After a hiatus of a year and half, The Old Paths return with a new EP, Long Run. Have they picked up where they left off?
Producer: Jeff Collins
Label: Sonlite Records
Songs: Peace Is On the Way; In The Long Run; Broken People Like Me; Tangled In The Middle; At the Name of Jesus; My Everyday Life
Rating: 4 stars (Daniel); 4.5 stars (Kyle)
- My favorite types of songs are straight-head country numbers with a solid vocal blend. The Old Paths excel at this style, and they’re present here with the title track and “Tangled In The Middle.”
- Steve Ladd has been making a name for himself as a soloist doing increasingly progressive material. He slips right back into quartet mode with ease, providing strong tenor vocals, but doesn’t overpower anyone.
- At just 6 tracks, there is pressure to give listeners the best 6 titles you can. I’m happy to say that there are no filler tracks on this EP.
- Nothing is more likely to change a quartet’s blend than a tenor change. Steve Ladd is one of the few tenors who could step into the big shoes Jeremy Peace left and preserve the same blend. It’s still distinctively an Old Paths sound.
- Ever since their national debut, the Old Paths’ strength has been moderately fast songs. That continues here; three of the six songs are moderately fast, including the project’s strongest track, “Tangled In The Middle.”
- I get the appeal of EP’s vs full-lengh albums, especially in this digital age (I’ve even made the argument for them in the past). With this in mind, however, I probably would’ve picked a different title…
- The tuning on this album isn’t as overbearing as other recent releases, but it does present itself at times.
- At points, especially on track 1, the phrasing isn’t as tight as on the last few projects. But that’s to be expected, because they have a new member and haven’t sung a concert for over a year. In fact, it appears this was recorded before this lineup’s first concert together. So I expect this to improve to their usual standards soon.
- This is an excellent ballad and an excellent barn-burner away from a five-star rating. But the rarest commodity in Southern Gospel is a excellent fast song, and ballads aren’t far behind!
Kyle: Yes. After a brief hiatus and a lineup change, the Old Paths are set to pick right back up where they left off, and at such a low price point, you can’t go wrong.
Daniel: Yes! It’s only $4.99 on iTunes, and it’s definitely worth that. I look forward to seeing what this lineup can do over a full album, but this is an excellent teaser.