New Music Reviews – Late-September Releases

New Music Reviews – Late-September Releases

UPDATE 10/2/2019: This article has been updated to include a more complete review of Raised On Red by Wilburn & Wilburn.

Five new CDs were released on September 27 plus another on September 23 plus there’s an independent CD that released 2-3 months ago that recently landed on my desk. These reviews will generally be brief, but I’ll include artwork, song titles, a rating, and when available, producer/label details.


The latest CD by Miles Pike is a mess, but that’s sort of the concept. The artwork features multiple images of Pike in various costumes including two quartet configurations. The title is A Quartet Rhapsody, but the word “Rhapsody” on the cover has been crossed out and replaced with “Casserole.” It’s still “Rhapsody” on the spine, so I suppose you can refer to it by either title. The most memorable track is “When I Got Saved” where Pike sings the classic gospel song in a variety of styles.

Pike sings four-part harmony throughout this recording. He’s a good tenor/lead/baritone and a passable bass. From the cover, I expected comedic/novelty songs, and some do fit that category, but it’s really all over the map in terms of style. I would ordinarily deduct a half star from my rating when a CD is this random and the cover sends mixed messages, but randomness pretty much IS the concept here!

I gave a few extra points, because this CD made me smile a few times. I wish more artists would go for a lighter approach like this from time to time.

Producer: Tommy Cooper
Label: Miles Pike Music
Song Titles: Hold On Brother; Trouble; Screendoor; I Am Free; It’s Just Like Heaven; When I Got Saved; Keep In The Middle Of The Road; I Want To Get Closer; Heaven Now Is Waiting; Traveling Shoes; The City Of Doom; The Reckoning; The Look; I Don’t Wanna Live No More Without Jesus
Rating: 4 Stars (scale of 1-5 Stars)
Release Date: Mid-summer, 2019
Version Reviewed: CD


11th Hour continues to impress despite the rotation at the male singer spot. A Lot With A Little is the group’s first recording since the arrival of Logan Smith. In less than two weeks, this line-up will have two releases on the market. (A Christmas CD is due on October 11.)

Female group members Amber Eppinette and Jaquita Lindsey contribute as songwriters on most songs in addition to performing. Smith also co-wrote one song (“Love Leaves A Mark”) with songwriting veterans Kenna T. West and Jason Cox. My favorite tracks are generally those that feature Eppinette, especially “A Lot With A Little,” “Bring On The Storm,” and “I Know Him.”

Producer: Jeff Collins
Label: Sonlite Records
Song Titles: A Lot With A Little; Always On His Mind; Love Don’t; I Know Him; Comeback; How Much Broken Is Enough; Good; Love Leaves A Mark; Bring On The Storm; Settled At The Cross; All Glory
Rating: 4 Stars (scale of 1-5 Stars)
Release Date: September 27, 2019
Version Reviewed: CD

Click HERE to listen to the entire album on YouTube.


Everything In Between by The Kingdom Heirs includes twelve tracks. Six are the sort of arrangements you’d expect with full instrumentation and four-part vocal harmonies; three are instrumentals featuring the Kingdom Heirs Band (“Crying In The Chapel,” “Sweet By And By,” and “He Set Me Free”), and the other three are a cappella arrangements (“Just Drink The Water,” “Nothin’s Gonna Keep Me Down,” “Holy, Holy Is What The Angels Sing”).

The Kingdom Heirs are one of the industry’s most capable and vocally compatible male quartets. Everything In Between fully showcases their vocal strengths. The addition of tracks highlighting the band give the listener a better reflection of what they might experience at a Kingdom Heirs concert.

Everything In Between is the second 5-Star CD I’ve reviewed in 2019.

Producers: Arthur Rice & Jeff Collins
Label: Sonlite Records
Song Titles: Just Drink The Water; Come To The Well; Everything In Between; Crying In The Chapel; I Have Overcome; Nothin’s Gonna Keep Me Down; Sweet By And By; Ready For Glory; He Set Me Free; I’ll Never Get Over The Blood That I’m Under; Holy, Holy Is What The Angels Sing; High On Zion’s Mountain
Rating: 5 Stars (scale of 1-5 Stars)
Release Date: September 27, 2019
Version Reviewed: CD

Click HERE to listen to the entire album on YouTube.


Living The Stories by Tribute is the group’s first release since Gus Gaches joined at the beginning of 2019 to sing tenor.

The opening track (“Only One”) is too frantic in instrumentation and the one that immediately follows (“Somebody Tell”) is too optimistic about this line-up’s vocal limits at the top and bottom. “The Stories This Water Could Tell” is a good bit better, though, and the songs that follow are generally on the same level.

“Well At The Well” would have been a better opening track. Sometimes it’s the sequence of song that affects the overall perception of a new album.

“The Healer Hasn’t Lost His Touch” is my favorite lyric, and I like the epic character of that arrangement.

Label: Daywind Records
Song Titles: Only One; Somebody Tell; The Stories This Water Could Tell; There’s Still Power In The Blood; Fear Not; He Who Counts The Stars; The Healer Hasn’t Lost His Touch; Pull Up A Chair; Well At The Well; Man From Galilee
Rating: 3 1/2 Stars (scale of 1-5 Stars)
Release Date: September 27, 2019
Version Reviewed: YouTube Music

Click HERE to listen to the entire album on YouTube.


Wilburn & Wilburn return after a two-year break from the road with Raised On Red. The father/son duo gives us a total of ten tracks.

The overall energy of this recording is upbeat and light-hearted. One detail in “Born A Sinner, Died A Saint” made me smile, because it rhymes “Adam” with “had ’em.” (See the world’s shortest poem.) The title track is a toe-tapper.

Even though it’s a slower-paced track, “Black, White, and Red” has an interesting percussion pattern that propels the song forward rather than allowing it to drag. It was pretty cool hearing another version of “Where Could We Go.” (Click HERE to compare Wilburn & Wilburn’s take with the original by the Blind Boys Of Alabama/Michael Farren.)

My only complaint about Raised On Red is that it’s mixed more like a collection of songs by two separate soloists (with background vocals) than an album of duets. There’s often a third harmony part in the mix; sometimes there’s a choir.

Label: Daywind Records
Song Titles: Hallelujah Homecoming; Born a Sinner, Died a Saint; Raised On Red; He Could Love What Was Left Of Me; Black, White, and Red; Where Could We Go; One More Reason; 33; In the Room; Your Worst Mistake
Rating: 4 Stars (scale of 1-5 Stars)
Release Date: September 27, 2019
Version Reviewed: YouTube Music

Click HERE to listen to the entire album on YouTube.


No review copy was provided of the DVD God & Country by Jimmy Fortune, but we did review the audio version of this product after it was released back in May. Click HERE to read that review and click HERE to stream the entire audio product on YouTube Music.

Release Date: September 27, 2019
Audio Product Rating: 4 Stars (scale of 1-5 Stars)


No review copy was provided of Soulace V by Soul’d Out Quartet, and it’s not yet available to stream on YouTube Music.

Release Date: September 23, 2019

Miles Pike
4 out of 5
11th Hour
4 out of 5
Kingdom Heirs
5 out of 5
Tribute
3.5 out of 5
Wilburn and Wilburn
4 out of 5
Overall

Average rating for all titles reviewed:

4.1

Good
4.1 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 SGHistory.com and MusicScribe.com. David plays piano for Southern Sounds Quartet and the Foothills Community Choir.

MusicScribe Comments

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4 Comments

  1. Reply October 02, 08:16 #1 Rojburt the Magnifikant

    I agree with your assessment of the Kingdom Heirs album. I don’t normally find their albums to be favourites for whatever reason, despite their strong track record. Nonetheless “Everything In Between” proves to be a positive exception to that rule.

    I’ve streamed Wilburn & Wilburn’s album on Apple Music and I thought it was a pretty strong album. Be interesting to see what your reaction is once you get a chance to hear it.

    • Reply October 02, 09:45 David Bruce Murray Author

      Thanks…looks like W&W was just added to YouTube Music today, so hopefully I can listen and update this article soon with their review.

  2. Reply October 11, 11:20 #2 Darrell

    Just got done listening to the Kingdom Heirs album on YouTube. Totally agree with the 5 star rating. I also like the concept of mixing up the types of songs on the album. The a cappella numbers were my favorite.

    Also listened to the “Somebody Tell” song from Tribute. I think Gus did a fine job on the top end. But it did seem a bit too low for Anthony. The song actually reminded me of one that Matt Rankin could have written and Soul’d Out Quartet would have sung. If they would sing it, I’m sure Ian would do a great job on the low notes. :-D

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