CD Review: Jonathan Wilburn – Tell Me The Story

CD Review: Jonathan Wilburn – Tell Me The Story

Jonathan Wilburn has been traveling as a soloist since his son Jordan left the road earlier this year. Tell Me The Story is his new solo collection featuring familiar hymns, a patriotic classic, and a brand new song about the cross.

Wilburn is an expressive vocalist with a excellent range, and he does a fine job singing on this recording. Most of these lyrics are well proven and tested, but it’s likely you have probably heard most of these songs done in a very similar way before.

“Some Things Never Change” is one you may not have heard. I know the Wilburns recorded a song by this title in 1996 when Jonathan was still singing with his parents, so I’m guessing it’s the same song. (I could not put my finger on a copy of the 1996 recording to compare, but I’m sure one of our readers should know.) Although the arrangement could be a bit more interesting, I had more appreciation for the inclusion of this song because it was not one I remembered hearing before.

“Calvary’s Cross” is a new song written by Jason Cox and Marty Funderburk. The verses start in Wilburn’s baritone register before yielding to his soaring tenor range for the choruses. The arrangement is somewhat predictable with light piano and strings on the verses building to a full orchestration by the end, but it’s a formula that works. If “Calvary’s Cross” is not the first single sent to radio from Tell Me The Story, it ought to be.

Of the rest, “I’ll Fly Away” and “Jesus Paid It All” are the two that stood out to me. The piano and banjo solos on “I’ll Fly Away” are unexpected, and I enjoyed hearing Gene McDonald in the mix adding a bass part. (McDonald also appears on “Peace In The Valley.”) On “Jesus Paid It All,” it’s the understated percussion and a brief fiddle solo that elevate the arrangement. “Jesus Paid It All” is also positioned perfectly as the CD’s closing song.

It’s understandable that Wilburn needed to complete a new solo CD right away to sell at his concert events. Standards sung mostly the standard way with basic tracks are going to be accepted because they’re so familiar. Wilburn’s vocal ability, his typical charisma on stage, and these tried and tested lyrics on Tell Me The Story are a combination that should satisfy his current fans.  Still, I hope he can take his time with his next solo CD and give us more of a unique experience.

Producer: Scott Godsey
Label:
Daywind Records
Song Titles:
Tell Me The Story Of Jesus; Heaven Medley (In The Sweet By And By/When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder/When We All Get To Heaven); Battle Hymn Of The Republic; God Bless The USA; Peace In The Valley; Rock Of Ages; Some Things Never Change; I’ll Fly Away; Calvary’s Cross; Jesus Paid It All
Rating: 3 1/2 Stars (scale of 1-5)

Overall rating
3.5 out of 5

3.5

Average
3.5 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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