CD Review: Jim Brady Trio – “Promises”

CD Review: Jim Brady Trio – “Promises”

jbt-promisesPromises
Produced by Jim Brady
Daywind Records
www.jimbradytrio.com
Format: CD & Digital

Tune-O-Meter: Low-Medium

Rating: 3.5 stars (out of 5)

SONG TITLES: A Wonderful Life (Jim Brady/Melissa Brady) – God Is With Me (Jim Brady) – Homesick For Heaven (Kelly Willard) – I Go To The Rock (Squire Parsons) – Calvary (Dianne Wilkinson) – Tell Me (Bill Gaither/Gloria Gaither) – What A Day That Will Be (Jim Hill) – Wherever I Am (Steve Richardson) – Peace In The Shelter (Jim Brady) – Farewell, But Not Forever (Jim Brady)

Jim Brady departed the Booth Brothers after 12 years to form the Jim Brady Trio with his wife Melissa and Tim Parton in 2015. Parton would depart after a year, but Jim and Melissa would press on, first with Gus Gaches filling in, then with Layke Jones becoming the most recent official member. Promises marks Jones’ first recording with the group.

The album kicks off with a mid-tempo earworm, “A Wonderful Life.” Lyrically, I found the song to be kinda cheesy, but the arrangement is just so catchy that I’ve found myself humming the song, even after just one listen. It’s simplicity lends itself to multiple listenings, and it is one of my favorite tracks on the album. The same goes for “Peace In The Shelter,” which has a nice straight-forward country arrangement. Jim’s vocal arrangements have just enough intricate chord work to make them stand out without being overbearing.

The rest of the album is hit or miss. “God Is With Me” is likewise somewhat simple in its lyrics, but the driving arrangement makes up the difference. The tacked-on encore, however, loses its effect due to a lack of a break or pause. “I Go To The Rock” falls to the same problem, although not as noticeably. My personal preference on encores is that they are unnecessary on studio albums, although they do work in some instances when done well. “Rock” comes closer to getting it right than “God Is With Me.”

Layke Jones gets one lone feature on this album – the Jim Hill classic, “What A Day That Will Be.” Jones’ tenor voice is a bit of a change from Tim Parton’s more baritone-range vocals, and he definitely shows more versatility than Parton, but for his featured verse, Jones goes a bit too far with the acrobatics for my taste (which at times also triggers a bit too much from the tuner). I would’ve preferred to hear him on “Homesick For Heaven,” one of the stronger cuts on the album with a beautiful arrangement. Hopefully Layke will get more changes to shine over time.

From a production standpoint, the album is par for the course. Aside from the use of the Gaither Vocal Band track for “Tell Me” (which is somewhat jarring when played along with the rest of the music tracks), the music is well-arranged, mixed cleanly, and the vocals are balanced nicely. Brady’s production work is solid throughout, assisted by Trey Ivey (quickly becoming a go-to music producer in SG music).

I wouldn’t call this album groundbreaking by any means, but it’s strong enough that it should be right at home in most SG fans’ collections.

Overall
3.5 out of 5
Overall

A solid recording and suitable follow-up to their debut recording, Promises doesn't break much new ground, but is nonetheless an enjoyable listen.

3.5

Average
3.5 out of 5
Category CD Reviews, Reviews

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.

MusicScribe Comments

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1 Comment

  1. Cody
    Reply November 23, 22:29 #1 Cody

    I picked up this CD at NQC this year and was somewhat surprised. I too would have liked to hear a slower ballad feature for Layke Jones. I believe he has the potential to go far in the field of gospel music.

    While a good effort, it does not seem like a mainline release from a top group on a top label. The tracks for Wonderful Life and Peace In The Shelter came from the Booth Brothers projects Isaiah 12:2 and Requested and you mentioned the Tell Me track coming from the Gaithers. The project also only has 4 “new” compositions. Would have liked more newer material from this outstanding group.

    I will say that Homesick For Heaven is an absoultely beautiful song with a ton of heart.




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