Jun 29

Steve French Passes Away

Steve-French-681x1024Today is a tough day.  It’s tough because the news broke that one of the greatest influences in my music ministry is gone.  The news of Steve’s passing broke yesterday (June 28, 2016), and I’m just in shock.

I first heard of Steve and the Kingdom Heirs back in 1995 and it was the music of the Kingdom Heirs that sparked my love for Southern Gospel & Quartet Style Music.  It was this very video that caught my eyes (and ears) and really got me through some tough times in my life:

For a couple of years in the late 1990s, I probably averaged a day a week at Dollywood listening to every show the Kingdom Heirs did and talking with them afterwards.  I know they would never remember me, but this group will never know how they have impacted my life and helped start me down the path of a music ministry with my family.  All the memories from those days keep flooding my mind.  What an honor it was for me to know Steve and the Kingdom Heirs.

Many years later, I would have the opportunity to share the Kingdom Heirs’ music with my girls and Steve quickly became my oldest daughter’s favorite singer.  Because of the travel schedule of my family’s ministry, we didn’t get to see them often, but when we did, Steve always had time to talk and have his picture made with Keanna.

The news of his passing has cut deep and it hurts today.  This song was the last that I remember Steve recording with the group.  I want to always be able to remember Steve, his singing and his kindness that he showed to a young boy with no direction, that was searching for meaning in life.  It was Jesus that gave my life meaning, but it was this man and his vision and music with the Kingdom Heirs that helped give me direction in my life.

I pray that God will comfort all of Steve’s family and friends who are hurting.

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Jun 13

Album Review: Something Worth Saving (McKameys)

imageWe certainly live in troubled times, and the future often seems murky at best.  In times like these, we need somewhere dependable to turn, a place tried and true.  Thankfully, for the Christian, we have that perfect refuge in Jesus Christ.  I believe that need applies to all areas of life, even music.  I find it comforting to know that there are some places I can go for music that I can depend on, that are tried and true.  There may be no greater example of this in gospel music than the McKameys.  No matter what’s going on, I know I can put in a McKameys CD and get simple music with a simple, but oh, so needed message of Biblical truth.  The McKameys are back in 2016, their 51st year, with another strong collection of new songs, Something Worth Saving.

My favorite songs on Something Worth Saving just happen to feature the patriarch and matriarch of the family.  Peg McKamey Bean, one of gospel music’s greatest treasures, is featured on two traditional southern gospel tunes.  “I’ve Been in the Book,” from my favorite songwriting tandem, Dianne Wilkinson and Rebecca Peck, tells of a love of Scripture, with an upbeat convention-style lean.  A little more on the country side is “Back to Bethel,” which uses the Biblical example of Jacob to encourage us to remember the time and place of salvation when troubles come.  “Something Worth Saving” features Ruben Bean on perhaps my favorite lyric on the album, set to an old-fashioned Appalachian 6/8 rhythm.  Thank the Lord that “He must have seen something worth saving when He saved me!”

As has been the case the last few years, each of the male members of the McKameys gets one feature song, and each one on Something Worth Saving is very different.  Ruben has the aforementioned mountain gospel song.  Young Eli Fortner sings “I Believe,” which might be described as “rockabilly”.   Roger Fortner is featured on “A Few Things,” which is country, country, country…positively dripping with steel guitar.  The gentlemen McKameys can always be counted on to toss some variety into the mix.

The remainder of the songs feature the “second-generation” McKamey ladies, Sheryl Farris and Connie Fortner.  As usual for the group, these songs span a wider stylistic spectrum than many might think, all the while maintaining the family’s signature instrumental simplicity, letting the lyrics stand out.  On the more modern end are the worship song, “Christ Is Able,” which opens the album, and the album closer, the prayerful “Come to My Rescue”.  On the more traditional side are “Days Gone By,” with Connie singing of the faithfulness of the Lord, and “That’s Why There’s a Cross”.  The latter is probably the recording’s most powerful performance, with a building chorus that proclaims the power of Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary.

If you buy the physical CD of any McKameys recording (at least all the ones I have), you’ll find my favorite attribute of the group within the album insert.  You’ll see the lyrics for every song printed, and right at the top of each lyric, you’ll find a Biblical reference for the song.  Folks, that’s what gospel music is about.  No matter who’s singing or who’s playing what instruments, it’s about God’s Word put in a vehicle that delivers it to the ear, the mind, and the heart.  The McKameys understand this, and demonstrate this as well as anyone.  When your troubled heart is seeking for a comforting song, you won’t go wrong with the McKameys and Something Worth Saving.

Album Rating: 4.5 stars

Song List:

  1. Christ Is Able (Tommy Walker/Mike Harland)
  2. I’ve Been in the Book (Rebecca Peck/Dianne Wilkinson)
  3. Bring You Glory (Leigh Parsons Sexton)
  4. I Believe (Sheryl Farris)
  5. That’s Why There’s a Cross (Farris)
  6. A Few Things (Rodney Birch)
  7. Back to Bethel (Larry Whitehead)
  8. Days Gone By (Peck/Wilkinson)
  9. Something Worth Saving (Whitehead)
  10. Come to My Rescue (Farris)

 

Available: McKameys

Mar 18

Album Review: The Light (Barry Rowland & Deliverance)

the-light-CD-300x298This is my fourth review of a Barry Rowland & Deliverance recording in five years, and it’s always a recording I look forward to.  With The Light, Barry, his wife Tammy, and Shawn Rupert return with another collection of (mostly) Kyla Rowland compositions showcasing their signature Appalachian gusto.

If anyone out there still isn’t familiar with Shawn Rupert, they continue to miss out on one of gospel music’s most powerful voices.  Barry Rowland & Deliverance are at their best when they turn Rupert loose on a song with some juice to it.  The album opener, “God Delivered Me,” is an example, as is “He’s Still on the Throne,” which has always been one of my favorite songs in Gold City’s catalog.  Deliverance’s version gives Rupert the lead throughout, as opposed to handing it off to a higher voice in the chorus, which I think gives a more energetic effect.  Rupert also has an outstanding feature on “The Light,” another excellent pull from Kyla Rowland’s vast bank of songs.  This one has a slower tempo, but probably the most powerful delivery on the album.

“The Light” is just one of a handful of mid- to slow-tempo songs in 3/4 or 6/8 time (how do you tell the difference anyway? Ha.)  This is, of course, Mrs. Kyla’s staple.  These include excellent features for Tammy (“Looking at a Risen Lamb”) and Barry (“God’s Word Will Stand”).  The latter is a particularly well-executed lyric on the supremacy of Scripture, which is always a worthwhile song subject.

The slower songs are broken up by a couple of quality uptempo numbers.  “That Tomb Is Empty Now” is, obviously, a Resurrection lyric, and one I gladly found stuck in my head quickly.  “Holy, Glory to the Lamb” tells of the new song we will be singing in Heaven.

In a day where many groups are trying to make their music sound shiny and slick, I always love the contrasting quality of Barry Rowland & Deliverance, who just rare back and SANG.  (Where I’m from, SANG is a present tense verb.)  With Shawn Rupert’s power, the group’s straight-ahead harmonies, and mama Kyla’s Spirit-saturated songs, Deliverance always delivers.

Album Rating: 4 stars

Song list:

  1. God Delivered Me (Kyla Rowland)
  2. Looking at a Risen Lamb (Rowland)
  3. The Light (Rowland)
  4. That Tomb Is Still Empty (Harvey Gene Smith)
  5. God’s Word Will Stand (Rowland)
  6. So, I’ll Tell Jesus (Rowland)
  7. He’s Still on the Throne (Rowland)
  8. God Understands (Claude Ely)
  9. Holy, Glory to the Lamb (Rowland)
  10. Marching in Victory (Rowland)

Available: Crossroads

Jan 19

Album Review: Pray for Me (Inspirations)

Prod.Pray_Did the year 2015 seem different to you, but you couldn’t put your finger on why?  I figured it out for you: best I can tell, it was the first calendar year in over two decades that the Inspirations did not release a new recording of exactly 10 songs.  Never fear…the boys from Bryson City decided instead to kick off 2016 with Pray for Me, their new CD of, you guessed it, 10 songs in their singular traditional quartet style.

After nearly a decade with the same vocal lineup in the 2000s, this is now the sixth different vocal configuration to record for the Inspirations in the last seven years, with multiple changes coming at all four parts.  On this CD you’ll hear Harold Reed for the first time on tenor, Joseph Brown for the first time on bass, and longtime Inspirations both on their second tour of duty, Matt Dibler and Melton Campbell.  While Campbell’s vocals are on the CD, he has left the quartet since recording, replaced by Roland Kesterson.  I hope that they will give Kesterson the baritone features and keep them in concert rotation, since they are very good.  “God’s Already There,” written by Joseph Habedank and his mother Leah Sandlin, is a beautiful and tender ballad out of the same mold as the outstanding “I’ve Found a Faithful Friend,” which featured Campbell on the last Inspirations recording.  On the other end of the spectrum, Campbell shines on “What All the Shoutin’s About,” a fun and fast-paced number.

You can’t have an Inspirations recording without an assortment of uptempo quartet songs.  If you want those, where better to turn than Dianne Wilkinson and Rebecca Peck?  They contribute the aforementioned “Shoutin,” and  “Onward to the Goal,” featuring Reed.  Wilkinson flies solo writing “Surely I Come Quickly,” which also features the tenor.  The latter two are more of a light convention quartet style, Inspirations all the way.  They also throw in a cover of the classic “Daniel Prayed,” which will likely be a concert staple.

Matt Dibler has always been one of my favorite lead singers in gospel music.  His clear and solid voice are perfect for what the Inspirations do.  There may be no greater match between singer and song this year than Dibler and “It’s Under the Blood.”  I love the combination of Pastor Leonard Fletcher’s writing with this quartet, going back to the truly great “I’m Not Ashamed”.  “It’s Under the Blood” is not a brand new song, but I am not aware of any national groups recording it until now.  It’s the highlight of Pray for Me, and should also be a shout-‘er-out highlight of the Inspirations’ concerts this year and in the years to come.  I hope the Inspirations will record Leonard Fletcher songs ’til Jesus comes!

If you have been reading here for a while, you know that I always “root for” the Inspirations.  I have a personal attachment to their music going back to my childhood unlike any other group, and I feel they occupy a much-need space in gospel music.  Though these days you may not be exactly sure what singers you will hear, you will always know what the Inspirations will sound like, and I find that comforting.  With a batch of quality new songs on Pray for Me, there is no reason to stop anytime soon.  Keep on keepin’ on, Inspirations.

Album Rating: 4 stars

Song List:

1. Daniel Prayed (G.T. Speer)

2. God’s Already There (Joseph Habedank/Leah Sandlin)

3. Pray for Me (Dottie Rambo/Jimmie Davis)

4. Child of the King (Cindy Walker/James Wills)

5. Surely I Come Quickly (Dianne Wilkinson)

6. It’s Under the Blood (Leonard Fletcher)

7. Onward to the Goal (Wilkinson/Rebecca Peck)

8. What All the Shoutin’s About (Wilkinson/Peck)

9. Jesus Picked a Rose (Peck)

10. Sweet Beulah Land (Squire Parsons)

Available at: Crossroads Music

Dec 30

2015 Year in Review: Top Albums

MHF-devotedIt seems impossible that it was a year ago that I was debating whether to name the Mark Trammell Quartet or Kingsmen CD as my favorite album of the year.  But here we are again, looking back at all that 2015 offered us in the gospel music world.  I’m obviously not a professional “critic” or qualified to be anything more than a fan, but I still love to bestow upon someone an “Album of the Year” title, for whatever my little opinion is worth.

This year, the decision was not difficult.  One album clearly stood out among the others, and it was from a group that had never before appeared in my year-end rankings.  When I bought the Mylon Hayes Family’s Devoted, I fully expected to enjoy the recording, because of exposure I had to their music online.  But I did not expect to be blown away like I was.  Because I believe so much in what the Mylon Hayes Family is doing, I’ve never been more pleased to put a CD at the top of my list of favorites.

Devoted has it all: fantastic convention-style singing, orchestrated ballads, hard-driving uptempo songs, and quieter meditative numbers.  Mylon, Wendy, Conner, Bailey, and Kennedy execute those songs with a talent clearly honed through expert training and hard work.  A lot of the credit also goes to Rebecca Peck, who penned more than half the tracks on the album (four co-written with Dianne Wilkinson).  It was my only 5-star album reviewed this year, and was as close to perfection for me as you can get.

With that, I give you my list of top ten albums of the year.  Thanks for reading this year, and I hope you’ll continue to honor me with your presence on the blog in the year to come.

 

  1. Devoted, Mylon Hayes Family (review)
  2. That Day Is Coming, Collingsworth Family (review)
  3. As We Speak, Greater Vision (review)
  4. A New Chapter, Jim Brady Trio
  5. Still, Booth Brothers (review)
  6. A New Look, Kingdom Heirs (review)
  7. All That Matters, Edwards Family (review)
  8. Walk of Faith, Whisnants
  9. Ready to Sail, Erwins
  10. Stay, Old Paths (review)

Dec 29

2015 Year in Review: Top Songs

dayiscomingI have not been able to write as much this year on the blog as in years past, due to church and job obligations occupying more of my time than ever.  I hope in 2016 to be able to return to the frequency of posting as in years past.  But I still listened to gospel music as much as ever, and found a lot to like.  Once again, I’d like at the end of the year share with you my favorite songs and recordings that made their way into my collection this year.  If last year was the year of the quartet, with the Mark Trammell Quartet and the Kingsmen dominating my favorites, this year is the year of the family groups.

There is no doubt that the Collingsworth Family is at the top of their game, setting the bar for excellence in gospel music very high.  The honor for my Song of the Year goes to the majestic ballad “When He Carries Me Away,” from their outstanding That Day Is Coming recording.  Written by Rachel McCutcheon and Adina Bowman, the lyric, melody, and soaring Wayne Haun arrangement combine to give the listener the feeling of being “carried away” to a truly heavenly place.  Kim Collingsworth delivers one of her best vocal performances, which is saying a lot, and the rest of the family produces that signature wall of sound that sets the Collingsworths apart from most other groups.

McCutcheon had a strong showing on my favorite song list, with three selections out of the twenty.  Dianne Wilkinson, who had the most on my list in 2013 and 2014, also had three.  But they were both bested by Rebecca Peck, who, mainly due to the stellar Mylon Hayes Family recording Devoted, composed five songs in my year-end list.  Therefore, Rebecca Peck is my 2015 Songwriter of the Year.

See below for my the full list of my top 20 songs of the year.

*I am counting the Booth Brothers’ Still recording in 2015 for the purposes of this year in review, since it came out so late in 2014, and I didn’t get it until late January.

 

  1. “When He Carries Me Away,” Collingsworth Family, That Day Is Coming (Rachel McCutcheon/Adina Bowman)
  2. “Jesus Saves,” Booth Brothers, Still (Travis Cottrell/David Moffitt)
  3. “What an Anchor,” Mylon Hayes Family, Devoted (Dianne Wilkinson/Rebecca Peck)
  4. “Put Out the Fire,” Greater Vision, As We Speak (Rodney Griffin)
  5. “It’s Not a Problem for the Answer,” Mylon Hayes Family, Devoted (Rebecca Peck)
  6. “It’s Just Like Heaven,” Mylon Hayes Family, Devoted (W. Oliver Cooper)
  7. “Touch of the Master’s Hand,” Booth Brothers, Still (John Kramp)
  8. “Grace Happened Here,” Mylon Hayes Family, Devoted (Rodney Griffin/Natalie Harp)
  9. “Gotta Get to Jesus,” Collingsworth Family, That Day Is Coming (Rachel McCutcheon/Karen Gillespie/Helga Kaefer)
  10. “I’ll Take It Like It Is,” Mylon Hayes Family, Devoted (Dianne Wilkinson/Rebecca Peck)
  11. “Let the Blood of Calvary Speak for Me,” Greater Vision, As We Speak (Joel Hemphill/Candy Hemphill Christmas/Lari Goss)
  12. “I Choose to Be a Christian,” Erwins, Ready to Sail (Rachel McCutcheon)
  13. “Steppin’ Out in Faith,” Jim Brady Trio, A New Chapter (Jim Brady/Melissa Brady)
  14. “Ever Faithful,” Collingsworth Family, That Day Is Coming (Joel Lindsey/Jeff Bumgarner)
  15. “How Great the Debt,” Old Paths, Stay (Dianne Wilkinson/Rebecca Peck)
  16. “One More Opportunity,” Mylon Hayes Family, Devoted (Rebecca Peck/Allen Guyer)
  17. “What the Bible Says,” Collingsworth Family, That Day Is Coming (Wayne Haun/Randall Garland/Val Dacus)
  18. “I’m Not Going to Hell,” Edwards Family, All That Matters (Stacy Pearcy)
  19. “There’s Still Power in the Blood,” Collingsworth Family, That Day Is Coming (Kirk Talley)
  20. “I Love You This Much,” Whisnants, Walk of Faith (Sandy Blythe)

Nov 11

Album Review: Miles Pike – Candid

miles pike - candidI’ll be honest with you….over the past couple of years or so I’ve became disenchanted with Southern Gospel music as a whole.  Not sure the exact reason of this, perhaps it’s just a season of life to go through.  During this time I’ve been on a hiatus from listening to anything other than some old favorite recordings of mine.  Yesterday, I received a package from artist Miles Pike of Jacksonville, TX.  I opened it up to find his new recording inside.

To be honest, my initial reaction was “meh…another CD.”  I started looking over the song titles and some really grabbed my attention.  One track in particular caught my eye… “Would Jesus Wear A Rolex”.  Being a huge Ray Stevens fan & collector, I remember when he released this song in 1987 on his “Crackin’ Up” recording.  I thought to myself, “If someone is brave enough to sing a song like this, they deserve a listen.”  I immediately threw the album into my computer and started listening, although not really hopeful of hearing anything worthwhile.  Honestly, I jumped to track 3 because I was ready to compare Miles’ version to Ray Stevens’ efforts.  I was more than surprised when the track played.  The arrangement of the song was similar to Stevens’ version, but Miles certainly made it his own…and I love it!!!!  Afterwards, I set the project to loop over and over for the rest of the day and it truly never got old.

To say that I’m blown away with this project is really an understatement.  It’s not your typical Southern Gospel or Country Gospel recording whatsoever…and it’s right up my alley.  I suppose you could say this is type of crossover project…not exactly strictly Country or Southern Gospel, but enough flavor from both to make it really good.

From the first song to the last, I have honestly enjoyed this project as much as any I have any that I have ever received.  Yes….any.  And that says a lot about this project.  It was good enough to bring me from review seclusion to let you know just how good this recording is.  It

The song selections are great, the music and production quality is phenomenal and the vocals are top notch.  I especially love the quartet styling on songs like “Modern Man” and “Talk About The Good Times”, which unless I’m mistaken is Miles singing each of the four parts.  Miles’ range is uncanny!

This CD will be available soon for your purchase and I hope you will do your self a favor and buy it.  It really is a fantastic recording.  I’m still looping it in my office now and I like it more now than when I first listened.

Miles, thank you for sending this CD to me!  You have rekindled my interest in listening to new recordings.

Album rating: 5 stars out of 5


 

Track List (with scripture & notes from Miles Pike):

1. Hard – Rich Mullins
1 Corinthians 9:24-27, Galatians 5:17, Romans 7:14-25
When I came to Christ, I had an idea of what being a Christian would mean in my life. A few changes here and there and get rid of some bad habits. Now, years after my conversion, I realize I had no idea what Christ had in mind. More than that, I realize I had no idea what He had to work with — or rather, the lack thereof.

2. Don’t Unpack Your Bags – Steve & Annie Chapman
Hosea 4:6-9, 2 Timothy 4:1-5
In the beginning, people flocked to Christ for his powerful speaking and for his amazing miracles. But the truth He spoke offended people; rubbed salt in their decaying souls. And in the end, the majority of those that had followed him rejected what He said, and for three years of ministry, all the Son of God had to show for it was perhaps 500 people. Somehow, this is encouraging to me, in a round about way. Every preacher desiring to follow in Christ’s steps should consider seriously what He said — if I was rejected, you will be rejected. If I was hated, you will be hated.

3. Would Jesus Wear A Rolex – Margaret Archer/Chet Atkins
Hebrews 13:5, Matthew 8:20, 1 Timothy 6:3-12
The only reason I can get away with bringing this issue up is because the song is funny. Otherwise it would be judgmental and “surely you don’t mean Bro. So-And-So” would start flying through the air. To me, the very fact that Bro. So-And-So popped into your head at all is a little telling. Obviously there’s a little doubt there already. And there shouldn’t be. God’s spokesmen should have an untainted reputation, in the world as well as in the church. Period. Is that a tall order? You betcha.

4. You Love The World – Keith Green
James 4:3-10, 1 John 2:15-17, Luke 9:23-26, Luke 21:34-36
When I read what Christ said about loving the world, I find that His emphasis is on the love of it’s security, the love of it’s respect, the love of it’s entertainment — simple everyday loves. And I find the love of the world hiding in the shadows of my own heart, and once again have to cry out for forgiveness and grace.

5. Why Aren’t We Waiting – Chaz Bosarge
Colossians 4:2-4, Isaiah 26:8-11, 2 Peter 3:11-14, Psalms 37
“Why aren’t we waiting?” I can easily answer with a quickly manufactured theological mini sermon, but “why am I personally not waiting,” is not so easily answered. Wonderfully good and needful things keep me from my Lord. I find myself Martha (the Biblical Martha — this is not a jab at my wife), wishing I could be Mary (the Biblical Mary — not any Mary you know), but too practical to actually let some of the good and needful things go undone.

6. Brother’s Keeper – Rich Mullins/Beaker
Genesis 4:9, Luke 10:25-37, Luke 6:27-42
I want to be good to the people in my life so badly. And I know that’s part of the evidence of salvation — loving your neighbor and wanting to be true to the love that Christ places in your heart. But there’s not much that I fail at more regularly. I’m forever needing to go back to the Lord to ask Him to help me do what He has given me the desire to do — make me my brother’s keeper.

7. Man Against Man – Buddy Greene
Colossians 3:1-17, Deuteronomy 10:17-19, Leviticus 19:15, James 2:1-17
When Christ looked at a person, I guess there was really only one category He ever saw. Adams race, all created in God’s image, all broken, all sinful, all needing a Savior. And when I forget that, my condemning, judgmental, stereotyping reflex demonstrates that it is alive and well in my flesh.

8. Recovering Pharisee – Buddy Greene
Romans 7:21-8:11
My Christian life is very similar to what I imagine rehab is like. I’m in recovery — the cure has been given and it is even now at work. My mind is being changed to reflect the mind of Christ. But my flesh has got ruts a mile deep where the wheels of old habits go round and round. I know Christ is at work within me, but sometimes I wish He’d speed up the process.

9. Live Your Life – Tim Lovelace
Proverbs 11:10, Matthew 12:33-36, Luke 6:43-49
I’ve sung the standards at dozens of funeral and heard some whitewashed (sometimes completely erroneous) eulogies by pastors who either did not know the person or knew them and lied as big as Dallas. And then there were the sweet funerals where we grieved for the gaping hole left in our lives, yet knew we’d see them again. That’s what I want my funeral to be like.

10. Modern Man – Stephen Hill
Romans 3:10-18, Isaiah 59
When people come to our house, they are often surprised by the quiet. In the beginning of our marriage, we decided to do without cable TV; at the same time, living in the sticks, we have internet that is limited and slow. Not having those things, we gradually reacquired the sensitivity to filth that had somewhat eroded for both of us with prolonged exposure to media before marriage. When we see live TV now, it amazes us to think that we were at one time comfortable to be entertained by that. That’s an issue previous generations never had to deal with. Evil that used to be shut out of the protected atmosphere of the home is now piped in at every moment without pause. You can hold it in your hand, you can put it in your ear; it is readily accessible anywhere you go.

11. Hard to Get – Rich Mullins
Psalm 73, Isaiah 55:8-11, Luke 22:39-46, Isaiah 53:4
What stands out most to me about the person of Christ is that He’s absolutely unpredictable. He’s full of contrasts. In every given circumstance He does exactly the right thing — but the right thing is rarely what I would have thought the right thing would be. If I had been a disciple, I’m very sure I’d have been yelling with the rest of them, “Master, wake up! Don’t you care that we’re gonna die?” Very sure, because that’s exactly the way I am now.

12. You Get Back Each Single Minute – Mark Bishop
2 Corinthians 4:16-5:2, 1 Peter 5:10, Romans 8:18-37
“I will restore the years that the locusts have eaten.” I love these words in Joel. I know so many people who are like the saints of the Old Testament — they don’t understand the ‘why’ of their present circumstances, but they look ahead with eyes of faith and know that in the end, God will make it right.

13. Talk About the Good Times – Jerry Reed
1 Peter 1:3-9, Isaiah 65:17-25, Isaiah 11:1-9, Isaiah 2:1-5
This song reminds me so much of my Grandad — a man who loved Jesus, loved his family, and loved his community. He was told that he needed open heart surgery by the doctor, and when his sister got onto him for cooking his eggs, bacon, biscuits, & gravy, he told her, “There’s somebody bigger than the doctor. I’m hurting, I’m tired, and I’m ready to go.” It makes me smile to think of him seinin’ for minners in the River of Life, humming “Just a Closer Walk With Thee.” Talk about a good time.

Recorded and produced by Tommy Cooper
Tracks recorded at OmniSound Studio,
Nashville Engineers: Tommy Cooper, Lee Unfried, Mike Walter
Vocals recorded at AFAB Studio,
Nashville Mixed at AFAB Studio,
Nashville Strings recorded at Little Big Sound,
Nashville Orchestra Engineer: Jeff Pitzer Mastering – Keith Compton,
Nashville Graphics – McClearan Design Studios
Cover Art – Lorianne Hubbard
Replication – TCA (Tape Corporation of America)

Piano/Organ/Keyboards: Gary Prim
Drums/Percussion: Tommy Harden, John Hammond
Bass: Duncan Mullins
Electric Guitars: Kelly Back
Acoustic Guitar/Banjo/Fiddle: Bruce Watkins
Fiddle/Bouzouki: Glen Duncan
Steel Guitar/Dobro: Scott Sanders
Penny Whistle/Recorder: Sam Levine
Accordion: Jeff Taylor
Harmonica: Buddy Greene
Cello: John Catchings
Jug: Tommy Cooper
Background Vocals: Miles Pike, Martha Pike, Angela Primm, Gale Mayes, Reggie Smith, Buddy Greene
String Arrangements & Orchestrations: Milton Smith
Orchestra: Violins: David Davidson, David Angell/Viola: Monisa Angell/Cello: John Catchings


For more information on Miles Pike and adding his music to your library, visit www.MilesPikeMusic.com.

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