Just One Look: Murray Family

murrayfamily2016onelook (300x300)GRADE:  C+

  • Album – Just One Look
  • Artist – Murray Family
  • Label – Skyland Records
  • Style – Appalachian, Acoustic
  • Release Date – 06/08/16
  • Available For Digital Download? – Yes (Apple Music)

SYNOPSIS:

This week we take a look at the new album from the Murray Family.  I was introduced to the group’s music with their 2013 release, Homesick.  2016 finds the release of Just One Look.

If you are new to the music of the Murray Family, the group is composed of Christopher Murray (lead vocals/lead guitar), Connie Murray (alto), Cynthia Murray (soprano), Jason Murray (harmony/upright bass), Emily Murray (harmony/pianist) and Ernie Murray (bass vocals/rhythm guitar).

The Murray Family’s sound falls in to the Appalachian tradition of groups like the McKameys and Singing Cookes.  Simple acoustic instrumentation compliments the vocals of the group.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The Murray Family’s acoustic Appalachian style is endearing.  The strongest song on the recording is the Karen McPherson/Kyla Rowland collab, “Calvary’s Touch”.  This song should be considered for Southern Gospel radio.
  • Lead vocalist Christopher Murray has a vocal that is reminiscent of Mike Upright or Randy Fox of the Primitive Quartet.  Christopher has the strongest songs on the recording.  It starts with “What A Journey” and moves in to “Same Old Story”.
  • The first single from Just One Look is “Welcome Home”.  Christopher and wife Cynthia penned this acoustic Appalachian gem.  A song that portrays the hope of Heaven and knowing just one look will invite a welcome home.
  • Emily is featured on one of the few up-tempo songs on Just One Look; “He Will Still Deliver Me”.  It was nice to have a change of pace with all the slower tunes before.
  • Mother, Connie Murray is relegated to classic songs with the exception of “What Won’t Be There”.  If you’re a fan of the music of the Singing Cookes and more importantly Jeanette Cooke, you will enjoy the vocals of Connie Murray.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Calvary’s Touch”, “Same Old Story”, “Welcome Home”, “What A Journey”, “He Will Still Deliver Me” and “When He Blessed My Soul”.
CRITIQUE:
  • The album gets bogged down with so many slower songs.  I counted three up-tempo songs on a twelve song recording; definitely not the right mix.
  • The groups acoustic Appalachian style may limit their reach among a broader Southern Gospel listening audience.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Something I Can Feel”, “Wonderful Peace” and “Joy In The Morning”.

WRAP UP:

The Murray Family continues the long-standing Southern Gospel tradition of acoustic Appalachian style groups.  Following in the footsteps of groups like the McKameys, Singing Cookes and Singing Echoes to name a few.  If you’re a fan of this style, you will want to give Just One Look a listen.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Welcome Home”/Christopher – Christopher Murray, Cynthia Murray  2. “Joy In The Morning“/Connie – Aaron Wilburn  3. “What A Journey”/Christopher – Harvey Gene Smith  4. “Hymn Medley”/Ensemble – Jesse Baxter, E.M. Bartlett, Albert E Brumley, Claude Center, Adger Pace  5. “Same Old Story”/Christopher – Christopher Murray, Cynthia Murray  6. “Something I Can Feel”/Connie – Elmer Cole  7. “He Will Still Deliver Me”/Emily – Harvey Gene Smith  8. “When He Blessed My Soul“/Ensemble – Cleavant Derricks  9. “What Won’t Be There”/Connie – Christopher Murray, Cynthia Murray  10. “Calvary’s Touch”/Cynthia – Karen McPherson, Kyla Rowland  11. “He Will Move The Storm Clouds”/Emily – Christopher Murray  12. “Wonderful Peace”/Cynthia – Warren Cooper, Warren Cornell

*Video Credit (The Murray Family – Topic)

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