Apr 03

Top 100: #5 Always Have a Song (Mark Trammell Trio)

Release Year: 2008

Album Rank for Group: #1 of 8

Here’s a blurb: We’re in rarefied air now, entering my Top 5 albums of all time.  Leading off the top five is my favorite album ever that wasn’t recorded by a quartet.  Of course, the only thing this recording lacks that keeps it from being an all-time great quartet album is a bass singer.  This album has everything the neotraditional quartet fan could want: power ballads, barnburners, convention songs, mid-tempo numbers, all executed to perfection.  Let’s start with the power ballads, which, in my opinion, are two of the best recorded by anyone in the last decade.  Kyla Rowland’s “Loving the Lamb” is the group’s biggest song to date, and has become their go-to, sing-it-every-night, bring-the-house-down song.  But Rodney Griffin’s “If Only Just a Few” is just as good in my book.  Both showcase Mark Trammell at his very best, which better than any baritone has ever been.  Kyla Rowland also contributed two stellar uptempo numbers, “Coming Out and Moving In” and “Called In, Called Up, Called Out” (the latter co-written with Dianne Wilkinson).  They are totally infectious and pure southern gospel, all the way.  “I Always Have a Song to Sing” is a delightful true convention song.  Mark doesn’t get all work, as Eric Phillips (the rollicking country tune “Safe on the Glory Side”) and Dustin Sweatman (the pensive mid-tempo ballad “What Good Would a Crown Be”) each get one of their best features of their careers so far.  Am I crazy to think they should put Pat Barker on this thing and release it again?  I don’t even know if that’s possible, but I would buy it.  It just might be my favorite quartet album of all time.

Knock my socks off: Loving the Lamb, If Only Just a Few, Coming Out and Moving In, Called In Called Up Called Out

Don’t skip that one: What Good Would a Crown Be, I Know That I Know, I Always Have a Song to Sing, Safe on the Glory Side

I could honestly do without: At the Whisper of His Name


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  1. Brandon Coomer

    I have also wondered why they haven’t added Pat’s vocal and released it as a quartet recording. From a fan’s perspective, it would be awesome, but from a business perspective, I don’t know if they really have anything to gain from it. I don’t see Daywind being interested in going through the expense of re-releasing a project that is still in print and already one of the best recordings in SGM. Still, I would love to hear it as a quartet.

    1. Brian Crout

      I can see it now…”I Still Always Have a Song to Sing”!

      But you’re right…if it was a table project, it would be different. Obviously, MTQ re-released their Vintage Gospel project as a quartet. I don’t think there’s any precedent for re-releasing a major label project a few years old with a new lineup. But we can always dream!

  2. Daniel J. Mount

    I can’t say how many times I’ve brought up that I sure wish they would re-cut this with bass vocals, especially now that Eric is back!

    This album does definitely belong in the top 5 albums of all time. 🙂

  3. yankeegospelgirl

    Rarefied air… LOL. 🙂

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