While listening to the latest Gold City album, Hope For The Journey, I immediately recognized one song as an outtake from a previous album – the song “Someday” was (according to Jordan Wilburn) originally recorded for their Moment of Truth album in 2008, but was dropped when Jonathan Wilburn departed prior to the album’s release. Jonathan’s vocal take was uploaded by Jordan on YouTube several years back, so it surprised me when the group decided to use the same track for their version (especially after the Ball Brothers took a stab at it recently).
But that’s not the only oddity I found on the album.
I really enjoy “I Will Not Be Shaken,” a driving country song that, as I noted in my review, would make a good choice for a single (and it very well may be). It fits in with the more country sound they’ve been building since working with producer Michael Sykes. Danny Riley sings lead on the song, which would’ve put Scott Brand on baritone.
This is where the oddity occurs. The baritone voice in the song doesn’t sound like Brand. It’s possible that Danny may have doubled both the lead and baritone vocals here, but it doesn’t sound like Riley, either; it sounds like Scott’s predecessor, Chip Pullen.
Brand’s voice is very distinct; it has a fuller sound reminiscent of Ivan Parker, whereas Pullen’s voice was more bright and contemporary-sounding. Even Danny’s voice has the more rounded tone to it, which would’ve made it more difficult to tell the difference, but it definitely has that brighter quality to it, which leads me to believe Pullen is the one singing baritone on the song.
In addition, the bass vocal on here sounds an awful lot like Tim Riley as opposed to Chris West. The vocals stay in a clear lower range, which is where Riley usually camps, and the tone is closer to Riley and West.
This leads to several questions….
Was this song recorded around the time of Hymn Revival in 2014? That would’ve been the only time that Pullen and Riley would’ve recorded together, as Tim retired from the road shortly after the album’s release. If so, does that mean that Robert Fulton is singing tenor on this song? Fulton didn’t leave the group until after Riley’s retirement, so the logical conclusion would be that it as recorded in 2014 with Fulton, Pullen, and Tim.
To be fair, the way the song is mixed, it’s difficult to determine the tenor vocalist, and one could even make the argument that it is indeed Chris on bass, but there is no denying that Scott Brand is not singing on the track.
This isn’t the only song where Brand’s vocals appear to be missing. “Jesus Frees The Fallen” and “Those Same Hands” also sound like they have Chip on baritone, but on those tracks, both West and Nalley seem to be detectable, so maybe they are likewise on “Shaken” and I just can’t tell a difference; or maybe it really is just Danny singing both parts for some reason, but I don’t think his voice sounds that close to Chip’s.
In any case, one has to wonder why, especially after the infamous background on their 2011 Somebody’s Coming album, Danny Riley wouldn’t take the time to have Scott re-cut those baritone vocals, especially since this lineup has been together for a while now.