Angel At The Crossroads – High Road III

Angel At The Crossroads – High Road III

highroad2014crossroadsGRADE:  B+

  • Album – Angel At The Crossroads
  • Artist – High Road III
  • Label – High Road Music
  • Style – Bluegrass, Country, Acoustic
  • Release Date – 04/01/14
  • Available For Digital Download? – Yes (iTunes/Spotify)

 

SYNOPSIS:

Sarah Davison, Anna Grace Shideler, and Kiley Phillips make up the trio High Road III.  All three young ladies are graduates of Belmont University’s school of music.

Angel At The Crossroads is High Road III’s sophomore release, following up their 2013 debut, The Road Less Traveled.  The latter was named one of the top five albums released in 2013 by this writer.  The trio also got the talents of Ben Isaacs to produce Angel At The Crossroads.

Angel At The Crossroads builds on the acoustical/bluegrass/country sound the trio gave listeners on The Road Less Traveled.  All music recorded for the album was played by Sarah, Anna and Kiley.  The trio also provided several original songs to this latest effort.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The title track is exemplary.  The haunting acoustical melody layered with the trio’s voices makes for an instant favorite.  This is a clear choice for radio single possibilities.
  • The group came together to pen two songs found on Angel At The Crossroads.  “Worry” is a great up tempo bluegrass acoustical song that will have you singing along before it ends.  The haunting acoustical ballad “Don’t You Weep For Me” is also a must listen.
  • Tim O’Brien and Darrell Scott penned the up tempo bluegrass flavored “Walk Beside Me”.  The trio also tackled the bluegrass favorite, “Jesus Built A Bridge To Heaven”.
  • In an industry where many groups get labeled as nothing more than glorified ‘karaoke performers’, and for some that label is accurate, it is refreshing when a group like High Road III comes along and provides listeners with live music in the concert setting.  And the vocal talent to boot.  You can’t beat it!
  • High Road III record a country-style love song with “For The Rest Of Our Lives”.  This song could be sent to mainstream country radio.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Angel At The Crossroads”, “Worry”, “Don’t You Weep For Me”, “Walk Beside Me”, “Jesus Built A Bridge” and “My Savior’s Love”.
CRITIQUE:
  • Getting the help of Bill Gaither on this particular album may have not been the best decision.  Bill relies too much on classic material which can be seen with any artist that records for him.  High Road III ended up covering “Beulah Land”, “My Savior’s Love”, “Redeemer” and “When God Dips His Pen Of Love”.  All but “My Savior’s Love” fell a bit flat.
  • In fact “Beulah Land” would have come off better if they would have left it an instrumental.  That fiddle intro was haunting and outstanding at the same time.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Redeemer” and “When God Dips His Pen Of Love”.

 

WRAP UP:

High Road III is one of the best artists touring right now.  Even with the few mis-steps with the song covers, Angel At The Crossroads is one of the best albums you will hear this year.  Originality is hard to find in an industry that prides itself on carbon copy quartet cut outs.  High Road III had no trouble setting themselves apart.  If you’re reading this, there really is no excuse why you haven’t introduced yourself to the music of High Road III.

SONG – Songwriter:  1. “Count Your Blessings” – Tradition (PD)  2. “Worry” – Sarah Davison, Kiley Phillips, Anna Grace Shideler, Stephen Wilder  3. “My Savior’s Love” – Traditional (PD)  4. “Angel At The Crossroads” – ??  5. “Walk Beside Me” – Tim O’Brien, Darrell Scott  6. “Jesus Built A Bridge” – Glen Duncan, Mark Grantt  7. “Don’t You Weep For Me” – Sarah Davison, Kiley Phillips, Anna Grace Shideler, Stephen Wilder  8. “For The Rest Of Our Lives” – ??  9. “Beulah Land” – Squire Parsons  10. “Redeemer” – Nicole C Mullen  11. “When God Dips His Pen Of Love” – Cleavant Derricks  12. “Prayer Chain” – ??

***Here is a YouTube clip (published by HighRoadMusic), of the title track, “Angel At The Crossroads”.  Enjoy!

Category CD Reviews

Steve Eaton

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

MusicScribe Comments

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3 Comments

  1. John Situmbeko
    Reply May 15, 09:01 #1 John Situmbeko

    Nice song that “Angel At The Crossroads.” Their sound greatly reminds me of the Dixie Chicks.




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  2. yankeegospelgirl
    Reply May 21, 14:11 #2 yankeegospelgirl

    Hey Steve, I don’t think Sonya wrote “Walk Beside Me.” It says here that the song was written by contemporary roots musicians Tim O’Brien and Darrell Scott:

    http://www.allmusic.com/album/real-time-mw0000061339




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  3. yankeegospelgirl
    Reply May 21, 14:25 #3 yankeegospelgirl

    Also, the title track was contributed by Kaci Bolls and Brian James.




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