All The Way: Shireys

GRADE:  B-

  • Album:  All The Way
  • Artist:  Shireys
  • Label:  Custom
  • Style:  Traditional, Appalachian
  • Release Date:  02/23/18
  • Digital Download:  Yes (Apple Music)
  • Running Time:  48 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

Day two of our final week of 2018 album reviews takes a look at the latest album from the Shireys; All The Way.

It was a result of a single song performance on the 2018 National Quartet Convention broadcast that caused me to give this group a listen.  All The Way is my introduction to the music of the Shireys.

The Shireys is a family trio out of South Carolina composed of daughter Rachael Flowers (lead/soprano), father Wayne Shirey (baritone) and mother Darlene Shirey (alto).  The Shireys sing traditional Southern Gospel music with Appalachian sounds; think McKameys or Singing Cookes.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • That song I heard on the 2018 NQC broadcast that caused me to listen to this recording; “Because Of The Blood”.  This was the stand out song on All The Way and also happens to be the group’s current radio single.
  • There was a block of songs in the middle of the recording that deserve a listen.  The Joseph Habedank/Dianne Wilkinson co-write, “Journey To His Throne” would be a strong choice for radio single possibilities.  A great up-tempo, convention style song.
  • Rachael then follows that up with the country flavored ballad, “Why Should I Worry”.  This style is the Shireys at their best.
  • That Appalachian style is evident with Darlene’s country alto vocal.  She turns in a nice cover of the Felecia Shiflett classic, “Empty Vessel” which was a top ten song for the Kingsmen in 1984/1985.
  • Father, Wayne Shirey has a stand out song with “Miracle Waiting To Happen”.  Another country-style song.
  • While the first half of All The Way is stronger than the second half, there is a progressive Southern Gospel song near the end of the recording, “Awake”, that deserves a listen.
  • Strongest songs included in order: “Because Of The Blood”, “Journey To His Throne”, “Why Should I Worry”, “Miracle Waiting To Happen”, “Awake”, “Empty Vessel” and “Watching And Waiting”.
CRITIQUE:
  • I think All The Way would have been a stronger listen if the album was reduced to the 9 best songs.  I would have taken the first 8 songs on the album, added “Awake” and cut the rest.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “I Met The Master”, “Love Goes A Mighty Long Way” and “I Must Be Getting Closer”.

WRAP UP:

I was pleasantly surprised with my introduction to the music of the Shireys.  While the group attempted to do too much with the number of songs on All The Way, there is a strong handful of songs that deserve your attention.

SONG (tempo)/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Watching And Waiting” (Fast)/Ensemble – Victoria Bowlin  2. “That’s How You Know” (Mid/Fast)/Rachael – Joseph Habedank, Dianne Wilkinson  3. “Miracle Waiting To Happen” (Slow)/Wayne – Larry Collie  4. “Empty Vessel” (Mid)/Darlene – Felecia Shiflett  5. “Because Of The Blood” (Mid)/Rachael – Victoria Bowlin, Jacob Crisp  6. “Journey To His Throne” (Fast)/Wayne – Joseph Habedank, Dianne Wilkinson  7. “Why Should I Worry” (Slow)/Rachael – Ricky Simpson  8. “We’re Almost Home” (Fast)/Darlene – Victoria Bowlin  9. “I’m Not The Same” (Fast)/Rachael – Larry Collie  10. “I Met The Master” (Slow)/Wayne – Mosie Lister  11. “Love Goes A Mighty Long Way” (Fast)/Rachael – Joseph Habedank, Dianne Wilkinson  12. “I Must Be Getting Closer” (Slow)/Darlene – Ronny Hinson  13. “Awake” (Mid)/Rachael – Victoria Bowlin  14. “All The Way” (Slow)/Darlene; Rachael – Phil Cross

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