We Have This Moment: Gaither Vocal Band

GRADE:  B+

  • Album:  We Have This Moment
  • Artist:  Gaither Vocal Band
  • Label:  Spring House Productions
  • Style:  Progressive, Inspirational
  • Release Date:  10/13/17
  • Digital Download:  Yes (Apple Music)
  • Running Time:  50 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

Today we take a look at the new album from the Gaither Vocal Band, We Have This Moment.

The Vocal Band has seen their fair share of personnel shifts the last couple of years.  The vocal line-up on We Have This Moment includes Wes Hampton (tenor), Adam Crabb (lead/baritone), Reggie Smith (baritone/lead), Todd Suttles (bass/baritone) and Bill Gaither (baritone/harmony vocals).

We Have This Moment gives current listeners a taste of the Vocal Band style in the mid/late 1980’s.  The group’s progressive Southern Gospel sounds are combined with the inspirational sounds of the mid ’80’s group to create this newest recording.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The album kicks off on a strong note with the fun, up-tempo, “Hallelujah Band”.  The song was chosen as the first radio single from the album and it is definitely the best choice.
  • Another fun song, “Manna From Heaven”, has a 40’s flair.  Todd Suttles gets to show off a bit on a song that would translate well to the concert stage.
  • Wes goes into falsetto mode on his stand out feature, “Livin’ In The Rhythm Of Grace”.  This inspirational country-style tune is one that could find a home on Southern Gospel radio.
  • Adam is featured on the modern country, praise/worship style song, penned by father Gerald Crabb; “You Amaze Me”.  Adam originally recorded this song with his own group, Crabb Revival.
  • Big production style songs are evident on We Have This Moment.  Songs like “Hymn Of Praise” and “Man Of Sorrows” will please your palate, if you enjoy this style of song.
  • Todd and Adam trade verses on the Bill and Gloria classic, “I’ll Worship Only At The Feet Of Jesus”.
  • Kudos to Gordon Mote for co-producing We Have This Moment with Bill Gaither.  Captured the excitement of a live Gaither Vocal Band experience on a studio recording.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Hallelujah Band”, “Manna From Heaven”, “Livin’ In The Rhythm Of Grace”, “Man Of Sorrows”, “You Amaze Me”, “Hymn Of Praise”, “We Are The Sands We Are The Stars” and “I’ll Worship Only At The Feet Of Jesus”.
CRITIQUE:
  • Another version of “Chain Breaker”.  See the Freemans review from earlier in the week.
  • The Gaither Vocal Band go all praise/worship on the Chris Tomlin cover, “Jesus Messiah”.  No thank you.
  • “We Are All God’s Children” also crosses too far on the inspirational spectrum to be enjoyable.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Jesus Messiah” and “We Are All God’s Children”.

WRAP UP:

The Gaither Vocal Band has consistently been the highest selling artist in Southern Gospel music, with each album release.  I have no doubt We Have This Moment will also sell a ton of records for the group.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Hallelujah Band”/Ensemble – Becca Mizell, Sam Mizell  2. “Man Of Sorrows“/Reggie; Ensemble – Phillip Bliss  3. “Livin’ In The Rhythm Of Grace“/Wes – William J Gaither, Larry Gatlin  4. “I’ll Worship Only At The Feet Of Jesus”/Todd; Adam; Reggie – Gloria Gaither, William J Gaither, JD Miller  5. “Chain Breaker”/Adam – Mia Fieldes, Jonathan Smith, Zach Williams  6. “Manna From Heaven”/Todd; Ensemble – Chip Davis, William J Gaither, Dony McGuire, Reba Rambo McGuire  7. “We Are The Sands, We Are The Stars”/Todd – Gloria Gaither, Dony McGuire, Reba Rambo McGuire  8. “We Are All God’s Children”/Ensemble – Benjy Gaither, Todd Suttles, Sarah Beth Terry  9. “Jesus Messiah”/Wes; Adam – Daniel Carson, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves, Chris Tomlin  10. “You Amaze Me”/Adam – Gerald Crabb  11. “We Have This Moment Today”/Bill – Gloria Gaither, William J Gaither  12. “Hymn Of Praise”/Wes; Reggie – Gloria Gaither, William J Gaither, Gordon Mote

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Tower Of Song: Freemans

GRADE:  B

  • Album:  Tower Of Song
  • Artist:  Freemans
  • Label:  Custom
  • Style:  Country
  • Release Date:  08/11/17
  • Digital Download:  No
  • Running Time:  39 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

This week we take a look at the latest album from the Freemans, Tower Of Song.

The Freemans are about to celebrate 35 years in Southern Gospel music.  In that 35 years this family has been consistent in the country gospel style they’ve provided listeners.  That influence coming not only from Darrell’s family group, the Pathways but also Chris’ time spent with the Hinsons, in the 1970’s.

Tower Of Song is representative of that country gospel style.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Darrell’s traditional country vocal could fit in with country legends Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings.  “Wide River To Cross” is the best representation of this classic country sound.
  • One of the best radio singles of the entire year is “It Still Takes The Blood”.  Also one of the best songs of the Freemans recording career!
  • Long time member and keyboardist, Joe Freeman is featured on one of the best songs on Tower Of Song; “When He Loves Me Most”.  The song was originally recorded on the group’s 2001 recording, Highway.
  • Darrell provides his traditional country vocal on another stand out, “God Of The Storm”.  This mid-tempo song would make a strong choice for radio single.
  • The album closes on a fun note with the up-tempo “Send An Angel By My Way (King Jesus)”.  The song was penned by Darrell and Joe’s uncle.  This song is perfect for the concert stage.
  • Can’t leave a Freemans review without mentioning Chris.  Her best feature on Tower Of Song is the mid-tempo, “One Foot On The Water”.
  • Dony McGuire and Michael Sykes helped Darrell on producing duties.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “It Still Takes The Blood”, “When He Loves Me Most”, “Wide River To Cross”, “God Of The Storm”, “Send An Angel By My Way (King Jesus)”, “One Foot On The Water” and “God Put A Rainbow In The Clouds”.
CRITIQUE:
  • “Chain Breaker” is the 2017 song to be recorded by multiple artists.  Why?  While a good song, I don’t believe it is of the caliber that every group should jump on the bandwagon to get their own version out.
  • I know she just released a solo EP, but I thought listeners would at least be treated with one Misty Freeman feature.  Not so.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Chain Breaker” and “Tears Will Never Stain The Streets Of That City”.

WRAP UP:

Tower Of Song is traditional country sounds at its best.  If you like that mixed with your Southern Gospel listening, you’ll want to find yourself a copy of Tower Of Song.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “It Still Takes The Blood”/Ensemble; Chris – Gerald Crabb  2. “God Of The Storm“/Darrell – Reba Rambo McGuire, Tery Wilkins  3. “Chain Breaker“/Darrell – Mia Fieldes, Jonathan Smith, Zach Williams  4. “One Foot On The Water”/Chris – Chip Davis, Dony McGuire, Reba Rambo McGuire  5. “When He Loves Me Most”/Joe – Wayne Carson, Rodney Lay Jr, Mike Richards  6. “She Sang The Fire Out Of It”/Chris – Jerry Salley, Kenna West  7. “Wide River To Cross”/Darrell – Buddy Miller, Julie Anne Miller  8. “God Put A Rainbow In The Clouds”/Darrell; Ensemble – Larry Petree  9. “Back To God”/Caylon – Dallas Davidson, Randy Houser  10. “Tears Will Never Stain The Streets Of That City”/Chris – Dottie Rambo  11. “Send An Angel By My Way (King Jesus)”/Ensemble – Joe Freeman

Beyond Amazed: Brian Free and Assurance

GRADE:  B

  • Album:  Beyond Amazed
  • Artist:  Brian Free and Assurance
  • Label:  Daywind
  • Style:  Progressive, CCM
  • Release Date:  09/29/17
  • Digital Download:  Yes (Apple Music)
  • Running Time:  36 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

This week we take a look at the new album from Brian Free and Assurance, Beyond Amazed.

Beyond Amazed is the second album since the group went back to a trio vocal configuration.  Brian Free and Assurance also continue their long recording career with Daywind Records.

The group continues their progressive Southern Gospel style and Beyond Amazed even drifts a bit further into the CCM spectrum.  Will it be too much for the general Southern Gospel listener?  Let’s find out.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Brian takes the lead on the album’s first radio single, “He Can Take It”.  Hearing Brian move closer to a lead vocal range and away from the sometimes shrill tenor vocal is an absolute must hear.  Long time listeners will get Brian’s famous tenor range in the chorus.  Enjoyed this song!
  • The most Southern Gospel friendly song on the album is a Lee Black/Aaron Wilburn co-write; “Everything He Forgot”.  Lead vocalist Bill Shivers works his usual vocal magic on this particular number.
  • Bill also gets the feature on the album’s opening track, “Anything Is Possible”.  This is the progressive Southern Gospel sound listeners have come to expect from the group.
  • Bill closes the album with a touching song, “Unheard”.  It is a nice reminder that no prayer goes unheard.
  • Baritone vocalist Mike Roger’s best feature is the CCM infused “The Voice Of Jesus”.  An all around fun song.
  • The songwriters found on Beyond Amazed is beyond amazing!  Song selection is the best you’ll find.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “He Can Take It”, “Everything He Forgot”, “Unheard”, “Anything Is Possible”, “The Voice Of Jesus”, “The End Of Grace” and “Beyond Amazed”.
CRITIQUE:
  • While I thoroughly enjoyed “He Can Take It” and Brian’s vocal approach, I thought Brian had one of the weaker performances of his recording career on “At The Cross”.
  • The stylistic approach taken on Beyond Amazed may have gone a bit too far for the general Southern Gospel listener.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “At The Cross” and “Sometimes You Need A Song”.

WRAP UP:

Brian Free and Assurance have been innovators of progressive Southern Gospel music in this modern era.  They continue to test stylistic boundaries on each new recording.  The Brian Free and Assurance you hear in 2017 is not what you heard in 2007.  You need to decide if the stylistic boundaries is too far for your listening pleasure.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Anything Is Possible”/Bill – Lee Black, Kenna Turner West  2. “He Can Take It“/Brian – Jeffrey Bumgardner, Sue C Smith, Kenna Turner West  3. “Beyond Amazed“/Mike – Jason Cox, Dan Koch, Sue C Smith  4. “Leave With Nothing Left”/Bill – Lee Black, Dave Clark, Michael Farren  5. “The Voice Of Jesus”/Mike – Lee Black, Dan Koch  6. “Everything He Forgot”/Bill – Lee Black, Aaron Wilburn  7. “At The Cross”/Brian – Lee Black, Devin McGlamery, Sue C Smith  8. “Sometimes You Need A Song”/Mike – Marty Funderburk, Sue C Smith  9. “The End Of Grace”/Brian – Joseph Habedank, Sue C Smith, Tony Wood  10. “Unheard”/Bill – Lee Black, Gina Boe

The Last Big Thing: Kingdom Heirs

GRADE:  B+

  • Album:  The Last Big Thing
  • Artist:  Kingdom Heirs
  • Label:  Sonlite
  • Style:  Traditional, Country
  • Release Date:  09/29/17
  • Digital Download:  Yes (Apple Music)
  • Running Time:  40 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

This week we take a look at the new album from the Kingdom Heirs, The Last Big Thing.

The Kingdom Heirs have been busy in 2017.  The Last Big Thing will mark the third album from the quartet this year.  Carolina Live was released in January while Something Good was provided to listeners in February.

The Kingdom Heirs/Dianne Wilkinson combo continues on The Last Big Thing as she contributed to six of the eleven new songs on the recording.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The biggest move for the Kingdom Heirs was adding Loren Harris as baritone vocalist.  His seasoned, powerful baritone vocal adds so much to the group’s sound.
  • Loren proves that by getting the feature on the album’s stand out track, “Telling The Story”.  This mid-tempo, Kyla Rowland, song has an Appalachian feel that would fit right at home on a McKameys album.  Great song!
  • The Last Big Thing, while traditional Southern Gospel quartet music, also has some country flavored songs that provide variety for the listener.  The best of this style is the Jerry Martin feature, “Just Another Mile”.  Thank you Dianne Wilkinson for this song!  It is a throw back to the sounds of ’70s Southern Gospel.  The song is also credited as Dianne’s 1,000th song!!
  • Each vocal member of the group is allowed the spotlight.  Jeff is given three features on The Last Big Thing.  The best is the catchy, up-tempo, “Victory”.  This song needs to go to radio.
  • Arthur’s stand out performance is one you would expect to hear from him on a Kingdom Heirs album; a traditional Southern Gospel ballad.  “Heaven Was Counting To Three” is one you will definitely want to give a listen.
  • Arthur also gets the feature on the traditional Kingdom Heirs up-tempo song, the album’s opening track; “Plenty Of Singing”.
  • The album’s closing song, which is also an Arthur feature, has an opening musical score that you would expect to hear on a classic Christmas standard.  “I’ll Trust You With Tomorrow” is a nice mellow close to the album.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Telling The Story”, “Just Another Mile”, “Victory”, “Heaven Was Counting To Three”, “Plenty Of Singing”, “I’ll Trust You With Tomorrow” and “The Last Big Thing”.
CRITIQUE:
  • There has not been one Southern Gospel album release this year that has absolutely blown me away.  An album starts with some really great material and then hits a road bump with several mediocre songs.
  • There are a couple of up-tempo ditties in the middle of the album that doesn’t stand up to the rest of the album.
  • I’m not too keen on the album art.  As far as Southern Gospel music is concerned, I always prefer album art that has the group pictured on the cover.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “I Wanna Do More” and “Heroes Of Faith”.

WRAP UP:

The Kingdom Heirs have been giving Southern Gospel listeners traditional Southern Gospel quartet music now for over thirty years.  While The Last Big Thing is not as strong as the group’s previous effort, A New Look; it is the best quartet album of 2017, thus far.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Plenty Of Singing”/Ensemble; Arthur – Dianne Wilkinson, Daryl Williams  2. “Victory“/Jeff – Rebecca J Peck, Dianne Wilkinson  3. “Telling The Story“/Ensemble; Loren  – Kyla Rowland, Jessica Thomas  4. “The Last Big Thing”/Arthur – Rebecca J Peck, Dianne Wilkinson  5. “Heroes Of Faith”/Jerry – Gerald Crabb  6. “I Wanna Do More”/Jeff – Dennis Murphy  7. “Heaven Was Counting To Three”/Arthur – Jim Brady, Rodney Griffin  8. “Heaven Just Got Sweeter For You”/Jeff – Jerry Salley, Dianne Wilkinson  9. “Just Another Mile”/Jerry – Dianne Wilkinson  10. “Live It Up”/Ensemble; Loren – Jerry Salley, Aaron Wilburn  11. “I’ll Trust You With Tomorrow”/Arthur – Dianne Wilkinson

Eyes On The Road: Akins

GRADE:  B

  • Album:  Eyes On The Road
  • Artist:  Akins
  • Label:  Custom
  • Style:  Country, Inspirational
  • Release Date:  08/25/17
  • Digital Download:  Yes (Apple Music)
  • Running Time:  35 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

This week we take a look at the new album from Akins, Eyes On The Road.

It has been three years since Akins gave listeners new music with their 2014 release, Vintage.  Eyes On The Road continues Akins country sound/style that separates them from the pack in Southern Gospel music.

Akins is a family band centering around the lead vocals of Nick Akin (lead/acoustic guitar).  Eli Akin (harmony vocals/banjo/fiddle/acoustic/lead guitar) and David Akin (harmony vocals/pianist/bass guitar) round out the group.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Eyes On The Road starts off with some great up-tempo country sounds in the title track.  If I’m not mistaken this is also the first radio single from the album.  You may just be hitting repeat before continuing to the rest of the album.
  • Front man, Nick Akin contributed to all ten songs on the album.  Hearing him interpret his own composition, “Dying To Be With You” is one of the strongest moments on the album.  This is a must listen!
  • Another of Nick’s own compositions, “You’ll Never Break A Promise” is a modern country medium tempo standard and one you don’t want to overlook.
  • The family band present another great up-tempo song that is probably the most Southern Gospel friendly on the album; “Seek First”.
  • Father, David Akin, is featured on the album’s closing track, “As For Me And My House”.  Another up-tempo number and one where the listener knows the featured vocalist lived the words he sung.
  • Nick, Eli and David share the vocals on another stand out track, “Down To Nothing”.
  • Kudos to the group on contributing to every song on the recording.  From the writing, to the vocals, the arranging and the producing.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Dying To Be With You”, “Eyes On The Road”, “You’ll Never Break A Promise”, “Seek First”, “As For Me And My House”, “Down To Nothing” and “The Lullaby”.
CRITIQUE:
  • The country-style that Akins give listeners may not appeal to a swath of the Southern Gospel listener.
  • I thought a couple of songs tended to fall on the inspirational spectrum instead of sticking to the group’s country sound.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “I Need Your Love To Love Her” and “God Revive Us”.

WRAP UP:

Akins has been in my musical playlists since the release of their debut album, Good Tired (2008).  They brought a style/sound that has been missing since the exit of the Mid South Boys.  Eyes On The Road is another in a list of albums that gives listeners just that; a great country sound/style that should be embraced in Southern Gospel music.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Eyes On The Road”/Eli; Nick; David – David Akin, Eli Akin, Nick Akin, Whitney Akin  2. “Seek First“/Nick – Eli Akin, Nick Akin  3. “I Need Your Love To Love Her“/Nick  – David Akin, Eli Akin, Nick Akin, Whitney Akin  4. “You’ll Never Break A Promise”/Nick – Nick Akin  5. “Dying To Be With You”/Nick – Nick Akin  6. “Down To Nothing”/David; Nick; Eli – Nick Akin  7. “The Lullaby”/Eli – Eli Akin; Whitney Akin  8. “God Revive Us”/Nick – Nick Akin  9. “It All Comes Back”/Eli; Nick; David – David Akin, Eli Akin, Nick Akin, Whitney Akin  10. “As For Me And My House”/David – David Akin, Nick Akin

Still Happy: Goodman Revival

GRADE:  B

  • Album:  Still Happy
  • Artist:  Goodman Revival
  • Label:  Gaither Music Group
  • Style:  Traditional, Progressive
  • Release Date:  08/25/17
  • Digital Download:  Yes (Apple Music)
  • Running Time:  34 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

This week we take a look at the new album from Goodman Revival, Still Happy.

This recording has been a year in the making, as far as release date is concerned.  The album was originally being promoted for a fall 2016 release.  It is finally here!  How did it stack up to the group’s first album?

The 2017 vocal line-up of Goodman Revival remains Tanya Goodman Sykes (lead/alto), Johnny Minick (lead/tenor) and Michael Sykes (baritone/harmony).

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Still Happy is a mixed bag of some really strong moments brought down by the over recorded song(s).
  • The strongest moment for me was the rockabilly style given to the Rusty Goodman classic, “The Answer’s On The Way”.  It sounds so different and new.  Tanya has the lead on this must listen!
  • That is followed up by a new song co-written by Johnny and featuring Johnny titled, “I’m Dying To Tell You”.  A bit of a traditional country sound on a song that would make a great choice for radio single possibilities.
  • Speaking of new songs, Still Happy features a second new song, “The Word Is Mercy”.  A nice traditional Southern Gospel ballad featuring Tanya.
  • The album kicks off on all cylinders with a great rendition of a Goodman classic, “When They Ring The Bells Of Heaven”.  Just when you think the song is done, the listener gets an encore of the chorus.
  • The group turns is a rousing rendition of the Joel Hemphill classic, “There’s Been A Lot Of Changes”.  Another must listen.
  • While it has been over recorded, it was nice finally hearing the songwriter (Michael Sykes) give a rendition of his song, “Knowing You’ll Be There”.  The song was originally made popular by Guy Penrod when a member of the Gaither Vocal Band.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “The Answer’s On The Way”, “I’m Dying To Tell You”, “The Word Is Mercy”, “There’s Been A Lot Of Changes”, “When They Ring The Bells Of Heaven”, “Had It Not Been” and “The Eastern Gate”.
CRITIQUE:
  • The album closes with three songs that have been recorded TOO MANY times.
  • The listener definitely didn’t need another rendition of “The Lighthouse” nor “I’m Too Near Home”.  I just did a recent review of the LeFevre Quartet’s newest recording where they recorded “I’m Too Near Home”.
  • Still Happy doesn’t quite meet the caliber of Songs In The Key Of Happy.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “The Lighthouse” and “I’m Too Near Home”.

WRAP UP:

Goodman Revival is one of the current best Southern Gospel artists to see in concert, if you have the chance.  They are a throw back to an era where the music was live and you as the listener could feel every word.  You can also do some reminiscing while listening to Still Happy.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “When They Ring The Bells Of Heaven”/Ensemble – Albert E Brumley, Marion Easterling  2. “The Eastern Gate“/Ensemble; Tanya – Isaiah Martin  3. “Had It Not Been“/Johnny; Tanya  – Rusty Goodman  4. “The Word Is Mercy”/Tanya – Phil Johnson, Aaron Wilburn  5. “There’s Been A Lot Of Changes”/Johnny – Joel Hemphill  6. “Knowing You’ll Be There”/Michael – Suzanne Jennings, Michael Sykes  7. “The Answer’s On The Way”/Tanya – Rusty Goodman  8. “I’m Dying To Tell You”/Johnny – Tim Hill, Johnny Minick  9. “The Lighthouse”/Johnny – Ronny Hinson  10. “The Longer I Serve Him”/Tanya – William J Gaither  11. “I’m Too Near Home”/Ensemble – Charles Wycuff

Treasures Of Gold: Gold City

GRADE:  C

  • Album:  Treasures Of Gold
  • Artist:  Gold City
  • Label:  New Haven
  • Style:  Traditional, Progressive
  • Release Date:  08/04/17
  • Digital Download:  Yes (Apple Music)
  • Running Time:  42 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

This week we take a look at a current album from Gold City, Treasures Of Gold.

New Haven Records decided to release another collection of past songs.  Why?  This entire decade has only seen one album of new music from Gold City.  That was Somebody’s Coming (2011).  The record label slapped three new songs on Treasures Of Gold to at least pique listener’s interest.

The 2017 vocal line-up of Gold City (on the three new songs) is Thomas Nalley (tenor), Scott Brand (lead), Daniel Riley (baritone) and Chris West (bass).

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Of the three new songs found on Treasures Of Gold, the stand out is the Chris West feature, “Ain’t No Limit”.  A great mid to up-tempo song that would be the best radio single choice on the recording.
  • Daniel is featured on the second new song worth a mention; “If Church Pews Could Shout”.  While the thought of inanimate objects talking/shouting seems ridiculous, the sentiment of conveying what occurred in those old churches makes sense.
  • While the other nine songs are from other recordings, I thought “Walkin And Talkin With My Lord” featured current bass singer Chris West.  But I assume it is the original cut with then bass singer Aaron McCune?  Either way, I enjoyed hearing it again.
  • Also, a long time Gold City listener can never tire of rocking out to the original cut of “God’s Building A Church”.
  • Strongest (new) songs included in order:  “Ain’t No Limit” and “If Church Pews Could Shout”.
CRITIQUE:
  • The weakest of the three new songs is the current radio single, “I Will Stand”.  The song features tenor, Thomas Nalley.  The big orchestrated ballad that just doesn’t resonate with this listener.
  • Why, why, why another collection of previously recorded songs.  Is Gold City just a tribute band to the original group these days?
  • The album cover design has to be some of the worst I’ve seen in Southern Gospel music.
  • Weakest (new) songs included in order:  “I Will Stand”.

WRAP UP:

With the appeal of EP’s nowadays, Gold City would have been best served giving listeners an EP of six new songs instead of releasing another collection of previously recorded songs.  If I were you, I would go grab the two new songs that are noteworthy.

(New) SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “I Cast My Bread Upon The Water”  2. “Truth Is Marching On  3. “Peter, James And John  4. “I Will Stand”/Thomas – Lee Black, Jason Cox  5. “Walkin And Talkin With My Lord”  6. “I’m Rich”  7. “If Church Pews Could Shout”/Daniel – Lee Black, Michael Farren, Kenna West  8. “God’s Building A Church”  9. “What Children Believe”  10. “Ain’t No Limit”/Chris – Jason Cox, Joseph Habedank, Kenna West  11. “Never Too Broken To Belong”  12. “God Handled It All”

Well Done: LeFevre Quartet

GRADE:  B

  • Album:  Well Done
  • Artist:  LeFevre Quartet
  • Label:  Custom
  • Style:  Traditional, Progressive
  • Release Date:  07/14/17
  • Digital Download:  Yes (Apple Music)
  • Running Time:  35 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

This week we take a look at the new album from the LeFevre Quartet, Well Done.

Mike brought the quartet to the Southern Gospel scene in 2005 with the release of their debut album, Legacy.  The LeFevere tradition in Gospel Music dates back nearly 100 years.

The 2017 vocal line-up of the LeFevre Quartet is Jeremy Peace (tenor), Jordan LeFevre (lead), Mike LeFevre (baritone) and Keith Plott (bass).

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • It is good to see Keith Plott back singing quartet music.  He is allowed to show off a bit on Well Done.  He has the lead on the album’s opening song, “I’m Gonna Be Movin”.  A nice traditional Southern Gospel quartet number.
  • Keith also has a stand out performance on the Southern Gospel classic, “Thanks To Calvary”.
  • There is some strong up-tempo songs on Well Done.  One of the strongest features Jordan, “Victory Side”.  This would be a strong contender for radio single possibilities.
  • A newer song that has been recorded a couple of times in the last few years, “How Great The Debt”, features Mike.  He still proves why he’s one of the best baritone vocalists in the history of the genre.
  • Jeremy’s strongest performance comes with a song he recorded when he was a member of the Old Paths, “Out Of The Grave”.
  • Can’t leave the review without also mentioning Jeremy’s other feature, the title track; “Well Done”.  A traditional Southern Gospel ballad that would also be a strong radio single contender.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “I’m Gonna Be Movin”, “Victory Side”, “How Great The Debt”, “Out Of The Grave”, “Well Done”, “Thanks To Calvary” and “Somebody Left The Door Open”.
CRITIQUE:
  • The LeFevre Quartet fall into the trap of recording songs that have been recorded too many times to count.  Listeners are given another cover of “I’m Too Near Home”.
  • Also, in regards to song covers, their version of the Joel Hemphill classic, “Ready To Leave” is not their strongest performance on the recording.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Let The Church Arise” and “I’m Too Near Home”.

WRAP UP:

The LeFevre Quartet is consistent with the quartet music they’ve been providing listeners the last several albums.  They provide a nice mix of traditional and progressive Southern Gospel sounds.  Well Done is one Southern Gospel quartet fans will enjoy.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “I’m Gonna Be Movin”/Keith – Bobby Butts, Robert J Butts  2. “Well Done“/Jeremy – Jason Cox, Marty Funderburk  3. “Ready To Leave“/Ensemble; Jordan  – Joel Hemphill  4. “When God Says Live”/Ensemble; Keith – Debora Bailey, Annie McCutcheon, Daryl Williams  5. “Let The Church Arise”/Ensemble – Lee Black, Joseph Habedank, Tony Wood  6. “How Great The Debt”/Mike – Rebecca Peck, Dianne Wilkinson  7. “Somebody Left The Door Open”/Mike – Daryl Williams  8. “Out Of The Grave”/Jeremy – Rebecca Peck  9. “Victory Side”/Jordan – John Darin Rowsey  10. “Thanks To Calvary”/Keith – Gloria Gaither, William Gaither  11. “I’m Too Near Home”/Ensemble – Charles Wycuff