Still: Booth Brothers

Booth Brothers StillGRADE:  B-

  • Album – Still
  • Artist – Booth Brothers
  • Label – Custom
  • Style – Progressive, Big Band, Easy Listening
  • Release Date – 12/30/14
  • Available For Digital Download? – No

SYNOPSIS:

In another, finally get around to, album review; this week I want to take a look at the Booth Brothers latest recording, Still.  This album released at the end of December 2014 with very little promotion/advertising.

The lack of online availability has also kept it away from a portion of the Southern Gospel listening audience.  This is actually the third album in a row released by the Booth Brothers they didn’t make available on the digital download sites.  Last year’s Isaiah 12:2 and Quartet Style (2013) were also released with very little promotion.

I don’t know if this a specific tactic the Booth Brothers are utilizing since they are no longer with a major record label but it doesn’t seem very wise from a marketing stand point.  The old term, out of sight-out of mind, applies in this case.  From a listener who only purchases music digitally nowadays, I can tell you I have listened to the Booth Brothers a lot less over the last two years because of the lack of availability to new music.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The mellow country tune, “Dirt On My Hands” was the stand out track on Still.  Even with the addition of Paul Lancaster, the Booth Brothers harmony work is still at the top of its game.
  • That harmony work is also heard on the album’s opening track, “Faith Keeps Walking”.  This easy listening tune fits the Booth Brothers style perfectly.
  • The Booth Brothers give a shout out to the Couriers with the Phil Enloe penned, “I Am The Word”.  The production work/arrangement is right out the Couriers playbook.  Ronnie takes the lead on this big ballad.
  • Ronnie also shows his soulful side on the rollicking, “Down By The River”.  Gordon Mote recorded this song on his All Things New album with the help of Trace Adkins and the Gaither Vocal Band.  While Gordon’s was the better cut, the Booth Brothers still make the song fun and this is the only up-tempo song in a sea of slow to mid-tempo numbers.
  • I also enjoyed the big band treatment given to the Mosie Lister classic, “Happy Rhythm”.  As a listener, you are so used to hearing a bass singer take on this song, that this specific arrangement for a trio really sets it apart from all the quartet versions.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Dirt On My Hands”, “I Am The Word”, “Faith Keeps Walking”, “Happy Rhythm”, “Still” and “Down By The River”.
CRITIQUE:
  • Since this album was never marketed to be a major release for the Booth Brothers, I guess you can’t fault them too much on the song covers.  Another cover of Cottrell/Moffitt’s “Jesus Saves” was not a home run.
  • Also, the Russ Taff era Imperials cover of “Whenever I Speak His Name” did not come close to matching the original cut of this song.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Jesus Saves” and “Whenever I Speak His Name”.

WRAP UP:

The Booth Brothers have dominated the Southern Gospel music market place for over a decade.  At this point in their career, they have nothing to prove in terms of album releases.  As a listener, I long for the days of albums like The Blind Man Saw It All (2005), The Booth Brothers (2003) and Harmony (2006).  Again, they have nothing to prove, I am just a listener after all.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Faith Keeps Walking”/Ensemble – Jim Brady, Don Poythress, Tony Wood  2. “Happy Rhythm“/Ensemble – Mosie Lister  3. “Still”/Michael – Jim Brady, Barry Weeks, Tony Wood  4. “Dirt On My Hands”/Ensemble – Jim Brady, Woody Wright  5. “I Am The Word”/Ronnie – Phillip Enloe  6. “The Touch Of The Master’s Hand”/Paul – John Kramp, Myra Welch  7. “Whenever I Speak His Name”/Ensemble – Russ Taff, Victoria Taff  8. “Down By The River”/Ronnie – Alan Anderson, Mac McAnally  9. “Wildflower (Vicki’s Song)”/Michael – Rebecca Peck  10. “Jesus Saves”/Paul – Travis Cottrell, David Moffitt

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2 thoughts on “Still: Booth Brothers

    1. That really doesn’t count when the group expects you to also pay $15 for a digital copy of the album, when the hard copy is the same price. I understand why certain artists loathe digital downloads because of the royalty pay outs compared to someone just paying $15 for a hard copy CD. And in Southern Gospel’s case artists can get away with it because of the median age of the demographic who more likely than not will not purchase music digitally anyway.

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