The One In The Water: Inspirations

GRADE:  C+

  • Album:  The One In The Water
  • Artist:  Inspirations
  • Label:  Horizon
  • Style:  Traditional, Appalachian
  • Release Date:  07/14/17
  • Digital Download:  Yes (Apple Music)
  • Running Time:  29 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

This week we take a look at the latest album from the Inspirations, The One In The Water.

The transition of Martin Cook exiting and Archie Watkins returning has taken place with this newest album.  The One In The Water is a return to classic Inspiration sounds from the 1970s.

The 2017 vocal line-up of the Inspirations is Archie Watkins (tenor), Matt Dibler (lead), Eddie Deitz (baritone) and Marlin Shubert (bass).

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Long time bass singer, Marlin Shubert is allowed to show off on the stand out track, “I Shall Not Be Moved”.  This traditional Southern Gospel quartet standard is classic Inspirations at its finest.
  • The classic sounds of Archie Watkins is a winner with the title track and first single from the album, “The One In The Water”.
  • Roland is featured on a strong up-tempo song, “When Jesus Turns My Prison Into My Shouting Ground”.  This may go down as the longest song title of the year.
  • Speaking of classics, the Inspirations turn in a nice cover of the Jimmy Jones song, “I Want To Be Like My Lord”.
  • I don’t want to leave the review without mentioning Eddie Deitz performance of “I Know Him”.  A strong cover of this Singing Echoes original.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “I Shall Not Be Moved”, “The One In The Water”, “When Jesus Turns My Prison Into My Shouting Ground”, “I Want To Be Like My Lord”, “I Know Him” and “I Am So Blessed”.
CRITIQUE:
  • The last half of the album is hands down weaker than the first half of the album.
  • The album closes with a song that has the untrue meme that you can no longer say Merry Christmas.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Jesus They’re Offended At Your Name” and “We Are Christians”.

WRAP UP:

Long time Inspirations fans will enjoy this return to classic sounds.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “The One In The Water”/Archie – Kyla Rowland  2. “I Want To Be Like My Lord“/Ensemble – Jimmy Jones  3. “I Know Him“/Eddie  – Gary Epperson  4. “When Jesus Turns My Prison Into My Shouting Ground”/Matt – Leonard Fletcher  5. “I Shall Not Be Moved”/Ensemble; Marlin – Traditional  6. “Teaching Me To Fly”/Archie – Karen Dyess  7. “I Am So Blessed”/Matt – Matthew Browder, Tommy Browder  8. “We Are Christians”/Archie – Tracy Jones  9. “Thank God For Preachers”/Eddie – Larry Whitehead  10. “Jesus They’re Offended At Your Name”/Matt – James M Jones 

Southern Gospel Tidbits

DID YOU KNOW?:  The Sisters siblings, Heather Bennett, Kim Sheffield and Valerie Medkiff are daughters of Brenda Ruppe.  At one time during their career, all three women traveled with their mother as the Ruppes.

The Ruppes became a household name in the late 1990s with their hit single, “Under His Wings”.  The Ruppes also became the first all female group to garner a #1 song on the Singing News radio singles chart, with “Angels In The Room”.

Did you know the Ruppes recorded their first album in 1975 when Heather and Kim were just girls.

The Southern Gospel Notebook: August 1983

Sorry for my absence, but the busyness of life keeps you from your hobbies at times.  So, today I thought I would offer another page from my Southern Gospel notebook.  As a kid, into my teen years, I wrote down my twenty favorite songs every month.

I started this in July 1982 and continued until December 1994.  Today’s post took my notebook entry from August 1983.  These were my twenty favorite songs.  Enjoy!

**Music is on the sidebar as a playlist**

Best Of The Last Decade (2007-2016)

True To The Call (2007) – Kingdom Heirs (Sonlite): “Since Jesus Moved In“; “The Rock’s Between The Hard Place And You“; “True To The Call“; “I Am The Way“; “I Want You To Know“; “Jesus Made A Believe Out Of Me“; “Looking Out For You“; “Praying Your Troubles Away“; “Lord Your Word Is Still True“; “What We Needed“; “I Sing Because“.

Church In The Kitchen (2014) – Dunaways (Custom): “Again And Again“; “Where Grace Lives“; “Church In The Kitchen“; “Mercy Built A Bridge“; “Reassure Me“; “Let Go Of This World (Get Wrapped Up In God)“; “Better Than My Best Day“; “Muddy Mississippi“; “Somewhere Around The Throne“; “Your Prayers Were Pulling Me Through“; “When My Tears Wash The Scars“; “His Word Is Written In Stone“; “Never Gonna Give Up On You“.

Pray Now (2015) – Karen Peck and New River (Daywind): “Calling“; “Pray Now“; “Hallelujah For The Cross“; “Love With All Your Heart“; “Blessed“; “I’m Not Letting Go“; “I Choose Christ“; “Peace That Covers All The Pain“; “Redemption’s Holy Lamb“; “Lord Send Your Angels“; “A Life That’s Good“.

Southern Gospel Tidbits

DID YOU KNOW?:  Did you know famed Kingsmen tenor, Johnny Parrack sang a short time in the late 1970’s with a group out of Alabama by the name of the Heismen.

Johnny also recorded several solo recordings in the early 1980’s.  At the time Triumphant Quartet needed to change their name from their original Integrity Quartet moniker, they reached out to Johnny Parrack for permission.  The reason, because he had a group at the time by the name of Johnny Parrack and Triumphant.

Song Hall Of Fame: “When My Feet Touch The Streets Of Gold”

Hall of Fame (350x202)The month of August is just around the corner.  It is time for me to honor another of Southern Gospel’s greatest compositions by placing it into the Southern Gospel song hall of fame.

Today’s inductee goes back to 1975.  “When My Feet Touch The Streets Of Gold” was first recorded by the Kingsmen on the album, Jubilation.  It became a crowd favorite and they would re-record the song on one of their greatest albums; Live…Naturally (1981).

An interesting tidbit about the song involves the LeFevres.  While the song will forever be remembered as a Kingsmen classic, it was the LeFevres who had a top ten hit with the song in 1976.

This new song hall of fame inductee was penned by Conrad Cook.

Long Run (EP): Old Paths

GRADE:  B

  • Album:  Long Run (EP)
  • Artist:  Old Paths
  • Label:  Sonlite
  • Style:  Traditional, Country, Progressive
  • Release Date:  07/14/17
  • Digital Download:  Yes (Apple Music)
  • Running Time:  20 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

This week we take a look at a new EP from Old Paths, Long Run.

Anyone who follows Southern Gospel music on a regular basis knows the Old Paths stopped touring at the end of 2015 with the intent to return.  That return happened some 18 months later with the release of Long Run.

The 2017 edition of the Old Paths is Steve Ladd (tenor), Tim Rackley (lead), Doug Roark (baritone) and Daniel Ashmore (bass).

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The EP only gave listeners (6) new songs.  The album kicks off strong with the Rebecca Peck/Dianne Wilkinson penned, “Peace Is On The Way”.  The arrangement on the song would cause a listener to think they were listening to the Kingdom Heirs.
  • Long Run has a consistent country Gospel sound.  A bit of a Cajun feel is found on the latest radio single, “Tangled In The Middle”.  The second verse allows bass vocalist Daniel Ashmore to shine a bit.
  • Rodney Birch has been good for the Old Paths.  He penned two early #1 hits for the group; “God’s Great” and “Battle Stand”.  His contribution on Long Run is “In The Long Run”.  This is a must listen.
  • The sole Southern Gospel power ballad on Long Run is “At The Name Of Jesus”.  This would be a strong choice for radio single.
  • The album closes with the up-tempo, “My Everyday Life”.  A fun song that will translate well to the concert stage.
  • Newest tenor vocalist and Southern Gospel veteran, Steve Ladd is featured on the ballad; “Broken People Like Me”.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Peace Is On The Way”, “Tangled In The Middle”, “In The Long Run”, “At The Name Of Jesus” and “My Everyday Life”.
CRITIQUE:
  • While the Old Paths chose six good songs, there was no single song that absolutely blew me away.
  • This is one case where the group needed a full length recording, not an EP.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Broken People Like Me”.

WRAP UP:

I, along with many Southern Gospel listeners, am glad to see the Old Paths return.  While Long Run might not blow you away, it is enough to whet your appetite until the next Old Paths album.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Peace Is On The Way”/Ensemble – Rebecca Peck, Dianne Wilkinson  2. “In The Long Run“/Doug; Tim – Rodney Birch  3. “Broken People Like Me“/Steve  – Lee Black, Kenna Turner West  4. “Tangled In The Middle”/Ensemble; Daniel – Regina Walden  5. “At The Name Of Jesus”/Tim – Logan Peck; Rebecca Peck  6. “My Everyday Life”/Ensemble; Tim; Steve – Sandy Knight