REASON FOR RANKING: In any other genre of music, an artist releases some of the best material of the year and the listening audience takes notice. Sadly, the Southern Gospel listener is not as kind. Do yourself a favor, give Walk Worthy a listen before the year ends.
FIVE BEST SONGS FROM THE ALBUM: (1) “He Saw Me”; (2) “Where My Savior Is”; (3) “Yes He Did, Yes He Does, Yes He Will”; (4) “Lift Up Your Hands When You Can’t”; (5) “Burdens Are Lifted At Calvary”.
REASON FOR RANKING: Mercy’s Well may have released the best album of previously recorded songs in the history of the genre. One of the best listening experiences of the year.
FIVE BEST SONGS FROM THE ALBUM: (1) “At The Name Of Jesus”; (2) “Jesus Knows All About It”; (3) “When We Make It To The Other Side”; (4) “Jesus Saves”; (5) “Seeking For Me”.
It is time to announce the nominees for the 4th Annual Southern Gospel Views from the Back Row Honors. I went through all the Southern Gospel album’s released in 2017 and scoured through the radio single charts (January to December) to determine what I considered to be the five nominees to best represent each of the 17 categories.
AND THE NOMINEES ARE:
Recorded Song of the Year (song recorded on a 2017 album, did not have to be a radio single)
“Dying To Be With You” – Nick Akin; recorded by Akins (Eyes On The Road)
“Here He Comes” – Chris Cron, Joseph Habedank, Tony Wood; recorded by Joseph Habedank (Resurrection)
“I Will Pray” – Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey; recorded by the Perrys (Testament)
“Telling The Story” – Kyla Rowland, Jessica Thomas; recorded by the Kingdom Heirs (The Last Big Thing)
“Victory Is Mine” – Lee Black, Gerald Crabb, Karen Peck Gooch; recorded by Karen Peck & New River (Hope For All Nations)
Single of the Year (had to be on the radio singles chart from January to December 2017)
“Chain Breaker” – Mia Fieldes, Jonathan Smith, Zach Williams; recorded by Triumphant (Thankful)
“Don’t You Think You Ought To Worship Me” – Dustin Wisecarver; recorded by the Wisecarvers (Armor)
“It Still Takes The Blood” – Gerald Crabb; recorded by the Freemans (Tower Of Song)
“Never Made A Promise” – Lee Black, Sue C Smith, Kenna West; recorded by the Kingdom Heirs (Something Good)
“They Don’t Know (What The Lord Can Do)” – Jason Cox, Kenna West, Tony Wood; recorded by the Kingsmen (They Don’t Know)
Song Cover of the Year (a previously recorded song covered on a 2017 album release)
“The Answer’s On The Way” – Goodman Revival (Still Happy); Rusty Goodman
“At The Name Of Jesus” – Mercy’s Well (Questions & Answers); Pamela Hall
“He Heals” – Booth Brothers (Between Here And Heaven); Jennifer Layne, Don Poythress
“It Was Finished On The Cross” – Sisters (Simply); Kristie Braselton, Regi Stone
“My Hope Is In The Blood” – Perrys (Testament); Reagan Riddle
Sue C Smith
Kenna Turner West
Album of the Year (had to be a 2017 release)
Hope For All Nations – Karen Peck & New River (Daywind)
Resurrection – Joseph Habedank (Daywind)
Simply – Sisters (Custom)
Testament – Perrys (Stow Town)
Walk Worthy – Master’s Voice (Sonlite)
Album Cover Design (best album artwork/cover design from a 2017 release)
Beyond Amazed – Brian Free & Assurance
Resurrection – Joseph Habedank
Seasons: A Collection Of The Best – Mark Bishop
They Don’t Know – Kingsmen
Walk Worthy – Master’s Voice
Artist – Breakthrough (New)
Artist – Duo/Trio (no more than 3 vocalists)
Artist – Mixed Group (at least 4 vocalists)
Mylon Hayes Family
Karen Peck & New River
Artist – Quartet
Gaither Vocal Band
Mark Trammell Quartet
Artist – Soloist
Vocalist – Alto
Wendy Hayes (Mylon Hayes Family)
Kim Sheffield (Sisters)
Libbi Stuffle (Perrys)
Tanya Goodman Sykes (Goodman Revival)
Susan Whisnant (Whisnants)
Vocalist – Baritone
Randy Crawford (Kingsmen)
Jon Epley (Greater Vision)
Loren Harris (Kingdom Heirs)
Scott Inman (Triumphant)
Mark Trammell (Mark Trammell Quartet)
Vocalist – Bass
Pat Barker (Second-Half Quartet)
Eric Bennett (Triumphant)
Randy Byrd (Mark Trammell Quartet)
Jeff Chapman (Kingdom Heirs)
Keith Plott (LeFevre Quartet)
Vocalist – Lead
Ronnie Booth (Booth Brothers)
Keith Erwin (Erwins)
Clayton Inman (Triumphant)
Arthur Rice (Kingdom Heirs)
Bill Shivers (Brian Free & Assurance)
Vocalist – Soprano
Amber Eppinette (11th Hour)
Karen Peck Gooch (Karen Peck & New River)
Kennedy Hayes (Mylon Hayes Family)
Amber Thompson (Nelons)
Kaila Wisecarver (Wisecarvers)
Vocalist – Tenor
Chris Allman (Greater Vision)
Ricky Capps (Master’s Voice)
Riley Harrison Clark (Tribute Quartet)
Wes Hampton (Gaither Vocal Band)
Steve Ladd (Old Paths)
So do the nominees represent the best of 2017? Were there any snubs? The voting rounds will begin Tuesday (11/14/17).
Vacation was fun. It allowed me to relax and listen to Southern Gospel music. This week we take a look at the new album from Master’s Voice, Walk Worthy.
Master’s Voice is a quartet based in Oklahoma. Walk Worthy is the second quartet album from the group. Both have been released by Crossroads on the Sonlite label.
The 2017 edition of Master’s Voice is Ricky Capps (tenor), TJ Evans (lead), Stan Watson (baritone), Jerry Pilgrim (bass) and Theron Perry (pianist).
The album kicks off with one of the strongest songs on the recording, “He Saw Me”. Lead vocalist TJ Evans interprets the song perfectly. This song needs to be at radio, pronto!
TJ is also featured on the album’s closing number, “Lift Up Your Hands When You Can’t”. This is a progressive Southern Gospel ballad that left me wanting more. A must listen!
Master’s Voice let listeners know they can sing traditional Southern Gospel quartet music with the best of them. Jerry Salley and Dianne Wilkinson came together to pen the best traditional song on Walk Worthy; “Yes He Did, Yes He Does, Yes He Will”. Love this song!
Baritone vocalist, Stan Watson is featured on the first radio single, “Where My Savior Is”. Another great up-tempo number that is deserving of a listen.
Bass vocalist Jerry Pilgrim is able to show off on the jazzy style, “Another One Like Him”.
Master’s Voice also prove they can perform a classic hymn with simple accompaniment; allowing the vocals to shine. Listen to “Burdens Are Lifted At Calvary”.
Mid South Boys was a favorite group of mine as a teen. I was happy to hear Master’s Voice cover a Mid South song, “Without You I Haven’t Got A Prayer”. They keep the arrangement country, making for an enjoyable listen.
Strongest songs included in order: “He Saw Me”, “Lift Up Your Hands When You Can’t”, “Yes He Did, Yes He Was, Yes He Will”, “Where My Savior Is”, “Another One Like Him”, “Without You I Haven’t Got A Prayer”, “Burdens Are Lifted At Calvary” and “Love Goes A Mighty Long Way”.
The only downside is listeners may overlook Walk Worthy because they don’t know Master’s Voice. Don’t be that person. Get this album!!
Weakest songs included in order: “More Than Enough” and “One Day Longer”.
My summer vacation was wonderful. I listened to six Southern Gospel albums that will be reviewed over the next several weeks. Walk Worthy was the best of those albums. In fact, Walk Worthy is the best Southern Gospel quartet album of 2017 so far. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this album!!
SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:1. “He Saw Me”/Ensemble; TJ – Phil Cross; Tony Jarman 2. “Another One Like Him“/Jerry – Marty Funderburk; Gina Vera3. “Love Goes A Mighty Long Way“/TJ – David Edwards, Joseph Habedank, Dianne Wilkinson 4. “One Day Longer”/Ricky – Steve Chapman, Joseph Habedank, Lindsey Williams 5. “Yes He Did, Yes He Does, Yes He Will”/Jerry; Ensemble; Stan – Jerry Salley, Dianne Wilkinson 6. “Without You I Haven’t Got A Prayer”/Stan – Peter Jeffries, Robby McGee, Jeffrey Rath 7. “More Than Enough”/Ricky – Dianne Wilkinson 8. “Sowing The Good Seed“/TJ – Jennifer Berens, Phil Cross9. “Do What Jesus Did”/TJ – Rachel McCutcheon 10. “Burdens Are Lifted At Calvary”/Jerry; TJ; Ricky – John Moore 11. “Where My Savior Is”/Ensemble; Stan – Rachel McCutcheon 12. “Lift Up Your Hands When You Can’t”/TJ – Benji Cowart, Mark Schultz