I’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
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.