4 star

CD Review: Stronger Together (The Nelons)

  • Posted on July 13, 2017 at 2:58 pm

When you think of the Nelons, you may think of great harmony and good songs. This CD will not disappoint.

One Little Word talks about the name of Jesus. It’s amazing how effective that one word is no matter how low you get.

Family Chain reminds us that, although we may lose loved ones on this earth, if they know Jesus, the separation is only temporary.

The highlight of the CD, for me, is Then Came the Morning. I love the song anyway but Amber Nelon Thompson does an awesome job on this classic.

Jason Clark sings Gate of Heaven.

Karen Peck Gooch joins Kelly Nelon Clark and the Nelons to sing You Can’t Make Old Friends.

I’m so glad someone finally brought back I Think I’ll Read it Again. I have loved that song ever since Gold City released it in the 1980s.

Other songs included are: In My Father’s House, The Awakening, and Angels Hover Near You.

 

CD Review: Undivided (Master’s Voice)

  • Posted on October 18, 2016 at 5:08 pm

Master’s Voice is a southern gospel group based in Bristow, OK. In listening to their sound, I’ve been trying to think of who they remind me of. Maybe the old Journeymen Quartet or Old Paths.

I won’t go into detail on each song but will make special mention of the songs I especially like on this project:

How Long a Lifetime Is was written by Joseph Habedank and Rachel McCutcheon. “Never take today for granted. … Hold each loved one tightly and treat each moment as a gift. You never know how long a lifetime is.”

Here I Am Again: I’m so thankful I can go back to God each time I fail and, in His mercy, He extends forgiveness yet again.

Somebody is Me is an upbeat song that will bring a smile to your face and cause you to praise the Lord wherever you are.

Other songs include I Can Hardly Wait to Fly, Goodbye to Goodbye, Lord of Mercy, I Know What He Did for Me, This Same Jesus, Things God Doesn’t Know, Send Somebody, Ain’t it Good, and Everything the Blood Touches Lives.

CD Review: Undivided (Master’s Voice)

  • Posted on June 30, 2016 at 7:46 pm

I just became aware of Master’s Voice a couple months ago. Their CD is a mixture of OK lyrics to really good ones but the good ones are worth listening to. A variety of songwriters contributed to this CD but of special note are Joseph Habedank and Daryl Williams.

The songs I like are:

How Long a Lifetime Is – written by Joseph Habedank and Rachel McCutcheon. I often think of this concept. Life is so short. You never know when this will be the last time you see someone. Please don’t take today for granted.

Here I Am Again – How many times have you had to go to the Lord and ask forgiveness? Maybe for something you thought you had victory over but yet had reared its ugly head once again. I’m so thankful we serve a loving and merciful God!

Somebody is Me – an uptempo, toe-tapping song of testimony. I love it!

The tempo slows down for This Same Jesus, a song of reminder that this same Jesus that ascended up to Heaven will come back again.

Other songs included are:

I Can Hardly Wait to Fly, Goodbye to Goodbye, Lord of Mercy, I Know What He Did For Me, Things God Doesn’t Know, Send Somebody, Ain’t it Good, and Everything the Blood Touches Lives.

CD Review: Turn Your Radio On (Watts, Rowsey & Bean)

  • Posted on February 1, 2016 at 9:30 pm

Watts, Rowsey & Bean consists of Nicole Watts Jenkins, John Darin Rowsey, and Gina Bean. I’ve been listening to John Darin Rowsey since his days with New Journey, so I’m most familiar with him but his name alone made me interested in this CD.

Old-time southern gospel fans may immediately assume that the title track is the old Albert E. Brumley classic, Turn Your Radio On, but it is actually a new, rousing song written by Watts, Rowsey & Bean.

“I don’t wanna Waste Another Day. Not one minute if You’re not in it. Jesus, You’re the only reason that I live.” Do I hear Amen?

I Still Am Your Child is a reassuring song that God is ever near, arms open wide when we go running back to Him.

He’s in Control is another song of encouragement. You will reap if you faint not! Keep hanging in there.

Written in the Scars talks about the crucifixion and yet the fact that it doesn’t end there. This is my favorite on the CD.

“There’s going to be rejoicing When Revival Comes to Town.” Real revival, that is. There are way too many things that are called “revival,” which has nothing to do with changing lives. When true, Heaven-sent revival comes to town, you will notice the difference.

I’ve Come to Bless You is a song of praise and worship to the only One worthy of our praise.

Faith is an older song written by Karen Peck Gooch and John Darin Rowsey. An uptempo song that talks about what faith is.

The Bible says that, if we don’t cry out, the rocks will do so in our place. This next song tells us Don’t Give a Rock a Chance. I hope the rocks never have to cry out because I am not praising my God who has done so much for me.

He Lives to Love talks about how great the Father’s love is for us.

CD Review: Mile Marker One (Zane and Donna King)

  • Posted on January 19, 2016 at 8:10 pm

Zane and Donna King do not have voices that I would have put together in a duet, but they found a way to blend their musical styles and voices that really works.

The only song on this CD that was not written or co-written by Zane and/or Donna is the hymn, Great is Thy Faithfulness, which starts the CD.

The CD continues with that same theme in a song titled No One Like God.

I first heard Keep Me in Your Will when Jessica King sang it a number of years ago. I did not realize until this CD that Zane King co-wrote that song. It continues to be one of my favorites, and Zane and Donna do a great job on it.

Donna sings the uptempo Shine. “When things get too tough to handle, just shine.”

Nothing Without You is self-explanatory.

If There Was Any Other Way talks about God’s heart toward those who are suffering and hurting. Although there are times you must walk through dark valleys, God is still there holding your hand.

Hallelujah Jesus Saves has a fun tune that you will enjoy singing along with.

Anything reminds us that nothing is too hard for God.

When love finds the lonely, when sweet prayers are spoken and tears are washed away, and when He hears “Jesus loves me” from the lips of a little child … these are the moments When God Smiles.

How Does It Feel to Be Home was written in memory of Norman Holland, the former vice president of A&R at Daywind Records. Although we miss those who have gone before, we would not wish them back.

The CD ends as it began: with the Postlude: Oh Tu Fidelidad/Great is Thy Faithfulness.

CD Review: Forever/80th Anniversary Recording (Blackwood Brothers)

  • Posted on March 11, 2015 at 7:37 pm

Billy Blackwood is keeping classic quartet music alive with his current lineup of The Blackwood Brothers.

You Can Find What I Found is a neat-sounding song with the tenor leading and the rest echoing. It changes tempo on the chorus.

Dianne Wilkinson wrote the toe-tapping, I’ll Fly Away Home. A great quartet song.

The tempo slows down as Wayne Little sings Forever Forgiven.

Walkin’ and Talkin’ is an old J.D. Sumner that the Blackwood Brothers brought back for this recording.

Long Gone is a mediocre, uptempo song.

Heaven Will Be Mine Someday has somewhat of a ’50s or ’60s feel.

When I Cross to the Other Side of Jordan is an old song written by Ed O’Neal.

“I will give my all for Him who gave His all for me for I Know in Whom I Have Believed.” Amen!

Butch Owens sings the uptempo Oh, No You Don’t.

The CD ends with the classic Dear Jesus, Abide With Me.

Concert/CD Review: Battle Cry (The Kingsmen)

  • Posted on March 3, 2015 at 9:14 pm

The Kingsmen 2-27-15

Friday night, I had the blessing of seeing the Kingsmen once again. I was surprised at how many of the songs they sang were off of their new CD since I typically expect to hear a fair number of old favorites. I was not disappointed, however. This CD has some great songs as well.

This is the second time I have seen this particular group in concert, and I am impressed with both Bob Sellers and Chris Jenkins. They are doing a great job.  People talk about the Kingsmen’s heyday in the 1980s but I’ve never liked the Kingsmen as much as I have in the last ten or so years. This group is no exception.

Kingsmen 2 2-27-15

The concert began with Beautiful City, an uptempo song about Heaven.

Then they sang one of their old songs, Meet Me at the Table.

Come and Dine is taken from the story where Jesus cooked fish for the disciples and fed them when they had been fishing all day but caught nothing. The second verse talks about arriving Heaven and being invited to come and dine at the Banquet Table.

Scripture says that God orders the steps of the righteous. I’ve Never Seen the Righteous Forsaken reminds us that God is in control no matter what you are going through. God will supply your every need.

Randy Crawford introduced the group and then they sang I Know, which talks about the joy of knowing you’re saved. It is possible to know.

A Kingsmen concert would not be complete without including their classic, Glory Road.

They included a summary of their old hit Excuses and then Randy Crawford sang a song he wrote, Here I Stand Amazed.

Chris Jenkins 2-27-15

Oh Yes I Am is the current #1 song across America. This was the first I’d heard it but I love it. Uptempo, this song is an encouraging message about going Home. Chris Jenkins puts energy into this song.

After a brief intermission, they came back to sing the title track from their new CD, Battle Cry. This is a great song. There is a time to rest but there is a time to answer the battle cry.

Faith is self-explanatory. Great harmony to some encouraging lyrics.

Ray Reese 2-27-15

Ray Reese sang Healing Stream and then they sang another old song, When My Feet Touch the Streets of Gold.

Cross of Grace is a powerful song about the cross.

They did a great a cappella arrangement of There is a Fountain Filled With Blood and ended with the chorus of their very popular song from the 1980s, Stand Up.

 

Songs not sung in concert:

Daryl Williams and Scott Inman wrote the toe-tapping quartet song, He Took Away My Burden.

It Should Have Rained is an interesting song about the Crucifixion.

CD Review: Here Comes Sunday (Wilburn & Wilburn)

  • Posted on February 8, 2015 at 8:16 pm

Wilburn & Wilburn has become a group that I look forward to hearing as soon as a new CD is released. If you have heard their previous releases, this one is just as good vocally, musically, and lyrically. Unfortunately, the type is too small and the color too light to read who wrote the songs but the songs are good and well-written.

This CD begins with the title track, which is a song of hope. No matter what you’re going through, Here Comes Sunday.

Jonathan Wilburn sings Funeral Plans. This song is about a man who is dying but he’s not worried. His house is in order, he’s been faithful, and now he plans to die praising the Lord.

Joseph is a song about Mary’s husband–the one who raised Jesus as his own son. What must it have been like for him to have married a woman who was with child by the Holy Spirit? Yet he bore it admirably, obeying God’s command to take Mary as his wife regardless what others thought.

Nobody Like Jesus reminds us that we’ve never seen anybody like Jesus. If you haven’t received Him into your heart, I hope you will do so today.

Every Scar has a story to tell.” This song begins with describing scars a boy may have and the stories behind them. It moves on to the scars that Jesus bore on our behalf.

Help Me reminds us that there are people with much worse needs than our own. We need God to show us how to help those people.

If These Old Walls Could Talk is the story of a man who went back to the church he grew up in. He imagines all the stories that would be told if those walls could talk.

The tempo slows down as Jordan Wilburn sings A Man Like Me. “If he can use some rugged wood and those three old rusty nails, … the fallen walls inside a pagan Roman jail, … a storm-tossed fishing boat on the Sea of Galilee, he can use a simple, searching, wounded, hurting, broken man like me.”

When you come to the Lord, Everything’s New. A great reminder.

Across the Miles is one of my favorite songs right now. Not a new song but the older I get, the more it means to me to know that people who love me are praying for me.

They also included two classics on this CD: I’m Bound for That City and Heaven’s Jubilee.

 

CD Review: Voice in the Desert (The Freemans)

  • Posted on December 4, 2014 at 9:27 pm

The latest CD from The Freemans has been out for a while but, unfortunately, I am just now getting around to writing the review.

Chris Freeman sings the title song, Voice in the Desert. Somebody does need to be a voice in the desert, to make a way for the Lord.

Darrell sings That Kind of Love, a story about a drunk who has a hard time understanding how someone could know him and yet still love him. The conclusion is we’ll never understand that kind of love.

Ole Trespasser tells Satan to “get out of this place.”

The Last Time I Looked, the gravestone is still rolled away.” Can I get an Amen?

I may not always like Where I’ve Been but, often, I can look back and see that “it’s made me a better man” (or woman as the case may be). ;)

Caylon and Misty sing the old spiritual, Water Grave.

“So carry your cross, no matter how hard it’s been. The strength that you’ve lost will help you depend on Him. Keep climbing that hill. Don’t lay your cross down. There’s only one you so what would God do with an Unwanted Crown?” Jesus bore His cross for you; now it’s your turn. Don’t give up.

Chris sings John the Revelator.

Next, the tempo mellows for Meanwhile Back at the Cross. Satan was gloating but he did not notice everything that was happening at the Cross.

There is a concept video for Lead Me Home on YouTube. Very well done.

Concert/CD Review: Journey of Hope (Tribute)

  • Posted on September 15, 2014 at 9:21 pm

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 Clark 7-11-14

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 7-11-14

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.

Anthony Davis 7-11-14

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.

imgSongs on the CD which the group did not sing in concert include:

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.

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