Mega Review: Booth Brothers – Between Here And Heaven

Mega Review: Booth Brothers – Between Here And Heaven

boothbrothers2017betweenhereandheavenmaxLabel: Gaither Gospel Series
Producer: Jason Webb
Song Titles: That Says It All (Mosie Lister); Between Here And Heaven (featuring Restless Heart) (Gina Boe, Tony Wood, Joseph Habedank); Stop The Storm (Rebecca Isaacs Bowman, Donya Isaacs Yeary, Joseph Habedank); Come And See The Man At The Well (Mosie Lister); He Heals (Don Poythress, Jennifer Layne); Moment Of Grace (Jon Wesley Gordon); Grace Divine (Lee Black, Gina Boe); Facts Are Facts (Steven Curtis Chapman); It Is No Secret (Stuart Hamblen); Until The Time Comes To Leave (Woody Wright)

Between Here And Heaven by the Booth Brothers is currently available for purchase as a digital download at their online store. As you can tell from the artwork, the CD version will ultimately become part of the Gaither Gospel Series. The CD will land on retail store shelves at some point in 2017.

Daniel Mount, David Bruce Murray, Kyle Boreing, and Diana Brantley will be participating in this “mega-review.”

“That Says It All”
Daniel J. Mount: If you’ve been following the Booth Brothers for a few years, you might already know this song from Ronnie Booth’s 2007 self-titled solo album. A metaphor best explains the relationship of these versions: Many painters, before painting a landscape, will sketch it first. Ronnie’s solo rendition is the sketch; this is the finished painting.

“Between Here And Heaven (featuring Restless Heart)”
Kyle Boreing: Restless Heart has one of the smoothest and tightest harmonies of any vocal group in country music. The Booth Brothers have among the smoothest in southern gospel music. Putting these two together is such a natural fit. I really like the idea of saying, “Just because I’m saved doesn’t mean I can just coast through life until I get to Heaven.” Kudos to producer Jason Webb for how the vocals are mixed – RH are stacked far left and right, while the BB’s are more centered in the pan vs mixing one group far left and the other group far right. Nice effect!

“Stop The Storm”
Diana Brantley:  When I saw the songwriters listed for this song, I knew I would love it before even hearing it.   It features Paul on the verses and is a great song of encouragement.  It’s slow but has plenty of percussion to keep it moving on through.

“Come And See The Man At The Well”
David Bruce Murray: This nearly forgotten song reminds us of the simple way Mosie Lister could paint a picture with words. Lister wrote this in 1973. The driving arrangement should make it a concert favorite in the coming months, but the compression on this track is a bit distracting.

“He Heals”
Daniel: Chances are Legacy Five stopped staging this song when Gus Gaches came off the road. It’s too good a song to leave unsung. An interesting choice in the arrangement is that Paul Lancaster is singing a tenor harmony above Michael Booth’s melody in the chorus. If Michael paces himself by singing lower on a few songs each evening, it should add a decade to his vocal career.

“Moment Of Grace”
Kyle: Paul Lancaster is featured on this ballad that tells how powerful grace can be, especially to those who are undeserving (as we all are). Not a ground-breaking song, but well-written nonetheless. The tuning gets a bit too obvious in spots for my liking, though.

“Grace Divine”
Diana: Each of the guys have a solo verse on this lovely song. It has the smooth, beautiful treatment that is the Booth Brothers’ trademark.

Daniel: If you love the direction the Booth Brothers took with Declaration, this will be your favorite track on this project. As soon as I heard the lines “Oh, that such a crown should fit the head of such a pauper / And glory everlasting should await a heart like mine,” I knew it had to be a Lee Black song. (He co-wrote it with Gina Boe.) His lyrical craftsmanship is inimitable.

“Facts Are Facts”
David: This is a cover of a 1994 Steven Curtis Chapman song (from Heaven In The Real World), that pretty much matches the original in arrangement and intensity. I had hoped to hear the Booth Brothers take it in a new direction, but it’s worth hearing pretty much the same way again. The addition of their fuller harmonies helps set it apart.

Daniel: When you hear “Booth Brothers,” chances are progressive, energetic, catchy songs come to mind—”Still Feelin’ Fine,” “The Blind Man Saw it All,” and “The River Keeps Rollin’.” This song is more in that vein than anything they’ve done in nearly a decade. It’s the sort of song that made them a top-tier Southern Gospel artist. And it fits the album so well that few casual fans would guess it originated in another genre.

“It Is No Secret”
Daniel: This song has been recorded dozens of times. What makes this rendition remarkable isn’t innovation, but flawless execution.

“Until The Time Comes To Leave”
Kyle: Woody Wright has a knack for coming up with interesting chord progressions, and this song is no exception. I wonder, though, if Woody ever imagined a two-minute classical encore. While it’s very well-done and inventive by arranger David Schober (and feels a bit like a tribute to the late Lari Goss), it doesn’t match the rest of the album stylistically and feels unnecessary.

David: The outro is a bit of a novelty, but I’ve always enjoyed quirky stuff like that. I didn’t mind that it was there. I do love the song itself.

Packaging
Diana:  The liner notes were everything that I like on a CD – very complete information with one small exception on the materials I had for review!    I liked that they listed the orchestra members above the song listing and then showed the individual drum/bass/guitars/additional vocals/keyboards artist information separately as they varied with each song.

Kyle: When it comes to CD packaging, I am not a fan of the “non-linear” liner notes. Based on the artwork provided, it appears that some of the credits fall under the CD tray, while the rest are in the insert. I prefer to be able to see it all together, not having to jump around, but that’s just my own personal preference.

Summary
David: Between Here And Heaven offers a blend of styles rather than picking one musical concept and sticking with it from beginning to end. “Come And See The Man At The Well” and “Facts Are Facts” should satisfy the fans who’ve been with the Booth Brothers since “Still Feelin’ Fine.” “He Heals” and “It Is No Secret” will be appreciated by fans who were drawn to simpler arrangements like “All Of Me” and “Steps.” “Until The Time Comes To Leave” is the biggest musical departure from the rest of the material, and as I mentioned above, it is more of a novelty due to the extra two minutes of orchestration.

Overall Rating: 4.31 Stars (average of Daniel 4.5 Stars, Kyle 4 Stars, Diana 4.75 Stars, and David 4 Stars)

Daniel's Rating
4.5 out of 5
Kyle's Rating
4 out of 5
Diana's Rating
4.75 out of 5
David's Rating
4 out of 5

4.31

Good
4.31 out of 5

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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