Ascending: LeFevre Quartet

GRADE:  B+

  • Album:  Ascending
  • Artist:  LeFevre Quartet
  • Label:  New Day
  • Style:  Progressive, Traditional
  • Release Date:  04/27/18
  • Digital Download:  Yes (Apple Music)
  • Running Time:  28 Minutes

SYNOPSIS:

Today, we take a look at the new album from the LeFevre Quartet; Ascending.  The album sets to release Friday (04/27/18).

The quartet not only carries the legacy of the LeFevre heritage in Southern Gospel music but also a connection to the prime years of Gold City, when Mike LeFevre was a member.

Ascending is a collection of eight new songs from the most prominent writers in Southern Gospel music.  The 2018 edition of the LeFevre Quartet is Jeremy Peace (tenor), Jordan LeFevre (lead), Mike LeFevre (baritone) and Keith Plott (bass).

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Listeners got a taste of this vocal line-up with the 2017 album Well DoneAscending builds on that by providing listeners the best LeFevre Quartet recording since 2012 (But For The Cross).
  • Jordan is featured on the stand out track, “A Rugged Old Cross”.  He continues to grow into one of the best lead vocalists in Southern Gospel music.  He commands this progressive ballad from the pens of Gerald Crabb and Dianne Wilkinson.
  • The first radio single from the album is a strong up-tempo quartet song, “Sun’s Gonna Come Up”.  Lee Black and Scott Inman collaborated on this tune that I’m surprised Triumphant wouldn’t have kept and recorded.  Only good news for LeFevre Quartet.
  • You want to step back to the quartet sounds of the 1980’s?  Look no further than “Sailing Away”.  Traditional quartet enthusiasts will love this song.  The song allows tenor Jeremy Peace to show off a bit.
  • With the exception of “Sailing Away”, Ascending is progressive in its sound.  Listener’s get that in the first notes of the opening song, “I Have It All”.
  • That continues with the ‘hard driving’ country sounds of “Revival”.  A different sound for the quartet but a song that could easily become a favorite.
  • The album, produced by Wayne Haun, moves along; clocking in at 28 minutes.  You can listen to the album twice in what it would take you to listen to most albums once.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “A Rugged Old Cross”, “Sun’s Gonna Come Up”, “Sailing Away”, “I Have It All”, “Silver And Gold” and “Revival”.
CRITIQUE:
  • Some listeners may not like that there is only eight songs on the recording.  I prefer it.  Less is more, especially if you’re only recording the best songs.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “I’ll See You At The House”.

WRAP UP:

The LeFevre Quartet has continued to climb the ranks as one of Southern Gospel’s best quartets.  Ascending the ladder all the way to the top.  An album to be proud of.

SONG (tempo)/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “I Have It All” (Mid)/Ensemble – Jeffrey Bumgardner, Wayne Haun  2. “Revival” (Fast)/Jordan – David Carr, Mark Lee, Johnny Powell  3. “A Rugged Old Cross” (Mid)/Jordan – Gerald Crabb, Dianne Wilkinson  4. “I’ll See You At The House” (Slow)/Mike – Christy Sutherland  5. “Sailing Away” (Fast)/Ensemble; Jeremy – Lee Black, Marcia Henry  6. “Sun’s Gonna Come Up” (Fast)/Mike; Ensemble – Lee Black, Scott Inman  7. “Only Jesus” (Slow)/Jeremy – Geron Davis  8. “Silver And Gold” (Fast)/Keith – Keagan Denney, Shane Dunlap, Wayne Haun

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Best Of 2017: #19/#20

REASON FOR RANKINGBeyond Amazed was anchored by the album’s first single, “He Can Take It”.  The trio has excelled at pushing the envelope with their progressive style.  The album even a bit too progressive to find a home any higher on the annual countdown.

FIVE BEST SONGS FROM THE ALBUM:  (1) “He Can Take It”; (2) “Everything He Forgot”; (3) “Unheard”; (4) “Anything Is Possible”; (5) “The Voice Of Jesus”.

REASON FOR RANKING:  The LeFevre Quartet has provided consistent Southern Gospel quartet music since their formation.  Well Done was initially slated as a table project, but that changed.  Not surprising considering it ranks as one of the 20 best album released in 2017.

FIVE BEST SONGS FROM THE ALBUM:  (1) “I’m Gonna Be Movin'”; (2) “Victory Side”; (3) “Out Of The Grave”; (4) “Well Done”; (5) “Somebody Left The Door Open”.

VOTE: Best Of 2017: Alto/Baritone/Bass

Who were the top vocalists in Southern Gospel music for 2017?  Today, starts the voting for best alto, baritone and bass vocalist.

You get one vote per day.  Poll closes 11/23/17.  Click the link on each nominee to see an audio/video of the nominees.

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

Best Of 2016: #12

lefevre-qtHappy Monday!  Time to get a new work week started.  Also time to take a little break out of your day to keep up with the annual countdown of Southern Gospel’s best.

The LeFevre Quartet find a home at #12 in the best of 2016 with the album, Home.  Now with Jeremy Peace anchored as tenor vocalist, the LeFevre Quartet offered Southern Gospel listeners with one of the best quartet albums of the year.

Mike continues to show why he remains one of Southern Gospel’s best baritone vocalists while lead vocalist Jordan LeFevre continues to climb the ranks.

The (5) Best Songs From The Album:  (1) “He Left No Stone Unturned”, (2) “He Saved Me Anyway”, (3) “Something”, (4) “He Was There” and (5) “Unseen Things Above”.

11th-hourAnother group having the best year of their career in 2016 is 11th Hour.  Amber Eppinette, Grant Gibson and Jaquita Lindsey are giving Southern Gospel listeners the best the industry has to offer.

The 2016 album release, What A Moment, has already given the trio two #1 songs on the Southern Gospel radio singles chart.  The group’s progressive style is a throw back to what the Martins were providing listeners in the late 1990’s.

Track #7 on What A Moment, “When God Shows Up”, is 12th among the best recorded songs of 2016.  You can’t get much better than Lee Black, Kenna West and Dianne Wilkinson, who penned the song.

VOTE: Best Of 2016: Bass/Tenor

3rdannualWho were the top bass and tenor vocalists in Southern Gospel music for 2016?  You get one vote per day.  Poll closes 11/28/16.  Click the link on each nominee to see an audio/video of the nominees.

VOTE: Best Of 2016: Baritone/Lead

3rdannualWho were the top baritone and lead vocalists in Southern Gospel music for 2016?  You get one vote per day.  Poll closes 11/25/16.  Click the link on each nominee to see an audio/video of the nominees.

NQC 2016: Thursday Night Recap

11278Thursday night of the NQC is over.  The music was very good tonight, but the night nearly ruined by the biggest miss of the entire week.

  • It was like a hit parade tonight.  Many artists decided to do entire sets of some of their biggest hits.
  • Gold City had an entire set of classic Gold City songs.  The Perrys decided to use all hit singles in their set. Add Jeff & Sheri Easter to that list.  A ton of great music.
  • Josh Townsend, pianist for LeFevre Quartet, was styling tonight in that jacket and he also pulled off an awesome piano solo.
  • Congrats to Ronny Hinson for finally being inducted in to the Southern Gospel hall of fame.  Long overdue.
  • The back to back sets of Ernie Haase & Signature Sound and the Nelons provided some awesome music.  Karen Peck joining Kelly Nelon on “You Can’t Make Old Friends” was a special moment.
  • I’ve always loved Squire Parsons composition, “King Of Eternity”.  The Kingdom Heirs (trio) did a fantastic job on that particular number tonight.
  • The Taylors capped off a great night of music with a solid three song set.

  • There is only one miss tonight, but it is the biggest of the week.  Why do individuals feel the need to spew their political views?  A certain preacher had to hock a new book to tell us how horrible America is and tell us that we have to vote for a certain candidate who for the last year has also been telling crowds how horrible America is.  Putting your trust in an individual that will ultimately go down as the worst presidential candidate in the history of this nation is not something you should be proclaiming to large crowds of people.  When are individuals like this going to realize not everyone thinks the way they do.  Everyone (yes even evangelicals) will not vote the same way.  That is what it means to be American.  We are free to differ on issues but in no way is it ok for anyone (especially in his position) to tell another how to vote and by not voting the way they say is wrong/bad and somehow the nation is doomed.  If you want to live in that kind of country, go to Russia.

 

**Now to crown the best of the night:

Best single song performances (in order of appearance):  (1) “I’m Getting Ready To Leave This World” – LeFevre Quartet  (2) “Praise His Name” – Jeff & Sheri Easter  (3) “There Rose A Lamb” – Gold City  (4) “Keep On” – Perrys  (5) “Redeemed” – Ernie Haase & Signature Sound  (6) “I Think I’ll Read It Again” – Nelons  (7) “A Moment Of Grace” – Booth Brothers  (8) “King Of Eternity” – Kingdom Heirs (**Favorite song performance of the evening)  (9) “He Won’t Fail You” – Taylors

Best Set of the Night:  There were several contenders tonight but I had to give it to the group that was high energy from start to finish; Ernie Haase and Signature Sound.