Label: Horizon Records
Producers: Jeff Collins and Roger Fortner
Songs: So Good To Me; Living For Eternity; Come Forth As Gold; It’s Mine; Be Brave; On And On; For The Record; One Thing I Know; Jesus Passed By; Since When
Retail Release Date: June 9, 2017
Rating: 3 1/2 Stars
Be Brave is The McKameys’ 53rd album, featuring ten new songs, including six written by group member Sheryl Farris. Peg McKamey Bean launched The McKameys 63 years ago along with her sisters Dora and Carol. The current line-up has been the same for the past eight years: Peg, Ruben, Sheryl, Connie, Roger, and Eli.
Be Brave kicks off with a new convention style song titled “So Good To Me.” I always enjoy hearing The McKameys sing this sort of song. The change of pace is refreshing. The country flavored “Living For Eternity” moves along at a pleasant tempo. Peg is featured on “Come Forth As Gold.” The lyrics are a bit awkward, but I’d venture a guess that her fans won’t mind. “It’s Mine” features Ruben with the family joining in on the choruses.
“Be Brave” is the first slower paced song on this recording. With several CDs I’ve reviewed in 2017, the trend has been more slow songs than fast, so it’s good to see The McKameys leaning the other direction. The mid-tempo “On And On” features a simple, direct style of lyric and delivery. It’s a perfect fit for The McKameys, and I’d be surprised if it doesn’t go to radio sooner or later. Meanwhile, I’m pleased to report that “For The Record” has already been sent to radio. In recent years, the songs that feature Roger on vocals have been some of the best The McKameys have had to offer. It’s good to see the decision makers at Horizon Records making the effort to get this latest song by Roger heard by more people.
Peg’s feature, “One Thing I Know,” is the better one of her two songs. “Jesus Passed By” tells the story of Jesus healing a blind man in the first verse, then relates it to a modern person being saved in the second verse. “Since When” is the final song on Be Brave and features some interesting chord changes.
The best tracks from Be Brave are “On And On,” “For The Record,” and “So Good To Me.” The distinctive vocal sound of the McKameys remains an acquired taste.