3 star

CD Review: What a Moment (11th Hour)

  • Posted on February 22, 2016 at 8:33 pm

what-a-momentThe latest CD from 11th Hour is my introduction to them. My first impression is that they are an average group, but I know sometimes it makes a difference when one sees them in concert.

This CD begins by reminding us that we need that “sea walking, Mountain Moving Faith.”

Look at Me Now is a couple stories of people who were changed after they met Jesus.

The tempo slows down for Love Still Holds Our Scars.

You may have been Bound for destruction and hell but, if you know Jesus, you are now Bound for Heaven. Praise the Lord!

He Welcomes the Beggar talks about the beggar Lazarus and then talks to modern-day “beggars” who are looking for hope.

Aren’t you glad that He’s Alive and So Am I?

My favorite song on the CD is When God Shows Up. Written by Dianne Wilkinson, Kenna West, and Lee Black, you will feel God show up as you worship Him.

Can You Burn asks if you can stand through the fire when persecution comes. Can you burn with the zeal you used to have? This is something we must all ask ourselves.

There Ain’t No Bones in the grave where Jesus laid. He’s alive!

Another song I really like is I Trust. Trust is an area I pray to keep growing in.

CD Review: Stay (The Old Paths)

  • Posted on July 9, 2015 at 7:18 pm

It’s with mixed emotions that I write this review. The Old Paths announced that they will disband at year’s end. I can’t say this is my favorite CD of the year but I am grateful to have it and wish Jeremy Peace, Doug Roark, Daniel Ashmore, Tim Rackley, and Josh Townsend well in their future endeavors.

The CD begins with Have You Ever, a song with a bit of an old sound.

My favorite song on this CD is You Never Cease to Amaze Me. That’s how I feel about God’s grace. Jeremy Peace delivers this song well.

The theme of What Did They Call Him has been overdone but it’s an uptempo song that is probably good in concert.

“I Just Can’t Get Over my sins being over since I have been under the blood.” That pretty much sums it up.

Bass Daniel Ashmore sings Washed in the Blood, which concludes with a tenor ending.

How Great the Debt is one of three songs written by Rebecca Peck and Dianne Wilkinson. This is another song I really like.

Ordinary People has a good message and is harmonized well.

Stay is a reminder that Jesus is not gone forever. He will return.

Larry Petree wrote the toe-tapping Oh What a Happy Morning.

Out of the Grave rejoices in Christ’s resurrection.

CD Review: Fredericksburg (Channing Eleton)

  • Posted on June 1, 2015 at 9:11 pm

The latest release from Channing Eleton features nine original songs written by Channing.

The CD begins with the uptempo Launching Out Into the Deep and then slows down for the title track, which talks about finding Jesus in Fredericksburg.

Big Top is about revival!

Modern Day Prodigal needs no description.

“I want to give you much more than you ever prayed for. Bring to Me Isaac and place him at My feet.” Nothing is worth holding on to. God would like to take your dreams and give you a much bigger one than you could ever dream of.

Pour Down the Peace is a prayer for just that: peace.

Keep On Movin’ talks about moving on with God in spite of what the world throws at us.

“No matter how far you have gone, you haven’t gone too far that the love of God can’t reach you right where you are. … God’s love is Bigger Than the Sun.”

The Silence of God doesn’t mean you are forsaken.” Hang in there. He has promised never to leave you, nor forsake you. This is just a test.

CD Review: You’re Everything to Me (Joel Lance)

  • Posted on August 20, 2014 at 8:32 pm

Joel Lance is back with ten new Christian country songs, nine of which he wrote.

You’re Everything to Me is a song of testimony, thanking God for where He brought us from and praising Him for who He is.

Cross to Paradise reminds us that Jesus forgave all our sins when He was nailed to the cross. Because of Him, we will one day see Paradise.

How Long asks how long you’re going to wait to invite Jesus into your heart. “Life ain’t a fairy tale. It’s either Heaven or it’s Hell.” Please don’t wait too long.

His Still Small Voice is all I need to know my God is real.” A song of faith.

Songs that don’t need an explanation are I Love My Shepherd and Now You See Me, Now I’m Gone.

Too Ashamed to Die paints a picture of a man who receives the news that he is dying. Although not afraid to die, he begins to think of the things he hasn’t done yet. Don’t put off tomorrow what you need to do today.

This is followed by Packing Up and Going Home and Sunday Night Revival.

Broken is a cry for healing. “Heal me now so I may live again.”

CD Review: Unashamed (Brian Free and Assurance)

  • Posted on July 11, 2014 at 2:54 pm

The latest release from Brian Free and Assurance did not jump out and grab me. Musically, it sounds the same as their last two or three projects. I would really like to see them come out of their musical rut but I still appreciate their heart and there are some good songs on here.

This is the first I’ve noticed Ricky Free co-writing songs. He co-wrote half of the songs on this CD, including the leading song, God of Possibilities. Do you know this God who can part a sea and use a child to kill a giant? He’s the same God yesterday, today, and forever.

Unashamed is a commitment to boldly live for Christ.

Ricky Free teamed up with Ronny Hinson to write Tell It Like It Was. This is one song I like on the project. “Is it any wonder that we’re in the shape we’re in? The church will only say it if we’re sure it won’t offend.”

The tempo slows down as Bill Shivers sings Say Amen.
Brian Free sings He Still Saves, a new song with an old message.

Evidence in You talks about who we are in Christ after we come to know Him.

Jeremy Lile sings the toe-tapping A Little Bit of Me and You. Then the tempo slows down for One. In an ever-changing world where there seems to be no right or wrong, there is still one God.

Another song I like on the CD is Where There’s a Will, He Has a Way. Lauren Talley Alvey makes a guest appearance on the second verse. “Trust the One who holds you close, ’cause at the end of the day, where there’s a will, He has a way.”

Before the After talks about how easy it is to focus on the past but keep in mind that those things were before the after. We must remember the past in order to testify of how God brought us through. However, if that is no longer a part of your life, you must move on, realizing that that was before; this is now.

CD Review: Nothing But Love (Brian Free and Assurance)

  • Posted on March 10, 2014 at 9:56 pm

store_cds_nblI finally have a complaint about Brian Free and Assurance. This CD sounds like the last two (nothing new or out of the ordinary). They continue to be progressive with a “4 Him” feel, but their lyrics are still strong so, for that reason, they will continue to be one of my favorite quartets.

The title track, Nothing But Love, begins the CD and summarizes what this CD is about: God’s love.

The last several recordings feature songs about “valleys.” It’s Quite a Valley reminds us that it may be a valley but it’s nothing He won’t bring you through. Don’t lose hope.

Jeremy Lile sings, If the Lord Says Do It. God won’t call you to do something He won’t help you do.

I Will Be Praying is an uptempo, progressive song about intercession.

Guard Your Heart is a reminder that you are God’s. Your life is not your own.

Next, they sing, There is Power. God has the power to perform that much-needed miracle “just when you need it most.”

Brian Free sings, Calvary’s Cry. “Come and be saved is Calvary’s cry.” God is not willing that any should perish but that ALL should come to repentance.

You Can Be a Bridge is a song of hope for those of us who wonder if God can use us. Yes, He can! The possibilities are endless!

A Christian cannot listen to I Want to Be That Man without saying a hearty AMEN! There are so many who have gone before us. Let’s follow them as they follow(ed) Christ, and let’s be men and women who live a life that leads others to the God that we love.

The CD ends with Revival. “If only we would see the church upon our knees and our fervent prayer would be, ‘Revival! Let it begin with me!'” Let it be so.

CD Review: Sing Your Way to Joy (Ann Downing)

  • Posted on March 18, 2013 at 9:27 pm

Ann Downing‘s life has been a mixture of ups and downs but, even through the down times, she’s been able to sing her way to joy. Each song on this recording is a message of hope and encouragement for those who are having a hard time finding joy in their lives. Ann co-wrote all but the last song on this CD.

Bring on the Joy – talks about going through a trial but knowing everything will be all right. After all, weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning.

You Know the Valley Too – reminds us that Jesus went before us. There’s nothing He doesn’t understand. Just give your burdens to Him. He’ll bring you through.

There’s Still a Cross – “There’s still a cross where sins are washed away. There’s still a cross where every debt is paid, where every gain has vanished and all is counted loss. There’s still a place where grace abounds. There’s still a cross.”

Pray for Power – It’s not by might or power but by God’s Spirit that miracles happen. We need to pray for that power of the Holy Ghost which sets the captives free and gives liberty.

Sing Your Way to Joy – The first verse talks about Paul and Silas while the second verse talks about how hard life can be and yet how, with God’s help, you can still sing in the midst of it.

A Little Goes a Long, Long Way – talks about the miracle God performed with two fish and five loaves of bread. The second verse talks about how you don’t need a lot to serve God. Just use what you have.

I Will Sing – Ann talks about how she will sing and tell the world what God has done for her.

It’s Not the End – No matter what you’re going through, it’s not the end. “It’s just another bend in the road of life.” Let God use it for His glory.

Make Room – tells us to make room for God to do what He wants to do. Too often, we get so busy with our own schedules and fulfilling our own desires but our lives should be centered around God and what He desires of us.

A Higher Place – This is my favorite song on the project. A prayer to God to take me to a higher place above the cares of this world. “Lord, I long for Your embrace. Until I see You face to face, take me to a higher place.”

Ann ends the CD with Albert E. Brumley’s beautiful song If We Never Meet Again.

CD Review: Changing World … Unchanging Christ … Changeless Sound (Dave, Duane & Neil)

  • Posted on February 15, 2011 at 10:23 pm

I first heard the Couriers as a teenager in the mid-1980s. Our local radio station would have an artist spotlight segment once a week and one week the DJ chose a live recording from the Couriers which I really enjoyed. (I still have that recording somewhere.) Now the group that I remember as the Couriers goes by Dave, Duane and Neil but it’s the same three men and their sound hasn’t changed.

Neil Enloe wrote 5 of the 15 songs on the project including, “I Stand Before Your Majesty,” which notes the various postures one assumes when coming into the presence of Jesus. I love songs which usher you into His presence and this song does just that.

“Happiness is Following Jesus” was recorded previously but they still include it in their concerts.

I love the sound of “Euroclydon.” It’s the story of Paul and the storm he encountered while sailing to Rome. It then goes on to talk about the storms of life and how, like Paul, we have nothing to fear if we let Jesus steer the ship.

Neil Enloe also wrote “When It Hurts So Bad,” a great song to lift the spirit of anyone who’s hurting.

Dave Kyllonen wrote and sang “Jochebed.”

My favorite song on the project is their arrangement of “Dear Jesus, Abide in Me.”

Other songs include “It’s Such a Good Feelin,” “He’ll Be There,” “I Am the Word,” “Still Good News Today,” “The Next Time I Get Married,” and “Christ in Me.”

CD Review: Sunday Morning Feeling (The Copenhavers)

  • Posted on February 7, 2011 at 11:40 pm

I met the Copenhavers about three years ago and I love seeing their smiling faces each time our paths cross. Their new CD is a collection of both old and new songs.

The CD starts with the title song which was written by Karen Copenhaver and sung by Jim Copenhaver. Next is “He Set Me Free,” followed by Josh Copenhaver singing, “If I Can Help Somebody.”

Karen Copenhaver sang a song she wrote titled “Everlasting Love” which was based around Jeremiah 31:3. Then they sing “Love is Like a River.” I have a hurt foot but I find myself tapping my other foot when this song comes on. 🙂

Next is “What a Meeting” and “Glad Reunion Day,” followed by Karen’s uptempo song “Restore Unto Me” and ending with “Give Them All to Jesus” featuring Angela Copenhaver. I haven’t heard anyone record that in about 20 years but it’s a needed reminder today as it was then.

CD Review: Pray Out Loud (Mercy’s Harbor)

  • Posted on January 5, 2011 at 11:11 pm

First of all, I have to say that I love the title of this recording. I don’t know the story behind Pray Out Loud since there’s not a song by that title on this recording but, to me, it gives a message before you play one song off the CD.

Mercy’s Harbor is a group based in Albertville, AL. The group consists of Donnie & Melody Marr and Brent Lee.

The CD begins with the uptempo song, “Sailing On Home,” followed by “Bottom of the Barrel.”

My favorite song on this project is their version of “I’d Rather Have Jesus.” They sing it very reverently which allows you to think about the message. I also like “They Can’t Start the Celebration,” a song the Whisnants made popular a while back. Their style actually reminds me a little of the Whisnants.

Other songs are: “This World is Not My Home,” “Look for Me,” “The Past is a Promise,” “I Got It All,” and “He Didn’t Leave Me.”