The News For Today: Sneed Family

sneed-familyGRADE:  B-

  • Album – The News For Today
  • Artist – Sneed Family
  • Label – Custom
  • Style – Country
  • Release Date – 02/17/17
  • Available For Digital Download? – Yes (Apple Music)

SYNOPSIS:

This week we take a look at the new album from the Sneed Family, The News For Today.  The Sneed Family has been rising in the ranks as a regional artist out of Kentucky.

The News For Today is the first album from the Sneed Family to be released to the retail marketplace.  The Sneed Family is composed of Caleb Cowan (lead vocalist), Amanda Cowan (soprano), Seth Sneed (harmony vocals), Jeff Sneed (baritone), Pam Sneed (alto) and Jacob Sneed (percussion).

The Sneed Family are traditional country (think Hinsons) in terms of style adding some Appalachian sounds that are reminiscent of groups like the Singing Cookes.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The songwriting talents of Ronny Hinson combined with the country-style of the Sneed Family is a perfect fit.  The stand out track is the up-tempo, “I’ve Never Seen A Promise”.  I can already hear this song in the live concert setting.
  • I miss hearing a crying steel guitar in Southern Gospel music.  The News For Today is filled with the sounds of the steel guitar.  The opening song on the album is as country as you’ll get.  “Here Today, Gone tomorrow (Home Forever)” is a must listen.
  • Seth takes the lead on another traditional country song; Kyla Rowland’s, “This Side Of The Grave”.  More steel guitar riffs throughout.
  • The Sneed Family decide to take on one of the best ‘high energy’ groups to ever grace a Southern Gospel stage; the McGruders.  Originally recorded in 1987, the Sneed Family cover, “Finish Line”.  While not as much power as the original, a good cover nonetheless.
  • Amanda Cowan is featured on a song that would make a strong choice for radio single; “This Ship Was Built With Storms In Mind”.
  • Pam Sneed brings a little Jeanette Cooke style to the listener on the Appalachian sounding, “The Blood Is Still Strong Enough”.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “I’ve Never Seen A Promise”, “This Side Of The Grave”, “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow (Home Forever)”, “This Ship Was Built With Storms In Mind”, “Finish Line” and “The Blood Is Still Strong Enough”.
CRITIQUE:
  • I don’t understand the false narrative songwriters and then artists push about Christianity being against the law.  Thus is the case with the song, “God Against The Law”.  Same kind of clunky songwriting we got last year with “You Asked Him To Leave” (Wilburn & Wilburn).
  • Do I believe that less Americans identify as a conservative Christian; absolutely.  Do I believe that as a result conservative Christianity has less societal influence than it used to; absolutely.  Do I equate that with Christianity being against the law in the US; absolutely not.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “God Against The Law” and “I Went To Riches From Rags”.

WRAP UP:

If you were a fan of the great mixed groups of the late 80s/early 90s, you will enjoy The News For Today from the Sneed Family.  A strong first effort to send to major retail outlets.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow (Home Forever)”/Ensemble; Jeff – Cliff Adkins  2. “I’ve Never Seen A Promise“/Caleb – Ronny Hinson  3. “The Blood Is Still Strong Enough“/Pam – William Pippin  4. “This Ship Was Built With Storms In Mind”/Amanda – Kristi Fitzwater, Belinda Smith  5. “This Side Of The Grave”/Seth; Jeff – Kyla Rowland  6. “Stronger Back”/Caleb – Doug Gill  7. “I Went To Riches From Rags”/Jacob – Thomas Pelphrey  8. “God Against The Law“/Seth – Jerry Lee Lackey, Ryan Robertson  9. “The News For Today”/Amanda – Aaron Wilburn  10. “Don’t That Sound Like Heaven”/Amanda – Terry Evans  11. “Finish Line”/Ensemble – Carroll McGruder

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