Bobby All Update

Bobby’s son, Jimmy, has posted an update in the comments section of my post here. Please continue to keep Bobby and his family in your prayers. Again, if you are able to help his family in other ways, please do so. Bobby has contributed immeasurably to the music that we all love so much.

Bobby All Hospitalized

According to the Singing News site, Bobby All has been hospitalized for a severe infection and is currently in ICU.  We all need to remember his family in our prayers.  All is one of the foremost guitarists in the SG studio scene, and has been for quite a number of years.  You’d be surprised by looking at your CD inserts how many different artists with whom he has recorded.  If you can help his family, please do.

Hidden Gems: Gold City – “A Little Down Payment”

This song came off of the 1997 effort from Gold City, What A Great Lifestyle.  This is an upbeat, traditional song penned by Squire Parsons.  Good group vocals on the first verse and chorus with the melody in Trammell’s baritone line, then a key change and the melody switches to Jonathan Wilburn on the second verse and chorus.  The key changes again and Jay Parrack takes the lead.  A second repeat of the chorus with a key change in the middle occurs and leads to the tag with a couple of surprising chord progressions thrown in.  Is there anything overly flashy about this track?  Not really, but it features the Parrack, Wilburn, Trammell, Riley lineup at their best.  Very solid, very smooth, and very enjoyable.  Put this track on and just try to keep your foot from tapping.

Monument Quartet Changes

I went to Monument’s website today and noticed that they have not only a new bass singer (I guess Mike Allen is finished filling in) but it appears they have a new lead singer as well. Looks like it’s out with John Tidwell and in with Daryl Williams. Either that or it’s someone who looks just like him! There are no names listed in the bio on their official site or their myspace page. I’m looking forward to hearing more about this one and the future of the Daryl Williams Trio. Any hear anything about this?

Everyday Driven Leaves The Road

It seems that we have seen more groups fold in the last couple of years than I ever remember seeing.  According to this story on the Singing News site, Everyday Driven is coming off the road.  Buddy Mullins is the new music minister at Crosspoint Church in Gadsden, AL (isn’t this where a lot of the guys in Gold City attend church?), Paul Lancaster, as reported a couple weeks ago, has joined the Greenes, Kerri Mullins will be working with her husband, and Channing Eleton is going out solo.  God bless each of them in their endeavors.

Kingsmen Band Status

A report on the SN forums states that Zack Swain was playing piano for the Kingsmen, officially as a “fill-in”, but poster DJS is hoping that Swain stays on. I’m not familiar with Zack or his playing, but he impressed long-time Kingsmen fan DJS. It is heartening to see that the Kingsmen are still intent on re-establishing their band, which has long been a trademark for them.

UPDATE: Nate found Zack’s myspace page here.  You can go there for bio information, sound clips, etc.

New Information On Gold City Recordings

Brandon over at Coomer Cove has the scoop from the SN forums on Gold City’s upcoming CD. I too am interested in hearing Gold City’s take on the Imperials’ “Bread Upon The Water”, as I thought the GVB had an incredible version of it on Give It Away. The GVB version has some really nice harmony and just a great updated feel to the song. It will provide for an interesting contrast to Gold City’s upcoming version. I do find it interesting that all these Taff era Imperials tunes are seeing the light of day again, which is a testament to the strength of the material.

Also in the SN thread is the information that Gold City will be releasing Classics, vol. 2. Included will be “How Deep Is The Water”, “Just Like You”, and “Holy Anointing”. This will also be a fairly interesting compilation, more for what is chosen to be recorded as opposed to what it actually sounds like.

Stay tuned!

The Collingsworth Family

Late last week I caught the TV version of the new Gaither video, Rock Of Ages.  The special concluded with The Collingsworth Family singing “May The Good Lord Bless And Keep You” acappella.  I’ve heard a lot about the group, but never actually heard them.  If what I heard on that video is an accurate representation of the group’s music, I will be anxiously awaiting a trip to Memphis from them.  The arrangement was impeccable, they use the extra voices well in adding some grace notes, 6ths, 9ths, the like, and had a very nice, smooth blending sound.  Color me impressed.  Their song and the Florida Boys’ performance of “Stand By Me” alone make me want the DVD.  Kudos to the Collingsworth Family, I came away tremendously impressed.

Classics Corner: Greater Vision – “The Shepherds Found A Lamb”

This is the long delayed and long awaited part 2 of the tribute to Jason Waldroup’s tenure with Greater Vision. This was Jason’s first mainline CD with Gerald Wolfe and Rodney Griffin and was released in 1996.

Tracks

  1. He Set Me Free – Nice medium tempo convention style song. This song just bounces along nicely in a fairly traditional arrangement that would not have sounded out of place on a red back hymnal series CD. Jason takes the lead on the last chorus and the harmony is inverted. I’ve always liked Greater Vision’s version of this song. You can’t help tapping your toe and smiling while listening.
  2. If There’s No God – This is Rodney Griffin’s lyrical rebuttal to atheism by claiming that the evidence of God’s existence is found all around in the beauty of nature and the changed lives of believers. It’s a fairly slow, country twinged tune with solid vocals in a very low arrangement. Gerald Wolfe sings the second verse solo and turns in his typical strong performance.
  3. Once And For All – This is Jason’s first feature, a 3/4 medium tempo ballad style tune. Again this song is keyed very low. It is plain that Waldroup doesn’t have the high end that Allman had, but that Greater Vision would not suffer, that they could pull off the lower harmony just fine. It’s a fine tune, and Waldroup turns in a fine performance.
  4. He Gave Me The Well – This is, as far as I know, the original recording of Rodney Griffin’s classic song. It’s fairly straightforward, the same typical country ballad feel that others have given it. The main difference here is the quality of Greater Vision’s vocals. There is good reason they won so many favorite trio awards. Very smooth. Rodney turns in a good performance on the verses. I’ve always enjoyed hearing songwriters sing their own songs. There’s a special quality to the recording you just don’t get from someone else singing the song. This is true here.
  5. The Blood Hasn’t Ever Changed – Chris Allman penned tune that features a fairly soulful backing track and great vocal from Gerald Wolfe on the verses. Jason Waldroup sings the lead on the chorus. This is one of two Allman penned tunes, which makes me wonder if recording had started on this album before Jason joined the group. The harmony on the bridge excerpt of “Nothing But The Blood” is especially nice and a great key change leads to the tag. GV really shows some versatility on this song. One of the picks of the disc.
  6. The Shepherds Found A Lamb – Mid tempo country style tune with another very low arrangement. A VERY different arrangement of this song appears in the Christmas musical Unspeakable Joy which our church choir performed this past year. The two arrangements are in no way similar, if it was not for the lyrics, you would think they were two different songs. Good solid tune, with a nice word play on the word Lamb.
  7. I Don’t Want To Go Back – Jazzy mid tempo tune. This is one of the better tunes on the disc. Jason turns in a great performance, and features some of the higher notes on the disc, showing he did have some higher range, he just uses it very sparingly. Very enjoyable song.
  8. Spirit Of Brokenness – Quite simply, a masterpiece. I did a hidden gem on this as part 1 of the tribute to Jason here. As close to perfection as you can get.
  9. My Guilt Is No Match For His Grace – Country flavored ballad that features Gerald. This is the second Allman penned tune on the project. Solid vocals, smooth blend, but the backing track is a bit too country for my taste, too much steel guitar for me. I do like the lyrics to the song, very powerful and a great message.
  10. Lift Me Up Above The Shadows – Another red-back hymnal convention type song closes the disc. Greater Vision really excels on this type of song, as is evidenced by the popularity of their Church Hymnal series of custom CDs. The ending is the highest on the disc. Again, Waldroup did have some higher notes, he just used them very sparingly.

This was a very solid debut for Waldroup, and a very solid CD overall from Greater Vision. “Spirit Of Brokenness” is one of the greatest songs that GV ever recorded. The low keys and arrangements are quite striking on this disc, I had forgotten just how prominent the low arrangements were until I listened again to the CD. On the whole, this CD doesn’t compare to Far Beyond This Place or When I See The Cross, but was a definite signpost along the way to Greater Vision’s “glory years”, for lack of a better term. Still, it is a very solid and enjoyable CD, and it’s definitely worth pulling back out and putting in your disc player.

Roundtable Review: Kingsmen – When God Ran

The KingsmenWhen God Ran

Contributers:

1. The Cloud He’s Coming Back On

Wes: This is a medium to uptempo number that gets
this disc started off in fine fashion. This is a very “Kingsmen-style”
tune that reassures the listener that even though there are some new
musical influences and styles present on the CD, it’s still the same
Kingsmen that we’ve all known and loved for years. This is actually a
cover of a song previously recorded by the Happy Goodmans. Solid group
vocals on the first verse and chorus, then a key change occurs and Ray
Reese and Harold Reed split the second verse. A nice key change during
the repeat of the second chorus leads to the tag. Reed is definitely
making a statement to the doubters that he can “tote the mail” as a
Kingsmen tenor.

Brandon: This is a cover of an old Happy Goodmans
song. Triumphant also covers the song on their new project,
Intermission. I’m going off on a tangent, but Triumphant
covered “The Holy Hills Of Heaven” last year, which was also covered by
the Perrys last year. Out of all the old Goodman songs, Triumphant ends
up covering two that were also covered by other big time groups in the
same year. That is just strange.

Aaron: There seems to be a lot of “cross-recordings”
happening in SG lately. Just look at 2006, when Truth Is Marching
On
was recorded by three different groups at the same time: Gold
City, Legacy Five, and The Talley Trio.

Back on subject, however, this is a really good rendition of the song. I
find myself humming this throughout the day, as it’s a pretty catchy
tune!

Brandon: I can see “cross-recordings” of new songs.
When the Singing News chart started, the same song would be on the chart
by two, three, or four artists. If a group really falls in love with a
song, they can record it even if another group as the rights to single
it, such as the case with “Truth Is Marching On”. These Goodman songs
have been around 20 to 30 years and could have been recorded at any
time. Two groups picking out the same song out of the Goodmans’ huge
song catalog in the same year is funny to me, funnier because it has
happened with Triumphant two years in a row. I’m not saying there is
anything wrong with it, it just strikes me as strange.

Adam: I’ve really enjoyed this song, but I can’t
wait to hear Triumphant’s rendition.

2. Fight To The Finish

Daniel: “Fight to the Finish” features tenor Harold
Reed, who joined the Kingsmen nearly a year ago after spending ten years
with the Dixie Melody Boys and three years with the Florida Boys. The
song, Reed’s first full feature with the Kingsmen, combines military
imagery with an uptempo arrangement.

The song is keyed in C, modulating to D-flat in the second verse and
D in the final chorus. At least by Kingsmen standards, the arrangement
is not taxing, never straying above the A above middle C. But it fits
the song well, permitting a more driving and even martial edge to the
song than a typical higher arrangement for a Kingsmen tenor feature
would permit.

Brandon: I remember the announcement of Harold’s
hiring caused quite a stir in the online community. I think this is a
nice feature to introduce him to fans who don’t/can’t/won’t make it to
Kingsmen concerts. The non-taxing key is a good choice for his first
feature, as it doesn’t expose his lack of range that the Kingsmen’s
tenors typically have. The song isn’t one of my favorites on the
project, but I enjoyed the song and Harold’s performance.

Daniel: I have heard that he can hit the G above
high C on “Glory Road.” However, he tends to use his lower tenor range
on most songs, including features, to save his voice. This both frees
him up to hit a few high notes each night, and have the endurance to
outlast most Southern Gospel tenors. He has already lasted roughly a
decade and a half on the road, well above the average for Southern
Gospel tenors.

Wes: The low harmony on this song is pretty unique
for the Kingsmen. Solid song, but nothing spectacular.

Aaron: I’d been really anxious to hear this project
for a number of reasons, but one big reason was to hear Harold again. I
enjoyed him with The Florida Boys, and this song puts to rest any doubts
that he wouldn’t fit in with The Kingsmen. The previous track showed him
off a little, but this song really lets him show all other tenors how to
get it done. Can’t wait to hear this one live!

3. Gospel Road

Adam: Classic quartet harmonies kick off this song,
interestingly, with a banjo & a triangle as the primary
instrumentation in the soundtrack. Phillip Hughes sings the lead on the
mellow verses on “Gospel Road”. If you are looking for vocal acrobatics,
then you need to skip this song, but if you like solid, smooth gospel
singing, then this song will please the ears of most Southern Gospel
fans.

The Kingsmen have really opened themselves musically on this project
and I think the results are fabulous. While this song uses some
lackluster imagery to get it’s message across, it’s purposed is served
to encourage the listener that there is a new home awaiting them “at the
end of Gospel Road”.

Brandon: I completely agree with you about the
lackluster imagery. The alliteration of “Apostle Avenue”, “Believer
Boulevard”, and “Salvation Street” sounds like something out of a corny
70s song. It doesn’t detract from my enjoyment of the song, though. I
even like the banjo and triangle, which shocks me.

To me, the key word you used to describe this song is “smooth”. It
fits, but that isn’t a word that is typically used to describe the
Kingsmen.

Aaron: I found myself really enjoying this track,
because it’s a good example of The Kingsmen trying out some newer stuff.
It has a bluegrass feel, not unlike Alabama’s Dixieland
Delight
, and the guys sing it with good effect.

Wes: Smooth is the best description here, which
again is historically different for the Kingsmen, but in later years
they’ve done some smooth stuff, like “Come to the Water” from You’re
Not Alone
.

Daniel: A banjo, used as the lead instrument on the
first chorus, gives this song a bluegrass feel and makes it stand out on
first listen to the project. It fits the rest of the project well enough
to not be an anomaly, but is unique enough within this project’s style
to remain one of its most catchy tracks.

Adam: My intial reaction to the imagery was that is
was cheesy. I reworded it because I thought the word cheesy sounded too
negative and that wasn’t my intention because the song deserved better
than that. I like the term Brandon used: “Corny”.

4. When God Ran

Brandon: The project’s title cut also serves as
the first single and features the returning Bryan Hutson, who rejoined
the group as baritone. He served as the group’s lead singer from 1996
to 2001. Since this is the song involved in David Bruce Murray’s Guess
The Group contest, I should mention that Bryan’s voice, especially the
“my God called me son” line in the bridge, is what cemented it in my
mind that the song was recorded by the Kingsmen. In my opinion, Bryan is
one of the best vocalists in the group’s history.

The song is the first of two ballads featuring Bryan on the project.
It is a typical ballad in that it starts laid back, then the music
builds, and finally the vocals step up to match the music’s
intensity.

The most heard comment about the song thus far is that it doesn’t
sound like the Kingsmen. I’ll go along and say the song is much more
polished than the typical Kingsmen sound.

Aaron: I went out on a limb (so I thought) when I
guessed that it was The Kingsmen singing this song. The only reason I
guessed was because of Ray Dean Reese’s bass and Harold Reed’s tenor.
This song might shock some dyed-in-the-wool Traditional SG fans who
don’t care for the Progressive stuff, because this cover of a CCM hit
sounds like nothing the guys have ever done before.

I hear tell that this will be the first single off the project. I can
see this rising pretty quickly on the charts; it’s already gotten some
good publicity, and besides that, this is simply great stuff!

Wes: Wow. Hutson is how I knew this was the
Kingsmen. It’s a very progressive sound, I like Brandon’s word:
polished. This may be musically the best single the Kingsmen have ever
released. Definitely the best song on the project.

Adam: What a powerhouse ballad. Amazing work!

5. Road To Glory

Aaron: This song sounds a bit like something The
Dove Brothers would do. It sounds different from a typical Kingsmen
song. The groups sings the first verse in unison, then split to parts at
the end of the verse. The second verse features a Ray Dean Reese solo in
the first phrase, then each part comes in with each verse.

A false ending pays a throwback tribute of sorts to a Kingsmen
classic, Glory Road, then Brandon Reese’s drumming leads to a
reprise of the chorus, with another tribute to Glory Road
thrown in.

Brandon: This is actually one of my favorite songs
on When God Ran. It is extremely catchy. I can’t help but hum
along or mouth the words as I listen.

While Ray does a nice job on the verse, I think the standout vocal on
the track belongs to Phillip Hughes, especially on the bridge. I also
think that Harold’s vocal stands out in a very good way on this
song.

Aaron, are you referring to the line “It’s good to be on that
glory road” as a tribute to “Glory Road” or the false ending
itself? I agree that the line is an obvious tribute, but I don’t
normally associate a false ending with any arrangement of “Glory
Road” that I’ve heard.

Aaron: Yes, I meant the line itself, not the actual
false ending.

Wes: Decent song, it’s definitely catchy. This group
of Kingsmen have an overriding smoothness to their blend that is really
anchored by Hutson’s voice. Reed is a fairly smooth tenor as well. I
like the nod to “Glory Road” as well.

6. Big Enough

Wes: This is a very catchy, bouncy tune that
includes some of the higher tenor notes from Harold Reed. The harmony is
a bit inverted as the baritone part is actually stacked over top of the
lead part. Ray Reese sings the second verse and does a fine job, this is
the type of song he does well. There are a couple of very interesting
key changes after the second chorus. It starts with restructuring the
harmony to the traditional arrangement and then changes in the middle of
the chorus to a tenor lead. It’s actually quite an interesting twist to
an otherwise simple song musically. This is another song that will get
stuck in your head and would make a great radio tune.

Aaron: Catchy, and unique, especially near the end.
Harold’s higher range shows itself on this song. Ray Reese’s bass
features are always impeccably sung, and the same is true in this
song.

Adam: Something struck me about this song yesterday.
I was stuck in traffic listening through the CD in my car and I had to
repeat this song a couple of times. The verses are reminiscent to the
tune of an old kid’s song, “Big Rock Candy Mountain”. Once this thought
struck me, I really had a hard time enjoying this song. It’s probably my
least favorite now. Weird how a song can remind you of such a silly song
from your childhood.

7. The Word

Daniel: “The Word” is a big ballad featuring
baritone singer Bryan Hutson. The verses focus on the immutability of
the Bible despite scoffers’ challenges and opponents’ attacks; the
chorus focuses on the Bible’s life-changing power.

The musical accompaniment is a fully orchestrated soundtrack. While
many past Kingsmen tracks, as well as a few on this project, seem to be
arranged in a way that would highlight a band in a live concert, this
project reflects the Kingsmen’s current interim between bands with
several tracks, such as this one, that seem to be arranged to be
performed as a standalone track

Brandon: This is the project’s second ballad
(along with the title song) that features Bryan. By far, I think this is
the weaker of the two. Bryan’s vocal isn’t bad, but the song just
doesn’t hold my attention. I do find the ending of the song, the
staggered, multiple repeating of “the Word” by all four vocalists to
be a nice touch.

Daniel: Certainly “When God Ran” is one of the
project’s standout tracks. It’s the sort that makes you sit up and say,
“Now who is that?” This song, on the other hand, isn’t the sort
that makes you sit up and pay attention on the first time through the
project. But I think that, in its own quiet way, it is actually a
stronger song than appears on first listen. With the right introduction
- perhaps mentioning liberal theologians’ attacks on the Bible – I could
see this track being popular in concerts.

Aaron: I agree with Daniel’s statement that this
song does take a few listens to catch on. The ending did catch my
attention the first time through, though; The repeats of the title sound
similar to the ending of Gold City’s Preach The Word.

Wes: I am in the minority here, but I love this
song. Maybe it’s just because I really like Hutson’s voice on ballads. I
also caught the similarity to Gold City’s “Preach The Word”. That was a
good call, Aaron. I just think the lyrics and Hutson’s performance make
this one of the strongest songs on the CD. Not quite as good as “When
God Ran”, but it’s a close second in my eyes (or should that be
ears?).

Adam: I liked this song the more I listened to it.
Bryan Hutson is an awesome singer.

8. A Sound From The Other Side

Adam: This upbeat number, lead by Phillip Hughes,
has the fastest tempo on the album (which is right up my alley). This is
one of those songs where you want to crank the volume up in the mornings
to wake you up and get your blood pumping or listen to while working
out. Tracks like this are what I think of when I’m thinking about The
Kingsmen. It reminds me of songs like “Even John Couldn’t Tell It”,
“Somebody Run” & “Joy’s Gonna Come”.

Continuing in The Kingsmen tradition of catchy tunes, “A Sound From
The Other Side” delivers enough energy to make you tap your toes and
also get you excited about our Savior’s return to Earth to call us
home.

Wes: This is a typical Kingsmen uptempo song that
keeps their fan base happy. It’s important when stretching your musical
boundaries to not alienate your core fan base, and this is one of three
tunes on the disc that are straight ahead Kingsmen style tunes.

Aaron: I love this track! Phillip Hughes shows on
this song that he is doing a great job of continuing the traditional of
exceptional lead singers for The Kingsmen. Very catchy tune, and I loved
that last bass note that Ray Reese hit at the end!

9. More Than Pray

Brandon: Lead singer Phillip Hughes is featured on
“More Than Pray”, a medium tempo, country sounding song. I can’t
help but compare the first verse to the opening verse of a song on the
Dove Brothers’ newest project, “A Day In The Life Of America”.
Both verses talk about a typical slice of life event. This song talks
about going to bed after watching the evening news. The Dove Brothers’
song talks about getting up and preparing to go to work.

The song carries a good message, but musically, I’m not that
impressed. I don’t like the very country sound and think Phillip is a
much better singer than this song allows him to show.

Aaron: This song really didn’t impress me at all. It
felt like the writer was trying to cram so many things into each phrase
of each verse that it was just a big turn-off to me. The aforementioned
A Day In The Life Of America doesn’t cram quite as much, making
it much more listenable than this one.

Wes: I agree that this is the weakest song on the
project. It’s not bad, but not nearly as strong as the others. I agree
with Brandon on the heavy country sound. I wasn’t impressed with Gold
City’s Revival for the same reason.

Aaron: After a couple more listens, I warmed up to
this song. By no means a really strong song like the others, but it’s
kinda nice.

Adam: Looks like I’m in the minority. I thought it
was a good song, worthy of at least 3 stars. Phillip Hughes’ voice is
really growing on me.

10. He Knows My Name

Aaron: This song will please longtime Kingsmen fans,
with a sound reminiscent of their classic style. The groups sounds like
The Florida Boys (especially with Reed’s tenor!) or The Kingdom Heirs on
this track.

Ray Dean Reese’s smooth bass voice shows one reason why he was a
worthy inductee to the SGM Hall Of Fame!

Daniel While several of the soundtracks on this
project seemed to be recorded to be performed without (or at any rate
without needing) a band, the arrangement on this Harold Reed feature
seems to be written for a live band. Look for this song to be performed
without a soundtrack, or with only a light soundtrack, if/when the
Kingsmen band returns.

Wes: This is a great song to put as the ending
track. It’s the last of the 3 Kingsmen-esque tracks on the CD, and the
most reminiscent of the “three chords and a cloud of dust” style of days
gone by. Sung very solidly, this absolutely closes out the CD on a good
note (literally and figuratively).

Adam: It’s nice to see that the Kingsmen still hold
on to some of their classic sound. This album has been a great mixture
of new and old.

Summary

Song Wes Daniel Adam Brandon Aaron
The Cloud He’s Coming Back On * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Fight To The Finish * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Gospel Road * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
When God Ran * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Road To Glory * * * 1/2 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Big Enough * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The Word * * * * 1/2 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
A Sound From The Other Side * * * 1/2 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
More Than Pray * * 1/2 * * * * * * * * * 1/2
He Knows My Name * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Average 3.8 stars 4 stars 4 stars 3.9 stars 4.5 stars
Composite Average 4.04 stars

Daniel: Often when a group experiments with a new
sound, they test the waters by trying it on one or two tracks. On
When God Ran, the Kingsmen take the far more daring step of
trying a new sound on for size throughout the album. This modern country
style is comparable to that of the Dove Brothers, interestingly enough
also a Crossroads artist. Whether or not the Kingsmen decide to keep
this style, its consistent use lends the project a stylistic coherency
that will keep it far from being a weak entry in the Kingsmen
catalog.

Aaron: I’ve heard numerous times that this project
has taken The Kingsmen to a whole new level. I must say that I agree
wholeheartedly; the guys did a great job of testing the waters without
getting themselves too far out. They sort of started that trend with
2006′s Good Good God, but this project takes a much more
ambitious approach. I like the fact that even though this is the first
time in many years that The Kingsmen have been without a band, they make
do with what they have, and arrange great songs despite the absence. I
hope that the next project continues in this same vein, but that they
will have a band again and will be able to put out songs like this that
would involve the band more. This is already one of my favorite projects
of the year, and I believe that this will put The Kingsmen back at the
top of Southern Gospel music.

Adam: The Kingsmen have outdone themselves musically
on When God Ran. I hate to say it, but maybe losing the band
was the best thing that has happened to them, especially in a studio
setting. I know there will always be those “gotta have a band”
mentalities, but being without the band has allowed them to think
outside of the traditional “Kingsmen” box and really expand their
library of songs. Yeah, their old projects were good, but this new
project raises them to another level. I thought Good Good God
was a great project, but this one surpasses that effort by far. Sounds
like the Kingsmen have a strong future ahead of them, especially if they
keep raising the bar on their material. When God Ran is one of
the few must-have projects this far into 2008.

Although my individual song ratings put the album at 4 stars, the
project is easily rated higher when listening to the entire project
instead of individual tracks for review. My overall rating is 4.5 stars.
Even after listening through the project 12+ times, it’s still got a
refreshing sound and I highly recommend adding this project to your
‘must-buy’ list for 2008.

Wes: This is one of the strongest CDs the Kingsmen
have done in a long time. The closest from their past I can compare to
is I Will or You’re Not Alone. It is with this CD that
the Kingsmen have reinvented themselves and positioned themselves as
being in the musically strong class of quartets. The lineup has every
appearance of now being quite stable, and the blend is incredibly
smooth, especially for the Kingsmen. Strangely enough, however, I gave
it 38 stars for a 3.8 average. I think this CD is definitely one of the
type that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. For example,
on its own, I don’t care much for “More Than Pray”, but in the context
of the CD, it fits. Taken as a whole, I’d give this a 4 or 4.5 star
rating. It’s definitely the strongest collection from the Kingsmen in
recent years.

Brandon: If Good, Good God was a tune up
for the group’s sound, When God Ran is an engine overhaul. As
Wes said, they have “reinvented” themselves to match the group’s
personnel. Bryan has a big voice that was made for ballads, have him
sing ballads. Harold’s tenor voice isn’t made to scream all night
long, have him sing lower, smoother songs and let him pop a note when he
needs to. Phillip is a great singer with a terrific range, so let him
sing a country clunker. Ok, so the project isn’t perfect, but what is?
My star ratings average out to 3.9 per track, but that doesn’t really
do this project justice. I’ll go a little higher than Wes to call it a
definite four and half star project.

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