Nov 19

Chuck Compton “The Dearest Friend I Ever Had”

For more on Chuck Compton, see this post: http://www.southerngospelcritique.com/?p=730.

Nov 18

A thought on soloists….

…in general, I don’t care for them.? I prefer trios or quartets…that’s just my preference.

That said, I must eat those words for an artist that I met on Sunday evening.? Chuck Compton, formerly of The Comptons, was scheduled to sing at my home church along with The Rowlands.? When I arrived at the church, I ran into Mr. Compton in the restroom and briefly spoke in passing.? Since I book some for The Rowlands in my area, I was there primarily to support them and be faithful to our church since my family wasn’t booked this Sunday evening.

Let me say this before I go into further detail; I came away from this meeting in complete amazement and I was completely blown away with Chuck Compton’s singing, musicianship and last, but not least, his spirit and obedience to the Holy Spirit.

The Rowlands began the service and Ron, Kenneth & Wes was great as always; albeit, the service was a little more calm than we are accustomed to at Bethel Missionary Baptist.? The Rowlands sing “Did I Mention” better than any other group I’ve heard and it was certainly a hit with our bunch at Bethel.? Then Mr. Compton took the stage.

I saw from my seat that he was using soundtracks from an iPod through a Bose L1 system along with an acoustic guitar.? From the first note from his guitar, he completely had my attention.? Every song went so smoothly and I was absolutely blown away with his ministry and singing.? He didn’t use tracks on every song, so we were treated with some acoustic numbers along with what appeared to be a Digitech Vocalist Harmony processor.? (They don’t call Chuck Compton “Mr. Technology” for nothing), which was one of the coolest pieces of equipment that I have ever seen.? After I pulled my tongue back in my mouth from drooling over his setup, I got to enjoy one of the best song services I’ve ever sat in (and as you know, I’ve heard a LOT of singers in my day).

Chuck Compton sang several songs and we had a wonderful time in the service with him.? He had a great mix of upbeat songs with slower tunes.? He plays the guitar extremely well with some hints of Willie Nelson licks thrown in for good measure.? His vocals were great and I was very impressed with his stage presence.? He didn’t just stand there and sing.? He kept you interested by interjecting testimonies and stories in between his songs, plus on some songs, he would stop during the turn-arounds and talk then.

(Two great groups in one evening….is there anything else that could have made the evening better?? How about having two souls saved during the services and one of them being my oldest daughter, Keanna.? Praise God that He is still saving old sinners!!!)

I can’t say enough good things about Chuck Compton right now.? I was able to talk with him one-on-one for a bit after the service and I was so glad that I did.? Not only is he a great singer and musician, he is just a great guy.? I told him that I would be writing an article about him, because I believe that if you know of a good thing, then you should share with the rest of the world.

If you are ever wanting to book someone at your church that is more than just entertainment, the consider giving Chuck Compton a call.? His website is www.comptonministries.com.

Nov 11

New Music Playlist (11/11/09) ~ In Honor of our Veterans

Thank you to all who have served to preserve our freedoms!
God Bless America!

1. Tribute To The Armed Forces (Kingdom Heirs Band) – From the bands’ 2004 Lyrics Not Included project.

2. The Soldiers Song (Squire Parsons & Friends) – This song is from Squire’s 2003 project, A Soldier’s Song.? The entire CD was in honor of our soldiers.

3. Blood Bought My Freedom (Primitive Quartet) – The Primitive Quartet recorded this song in 1993 on their 20th Anniversary project.? I believe it is the only song they’ve ever recorded with a drum track.

4. Let Freedom Ring (Kingdom Heirs) – Steve Lacey sang the lead on this great song from the Kingdom Heirs’ 1995 Forever Gold project.? Anyone know where Steve is these days?

5. The Soldier (Old Time Gospel Hour Quartet) – This song completes my tribute to our Veterans.? Couldn’t think of another SG song more fitting than this one from the OTGH’s 2000 The Lamb Is King project

Nov 10

Legacy Five …. Then & Now …. thoughts???

Oct 30

CD Review: Paid In Full “No Trace Of Rain”


Paid In Full
No Trace Of Rain

Label: Song Garden Music Group
Website: www.paidinfull.net

Paid In Full is known in Southern Gospel music for their tight harmonies since the early ’90s, when Jake Hess took the group under his wing, helping them get their start in the professional circuit.? This latest release is simply a continuation of top-tier gospel singing from the 2007 Singing News Horizon Group of the Year.

There is a little something for everyone on No Trace Of Rain.? From more progressive tunes like “If The Truth Be Told” and “It Takes Faith”, country-gospel tunes like “Lead On” and “Faith Moved A Mountain” & traditional quartet sounds like “My Soul Is Firmly Anchored”.? Bass singer extraordinaire, Gene McDonald, joins Paid In Full on “My Soul Is Firmly Anchored” and gives us a glimpse of what the group would sound like as a quartet.

Bradley Littlejohn (baritone), Lance Moore (lead) & Brock White (tenor) continue to prove that they were indeed worthy of the Horizon Group of the Year award and this new release is a continuation of their impressive talent.? With efforts like Paid In Full has displayed here, the group is showing high potential to be a mainstay in SG for years to come.

Complete Track List:

  1. If The Truth Be Told
  2. I Go To Jesus
  3. This Is The Day
  4. Praise Makes The Walls Come Down
  5. Lead On
  6. My Soul Is Firmly Anchored
  7. Waiting For The Morning
  8. Light Doesn’t Make A Sound
  9. It Takes Faith
  10. Faith Moved A Mountain
  11. The Other Side

My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

**This project was given to the reviewer free of charge…this had no influence on the review**

Oct 26

Today’s Music Playlist :: 10/26/09

1. This Ole House by Carroll Roberson from Just For Him (1991)
Most SG fans are familiar with the Cathedrals version of the song, but Carroll Roberson cranks out a wonderful version that most have never heard.

2. I Stand Redeemed by Ernie Phillips from Jesus Gave Me A Song
Does Ernie still have it???? Listen to this L5 tune and see for yourself.

3. Working On A Building by Ronnie Booth from A Gospel Tribute To The King (2008)
Ronnie Booth is without a doubt one of the best singers in SG.? He doesn’t have to pay tribute to the king to prove that, but this entire project is terrific.

4. He Still Speaks by Ponder, Sykes & Wright from Ponder, Sykes, & Wright (1998)
Why did these guys stop recording together?? Hard to beat this trio’s harmony.

5. I Love To Call His Name by The Nelons from A Promised Reunion (1994)
The late Rex Nelon takes the lead on this classic tune from this rare project from The Nelons.

Oct 23

CD Review: HisSong “Journey Through The Sky”


HisSong
Journey Through The Sky

Label: Vine Records
Website: www.hissongmusic.com

  1. Jesus Is The Best Thing (That Ever Happened To Me)
  2. Journey Through The Sky
  3. When We Talk To The Father
  4. Can You Burn
  5. What A Difference A Day Makes
  6. I Believe In Prayer
  7. When God Moves A Stone
  8. Bethlehem, Galilee, Gethsemane
  9. Just What I Needed
  10. They’re Getting Ready In Glory (To Crown The King)

HisSong keeps gaining ground in the Southern Gospel industry, as evidenced by having been invited to perform on the main stage at NQC for the first time this past September.? They have came into their own vocally with a sound that is highly distinguishable from other SG trios.? This latest effort from the group continues with a little more progressive styling than their previous projects, but honestly, the style fits the group.? While I’m not a big fan of progressive SG, I can’t help but enjoy listening to a group find the niche that they are good at.

Most songs on this project have a slow to mid-range tempo, which allows the guys to focus more on their vocals, which are outstanding.? However, the high number of these slow to mid-tracks makes the project seem to drag.? While I’m criticizing for a moment, let me mention that the group’s pronunciation of the word ‘thing’ on the opening track is way too over-the-top for me.? Hearing it pronounced Thaaaaannng over and over got quite annoying….in a hurry.

Don’t get the wrong impression from the criticism…this is a solid project.? The title track is outstanding!? Most lyrics are fresh and the singing is flat-out great.? It was nice to hear one of Ernie Haase’s old solo releases redone (What A Difference A Day Makes).? Although this is a cover version of the song, the harmonies from the guys give it a fresh sound.? “Can You Burn” poses a great question to the believer and has a catchy tune.? “They’re Getting Ready In Glory (To Crown The King)” is another standout song and a great way to close out the project.

Dennis Humphries (Lead), Adam Elrod (Tenor) & Adam Cannon (Baritone) have really meshed as vocalists and the group seems to be headed for great success in Southern Gospel.? This new release is evidence of their ‘journey’.

This project is currently available for pre-order on hard copy from www.hissongmusic.com, but is currently available for immediate download from www.crossroadsmusic.com.

My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

**This project was given to the reviewer free of charge.
This had no influence on the review**

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