first single from the recording, the title cut; “Sometimes He Whispers”. If you are a regular listener of Southern Gospel radio, this song was a single for Adam Crabb in 2014 from his solo recording, Surrender. With Jay’s power house tenor and the vocal blend of the trio makes Vocal Event’s cut the stronger of the two.
  • Jay also gets to show off on the Vep Ellis classic, “Over The Moon”.  Jay’s cover is eerily similar to Ernie Phillips version of the song on the Kingsmen’s Live…Naturally recording, which I consider the benchmark of this song.
  • Baritone Darren Morton gets a chance to shine on the up-tempo, “I Know Where Home Is”. Darren has a smooth baritone vocal that really cements the trio’s blend. I heard shades of Ricky Atkinson in his voice, especially in his other feature, “Where Eternity Begins”.
  • That vocal blend is evident from the first note heard on the recording. The group opens with an a cappella number, “Gift Of Love”. A great start to the album.
  • The production quality of this debut recording is to be commended. I also enjoy that the group immediately creates their own sound and not become one of the countless carbon copy groups so prevalent today.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Since You Gave Me A Song”, “I Have Decided”, “Sometimes He Whispers”, “I Know Where Home Is”, “Love Lifted Me”, “Where Eternity Begins” and “Gift Of Love”.
CRITIQUE:
  • The group decided to cover one of Phil Cross’ weaker compositions, “Can’t Take That Away From Me”. While the group’s performance is fine, if they were going for a Phil Cross cover it would have been nice to hear a cover of “Jesus Built A Bridge”.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Can’t Take That Away From Me”.

WRAP UP:

Listening to this recording is one of the best surprises of the year so far. I knew Jay Parrack’s talent and have seen several of the group’s YouTube videos the last couple of years, but this debut effort far exceeded my expectations. Go ahead and get this recording now. Don’t be left wondering how this album landed on so many year-end ‘best lists’ when the year comes to a close.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Gift Of Love”/Ensemble – Hal Hobson  2. “Since You Gave Me A Song“/Anthony – Kenny Hinson  3. “Sometimes he Whispers”/Jay – Jason Cox, Belinda Smith, Kenna West  4. “I Have Decided”/Anthony – Michael Card  5. “Where Eternity Begins”/Darren – Anthony Hallman, Darren Morton  6. “Love Lifted Me”/Ensemble; Anthony – Daryl Williams  7. “Can’t Take That Away From Me”/Ensemble; Anthony – Carolyn Cross, Phil Cross  8. “Over The Moon”/Jay – Vep Ellis  9. “I Know Where Home Is”/Darren – Ricky Atkinson, Dianne Wilkinson  10. “Joy In The Morning”/Ensemble – Conrad Cook  11. “I Am Sure Of You”/Darren – Joel Lindsey, Belinda Smith

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