It’s June 2017, and we’re halfway through the year. Can you believe it? This month, I bring a true breakout CD from a sibling group, a project that’s garnering acclaim from both the Bluegrass and Gospel Music world. A long-time family group releases its 53rd project. I bring you Southern Raised, the Little Roy and Lizzy Show, and the McKameys latest releases.
Remember friends to get a copy of these releases wherever you get good Gospel music.
Please send your latest releases for review to Randall Hamm, c/o Q-100 WFLQ-FM, P.O. Box 100, French Lick, IN 47432.
Stowtown Records 2017
Songs included: Up All Night (Wayne Haun-Joel Lindsey-Lindsay Reith); Instead (Jeff Baumgardner-Wayne Haun-Emily Reith); Miracle In Me (Mark Mathes); Letting Go (Wayne Haun-Joel Lindsey-Lindsay Reith); That’s What Love Can Do (Jeff Baumgardner-Wayne Haun-Lindsay Reith); Beautiful Moments In Time (Wayne Haun-Lindsay Reith) Beethoven’s 5th (Traditional); Another World (Jeff Baumgardner-Wayne Haun-Lindsay Reith); Wanna Be (Wayne Haun-Lindsay Reith); When Jesus Came Down (Larry Joe Cousin-Rachel McCutcheon); Like My Mother Does (Nathan Paul Chapman-Liz Rose-Nicole Williams); I’d Rather Have Jesus (George Beverly Shea-Rhea F. Miller)
The four siblings: Lindsay, Sarah, Emily and their brother – Matthew Reith – have garnered many nominations from different organizations, but never have any of their albums been as good as their latest release, “Another World.”
Southern Raised, recently signed to Stowtown Records, has produced a true breakout project. From the catchy “Up All Night” – never lose sleep worrying about your problems but give them to God instead because He’s “Up All Night” – to “Beethoven’s 5th” like you’ve never heard it before, this is a true standout project that must be in your collection. “Instead,” which is the group’s current radio release, debuted on the July Singing News Top 80 at 64.
I first encountered these four siblings at the National Quartet Convention in Freedom Hall, dressed in their show clothes putting on a show outside the North Wing of the complex doing a great version of “I Go to the Rock.” I was hooked. You will be too if you get a copy of their latest release.
Kudos to Wayne Haun for crafting their breakout project. Get a copy of “Another World” at southernraisedbluegrass.com or at retail outlets.
Strongest songs: “Instead,” “Like My Mother Does,” and “That’s What Love Can Do”
Little Roy and Lizzy Show
2017 Stowtown Records
Songs included: Going Home; Today Is Gonna Be a Brighter Day; The Church Bell; That’s the Power In the Blood; Dinner On the Ground; In a Whirlwind; Feels Like Rain; Coffee in the Morning; Free Free; When I Stop Dreaming; Traveling On
With their fourth release, “Going Home,” Little Roy and Lizzy have garnered acclaim from both the Gospel and Bluegrass communities. The album debuted in May in the top 10 of the Billboard Bluegrass albums chart.
The band, composed of Lizzy Long, “Little” Roy Lewis and bandmates Nathan Stewart, Haley Stiltner, Tyler Biddix have hit their stride. The CD opens with the upbeat “Going Home.” It speaks of leaving where you are and “Going Home,” the place where you belong.
“Today is Gonna Be a Brighter Day,” is one of my favorite songs on the project. “God’s gonna roll the dark clouds away, and today is gonna be a brighter day.”
The Oak Ridge Boys make a guest vocal appearance on “Dinner On The Ground,” and Jeff and Sheri Easter are featured on “Traveling On.”
The whole CD is delightful and will please any Bluegrass or Gospel fan. Get a copy of the CD at www.littleroyandlizzy.com or at retail outlets.
Strongest songs: “Dinner On The Ground,” “Traveling On,” and “Today Is Gonna Be A Brighter Day”
2017 Horizon Records
Producers: Roger Fortner and Jeff Collins
Songs included: One Thing I Know (Sheryl Farris BMI); Living For Eternity (Sheryl Farris BMI); Come Forth As Gold (Sandy Blythe BMI); Since When (Kristi Fitzwater-Timothy Parton BMI); It’s Mine (Rebecca J Peck-Dianne Wilkinson BMI); Be Brave (Sheryl Farris BMI); Jesus Passed By (Sheryl Farris BMI); So Good To Me (Tracy Lynn Jones BMI); =On and On (Sheryl Farris BMI); For the Record (Sheryl Farris BMI)
The McKameys are back with album No. 53 in their long career. One of America’s favorite family groups unveils “Be Brave,” which includes 10 songs in the familiar McKamey style. The street date for this project is June 9.
The CD opens with the up-tempo “So Good To Me,” in the typical McKamey style we’ve come to enjoy, and it’s a toe tapper. One of the six Sheryl Farris-penned tunes – “Living For Eternity” – brings us the family with daughter Connie taking lead. “Come Forth As Gold” features Peg on this Sandy Blythe-written tune. “It’s Mine” features Reuben on this Rebecca Peck/Dianne Wilkinson collaboration. “Be Brave” features Sheryl singing one of her compositions. “On and On” … he’s been so good to me, I could go “On and On” about His goodness.
The true highlight of the CD is the new Roger Fortner-featured tune, “For the Record.” The tune has a Don Williams-esque quality to it. The first two Fortner-featured singles, “Unspoken Request” and “Pure Satisfaction,” both rang the bell at No. 1 on the Singing News chart. This third single should do the same. With Fortner being so busy as producer and arranger, I can understand why he hasn’t put a full album of songs out, but when we do get a Fortner song, they truly are special.
“One Thing I Know” features Peg once again. In one of my favorite songs on the project, Peg is singing of the days when we have doubts. “One Thing I Know” is that He does all things well, and I know He is with me.
“Jesus Passed By” brings Sheryl back as featured vocalist. This song refers to the biblical account of when the blind man begged for mercy, and Jesus granted him his sight. The blind man cried, “A sinner was I, but then Jesus passed by, and I’m a changed man.”
Ending the project is “Since When,” which features Connie. Overall, the CD will not disappoint the truest of McKamey fans. There is truly something for everybody.
The only thing missing was an Eli Fortner-featured tune. Eli has been suffering complications from a kidney transplant that he received nine years ago. (Note: Information as of press date June 1, 2017) The doctors say he is need of a new kidney, and Eli is currently on dialysis until a new donor can be found. Continue to keep him in your prayers.
Get your copy of “Be Brave” at www.mckameysonline.com or at retail outlets.
Strongest songs: “For The Record,” “One Thing I Know” and “Be Brave.”
By Randall Hamm
First published by SGNScoops Magazine in June 2017.
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