CD Review: The Carolina Boys Quartet – Faith In A Great God

CD Review: The Carolina Boys Quartet – Faith In A Great God

faith-in-a-great-godLabel: Skyland Records
Producer: Jeff Collins
Artist Website: CLICK HERE
Song Titles: For Every Goliath; God Made A Way; By A Show Of Hands; Treasures In Heaven; He Still Moves Mountains For Me; Faith In A Great God; Blood of Jesus; I Cried Out; I Didn’t See Him Rise; When They Had Prayed; God Shed His Grace On Me; Walk With Me
Rating (scale of 1-5 Stars): 4 Stars

The Carolina Boys Quartet is based in Anderson, South Carolina. Members include Patrick Campbell (tenor), Chuck Lowe (lead), Toby Fricks (baritone), and Stephen Jewell (bass). Faith In A Great God is their fourth release since joining the Skyland Records label in 2010.

This twelve-song collection is a step up in quality over the group’s 2014 release Watch And Pray. A seven-member brass section adds an extra spark to several tracks including the opener “For Every Goliath” (Kristi Fitzwater/Jerald Hall).  “God Made A Way” (John M. Robinson/Twila LaBar) is a remake of Liberty Quartet’s 2009 release. After coming out of the gate with two hard-charging songs, The Carolina Boys Quartet shows they’re up to the task when it comes to power ballads with “By A Show Of Hands” (Kristi Fitzwater/Belinda Smith/Lee Black). I continue to be impressed by Patrick Campbell’s ease in the tenor range on songs like this.

“Treasures In Heaven” (Rebecca Peck) features a fun traditional arrangement. “He Still Moves Mountains For Me” (William Shane Roark/Gary L. Cunningham) is a formulaic 6/8 rhythm song. It’s good enough, but I’d like to have heard a bit more of a dramatic punch in the arrangement. Bass singer Stephen Jewell’s solos are just serviceable when it comes to the verses on the title track, “Faith In A Great God” (Kristi Fitzwater/Belinda Smith/Lee Black), but the quality of the songwriting combined with those real brass players that were so wisely added make this a track better than it might have been.

That’s just the first six song. There are six more remaining. Phil Cross, Dianne Wilkinson, and Regina Walden wrote “Blood Of Jesus,” “I Cried Out,” and “I Didn’t See Him Rise” respectively. One of my complaints about The Carolina Boys Quartet’s 2014 release was the use of recycled tracks from the Crossroads catalog, so I was pleased to note that a fresh track was recorded this time out for their remake of Soul’d Out Quartet’s “When They Had Prayed” (John Matt Rankin). The Fitzwater/Smith/Black writing team returns for a ballad titled “God Shed His Grace On Me.” Faith In A Great God concludes with a excellent version of “Walk With Me” (Al Langdon/Peter J. Zondervan), a classic song that I’m surprised more groups haven’t covered.

Any group can improve the quality of their vocals if they work at their craft and make judicious decisions when it comes to group member changes. Some groups are wise enough to patiently set aside cash over a period of time with the goal of producing a good quality recording. I don’t know who paid for this CD to be made, but it’s worth noting that the last Carolina Boys CD was released two years ago. Even if a group does all of this, though, it’s the songs they choose that can make or break them. Song choice is the area where The Carolina Boys Quartet have most notably excelled with Faith In A Great God.

4 out of 5


4 out of 5
Category CD Reviews, Reviews

David Bruce Murray

David Bruce Murray is a church music director in Ellenboro, NC. He is the author of Murray's Encyclopedia Of Southern Gospel Music and the owner of both and David plays piano for Southern Sounds Quartet and the Foothills Community Choir.

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1 Comment

  1. Chris G.
    Reply August 15, 16:58 #1 Chris G.

    Thanks for the good review of the Carolina Boy’s latest. I especially like your comment about song selection being very important to a group’s success. (I recall a couple of the Palmetto State Quartet’s sub par CD releases due to poor song selection even though they were loaded with vocal talent). Also, I too often wonder about individual replacements that seem not to have been carefully chosen for blend and new sound quality.

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