CD Review: Freedom Quartet – Hymns Of Faith & Freedom

CD Review: Freedom Quartet – Hymns Of Faith & Freedom

Wallet_GlueEnd 4p 1CD_rightProducer: John Rulapaugh
Song Titles: I’ll Be A Friend To Jesus; No One Ever Cared For Me Like Jesus; I Know He Heard My Prayer; I’m Free Again; In Times Like These; He’ll Pilot Me; The Love Of God; Is Your All On The Altar?; I’m Going That Way; Until Then; Send The Light; America The Beautiful
Rating: 4 Stars

Freedom Quartet group members include John Rulapaugh, Dale Shipley, newcomer Scott Mullins, and Burman Porter. Their new CD, Hymns Of Faith & Freedom, is a collection of twelve traditional tunes in a familiar “four guys and a piano player” setting. Gerald Wolfe provides a tasteful piano accompaniment .

I was pleased to see that Freedom Quartet went to a professional studio to record Hymns Of Faith & Freedom, even though the production and arrangements were kept very simple. It makes a difference when the mix and mastering is just right. There’s a clarity of tone here that is lacking on many self-produced recordings.

Freedom Quartet’s four-part harmony shines on this CD, whether it’s an upbeat take on “Send The Light” or a more easy-going song like “I Know He Heard My Prayer.” The simpler accompaniments allow the singers to sing at “small room” volume. The arrangements are in comfortable ranges, so no extra straining is required.

Generally speaking, the harmony parts outshine most of the solo moments. When the piano is the only instrument, there’s nothing there to smooth out or mask a soloist’s imperfections. Excessive vibrato in several spots and a shaded pitch here and there are more noticeable. There are no issues with Scott Mullins’ solo on “No One Ever Cared For Me Like Jesus,” though. His performance is both creative by design and flawless in execution. John Rulapaugh also turns in a particularly compelling solo on the opening verse of “America The Beautiful.”

You know what to expect given the format of this recording, so I won’t take space to describe each song in detail. If you like the four-guys-and-a-piano format and enjoy hearing clear male quartet vocals out front, you will certainly enjoy Hymns Of Faith & Freedom. 

Overall rating
4 out of 5

4

Good
4 out of 5
Category CD Reviews, Reviews

David Bruce Murray

<p>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 SGHistory.com and MusicScribe.com. David plays piano for Southern Sounds Quartet and the Foothills Community Choir.</p>

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1 Comment

  1. Justin McLeod
    Reply September 23, 23:50 #1 Justin McLeod

    I absolutely cannot *wait* to get this one!! Solid, straight-forward quartet singing is great in and of itself, but when you add that the vocalists are of the caliber that Freedom’s are… whoa doggy, watch out.




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