In some ways, it’s probably not fair to review collection CDs since one would expect them to be great projects but I think there is still validity to letting you know which CDs are being released and which songs were included, as well as a bit about the songs for people who are new to the genre. I will say that this collection CD, featuring many of Jonathan Wilburn’s most popular songs when he was with Gold City, is one of my favorites that I’ve received this year.
He Said is one of my favorite songs on this project. I heard the studio version years ago but this live version, recorded when Jonathan was with Gold City, brings the whole song to life in my opinion.
My least favorite arrangement on this project is I’m Not Giving Up. After hearing the original version, the background singers don’t do it justice.
There Rose a Lamb is a song originally sung by Ivan Parker when he was with Gold City. It has stood the test of time, however, and Jonathan pours his heart into it as well.
He Lives needs no explanation.
The late Doug Riley wrote He Lifted My Burdens Away. This was a new song to me but it’s uptempo and encouraging.
Tim Riley introduces When He Touched Me. This is another song I hadn’t heard before but it is a great song of testimony.
“We can’t have church until the Holy Ghost shows up … When the Holy Ghost Shows Up (We’ll Have Church).” Can I hear an Amen?
Keep Me on the Wheel is a great song about surrender.
The Lamb Upon the Throne is a song of worship.
It’s Been Worth it All is a song all Christians can sing along with.
I’ve liked I Believe since it first came out. I’m really glad Jonathan included it on this project.
No “Best of Gold City” recording would be complete without the timeless classic, Midnight Cry.
The CD concludes with a live version of When He Calls (I’ll Fly Away).
I had the blessing of seeing Tribute back in July. They had concert copies of their latest release, Journey of Hope, but since it wasn’t yet available outside of concerts, I held off on reviewing it. I am happy to let readers know that the CD is now available for purchase.
The concert began with the familiar song, Stepping on the Clouds.
Then they went into a song from their new CD: I Could Sing About Heaven. This is a pretty typical song but I can still enjoy a simple, toe-tapping Southern Gospel song. “I could sing about Heaven for a million years. Still I could never tell it all.”
Riley Harrison Clark sings the encouraging I Will Rise. “Trials never last forever. I will rise.”
I like their song, I Want to Thank the Lord. Most people don’t thank Him nearly enough for everything He has done for them.
After that, they introduced the group.
I was glad to see them bring back an old Perrys song, I Remember the Day. They could have put a bit more energy into it but I still like the song. I am so thankful that God saved me when he did over 20 years ago!
Josh Singletary then played I’ll Fly Away on the piano.
I first heard God Wants to Hear You Sing in concert by Jason Waldroup. This was my first time to hear Tribute’s version but they did a good job.
They sang Safe Thus Far and then Riley led the congregation in singing Farther Along.
Good News from Jerusalem is still a fan favorite.
They took a break to collect the offering, then Tribute came back out singing, He’s Leading the Way. I will never get tired of hearing them sing this song. This was the first song I ever saw them sing on stage, and it made me stop to listen. I’m so glad He’s still leading the way in my life.
After that, they sang He’s Been Faithful, and Anthony Davis sang, Leaving on My Mind.
Kyla Rowland wrote, I Am a Soldier. “I am a soldier reporting for duty. I got my sword and shield. I am ready to fight.” Can you proclaim that today?
Many groups no longer give altar calls but they gave an altar call that night and then closed with another chorus of I Remember the Day.
The encouraging song, He Can Do It Again.
Josh Singletary sings All Made it Ashore, a song that tells about the shipwreck on which the apostle Paul prophesied that not one life would be lost, and there wasn’t. No matter what you are going through, you also can make it. Keep holding on and don’t give up.
Those Who Know Me Know has a bit of a Jamaican feel.
Everything I Need is another uptempo song of encouragement. No matter what I go through, my Heavenly Father is everything I need.
Everybody Needs Jesus needs no explanation. A simple, true fact.
In the Valley, I Can Hear His Voice: When things are going well, we don’t always take the time we need to be still and hear but, in the valley, that is sometimes a different story.
Another song I really like is God of All My Days. It ends the CD leaving me worshiping the God of all my days.
Everything I Need is another uptempo, encouraging song. No matter what I face in life, God is everything I need.
The latest CD by Legacy Five begins with the uptempo title track, Great Day. I love the tight harmonies that we have come to expect from this group.
Gus Gaches sings Christ is Still the King. A powerful song written by Dianne Wilkinson and Rebecca J. Peck. “Rejoice! The tomb’s still empty, and Christ is still the King!”
More great quartet harmony on That’s a Hallelujah. “Every time the Lord has been good to ya, that’s a Hallelujah!”
Scott Howard sings So Many Things which tells of many of the things he’s thankful for in spite of the difficulties life brings.
What a Happy Day is a medley of old songs: “O What a Happy Day,” “Everybody Will Be Happy Over There,” “I’ll Live in Glory,” “When We All Get to Heaven,” “I’ll Have a New Life,” “Heaven’s Jubilee,” and “A Wonderful Time Up There.” So many old favorites, yet they fit portions of each song into just a little over four minutes.
Only the Living is a beautiful song. It talks about how sad it is for those living when a loved one goes on to Heaven. The one who left, however, is experiencing joy on the other side.
In my view, the message of Who is This Man has been overdone but the delivery is well done.
He Heals is a slow song of hope hope for the hurting.
He is to Me has a similar feel to “He Is” which Triumphant Quartet sings.
Great Medley features, “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” “How Big is God,” and “How Great Thou Art.” Hallelujah!
I read some other reviews of this project and apparently not everyone hears it the same way I do. In my book, featuring great arrangements by Lari Goss and great lyrics from a variety of songwriters, as well as great harmony, this is another great Legacy Five CD.
It wasn’t that long ago that I did not like “Hymns” recordings. Maybe I’m getting old but I think there are better “Hymns” projects being recorded these days. Years ago, every recording seemed to feature the same hymns, just different vocals. Today there seems to be more variety and creativity to remind us there are more than just 8 or 10 hymns to inspire and minister to you. Ann Downing has chosen 11 such hymns which she sings very traditionally, yet in her own way. One thing I particular like about this CD is that each song sounds different: different instruments, arrangements, etc. Jeff Duffield did the orchestrations on this recording, and he did a great job.
As soon as she begins singing I Stand Amazed in the Presence, my heart wells up with praise as I truly think of how wonderful is my Savior’s love for me! This feeling continues to the last note of All That Thrills My Soul.
And Can It Be? deserves a special mention. Very nice musical arrangement and sung in a way that brings the words to life. “My chains fell off. My heart was free. I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.” I’m so glad I did!
There is a Fountain is sung with piano only.
Sue Duffield joined Ann in a beautiful arrangement of Lead Me to Calvary.
Other songs included are: God Leads Us Along, How Firm a Foundation, Footsteps of Jesus, He Giveth More Grace, Blessed Assurance, and He Hideth My Soul.
When I first heard southern gospel music, I fell in love with the harmony of some of the mixed groups of the time. The last little while, we seem to have returned to more of a quartet/male group genre; however, I still love good family harmony when I hear it. That said, I am so glad I finally got to hear The Herb Henry Family last year.
Several groups have recorded Ronnie Hinson’s song, He is Leading the Way, in the last couple years. I’m glad to see that song hasn’t died. I first heard it 25-30 years ago but the message is still relevant.
Healer of Broken Hearts has a great message and great harmony.
Chris Henry wrote Looking Toward Home. “I’ll not grow weary though the journey be rough wherever I roam. I’m looking ahead and I’m looking toward Home.” Amen!
Tougher Than Nails is a song about the cross but Jesus was tougher than nails. He is still ready and willing to forgive you if you reach out to Him.
I love the toe-tapping On the Sea of Life.
Arise is about Christ’s Resurrection.
I remember my mom singing Song Holy Angels Cannot Sing when I was a little girl. The Herb Henry Family does a great job on this Gordon Jensen classic.
Next is an acapella rendition of Golden Bells.
Wish You Could See Me Now is a bit more progressive but I love it.
Another song I absolutely love is Unto the Hills.
The Second Time Around, Jesus won’t be coming as a baby and He won’t be dying on a cross. “He’ll step on a big white cloud when the trumpet sounds to take us Home when He comes the second time around.”
Bless the Lord has a Hawaiian feel to it. It’s straight out of Psalm 103.
Chris Henry wrote about the Perfect Gift which is the one that God gave when He sent His Son to earth.
The children sing Go & Tell. Very cute and a good message.
I work for Family Renewal and handle the itinerary for Israel Wayne, a national speaker, founder of Family Renewal, LLC and author of Homeschooling from a Biblical Worldview, Full-Time Parenting, and Questions God Asks. Would you be interested in helping to organize a seminar with Israel as the speaker? His most popular seminar right now is Revival in the Home which is not homeschool specific but talks about the importance of spending time with your children and discipling them so that they are not among those who leave the faith when they are older. He can also speak on worldview/apologetics, homeschooling, etc. If you have an event coming up where you would like a speaker, that would be great but I could also schedule a seminar when we are going to be going through your area anyway.
Let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you!
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The CD begins with the rousing Christ is Born, written by Tim Greene.
Follow That Star is a beautiful song. “Just keep the faith when the road gets dark. Don’t be afraid. Love lights the way. Follow that star.”
Daryl Williams wrote Fear Not, after which they sing The Christmas Song.
Folks from Kentucky will like the title song, Christmas in Kentucky.
I love Winter’s Not a Wonderland (Without You). It’s more of a sweet love song. “The snow no longer glistens. Sleigh bells ring but I don’t listen. Winter’s not a wonderland without you.”
Do You Hear the Cry is an uptempo song written by Rodney Griffin.
The tempo slows down with Still Remember When, a song of reminiscence.
A southern gospel Christmas recording doesn’t seem complete without Beautiful Star of Bethlehem.
My favorite Christmas song is O Holy Night, and The Sneed Family does a good job on that beautiful song.
Other songs include Once Upon a Christmas, Unspeakable Joy, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, and The Old Story.
Back in September, I had the opportunity to attend the WSGMA Labor Day Celebration in Turlock, CA and I was introduced to The Johnson Family Quartet for the first time. I was instantly struck by their stage presence and their harmony, along with their fun style of singing.
“Open Your Heart and Sing, Sing, Sing!” is an uptempo, fun song.
I love their medley of “Cleanse Me/Whiter Than Snow.”
“Jesus Knows My Name” is another uptempo song with a simple but good message.
“There but by the Grace of God Go I” is a really neat song and one of my favorite songs on the CD.
“I Sing the Mighty Power of God” is an acapella number which showcases their great harmony.
“Brand New Old, Old Story” is a happy song about salvation being the brand new old, old story.
“Autograph” talks about how we can see God’s love all around us.
Bonnie Johnson has a sweet voice and sings, “I Fall On My Knees and Pray.” No matter what you are going through, there is such comfort on your knees, talking with the One who can take your burden away.
They sing a unique arrangement to “Love Lifted Me.”
“I Love Living in Grace” has a “swing” feel to it.
“A Secret Place” is an excellent song penned by Michael Booth. Every time I hear it, I have to ponder: Is there a place in my heart that I wouldn’t want Jesus to go?
An acapella version of “There’s a Sweet, Sweet Spirit” concludes the recording.
The title track, Just Passing Through, is a great reminder that this world is not our Home. If you’re a child of God, you’re just passing through.
Whiter Than Snow is a testimony of a Believer who has been saved and washed whiter than snow.
The Old Fashioned Way talks about how churches have changed. It’s hard to find churches which still emphasize prayer, repentance and Bible reading.
Do you ever think about where God brought you from? It’s those memories that make me say, I Think I’ll Just Go With God. “With Him, there is joy and blessings untold.” How could you choose any other path?
A great reminder in song is God Saves Old Sinners. I’m so glad He still does!
Kyla Rowland wrote four songs on this project. But I Met a Nazarene is one of them. “All I can say is I had no hope but I met a Nazarene.” Is that your testimony? I remember the days of no hope. I’m so grateful I met this Nazarene.
He’s Alive is another great song of hope and victory.
The Rock of Ages also tells the story of the death and resurrection of our Savior.
“I may never visit where He died but I’m Going Where He Lives.” I’m so looking forward to that day!
I love the song, Did I Mention, another Kyla Rowland song. “Did I mention He’s been faithful to every promise He ever made me? I love Him. That’s all I want to say.”
Most of the songs on this CD are slow to medium tempo but I’m Learning How to Lean picks up the tempo a bit. I’ve been walking with God for over 20 years but I feel at times like I’m still learning how to lean on Him completely.
I think the perfect ending to a CD which focuses on salvation and redemption is I Want to Stroll Over Heaven With You.
Last year, a female trio formed and called themselves Still Blessed. Their music would be considered southern gospel but their sound fluctuates from a little southern to country to inspirational.
The CD begins with a song I enjoy. Originally recorded by the Whisnants, Christina Dulworth does a good job on “New Day Dawning.”
Group member Marsha Moats wrote and sang, “From His Cross.”
Group member Sis Monroe wrote “Our Loving Master,” which Sis sings with feeling.
Sis Monroe also wrote “It’s All Good.” The sound on this song reminds me a little of the Perry Sisters.
Next is an old Bishops song, “Battle Scarred Soldier.”
Sung and written by Sis, “I Still Have Victory” is a song which I think has an old feel to it, as it kinda gently swings.
On the title track, they brought in mandolin and fiddle, giving it a slight bluegrass sound musically.
Marsha sings, “When a King Loved a Beggar.” The music, harmony and lyrics all make this an especially beautiful song.
You may remember “Still Blessed” from when the Perrys sang it a few years back. This group does a good job on it as well.
I like “It’s Not So Hard to Praise Him,” an uptempo toe tapper. It also proclaims the truth. It’s really not hard to praise the Lord when you think of everything He’s done for you.
Christina Dulworth sings, “I’ve Been to the Well.”
Christina also sings, “Celebrate Me Home,” a song the Perrys made famous but I never get tired of hearing it. A great message.
There are some clips of some of these songs on the group’s website. I hope you’ll go hear them as I think you’ll enjoy them.
The Mark Trammell Quartet recently put out a collection of old Cathedral Quartet songs.
“Echoes from the Burning Bush” is an old song which several groups have sung but MTQ keeps the Cathedrals’ arrangement. Pat Barker does a great job on the bass on this song.
“Gentle Shepherd” was written by Bill Gaither but is another song the Cathedrals sang a lot. For this song, they used a “live” version.
The first Cathedral’s recording I ever owned was ‘Traveling Live.” On this cassette was “Bloodwashed Band.” I loved it then and still don’t get tired of hearing it.
One of the best baritones in the business, Mark Trammell sings “That Day at Calvary.”
Although Pat Barker does not sound like George Younce, as he sang “I’ll Have a New Life” and “Everybody Will Be Happy Over There,” it brought back to mind the years of George singing those same songs down to the “We’re gonna shout” at the end of the song.
Neil Enloe wrote “Statue of Liberty.” If you’ve not heard it, the first verse talks about the Statue of Liberty and how privileged we are to be Americans while the second verse talks about how the cross is our true Statue of Liberty.
“An Old Convention Song” is another song in which they recorded a “live” version.
“I Thirst” was written by Mark Lowry’s mother, Beverly. I don’t know if she’s written many songs but this one was well written and nicely performed first by the Cathedrals and now by the Mark Trammell Quartet.
I never tire of hearing Mark Trammell sing “Master Builder.” The recording with that title was one of my favorite Cathedral recordings.
The first time I heard “Wedding Music” was live in concert. I sometimes wonder, “Is that wedding music that I hear?”
“Then I Met the Master” is another great song.
Last but not least, the CD ends with “Boundless Love.”