New Music Reviews: August 2020 Releases

New Music Reviews: August 2020 Releases

Click HERE to listen all of these albums on YouTube Music.

The Troy Burns Family consists of Burns, his wife Tammy, Jacob Whisnant, and bass singer Ethan McNelly. Their new CD bears a historically fitting title, Grace For These Times.

I was surprised to see “Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me)” (listed here as “Oh Glorious Day”) set to the melody popularized by Casting Crowns. “Scars” (I Am They) and “Nobody” (also a Casting Crowns cover) are a couple more songs you might not expect from the Troy Burns Family.

There’s also a cover version of “I’m Working On A Building” which is basically the same arrangement recorded a few years ago by Jimmy Fortunate, T. Graham Brown, Marty Raybon, and Trace Adkins. Other strong performances include “Tell Me The Story Again,” “Grace Is Never Far,” and “Before, Beneath, Beyond.”

My biggest complaint about Grace For These Times is the lack of solo features for Tammy Burns. Also, the vocal blend on this album could be improved in spots. Positive marks include the strong song selection and the very good production quality on the tracks.

Label: Chapel Valley
Song Titles: Tell Me The Story Again; I’m Working On A Building; Oh Glorious Day; Near The Cross; Grace Is Never Far; Show ‘Em Your Sermon; Scars; Before, Beneath, Beyond; Really Real; Nobody
Release Date: August 14, 2020
Version Reviewed: YouTube Music
Rating: 3 Stars


https://i1.wp.com/www.tributequartet.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Quartet_Tribute_Vol2.jpg?resize=300%2C300&ssl=1

Tribute Quartet returns with a second volume in their Quartet Tribute series. This is a collection of cover songs popularized by groups in days gone by. Where Volume One included several well-known standards like “Hide Thou Me” and “I’m Standing On The Solid Rock,” Volume Two leans more toward nearly forgotten gems.

“Go Right Out” is an upbeat Albert E. Brumley song that I remember hearing JD Sumner & The Stamps sing often back in the day. “Happy Tracks” maintains the upbeat theme and features Josh Singletary. The pace slows for “Not My Will,” then shifts to a soulful swing for “That Heavenly Home.” “I Call It Home” is in a crooner style with jazz piano on the first verse with more instruments joining for the chorus and remainder of the song.

The second half of the album begins with the upbeat “Someday” followed by close harmony on “Sinner’s Plea” (one of my favorite songs). “On The Sunny Side” returns to the jazz piano accompaniment for the first verse then kicks in with a quick rhythm. Up next is the Alphus LeFevre classic “Must I Go (And Empty Handed).” The album concludes with “The Spirit Will Come Down.”

Recordings of this type are often made fast and cheap, but I can happily report the track production and vocal quality here are great. The members of Tribute Quartet have injected their unique flavor into these songs rather than rehashing pre-existing arrangements.

Song Titles: Go Right Out; Happy Tracks; Not My Will; That Heavenly Home; I Call It Home; Someday; Sinner’s Plea; On The Sunny Side; Must I Go (And Empty Handed); The Spirit Will Come Down
Release Date: August 28, 2020
Version Reviewed: YouTube Music
Rating: 4 Stars


As the album title and cover artwork implies, Worship From Home is a concert presented by The Collingsworth Family from their living room. This is a sequel in a sense to their 2013 release Hymns From Home and can be purchased in both CD and DVD formats. If you use YouTube Music to experience this release, you’ll see the video version of “Joy Is Not Cancelled (Everything That Matters).” The other 14 tracks are just audio.

From the outset on “Jesus, We Crown You With Praise,” the expected intimacy of a living room is somewhat diminished due to heavy reverb processing on the vocals. Thankfully, the performances are spot-on and the reverb, while distracting, does not entirely ruin the listening experience. With so many songs to choose from, it’s difficult to choose a highlight, but I settled on the second selection “Nothing’s Worrying Me” as my favorite.

Aside from the reverb, Worship From Home is a great recording. Hearing just a piano for accompaniment is a refreshing change of pace. You get your money’s worth with 15 total tracks that include a mix of gospel music standards, several Collingsworth hits, and a brand new song written by Kim Collingsworth (“Joy Is Not Cancelled”).

Label: StowTown Records
Song Titles: Jesus, We Crown You With Praise; Nothing’s Worrying Me; I Just Feel Like Something Good Is About To Happen; He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands; What A Friend We Have In Jesus; It Is Well With My Soul; Fear Not Tomorrow; Bigger Than Any Mountain; It Matters To The Master; Through It All/I Can Trust Jesus; The Unclouded Day; Joy Is Not Cancelled (Everything That Matters); Show A Little Bit Of Love & Kindness; May The Good Lord Bless And Keep You
Release Date: August 28, 2020
Version Reviewed: YouTube Music
Rating: 4 Stars

Troy Burns Family
3 out of 5
Tribute Quartet
4 out of 5
Collingsworth Family
4 out of 5
Overall

Average rating of all three releases...

3.67

Average
3.67 out of 5

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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.

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