Mar 07

Top 100: #11 Once Upon a Cross (Mark Trammell Trio)

Release Year: 2007

Album Rank for Group: #2 of 8

Here’s a blurb: For five or six years from their start, each successive album released by the Mark Trammell Trio showed signs of progress.  When Dustin Sweatman replaced Joseph Smith in the trio’s first personnel change in 2006, their vocal sound got a little boost.  When they released their first major studio recording in that configuration, Once Upon a Cross, their song quality and production quality got a huge boost.  This album was, in my opinion, the trio’s first major step toward getting to that elite tier of southern gospel groups, where they are today.  With Sweatman joining Mark Trammell and Eric Phillips, the great singing was a given, but strong contributions from the likes of Dianne Wilkinson, Kyla Rowland, Rodney Griffin, Chris Allman, and Joseph Habedank are what really made this album stand out above those previous.

Knock my socks off: Let Me Bring Your Children Home, Even Thomas Couldn’t Doubt It, Once Upon a Cross, However I Go, Moving the Hand of God

Don’t skip that one: I Still Believe, You Can’t Hold Back the Flood, Won’t It Be Wonderful There

I could honestly do without: Heaven Can’t Be Far Away


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  1. Daniel J. Mount

    Great pick on #2. I agree that it’s #2.

    I’m also thrilled to see that it’s #2, because I can’t see any way on earth why “Always Have a Song” wouldn’t be #1. (This would also mean, if I’m right, that you would rank that album among the top 10 SG albums of all time, and I think that would actually be a fair assessment.)

  2. Brian Crout

    You got it. But how high?????

    1. Daniel J. Mount

      I’ll guess it is #6. There are a few Cathedrals and Gold City albums that deserve the top few slots! 🙂

  3. David Bruce Murray

    I’m most curious to see at what point on the scale you drop the “I could honestly do without” bit.

    1. Brian Crout

      Never! Even my #1 album has a song that will go in that category!

      I will say that an “I could honestly do without” song on my #1 album is probably better than one on my #94 album. In fact, it’s probably better than a lot of songs I really liked on other albums. But I don’t like it nearly as much as the other songs on the album.

      1. David Bruce Murray

        Well, it’s your format… LOL

  4. Andrew S.

    Nice assessment. This recording convinced me of MTT’s staying power in SG. Mark’s hiring Sweatman really got the ball rolling.

    Out of curiosity, since 9 of the 10 songs are listed, where does the lone tune, “Weary at the Well,” fall? My assumption is that the tune falls between the two lower slots.

    1. Brian Crout

      You correct…”Weary at the Well” is not a song I would repeat very often, but it’s not one I would likely skip, either.

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    […] Crout is on the verge of breaking into his top ten personal favorite SG albums of all time. Sitting at #11 is the Mark Trammell Trio’s Once Upon a […]

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