Posted tagged ‘gospel’

PAUL WILLIAMS & THE VICTORY TRIO, “Going To Stay in the Old-Time Way,” Rebel. 12 tracks.

August 6, 2012

Paul Williams is 13 years into his second career in bluegrass now.

And, at 77, he shows no signs of slowing down.

The man who was born Paul Humphrey made his mark initially in the influential Lonesome Pine Fiddlers around 1950 and went on to become a member of Jimmy Martin’s Sunny Mountain Boys from 1957 to 1963.

Then, in 1963, he left the road and went to work for the post office, performing only at church functions.

But once he retired from the post office in 1996, Williams hit the bluegrass gospel trail with a vengeance.

His 1999 “Old Ways and Old Paths” was nominated for a Grammy.

“Going To Stay in the Old-Time Way” is his 12th album for Rebel Records since then.

Williams, one of the best tenor singers in bluegrass, is also a major songwriter.

His songs have been recorded by Martin, Ray Charles, Ernest Tubb and Hank Williams Jr. among others.

He wrote three of the songs on “Old-Time Way” — “He’ll Calm The Troubled Waters,” “Kept And Protected” and “The Vision.”

Dan Moneyhun, the band’s guitar player, sings lead on two tracks — “I’ve Never Been This Homesick Before” and “It’s All Up To You.”

Some bluegrass gospel albums lean more toward gospel. But William & The Victory Trio don’t neglect the bluegrass. The album definitely fits both categories.

And listeners come away thinking death might not be such a bad thing after all, with lines like “Oh how can I wait till He calls me to join them on that beautiful shore” and “Everybody shoutin’ glory Hallelujah as we leave this sinful ground/What a time in heaven, when I put on a robe and crown.”

Good album by a bluegrass gospel legend.

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MARTY RAYBON, “Southern Roots & Branches (Yesterday & Today),” Rural Rhythm. 12 tracks.

April 23, 2012

MARTY RAYBON, “Hand To The Plow,” Rural Rhythm. 10 tracks.

Marty Raybon began his musical journey in 1975 with his Florida-based family band, the American Bluegrass Express.

In 1984, Raybon headed for the bright lights of country music, settling into the lead singer role in the hot country group, Shenandoah, from 1987 to 1997.

In 2003, he returned to bluegrass in a big way with the critically acclaimed “Full Circle” album.

Lately though, fans have had a hard time knowing what to expect when they pick up a Raybon album.

Some albums are modern country, some are gospel and some are bluegrass.

This spring, Rural Rhythm has released two Raybon albums — one’s gospel and one’s bluegrass.

Both are good, but if you’re expecting bluegrass, you want bluegrass.

“Hand To The Plow” is the gospel album.

“You’ve Got To Move,” the first single, topped the Christian Voice & Cashback charts last fall.

On the traditional “I’m Working On A Building,” he’s joined by T. Graham Brown, Jimmy Fortune and Trace Adkins for some bluesy gospel.

Raybon wrote or co-wrote five songs — “Walking With God At A Guilty Distance,” “When He Reigns, It Pours,” “What Have I Done To Deserve This,” “He’s Still My Little Man (Matty’s Song)” and “You’ve Got To Move.”

“Southern Roots & Branches” is the bluegrass album.

It includes bluegrass versions of some Shenandoah hits — “I Want To Be Loved Like That,” “Next To You, Next To Me,” “Ghost In This House” and “Beulah Land.”

There are a couple of new songs — “Dirt Road Heartache,” a song about heartache and freedom on the road, and “Big Pain,” a song about a pain that just won’t heal.

Jimmy Martin’s “Home Run Man,” Bill Monroe’s “Rocky Road Blues” and Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs’ “Down The Road” bring familiar traditional bluegrass to the lineup and Rodney Crowell’s “Long Hard Road (The Sharecropper’s Dream)” adds some acoustic country flavor.

They’re both good albums. Just be aware of what you’re buying.

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DOYLE LAWSON & QUICKSILVER, “Sing Me A Song About Jesus,” Mountain Home. 11 tracks.

April 2, 2012

Doyle Lawson began his 50th year in bluegrass on Feb.3.

“Sing Me A Song About Jesus” is his 35th studio album. They’re divided almost equally between secular and sacred. Lawson is a master of both styles.

And he has the trophies from the International Bluegrass Music Association to prove it.

Lawson & Quicksilver were named IBMA vocal group of the year from 2001 through 2007. They also won gospel performance of the year honors in 1996, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007 as well as song of the year in 1990 and 2003.

And last year Lawson, J.D. Crowe and Paul Williams won both gospel recorded performance and recorded event honors for “Prayer Bells of Heaven,” from their “Old Friends Get Together” album.

Lawson honed his skills in three legendary bluegrass bands.

He joined Jimmy Martin’s Sunny Mountain Boys as an 18-year-old banjo player.

Then came stints with  Crowe’s Kentucky Mountain Boys (later the New South) and the Country Gentlemen.

In April 1979, Lawson created his own band, first known as Foxfire, and then Quicksilver, when he learned that another band was using the Foxfire name.

He’s been a top name in both bluegrass and gospel for more than 30 years.

 The new album is everything fans of Lawson & Quicksilver hoped it would be.

There’s hard driving bluegrass on songs like “The Rich Man; powerful ballads on “I Saw Him Walk Out of the Sky; an uptempo gospel quartet on “Never Shall Run Dry”; and a couple of great a capella numbers — “The Greatest Creator” and “Going on Home.”

There’s also a new Christmas song, “Little Star.”

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DAILEY & VINCENT, “The Gospel Side of Dailey & Vincent,” Cracker Barrel/Rounder. 12 tracks.

March 19, 2012

Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent took the bluegrass world by storm in 2008, when they decided to leave their roles as sidemen for other artists and create their own group.

The International Bluegrass Music Association named them entertainers of the year and vocal group of the year three years in a row. Two of their albums have taken top honors from the IBMA. They’ve won two best gospel recorded event honors and Dailey was named male vocalist of the year in 2008.

This year, the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America named them gospel group, vocal group and best bluegrass band of the year. Dailey was named entertainer of the year and Vincent, bass performer of the year.

With a pedigree like that, Dailey & Vincent have a lot riding on each album. Can it live up to expectations?

In the case of “The Gospel Side of Dailey & Vincent,” oh yeah.


This album will probably end up on a lot of  Top 10 lists.

But traditionalists may have a problem with the piano, electric guitar, string ensemble and brass ensemble used on the songs.

If you’re not picking at nits though, it’s a great album.

Songs include Carl Perkins’ “Daddy Sang Bass,” Dolly Parton’s “Welcome Home,” Willie Nelson’s “Family Bible,” Buck Owens’ “Eternal Vacation,” Arthur Smith’s “The Fourth Man in the Fire,”  Robert Schmetz’s “Noah Found Grace in the Eyes of the Lord,” Jimmy Fortune’s “Come Back To Me” and the traditional “Cross Over to the Other Side of Jordan.”

Dailey added  “Living in the Kingdom of God” and Vincent co-wrote “Unitl at Last I’m Home.”

There’s a reason this album debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s bluegrass charts and stayed there for weeks.

It’s that good.

Look for it in Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores or online at

DARIN & BROOKE ALDRIDGE, “So Much In Between,” Mountain Home. 12 tracks

October 10, 2011

Darin and Brooke Aldridge, “the Sweethearts of Bluegrass,” released their first album — “I’ll Go With You” — in October 2008, a couple of months before their wedding.

And the past three years have kept them busy on the bluegrass circuit.

Last year, their self-titled album made it to the Top Five on bluegrass, Americana Roots and gospel music charts.

This year, they’ll perform in more than 20 states.

Aldridge has the bluegrass pedigree.

He was a member of the Country Gentlemen for seven years, until lead singer Charlie Waller died in 2004. Then, he worked with the Circuit Riders for three years before joining with his then-finance, Brooke Justice, to form a new band.

But his wife has the show-stopping voice.

On the new album “So Much In Between,” she sings lead on six songs. He sings lead on two and the other four are duets.

It’s a mix of secular and gospel music.

And there are plenty of love songs for those who expect that type of music from the couple.

There’s “Lonely Ends Where Love Begins,” “That’s Just Me Lovin’ You,” “Love Makes The Ride Worthwhile” and “We’re In This Love Together.”

“Every Scar” begins with a man taking inventory of the scars he’s accumulated in life and segues into the scars Jesus bore.

“Jesus Walk Beside Me,” “Lord Lift Me Up” and “He’s Already There” are uptempo gospel numbers.

But the song that’s sure to be a show-stopper on the bluegrass circuit is Patsy Montana’s “A Cowboy’s Sweetheart.” Brooke nails the hard-driving cowgrass song and even gets to yodel.

It’s an album the couple’s fans will definitely want.

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ALL4HYM, “Faith & Family,” Rural Rhythm Christian. 12 tracks.

August 8, 2011

All4Hym is a family band formed by Chester and Terri Kreitzer and their son, Cory.

“Faith & Family” is their eighth album in 15 years and the first on the Rural Rhythm Christian label.

The three Kreitzers share lead vocal duties on the album.

Terri Kreitzer’s a capella version of “Even At The Door” is simply beautiful.

She also sings lead on “Dollar Angel,” a song about giving money to help children in need, and “Inside A Prayer,” which says you’re the closest to heaven when you’re down on your knees.

Cory Kreitzer takes the lead on “Learning To Be More Like You,” about a boy trying to be more like his father and God; “Old Sinner Like Me,” which finds a man wondering if there’s room in heaven for someone like him; “I Was There,” which traces God’s hand throughout history; “Wealthy Man,” about a man who has more bills than he can pay, but is still rich with love; and “Fifty Years Together,” about an old couple looking back on their marriage.

Chester Kreitzer sings lead on “Bought and Paid,” about the mansion that waits for him in heaven; “Grandpa’s Table Grace,” about an old man’s prayer at meal time; “Sit Down With Jesus,” which says Jesus liked to sit and talk with his friends; and “After All These Years,” about a couple that keeps getting closer with the passage of time.

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VARIOUS ARTISTS, “A Bluegrass Gospel Songbook.” Rounder. 13 tracks.

July 11, 2011

Rounder Records has pulled 13 gospel classics from its vaults with this new collection of material recorded over the past few decades.

There’s the hard-driving “Crying Holy” by J.D. Crowe & The New South; Tony Rice’s bluesy “Wayfaring Stranger”; Phyllis Boyens’ hard-charging “Hewed Out Of The Mountain”; IIIrd Tyme Out’s a capella “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”; Blue Highway’s a capella “Wondrous Love” and Dailey & Vincent’s a capella “Amazing Grace.”

The album also includes The Nashville Bluegrass Band’s “Gospel Plow,” Weary Hearts’ “Power In The Blood,” James King’s “Garden In The Sky,” The Grascals’ “Give Me Jesus,” the Bluegrass Album Band’s “The Model Church,” Ricky Skaggs’ “River of Jordan” and the Dry Branch Fire Squad’s “I’ll Be No Stranger.”

Good album by some of bluegrass’ top acts.

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