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.

About Wes Burke
I'm a .NET developer and Southern Gospel music fan. Married with a wonderful family.

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

  1. volscot says:

    As I said in my comment on your the Hidden Gem piece, this is one of my top two GV projects of all time. Depending on the day, it may be my favorite. I agree with many of your comments, with the most notable exception being “My Guilt…”. I almost never get tired of hearing a steel guitar (and I’m not a country music fan)!!!

  2. Randy Field says:

    I enjoy reading your posts and agree with you on your comments about GV. Didnt know if you had any more info on Geralds solo project AND if you had ANY idea how to get the performance tracks to some of those old Riversong lable recordings?

  3. natesings says:

    Last I heard, the release date for Gerald’s solo CD was moved to NQC since there were some other projects being released around the same time as the original date. I think the Greater Vision Kids CD came out about that time. With the new trio CD coming out the week of NQC, I don’t know if the solo CD release date will be moved again due to the other release as before, or if it will be released as well.

  4. Grant says:

    Is it possible to obtain a soundtrack for The Shepherd’s Found a Lamb? I have emailed GV twice but no response, Thanks

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