Still Standing: Martins

GRADE:  A-

  • Album:  Still Standing
  • Artist:  Martins
  • Label:  Gaither Gospel Series
  • Style:  Progressive, Modern Country
  • Release Date:  07/13/18
  • Digital Download:  Yes (Apple Music)
  • Running Time:  40 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

Today, we take a look at the new album from the Martins; Still Standing.

The Martins began their recording career in the late 1980’s.  With 30 years in the rear view mirror, 2018 brings the release of Still Standing.  The album was produced by Gordon Mote as part of the Gaither Gospel Series.

Siblings, Joyce Sanders (alto/lead), Jonathan Martin (lead/tenor) and Judy Hess (soprano) continue their progressive Southern Gospel style with Still Standing, while layering in modern country vibes.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Joyce Sanders contributed to four of the eleven songs on Still Standing.  The immediate stand out track is the mid-tempo, “Beautiful”.  This is what listeners have come to expect from the Martins.  A must listen.
  • Joyce commands this album from a vocal stand point as well.  The modern country vibes of “Days Like This (God’s Still God)” give listeners a powerful lyric.
  • She also gets the album started on a strong note with the progressive up-tempo number, “Running”.  This would make for a good concert opener.
  • Modern country is also the sound given on the Judy Hess feature, which is also the title track; “Still Standing”.  I believe this is also the first radio single from album.
  • The trio show off their tight harmonies on “Smell Of Smoke”.  This would make a great Southern Gospel radio single choice.
  • I absolutely love the lyric of “Stained Glass”.  Taking the perspective of what people normally think of stained glass and painting the picture that we’re all dirty (stained) and fragile (glass).
  • Still Standing is full of meaningful lyrics.  Listeners need to also listen to “Heal The Wound”.  The line, “heal the wound but leave the scar” is outstanding.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Beautiful”, “Still Standing”, “Running”, “Stained Glass”, “Day’s Like This (God’s Still God)”, “Good”, “Smell Of Smoke”, “Lotta Life” and “Heal The Wound”.
CRITIQUE:
  • Why were there four years between albums?  The Martins are truly letting listeners realize what they’re missing by not having new music from the group on a regular basis.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Mercy Come In”.

WRAP UP:

Still Standing is the first album to receive an (A-) rating in my reviews in two years.  I don’t mind stating the Martins have always been one of the best groups to ever grace a Southern Gospel stage.  I also don’t mind stating that Still Standing is the best Southern Gospel album I’ve heard in 2018, thus far.

SONG (tempo)/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Running” (Fast)/Joyce – Natalie Cromwell, Val Dacus, Dean Newkork  2. “Beautiful” (Mid)/Joyce; Judy – Don Poythress, Joyce Sanders, Kenna West  3. “Good” (Mid)/Jonathan – David Barnes  4. “Mercy Come In” (Slow)/Judy – Travis Cottrell, David Moffitt, Laura Story  5. “Days Like This (God’s Still God)” (Mid/Fast)/Joyce – Don Poythress, Kenna West  6. “Smell Of Smoke” (Mid)/Ensemble – Jason Cox, Amber Eppinette, Kenna West  7. “Heal The Wound” (Slow)/Joyce – Clinton Lagerberg, Nichole Nordeman  8. “Still Standing” (Mid)/Judy – Don Poythress, Joyce Sanders, Kenna West  9. “Stained Glass” (Mid)/Jonathan – Michael Curtis, Bob Gulley  10. “Lotta Life” (Mid/Fast)/Joyce – Joyce Sanders, Paul Sanders, Jeff Silvey  11. “Wherever You Are” (Slow)/Judy – Joel Lindsey, Harrie McCollough, Joyce Sanders

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Reach: Jordan Family Band

GRADE:  B

  • Album:  Reach
  • Artist:  Jordan Family Band
  • Label:  Skyland
  • Style:  Country, Progressive
  • Release Date:  07/13/18
  • Digital Download:  Yes (Apple Music)
  • Running Time:  37 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

Today, we take a look at the upcoming album from the Jordan Family Band; Reach.  The album hits retail Friday July 13th.

Reach is the third album from the Jordan Family Band, following up Better Days (2015) and Joshua 24:15 (2017).  The Jordan Family Band’s style is country with some progressive Southern Gospel overtones.

The Jordan Family Band is composed of Joshua Jordan (baritone vocals/bass guitar), Randa Jordan (soprano vocals/pianist), Alex Jordan (tenor/lead vocals/mandolin), Hutch Jordan (harmony vocals/lead guitar), Grant Jordan (harmony vocals) and Keenan Atkinson (acoustic guitar).

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Young Alex Jordan (age 13) and his tenor and harmony vocals continues to impress with each new album.  His harmony vocals alongside his mother Randa’s vocals is outstanding.
  • Alex and Randa share verses on the album’s standout track, “Grace Is Still Amazing Me”.  This song needs to be sent to Southern Gospel radio.  This could easily be the group’s first top 10 song!
  • The group’s sound is built around Randa’s vocals and the harmony with Alex.  She gives one of her best performances on “God Is There”.  I would also consider this the most progressive song on the album.
  • She does the same thing with her performance of “Call On Jesus”.  Another must listen.
  • The group can sing traditional country with the best of them.  None more evident than “Shouting In The Middle Of My Storm”.  Joshua and Randa share verses.
  • Don’t want to leave the review without mentioning the album’s opening track, “You”.  This progressive Southern Gospel style song features Alex.  This could also find a home at Southern Gospel radio.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Grace Is Still Amazing Me”, “God Is There”, “Shouting In The Middle Of My Storm”, “Call On Jesus”, “You” and “No Lack Of Love”.
CRITIQUE:
  • I was surprised the record label decided on “You Better Get Right (Or Ya Gonna Get Left)” as the first single.  There are at least six songs on the album that rank above this one.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Moving On”.

WRAP UP:

The Jordan Family Band continues to build upon each previous release.  I would consider Reach the best album the group has given listeners thus far.

SONG (tempo)/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “You” (Mid)/Alex – Joshua Jordan, Randa Jordan, Rebecca Peck  2. “Shouting In The Middle Of My Storm” (Mid)/Randa; Joshua – Joshua Jordan  3. “God Is There” (Slow)/Randa – Bernhard Herms, Jimmy Olander, Marty Roe  4. “You Better Get Right (Or Ya Gonna Get Left)” (Fast)/Ensemble; Alex; Randa – Ricky Atkinson, Joshua Jordan  5. “Heaven Is Just A Memory Away” (Slow)/Joshua – Joshua Jordan  6. “No Lack Of Love” (Mid/Fast)/Hutch – Gerald Reeder  7. “Call On Jesus” (Slow)/Randa – Cindy Johnson  8. “Grace Is Still Amazing Me” (Slow)/Alex; Randa – Joshua Jordan  9. “Moving On” (Fast)/Joshua – Joshua Jordan  10. “Old Glory Waves” (Slow)/Randa; Ensemble – Rebecca Peck

Praise His High And Holy Name: Sons Family

GRADE:  C+

  • Album:  Praise His High And Holy Name
  • Artist:  Sons Family
  • Label:  Chapel Valley
  • Style:  Progressive, Appalachian
  • Release Date:  03/30/18
  • Digital Download:  Yes (Apple Music)
  • Running Time:  38 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

Today, we take a look at the latest album from the Sons Family; Praise His High And Holy Name.

Matriarch, Gayle Sons has led the Sons Family since the early 1980’s.  The group found success in the early 2000’s with hits such as “I Came To Get My Blessing”, “I Went On My Knees A Sinner” and “When I Get There”.

The Sons Family present progressive Southern Gospel music with some Appalachian flair thrown in.  Along with Gayle (alto), the group is composed of son Greg Sons (lead), daughter in law Kim Sons (harmony) and granddaughter Hannah Sons (soprano).

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Gayle Sons and her Appalachian style is the core to the Sons Family’s sound.  The stand out song happens to be the album’s current radio single, “Lean Over A Cloud And Wave”.
  • She also takes the lead on the album’s title track, “Praise His High And Holy Name”.  This song may just end up on your musical playlists.
  • Hannah Sons takes the lead on the progressive, “Story Teller”.  This is a song you could easily hear the Bowling Family doing.
  • The album starts on a strong note with the mid-tempo country flavored, “Dying To Live”.  Hannah and Gayle share verses on this must listen.
  • The strongest up tempo number is “Not About You”.  The song was originally recorded by the Sons Family nearly 15 years ago.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Lean Over A Cloud And Wave”, “Story Teller”, “Not About You”, “Praise His High And Holy Name”, “Satan Don’t Remind Me”, “Forgiven” and “Dying To Live”.
CRITIQUE:
  • The Sons Family attempt to cover the McGruders concert closer, “I’m Just Warmin’ Up”.  No where near the excitement found in that classic version.
  • The group also covered the recent #1 song from the Bowling Family, “Mourning Into Dancing”.  It’s hard to match the caliber of the original.
  • Can we put a moratorium on the recording of “Chain Breaker”?  Please and thank you.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Mourning Into Dancing” and “I’m Just Warmin’ Up”.

WRAP UP:

I was glad to see Gayle Sons decided to put the group together again and record new music.  There are several songs that deserve a listen.

SONG (tempo)/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Dying To Live” (Slow)/Hannah; Gayle – Gina Vera  2. “I’m Just Warmin’ Up” (Fast)/Greg – Tom Trimble  3. “Mourning Into Dancing” (Mid)/Kim – Sue C Smith; Gina Vera  4. “Story Teller” (Mid)/Hannah – Gayle Sons  5. “Loser” (Mid)/Greg – Gayle Sons  6. “Praise His High And Holy Name” (Slow)/Gayle – Elizabeth Scott  7. “Forgiven” (Mid)/Greg – Gayle Sons  8. “Not About You” (Fast)/Hannah – Charlotte Baker, Eric Baker  9. “Chain Breaker” (Mid)/Greg – Mia Fieldes, Jonathan Smith, Zach Williams  10. “Lean Over A Cloud And Wave” (Slow)/Gayle – Gayle Sons  11. “Satan Don’t Remind Me” (Fast)/Hannah – Donetta Conlee

Honor The First Families Of Gospel Music: Hoppers

GRADE:  B-

  • Album:  Honor The First Families Of Gospel Music
  • Artist:  Hoppers
  • Label:  Gaither Gospel Series
  • Style:  Traditional
  • Release Date:  04/06/18
  • Digital Download:  Yes (Apple Music)
  • Running Time:  38 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

Today, we take a look at the tribute album from the Hoppers; Honor The First Families Of Gospel Music.

The award-winning family chose eleven songs from the Gaither catalog.  That tended to keep the Hoppers limited in the songs they could/did record.

The album is traditional Southern Gospel and scaled back musically from what listeners are used to from the hoppers.  There are no over orchestrated, track heavy songs on the recording.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • I want to start by saying the best thing about the album is the scaled back approach the Hoppers took with this recording.  I was happy to not get the over orchestrated tracks listeners have become so accustomed.
  • I also preferred the songs that haven’t been recorded a thousand times before.  The stand out for me was “I’m Longing For Jesus To Come Back”.  The accordion used throughout the song only adds to its charm.
  • The same can also be said of a song remembered from the Chuck Wagon Gang, “Lord Lead Me On”.  A simple arrangement with Connie adding that alto on the chorus makes for a must listen.
  • I also enjoyed that the Hoppers chose to record the Luther G Presley, “I’d Rather Have Jesus” than the George Beverly Shea song of the same name; which has been recorded more times than need be.
  • The album opens with an old song that I can’t recall ever hearing until this recording, “Be An Overcomer”.  The song was also chosen as a radio single from the recording.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “I’m Longing For Jesus To Come Back”, “Some Glad Day”, “Lord Lead Me On”, “I’d Rather Have Jesus”, “Be An Overcomer” and “He Is Mine And I Am His”.
CRITIQUE:
  • Even with the unique Cajun music given to “I Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now”, I did not want to hear another version of this song.
  • For that matter, we can also add “God Walks The Dark Hills”, “He Looked Beyond My Fault” and “Gentle Shepherd” to that list.
  • You know what would have been more unique; one of the biggest mixed groups in the history of the genre honoring Southern Gospel’s greatest quartets.  It would have been neat hearing them record songs like “Meet Me At The Table” (Kingsmen), “John Saw” (Gold City), “The Flowers Kissed The Shoes” (Oak Ridge Boys) and “The Bridegroom Cometh” (Singing Americans) for example.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “I Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now”, “God Walks The Dark Hills” and “He Looked Beyond My Fault”.

WRAP UP:

The Hoppers have nothing to prove.  They have given Southern Gospel listeners nearly 30 years of unparalleled success, with the same vocal line-up.  That is unheard of in Southern Gospel music.

SONG (tempo)/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Be An Overcomer” (Mid/Fast)/Ensemble – Andrew Byers, Charles Naylor  2. “Lord Lead Me On” (Mid)/Ensemble; Connie – Marion Easterling  3. “God Walks The Dark Hills” (Slow)/Kim – Audra Czarnikow  4. “I’m Longing For Jesus To Come Back” (Mid/Fast)/Connie – Traditional  5. “One More River” (Mid/Fast)/Dean; Kim – Bud Chambers  6. “He Is Mine And I Am His” (Slow)/Ensemble; Claude – George T Speer  7. “I Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now” (Fast)/Claude – Jimmie Davis, Rusty Goodman  8. “I’d Rather Have Jesus” (Slow)/Ensemble; Connie – Luther G Presley  9. “He Looked Beyond My Fault” (Slow)/Ensemble; Kim – Dottie Rambo  10. “Some Glad Day” (Mid/Fast)/Ensemble – Will Ramsey, Clyde Williams  11. “Gentle Shepherd” (Slow)/Ensemble – Gloria Gaither, William Gaither

Everywhere I Go: 3 Heath Brothers

GRADE:  B-

  • Album:  Everywhere I Go
  • Artist:  3 Heath Brothers
  • Label:  Custom
  • Style:  Progressive, Acappella
  • Release Date:  02/02/18
  • Digital Download:  Yes (Apple Music)
  • Running Time:  43 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

Today, we take a look at the latest album from new group the 3 Heath Brothers; Everywhere I Go.

Listeners immediately hear the talent these three young kids possess.  The brothers hired Roger Talley to produce this first major release to the Southern Gospel listening audience.

The siblings are Nicholas (age 17), and twins Christian and Clayton (age 15).

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The harmony these brothers possess, at this age, is truly staggering.  I was impressed.  You can tell they have been singing together nearly their entire lives.
  • The album kicks off with the title track, which is also the first single and strongest song from the recording.  “Everywhere I Go” shows the strength in harmony but also portrays the youthfulness of the group.
  • Even more impressive is the acappella strength of the 3 Heath Brothers.  They blew me away with their rendition of the hymn, “From Every Stormy Wind”.  Glad they took a song many are not familiar.  This is a must listen!
  • Speaking of acappella, the trio has a nice version of the Southern Gospel classic, “I Don’t Wanna Live No More Without Jesus”.
  • Another fun, youthful song is the group’s cover of another classic hymn, “For I Know Whom I Have Believed”.  If you’re not careful, you may forget this song is a classic hymn.
  • Don’t want to leave this review without mentioning the brother’s cover of Joseph Habedank’s, “Just When You Thought”.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Everywhere I Go”, “From Every Stormy Wind”, “Pray Hard”, “For I Know Whom I Have Believed”, “We Believe”, “Forever Home” and “I Don’t Wanna Live No More Without Jesus”.
CRITIQUE:
  • Speaking of Joseph Habedank covers, the brothers attempt to cover “If You Knew Him”.  With the power contained in the original version, any other version is weak in comparison.  At least the boys know how to pronounce ‘direction’.
  • Why oh why did they record “A Place In The Choir”.  One of the worst songs I’ve heard recorded in Southern Gospel during the last decade.  The Browns version was absolute torture.
  • I also didn’t understand the placement of the pop song, “Can’t Help Falling In Love”.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “The National Anthem”, “Can’t Help Falling In Love” and “A Place In The Choir”.

WRAP UP:

The 3 Heath Brothers would have been best served cutting the album to 10 songs.  With that said, these brothers are the best young group to come along in Southern Gospel music since the Erwins.  What an impressive first effort!  There is definitely a bright future ahead.

SONG (tempo)/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Everywhere I Go” (Fast)/Ensemble – Jason Ingram, Paul Mabury, Tim Timmons  2. “From Every Stormy Wind” (Acappella)/Ensemble – Thomas Hastings, Hugh Stowell  3. “We Believe” (Slow)/Ensemble – Nathan Digrese, Richie Fike, Matthew Hooper, Travis Ryan, Dan Scott  4. “For I Know Whom I Have Believed” (Fast)/Ensemble – Thomas Hastings, Hugh Stowell  5. “Pray Hard” (Slow)/Nicholas – Carolyn Cross, Kristi Fitzwater, Bev Herrema, Dixie Phillips  6. “I Don’t Wanna Live No More Without Jesus” (Acappella)/Ensemble – Carvel Horton  7. “Just When You Thought” (Slow)/Nicholas – Michael Farren, Joseph Habedank, Wayne Haun  8. “A Place In The Choir” (Fast)/Ensemble – Bill Staines  9. “Can’t Help Falling In Love” (Acappella)/Ensemble – Luigi Creatore, Hugo Peretti, George David Weiss  10. “Forever Home” (Slow)/Ensemble – Jason Cox, Joel Lindsey  11. “My Savior First Of All” (Acappella)/Ensemble – Fanny Crosby, John Sweney  12. “If You Knew Him” (Slow)/Ensemble – Rodney Griffin, Joseph Habedank  13. “The National Anthem” (Acappella)/Ensemble – Francis Scott Key

Faithful Again: Taylors

GRADE:  B+

  • Album:  Faithful Again
  • Artist:  Taylors
  • Label:  Stow Town
  • Style:  Progressive, Country
  • Release Date:  04/27/18
  • Digital Download:  Yes (Apple Music)
  • Running Time:  35 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

Today, we take a look at the latest album from the Taylors; Faithful Again.

This marks the third album released for the Taylors under the Stow Town record label.  It is also the second recording for the group since moving to a trio vocal configuration.  The album gives listeners nine new songs, that range from progressive Southern Gospel to some country flavored songs.

The Taylors are all siblings; Jonathan (lead/tenor), Suzanne Hise (soprano) and Chris (baritone).

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Jonathan is featured on the album’s stand out tracks.  The first is the modern country flavored, “Anything Less”.  It is good to see the name Adina Bowman on songwriter credits again.  This would be a great choice for Southern Gospel radio.
  • Next up is the Taylors cover of the Heirloom classic, “Mountain Of Sorrow”; from the 1991 album release, Uncommon Love.  So happy to hear this song again!
  • Lee Black and Scott Inman have been combining for some really strong up-tempo songs recently.  Another is “I Pray Every Day”, which fit the Taylors perfectly.  The soprano vocals of Suzanne takes the lead on this number.
  • Another strong up-tempo song, “Love Still Flows”, is a must listen.  Suzanne is also featured on this tune that you will soon be singing along.
  • Speaking of Suzanne, she turns in a strong performance on the progressive ballad, “Making Me Stronger”.
  • The sound/style of Faithful Again is heard from the first notes of the opening title track.  Chris is featured on this song that would also make for a great concert opening song.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Mountain Of Sorrow”, “Anything Less”, “I Pray Every Day”, “Faithful Again”, “Making Me Stronger” and “Love Still Flows”.
CRITIQUE:
  • I like the idea of artists releasing album’s with fewer, greater songs than an album of 12 or more songs with several fillers.
  • A down side is, one mediocre song on a nine song album could bring down its overall appeal.
  • The praise/worship style tune that closes the album felt out-of-place.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Honored, Exalted & Glorified”.

WRAP UP:

2018 marks a decade for the Taylors as a Southern Gospel recording artist.  The siblings have consistently improved their vocals, harmony and stage presentation.  While I miss the traditional mixed quartet sound the group had with four vocalists, Faithful Again is their best recording since moving to a trio vocal configuration.

SONG (tempo)/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Faithful Again” (Mid)/Chris – Kristi Fitzwater, Donna King, Joel Shoemake  2. “Anything Less” (Mid)/Jonathan – Adina Bowman, Denny Livingston, Brittany Potter  3. “Love Still Flows” (Fast)/Suzanne – Jeff Bumgardner, Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey  4. “Every Hallelujah” (Mid/Fast)/Suzanne – Karen Gillespie, Helga Kaefer  5. “Mountain Of Sorrow” (Slow)/Jonathan – Jim Chapman, Tony Elenburg  6. “Making Me Stronger” (Slow)/Suzanne – Richard Blythe, Sandy Blythe  7. “I Pray Every Day” (Fast)/Chris – Lee Black, Scott Inman  8. “The Sweetest Name I Know” (Slow)/Jonathan, Suzanne – Marty Funderburk, Rachel McCutcheon  9. “Honored, Exalted & Glorified” (Slow)/Suzanne – Geron Davis, Wayne Haun

Unexpected: Jason Crabb

GRADE:  B

  • Album:  Unexpected
  • Artist:  Jason Crabb
  • Label:  Daywind
  • Style:  Progressive, Country, Pop
  • Release Date:  04/20/18
  • Digital Download:  Yes (Apple Music)
  • Running Time:  41 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

Today we take a look at the latest album from Jason Crabb, Unexpected.

Unexpected is not the reality of this new recording, it is actually everything we as listeners have come to expect from Jason Crabb.  Staying true to his roots while providing pop and CCM sounds.

Unexpected is a return to Southern Gospel record label Daywind.  Surprisingly, the return to Daywind gives listeners a less Southern Gospel friendly recording than Jason’s previous effort; Whatever The Road (2015).

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The album comes barreling out of the gate with the ‘hard driving’ country tune, “Expect The Unexpected”.  Flavors of Jason’s past with the Crabb Family show in this particular song.
  • The first single from the recording, “Washed By The Water”, is the most Southern Gospel friendly song on the album.  The funky melody lends to the overall appeal of the song.
  • There is enough progressive Southern Gospel sounds in Jason’s cover of “Chose To Be My Friend” to make it enjoyable.  The Crabb Family originally recorded the song in 2001 (Living Out The Dream).  Rascal Flatts member Gary LeVox joins Jason for this number.
  • Speaking of Duets, Kaya Jones joins Jason on the modern country ballad, “Let It Be Love”.
  • Jason goes mainstream country on the song “Short Are The Years”.  A familiar trope of not letting life pass you by; enjoy every moment because short are the years.
  • Jason deserves kudos for contributing his songwriting talents to seven of the ten songs on the album.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Washed By The Water”, “Expect The Unexpected”, “Day One”, “Chose To Be My Friend”, “The Love In Your Heart Knows The Way”, “Love Will Have The Final Word” and “Let It Be Love”.
CRITIQUE:
  • Stylistically, Unexpected might find trouble appealing to a mainstream Southern Gospel listener.
  • Whatever The Road (2015) gave Jason 4 top ten singles on the Southern Gospel radio chart, two of those going #1.  I was hard pressed to find two songs on Unexpected that could be top ten hits.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Mercy We Can’t Go Beyond” and “He Made You”.

WRAP UP:

Jason Crabb has built a fan base unmatched by most Southern Gospel artists; appealing to a broad spectrum of listeners.  Unexpected will appeal to Jason’s core fan base.  For the more mainstream Southern Gospel listener, Unexpected doesn’t match the caliber of Whatever The Road (2015).

SONG (Style) – Songwriter:  1. “Expect The Unexpected” (Modern Country) – Jason Crabb, Tony Wood, Jimmy Yeary  2. “Day One” (Pop) – Jason Crabb, Gloria Gaynor, Chris Stevens  3. “Chose To Be My Friend” (Progressive Southern Gospel) – Gerald Crabb  4. “Mercy We Can’t Go Beyond” (Pop) – Jason Crabb, Jay DeMarcus, Don Koch  5. “Let It Be Love” (Modern Country) – Jason Crabb, Michael Farren, Kenna West  6. “Short Are The Years” (Country) – Michael Boggs, Neil Thrasher, Bryan White  7. “Washed By The Water” (Progressive Southern Gospel) – Dave Barnes, Jason Crabb, Jordan Reynolds  8. “He Made You” (Modern Country) – Al Babcock  9. “Love Will Have The Final Word” (Pop) – Jason Crabb, Michael Farren, Tony Wood  10. “The Love In Your Heart Knows The Way” (Country) – Ronnie Bowman, Chadley Brasfield, Jason Crabb

The Light Just Came On: Hinson Family

GRADE:  B

  • Album:  The Light Just Came On
  • Artist:  Hinson Family
  • Label:  Song Garden
  • Style:  Country, Traditional
  • Release Date:  03/23/18
  • Digital Download:  Yes (Apple Music)
  • Running Time:  46 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

Today, we take a look at the latest album from the Hinson Family; The Light Just Came On.

Weston Hinson is carrying on the Hinson legacy that started with father Kenny Hinson, uncles Larry and Ronny Hinson and aunt Yvonne Johnson.  The Hinsons carved out a loyal fan base that remains to this day.  One only needs to go to YouTube to find the original Hinsons one of the most viewed Southern Gospel artists.

Weston Hinson (lead) is joined by wife Christy Hinson (soprano) and daughter Jordan Honea (alto).  The Light Just Came On keeps that classic Hinson sound/style alive.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Weston Hinson does his father proud by carrying on that country-style lead vocal that made the original Hinsons sound so distinct.  And he does it with some classic Hinson style barn burners.
  • “It Happened That Day” takes some riffs from “I Never Shall Forget The Day” to produce a modern-day Hinson classic.  The original Hinsons would absolutely command a live concert setting with this song.
  • Weston continues that theme with the album’s current radio single, “A Stones Throw Away”.  Original member Larry Hinson penned this must listen.
  • Christy and her commanding soprano vocal has the album’s ballad highlights.  “Say The Word” is a big orchestrated number that builds throughout until a big powerful ending.
  • The classic country sounds of the original group is also found on “I Want To Know”.  This song brings out a crying steel guitar to add to the overall feel of the song.
  • That crying steel guitar is also heard on the Gerald Crabb penned title track, “The Light Just Came On”.  Weston and the close similarity to his father’s vocal on this song will have you hitting repeat.
  • Listener’s are treated to another song in this vein with the album’s opening track, “When He Comes On The Scene”.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “It Happened That Day”, “I Want To Know”, “Say The Word”, “A Stones Throw Away”, “How Can I Doubt That”, “When He Comes On The Scene”, “The Light Just Came On” and “Worthless”.
CRITIQUE:
  • The album’s pacing trends heavy to slow tempo songs, with 9 of the 12 songs being slow tempo.
  • That gives the album a total listening time of 46 minutes.
  • The group could have left off the two weakest slow tempo numbers for better pacing.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Road To Damascus”.

WRAP UP:

For those listeners who enjoyed the original Hinsons, you will want to get this recording.  The Light Just Came On is a great tribute to the Hinson legacy while also forging a sound that is distinct to this current iteration of the Hinson Family.

SONG (tempo)/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “When He Comes On The Scene” (Slow)/Weston – Christy Hinson, Weston Hinson, Tery Wilkins  2. “Road To Damascus” (Slow)/Jordan – Christy Hinson  3. “How Can I Doubt That” (Slow)/Christy – Christy Hinson  4. “The Light Just Came On” (Slow)/Weston – Gerald Crabb  5. “Another Day” (Fast)/Jordan – Lee Black, Michael Farren, Kenna West  6. “Say The Word” (Slow)/Christy – Christy Hinson  7. “It Happened That Day” (Fast)/Weston – Jim Davis, Randall Garland, Tery Wilkins  8. “Worthless” (Slow)/Christy – Christy Hinson  9. “You’re Forgiven” (Slow)/Jordan – Jordan Honea  10. “A Stones Throw Away” (Fast)/Weston – Larry Hinson  11. “I Want To Know” (Slow)/Christy – Christy Hinson, Weston Hinson  12. “Ready Or Not” (Slow)/Weston; Jordan; Christy – Jason Cox, Chris Unthank, Kenna West