Forgotten Albums: Kingsmen – Not Quite As Big, But Just As Live Again

Recorded at Gold City’s Homecoming celebration and released in 2000 as a table project is quite possibly the best live album most SG fans have never heard.  Loosely a re-creation of the album that put the Kingsmen on the map, Not Quite As Big, But Just As Live Again (or Big & Live 2 for short) is an incredible concert featuring Jerry Martin, Bryan Hutson, Parker Jonathan, Ray Reese, and Andrew Ishee.

The songs largely come straight from the original Big & Live, minus “The Apple Tree Song” and adding “Just As The Son Went Down” and “Wonderful Time In Heaven.”  The same raw emotion that drove the Kingsmen’s great live albums from the 70s and 80s exists here as well.  Jim Hamill makes an appearance to sing “Love Lifted Me” (and featuring Jerry Martin hitting a glass shattering Ab above high C) and “I’d Rather Be An Old Time Christian.”  Martin absolutely sings the fire out of “Look For Me At Jesus’ Feet” and “Glory Road” as well.  Bryan Hutson’s lead vocal absolutely smokes on “Wonderful Time In Heaven.”  Ray Reese sings “So High” at warp speed.  “Look For Me” also features some vocals from bass guitarist Jason Selph as well.

If you’re a fan of good, straight ahead quartet singing, and especially a fan of the Kingsmen’s high energy live albums, you need to scour Amazon, Ebay, or any place you can think of to find a copy of this album.  It’s simply awesome.

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

5 Responses to Forgotten Albums: Kingsmen – Not Quite As Big, But Just As Live Again

  1. LeviSJ says:

    It’s so funny you brought this one up today. I just pulled out this cassette at random Monday and have been listening to it on my commute to and from work all week. I have to rewind and replay Jerry Martin’s ending on Love Lifted Me over and over–especially with that crowd response.

    I found the original Big and Live cassette at a flea market when I was 16, and it was my first taste of a live Kingsmen album. That tape is almost worn out, too. But, when I heard this one, I kept waiting to hear some of the same background sounds from the original (the guy on stage shouting Amen during Love Lifted Me, the tenor singing crazy high notes). It was a pretty close rendition of the first project.

  2. anthony says:

    you got that right, possibly the best live album you will never here. i was fortunate, i called jim hamill and asked him what he had available, so i got 5 of his solo’s cd’s, and he told me of this one. just 3 chords and a cloud of dust. the raw power of these guys on this cd is incredible. yes jerry goes off the scale. the harmony on glory road gets me. out of a five star rating, it gets a six.******

  3. quartet-man says:

    I like the original better. The tenor there too hits a high Bb. I wonder if they lowered the key for Martin or Hamill. 😀

  4. David J. Stuart says:

    This was truly a great project, especially on being a “table project”. I’m surprised that they didn’t pick it up as a mainline project, which they sometimes do. I am glad to have this in my collection.

  5. Quaid says:

    Best arrangement of Gloryroad I’ve ever heard.

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