A Tribute To The Songs Of Bill & Gloria Gaither – Booth Brothers

GRADE:  B-

  • Album – A Tribute To The Songs Of Bill & Gloria Gaither
  • Artist – Booth Brothers
  • Label – Spring House Records
  • Style – Traditional, Progressive
  • Release Date – 08/14/12
  • Available For Digital Download? – Yes (iTunes, Rhapsody, Amazon)

SYNOPSIS:

As the end of the year approaches, I will try to complete all the album reviews I have not got around to finishing.  My annual countdown of the best albums will be coming in December.

The Booth Brothers released a specialty album in August honoring the songs of Bill and Gloria Gaither.  This is not the first time artists have done entire albums featuring Bill and Gloria’s compositions.  The Speers were doing it back in the 1970’s.

The task is whether or not the Booth Brothers can take songs that have already been recorded countless times and add anything new to create an experience for the listener that sounds fresh.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The songs of Bill and Gloria Gaither fit the Booth Brothers style perfectly.  The slower to mid tempo arrangements layer well with the Booth Brothers harmony.  The arrangements and musical accompaniment complimented the vocals and didn’t over power them.
  • The best songs on this tribute album are those Gaither tunes that haven’t been recorded more times than one can count.  The back to back musical punch of “I’ve Been To Calvary” and “Tell Me” stand out above the rest of the recording.  The listener is even treated to some singing by Melissa Brady on the second verse of “Tell Me”, a song originally recorded by the Gaither Vocal Band with Janet Paschal.
  • As tired as I was hearing “I Played In The Band” during NQC, I enjoyed this new tune on the album.  It was a welcome change among all the song covers.  This new song was co-written by Bill and Larry Gatlin.
  • While each member have features, this album was more vocal ensemble work where no vocalist stood out on a particular performance.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Tell Me”, “I’ve Been To Calvary”, “I Played In The Band”, “Joy In The Camp”, “Through” and “Let The Healing Begin”.
DISLIKES:
  • Songs that have been recorded more times than any one listener can handle.  No matter how different an artist can make an arrangement, over use of a song is still over use of a song.  “There’s Something About That Name”, “I Believe In A Hill Called Mount Calvary”, “I Will Serve Thee”, “I’m Free”, “He Touched Me” and “I Just Feel Like Something Good Is About To Happen” should be retired for several years before anyone else records them.
  • Slower to mid-tempo songs outnumber up-tempo numbers (only three on a fifteen song collection).  Better pacing would have made for a better listening experience.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “I Just Feel Like Something Good Is About To Happen”, “I Believe In A Hill Called Mount Calvary”, “I Will Serve Thee”, “I’m Free”, “He Touched Me” and “There’s Something About That Name”.

WRAP UP:

The Booth Brothers are in a league where they can take an album that would be considered mediocre if done by other artists and still make it sound good.  It is no surprise they are the biggest act touring the Southern Gospel circuit.  Booth Brother fans will enjoy this fifteen song collection and doubly if they enjoy the songs of Bill and Gloria Gaither.

SONG/Featured Vocalist:  1. “Because He Lives”/Ensemble, Jim, Ronnie  2. “I Played In The Band”/Ensemble  3. “God Gave The Song”/Ronnie, Jim  4. “There’s Something About That Name”/Ensemble, Michael  5. “Feeling At Home In The Presence Of Jesus”/Ensemble, Jim  6. “I’ve Been To Calvary”/Ensemble, Michael  7. “Tell Me”/Jim, Melissa Brady  8. “Joy In The Camp”/Ensemble  9. “I Believe In A Hill Called Mount Calvary”/Ensemble, Ronnie, Mike  10. “I Will Serve Thee”/Ensemble, Ronnie  11. “I’m Free”/Ensemble, Jim  12. “He Touched Me”/Ensemble, Michael  13. “I Just Feel Like Something Good Is About To Happen”/Ensemble, Ronnie  14. “Let The Healing Begin”/Ensemble  15. “Through”/Ronnie

Category CD Reviews

Steve Eaton

(1) Southern Gospel collector (30+ years) (2) Author/Editor of sghistory.com

MusicScribe Comments

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5 Comments

  1. danieljosiahmount
    Reply October 27, 08:12 #1 danieljosiahmount

    My 2012 release reviews will extend into next March or April, at least! (That’s partially because all of the non-top-tier groups whom I said yes to reviewing, or who sent a CD unsolicited.)

    I loved their version of “Through,” and I also loved Melissa Brady’s guest appearance. With a family-based group, it’s cool to have family of that caliber to call on, even if the last name isn’t “Booth.” :)




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  2. bravesfan513
    Reply October 27, 12:30 #2 bravesfan513

    Nothing jaw-dropping here, but this is to me one of the more enjoyable listens, from beginning to end, in 2012.




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  3. quartet-man
    Reply October 28, 06:04 #3 quartet-man

    A correction: “Tell Me” was originally done by the Gaither Trio with Sandi Patti guest starring on the Bill Gaither Trio album “Welcome Back Home” from 1987. :) The strongest songs on that album though (in my opinion) are “House of the Lord”, “Hurt By Hurt”, and “Cancelled/Worthy”. Honorable mention goes to “Peace Be Still” (which was found later on Homecoming recordings from a while back) and “I Will Go On” (later recorded by the GVB featuring Wes Hampton which is the superior version). I strongly recommend getting the top three cuts here. Cancelled/Worthy in particular is great.




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    • Steve Eaton
      Reply October 28, 11:02 Steve Eaton

      Thanks for the info. I will look for it.




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      • quartet-man
        Reply October 28, 13:39 quartet-man

        I think Amazon had it at one time (at a budget price maybe even). I got it on cassette when it came out and then got a CD when I could. “Tell Me” was included in the honorable mentions, but is IMHO somewhere between 4-6 on the cuts (at least from my memory and my feelings at the time).




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