Master’s Voice is a quartet based in Oklahoma with a 22-year history. Founding member Ricky Capps (tenor) is joined by T J Evans (lead), Stan Watson (baritone), Jerry Pilgrim (bass), Theron Perry (piano), and Chuck Howe (sound). Walk Worthy releases two weeks from today on the Sonlite Records label and features twelve songs.
Most of the songs on Walk Worthy are new, but they’ve reached back a few years to cover “Another One Like Him” (2004 Mercy’s Mark Quartet) and “Without You, I Haven’t Got A Prayer” (1994 Mid-South). A fresh take on the traditional hymn “Burdens Are Lifted At Calvary” is also included.
Slower tracks include the sentimental piano ballad “One Day Longer” and “Burdens Are Lifted At Calvary.” “Lift Up Your Hands When You Can’t” and “Sowing The Good Seed” are relatively slow songs as well, but both have enough forward motion in their respective rhythm beds to avoid bogging down.
The remaining eight songs on Walk Worthy range from mid-tempo to up-tempo. The rollicking “Love Goes A Mighty Long Way” stands out. It’s always nice to see a group bring back a great song that most fans have forgotten, and “Without You, I Haven’t Got A Prayer” was way overdue for a remake. At first, I thought “More Than Enough” was a remake, too. After checking several resources and coming up with nothing, I finally remembered I’d heard the demo of this song a couple of years ago when I was helping another quartet select songs to record. (They should have picked it.)
The best upbeat track on Walk Worthy is hidden toward the end of the CD. “Where My Savior Is” should have been the first track. Every modern male quartet needs a song just like this one in their repertoire.
Walk Worthy is very good overall with some special moments, but it’s probably just a notch under the 2016 Master’s Voice CD Undivided in terms of vocal performance. A few of Pilgrim’s bass notes sound forced, and a couple of these song arrangements feel over-thought. On a positive note, Walk Worthy strikes a perfect balance between strong new lyrics with remakes you may heard before and the hymn you’ve surely heard before. The song selection is excellent and in a variety of styles, each with nearly equal quality.
Producer: Jeff Collins
Label: Sonlite Records
Songs: He Saw Me; Another One Like Him; Love Goes A Mighty Long Way; One Day Longer; Yes He Did, Yes He Does, Yes He Will; Without You, I Haven’t Got A Prayer; More Than Enough; Sowing The Good Seed; Do What Jesus Did; Burdens Are Lifted At Calvary; Where My Savior Is; Lift Up Your Hands When You Can’t
Release Date: July 14, 2017
Rating: 4 Stars (Scale of 1-5)