I have three new CDs I have reviewed – the Littles, Mark Bishop and the Troy Burns Family.
As always, if you enjoy my reviews, get this music 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, Ind., 47432.
“Back to the Well”
Producer: Gerald Wolfe
Songs: Whole Lot of Heaven in the House (Ronny Hinson, BMI); The Unseen Hand (A. J. Sims, BMI); We’re Gonna Rise (Greg Day, BMI); At the Name of Jesus (Pamela Hall, BMI); Some Things Never Change (Greg Day-Steve Hurte, BMI); You May Feel Lonely (Livy Hyde, BMI); Keep Coming Back to the Well (Joel Hemphill, BMI); One Holy Lamb (Phil Cross-Cindi Ballard, BMI); The Sweetest Song (Albert E Brumley, BMI); Ten Thousand Years (Elmer Cole)
The Littles of Monroe, N. C., are quickly becoming a favorite among family groups in Christian music. Their progressive style of gospel music is built around great arrangements, close family harmony, and strong vocals, and it is sure to minister to audiences of all ages. The past year has seen the Lord open new ministry opportunities while expanding the group’s reach and schedule.
The Littles consist of Jack and Jan Little and their daughter, Rebecca Little Burke. This is their sixth album, entitled “Back to the Well,” and this is a song title that completely describes the album. They went “Back to the Well,” picked up some classics and put their stamp on them.
Founded in 2007, the Littles have become fan favorites over the past few years and have appeared on the National Quartet Convention main stage the past few years. Their latest and first single release from the project is “Whole Lot of Heaven in the House,” written by Ronny Hinson, and with its Cajun feel, it consists of pure delight and toe-tappin’ sounds. The single debuted on the March national charts inside the top 30.
The album contains some other new material such as “Some Things Never Change,” from the pen of Greg Day and Steve Hurte. This is the next single release to follow up “Whole Lot of Heaven.” Yes, the “Old Rugged Cross” is still saving the lost … “Some Things Never Change,” and thank goodness for that.
As I mentioned, the Littles went back to the well and put their stamp on some great classics such as: “Unseen Hand,” a Rambos classic from the pen of A. J. Simms; “One Holy Lamb,” from Phil Cross, and “Ten Thousand Years,” from Elmer Cole. These are Southern gospel classics, and the Littles knock them out of the ballpark.
Also, a new recording of “Sweetest Song I Know” had my toe tapping, and I was singing along instantly.
Friends, do yourself a favor and pick up or download a copy of “Back to the Well,” and you’ll be listening to this for “Ten Thousand Years.”
Visit the Littles at www.facebook.com/thelittlesmusic or get a copy of “Back To The Well” at www.jacklittleministries.org/.
Strongest Songs: “Whole Lot of Heaven in the House,” “Some Things Never Change,” “Ten Thousand Years”
Songs: More Than Enough; I’m in God’s Hands; Finish Well, Finish Strong, Finish Empty; He’s Always Been a Friend (with Kenneth Bishop); God is Powerful; The Refrigerator Door; What it Comes Down to is Me; Tell Me You Saw Me; Couldn’t Feel Any Better (with Chris Freeman); Fly Away Little Birdie; I’m Gonna Wish I Had Worried Less. All songs were written by Mark Bishop, BMI.
The 14th solo studio recording by Mark Bishop, “A Different Light,” includes 11 cuts written by Mark and is another CD that brings us Mark’s style of singing. His style can weave a story, bring us into the story, and by the end, the listener is as much a participant as the singer.
I talked with Mark a few weeks back, and he said that this is the first album that finally sounds like a Bishops album. From “More Than Enough,” to “I’m Gonna Wish I Had Worried Less,” the album easily could have been recorded with his dad, Kenneth, and his brother Kenny, alongside Mark. They formerly traveled as the Bishops.
I have always loved Mark’s easy-going style and especially on this project. The true highlight of this album is the first single, “The Refrigerator Door.” It’s a story of how grace was found on a refrigerator door. It’s a great story song and one that Mark excels in.
Other highlights include a duet with Chris Freeman on “Couldn’t Feel Any Better,” that you feel at any moment Ronnie and Larry Hinson will jump in, and “He’s Always Been a Friend,” with his dad.
“Finish Well, Finish Strong, Finish Empty” features the Kingdom Heirs backing Mark up on a great song of faith.
Overall, this CD certainly feels like a Bishops recording through and through and is the best of Mark’s career.
Visit Mark at www.facebook.com/markbishopmusic or get a copy of this CD at www.markbishopmusic.com/shop.
Strongest Songs: “The Refrigerator Door,” “Finish Well, Finish Strong, Finish Empty,” “He’s Always Been a Friend”
Songs: I’m Going to a Land (David Doolittle, BMI); God Is Near (Leonard Fletcher, BMI); Nothing Is Impossible with God (Phil Morgan, BMI); Jesus Is Mine (Wally Fowler, BMI); He Washed My Feet (Rodney Griffin, BMI); When I Leave It in Your Hands (Ann Downing-Dwight Liles, BMI); Chiseled in Stone (William Shane Roark, BMI); Good News in a Bad News World (Barbara Lister Williams, BMI)
The Troy Burns Family has become a favorite of mine to play on my radio program and in my car. This latest CD is the best of their career, with a sound reminiscent of the Inspirations. Of course, Troy was a long-time member of the Inspirations, and he makes their sound easy to listen to.
Troy, Tammi Burns and Shane Mathis have crafted a recording that you’ll give many spins to in your home and car. Starting with the first track, I’m Going to a Land” – with its convention-style singing – it will have you shouting, “Glory.”
Also on the CD is a recut of “Jesus Is Mine” that Troy did with the Inspirations in 1976, and Troy doesn’t miss a step.
Some great ballads are also featured, including the first single release, “When He Laid His Hammer Down,” a story of when Jesus, who was a carpenter, finally laid His hammer down and took up His ministry and changed all history.
“When I Leave It in Your Hands,” is a song of the peace we know when we leave it all in God’s hands. Ann Downing has written some great songs, but this is truly one of her best.
Overall, this CD is a must have. And again, a shout-out to the Chapel Valley musicians, who always do a fine job backing up their artists.
Visit the Troy Burns Family at www.facebook.com/pg/troyburnsfamily and get a copy of the CD at www.troyburnsfamily.com.
Strongest Songs: “I’m Going to a Land,” “When I Leave It in Your Hands,” “When He Laid His Hammer Down”
By Randall Hamm
Randall Hamm shares his reviews every month in the SGNScoops Magazine. Please send your latest releases for review to Randall Hamm, c/o Q-100 WFLQ-FM, P.O. Box 100, French Lick, Ind., 47432.
First published by SGNScoops Magazine in March 2018
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