DVD/CD Review: Michael English – Live At Daywind Studios

DVD/CD Review: Michael English – Live At Daywind Studios

SetRatioSize400400-6141873000771Live At Daywind Studios
Produced by Scott Godsey
Daywind Records

Format: CD & Digital

I have to give credit to the A&R team at Daywind Records. Since Gaither’s video output has slowed in recent years, they’ve picked up the slack with several high-quality releases, including the Live At Daywind Studios series. This series picks up where the Live At Oak Tree series left off, but instead of just singing in a closed studio, they actually invite an audience and have the artist give a concert. Several artists have been featured in this series so far, the latest being Michael English.

I lamented recently at the difficulty I had in finding this release in retail. I was quickly reminded that the project was readily available from Michael English’s website directly and that several folks had already gotten their copy. I, too, finally got a copy. Two in fact – one was special ordered through the local Christian retailer, the other was provided by Daywind Records for review. Both versions were duplicated on CD-R’s and recordable DVD’s with simple black ink printing rather than high-volume replication (the other DVD/CD combos I have from this series were replicated CD’s and DVD’s with color artwork).

The DVD appears to be produced to air on television, with Gerald Wolfe hosting the program and interviewing Michael in B-roll between songs, similar to how Bill Gaither would do on his “Best of” single-artist releases. The performance footage features live musicians with backing singers Carla Burleson, John Darin Rowsey, and Rebecca Little Burke, who do a great job keeping up with English’s ad-libs.

The songs themselves span a good chunk of English’s career. The DVD kicks off with “Solid As The Rock” from his self-titled 1990 solo debut, followed by his first GVB hit, “Daystar,” and takes us all the way up to his last Curb album. Interestingly, not a single song from his Worship project is included here, which is kind of odd, considering none of the songs on the DVD are Daywind releases (although he does talk about the album in the interviews with Wolfe).

Among other highlights are the “Hope Medley,” which includes excerpts from his 1991 Hope album (and his 1995 secular hit) and “Blessed Assurance” from his landmark Gospel album.

“Come To The River,” unfortunately, is one of the weaker songs on the project, which is disappointing because the studio cut is quite good. Michael welcomes Russ Taff, whose performance on this song appears to have been heavily redubbed in places.

I actually listened to the CD before watching the DVD, but it wouldn’t have made a difference; the CD is literally a direct lift of the audio from the DVD, right down to the introduction from Daywind Records and interviews with Wolfe. The songs are still authored on separate tracks, so you can skip around as desired, but I imagine that a few stations may play it in its entirety as a radio special.

Production-wise, this is definitely a top-notch project. Shot in HD with some nice lighting, it’s pleasing to look at, although the musician in me was disappointed when some of the shots of the studio players didn’t sync with what I heard, but I know that’s just me being nit-picky (so you don’t have to tell me so in the comments).

When coupled with his Worship CD, it appears that Michael English is adjusting his musical approach a bit, and Daywind (so far) appears to be on board, although after two projects with them, English still is not listed as an official Daywind artist, so I wonder if they’re just playing it safe to start off…

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Kyle Boreing

Kyle has been writing for MusicScribe since 2008. He is a musician, producer, arranger, and occasional quartet singer, who pays way too much attention to recordings. He is an alumni of Stamps-Baxter School of Music and has shared the stage with many different artists. He also really likes movies that are "so bad they're good." Visit his website at www.kyleboreing.com, or follow him on Twitter @kyleboreing.

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1 Comment

  1. Reply March 03, 10:48 #1 Jackie

    Regarding the absence of songs from Michael’s worship CD, I believe the worship CD had not been released at the time of the Daywind taping so it really does not surprise me that it did not include songs from that CD (I wish it had though). He really needs to do a part 2….so many great songs in his career. The worship CD did not even go on pre-sale until 7-31-15. I’ve also wondered what his relationship is with Daywind.

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