Audio Review: Endless Highway – “Countless”

Audio Review: Endless Highway – “Countless”

Produced by Jeff Collins
Skyland/Crossroads
endlesshighway.org
Format: CD & Digital
Release Date: March 20, 2020
Format Reviewed: CD (label provided)

Tune-O-Meter: Medium-High

SONG TITLES: Keep Lookin’ Up (Kenna West/Jason Cox) / Somebody’s World Changed Today (Kenna West/Don Poythress) / Countless (Kenna West / Jessica C, Waterman) / All That Remains To Be Seen (Kristi Fitzwater/Jeff Silvey) / 26 Cents (Stephen Wilkinson/William Wallace) / ‘Til They Came Home (George B. Hill, Thomas M. Dekle)

Endless Highway is a family group consisting of Jason & Vanessa Griggs and children, Jay & Allison, all of whom were members of The Joylanders until the retirement of Perry and Nell Wimberly. Countless is their second label release since the Wimberly’s retirement, and it follows Crossroads’ recent approach of “less is more” by releasing a 6-song EP rather than a full album.

This EP is actually more “positive country” than gospel in content. Only two of the six songs (“All That Remains To Be Seen” and title track) have an overtly-gospel lyric. The rest seem to be aimed more at a cross-over audience. This is probably most obvious by their cover of “26 Cents,” which was previously a country hit for Canadian country trio, The Wilkinsons. This recording is so good that I’m willing to overlook the antiquity of “a quarter for the call” (I’d be surprised if half of the group has ever used a pay phone).

“Keep Lookin’ Up” and “All That Remains To Be Seen” are straight-ahead country arrangements that give Jason and Jay, respectively, lead opportunities. The former has some interesting chord work and modulations that make up for what can be (at times) some slightly klunky writing. “Countless” is a smooth, mid-tempo number that again takes advantage of some nice chord work that reminds me of some early Martins recordings.

“Somebody’s World Changed Today” has some solid imagery, but it’s somewhat similar to Steve Wariner’s “Two Teardrops,” in terms of overall story and message. I feel like it might have been just fine had the bridge been left out as it seemed a little too heavy-handed at trying to drive home the message. “Till They Came Home” is a tribute to American soldiers and the families they left behind to fight across multiple wars. It does a good job of being patriotic without being over-the-top, although it took me a couple listens to really appreciate the quality.

Like most albums released by Crossroads, this album is produced by Jeff Collins, which means it’s quality is dependable if not somewhat stereotypical. The tuning at times is a bit overdone and obvious, but overall, it’s a pleasant listen that I enjoyed over multiple plays.

My only real concern with this recording is the CD format – the group has it listed for presale on their website at $15. That may be a bit much considering the number of songs on the project, but aside from that, I would definitely recommend this EP.

Overall
4 out of 5

4

Good
4 out of 5

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Category CD 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.

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