DID YOU KNOW?: Kirk Talley and brother Roger Talley sang with their sister Diane in the early 1970’s. The trio recorded two albums before Roger would go on to join the Hopper Brothers and Connie as pianist, in 1974.
Kirk would eventually join the Hopper Brothers and Connie by the late 1970’s before making his was to the Cathedral Quartet as tenor.
Today, we take a look at the latest album from the Talleys; Finest Hour.
Roger Talley, the patriarch of the trio, is working on 50 years in Southern Gospel music. The Talley Trio began in the early 1970’s with Roger, brother Kirk and sister Diane.
The Talleys, as most Southern Gospel listeners are familiar started touring in 1984. The 2018 edition of the trio has been together since 1996; Lauren (soprano), Debra (alto) and Roger (tenor/lead/harmony).
I enjoy the folk rock sounds of mainstream artists like the Lumineers. That folk sound is increasingly evident in Southern Gospel music. One of the best songs on Finest Hour is “Grab Your Umbrella”. This style song fits Roger’s vocals perfectly.
Roger also gets to show off on the mid-tempo pop infused “Get Me There”. This song could find a home at Southern Gospel radio.
The Talleys have always been known for big power ballads like “Triumphantly The Church Will Rise” and “His Life For Mine”. Finest Hour has another in the way of “When Death Was Arrested”. This cover of the CCM mega-church song comes off well by the Talleys.
The album’s opening song is the current single, “Look Up”. This song follows in the vein of “When Death Was Arrested” in terms of style but is more Southern Gospel friendly.
The simple arrangement for “He Restoreth My Soul” makes for a reflective moment on the album; the first half of the song giving the listener just piano and vocals.
The album closes with the up-tempo, “Begin Again God”, which is expected to be the next single from the recording. This is a great way to close out the recording; on a high note.
Roger and Lauren deserve a kudos for producing the recording. They didn’t go over the top in orchestration and the orchestration used didn’t destroy the vocals.
Strongest songs included in order: “Grab Your Umbrella”, “Joy”, “Death Was Arrested”, “Begin Again God”, “Look Up”, “Get Me There”, “We Are Witnesses” and “When The Answer Is No”.
The pacing of the album is slow to mid-tempo heavy, clocking in at 46 minutes. Could cause listener fatigue.
Weakest songs included in order: “That’s What The Teacher Taught”.
The Talleys have given Southern Gospel listeners 35 years of progressive Southern Gospel music. While they no longer push the envelope, in terms of style, they have carved out a distinct sound that is solely Talley. Finest Hour is another in a long list of quality albums from this family.
SONG (tempo)/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:1. “Look Up” (Mid)/Roger; Debra; Lauren – Lee Black, Aaron Wilburn 2. “Jeremiah 29:11 (You Have Plans)” (Slow)/Lauren – Lee Black, Lauren Talley, Kenna West3. “When The Answer Is No” (Slow)/Debra – Bernadette Negus, Melanie Watson 4. “Joy” (Fast)/Lauren – Lauren Talley, Kenna West, Tony Wood 5. “We Are Witnesses” (Slow)/Lauren – Lauren Talley, Kenna West, Tony Wood 6. “Grab Your Umbrella” (Mid/Fast)/Roger – Kristi Fitzwater, Eddie Harrison, Bev Herrema, Dixie Phillips 7. “Death Was Arrested” (Mid)/Lauren; Ensemble – Ryan Baltzglier, Adam Kersh, Brandon Koker, Paul Smith 8. “That’s What The Teacher Taught” (Slow)/Debra – Lee Black, Rick Shelton, Sue C Smith 9. “Get Me There” (Mid)/Roger; Lauren – Lee Black, Jason Cox 10. “Home At Last” (Slow)/Debra; Lauren – Rebecca J Peck, Dianne Wilkinson 11. “He Restoreth My Soul” (Slow)/Ensemble; Lauren – Lee Black, Lauren Talley, Kenna West 12. “Begin Again God” (Fast)/Lauren – Lauren Talley, Kenna West