WADE BABINEAU EDITORIAL CARTOON: Saturday, March 28, 2020
CINDY DAY: MMM...marvellous maple
World Meteorological Week
FIDDLER'S FACTS: A disappointing end for Summerside Western Capitals
City of Charlottetown purchasing state-of-the-art drone for police ...
MARGARET PROUSE: During times like this, it's easy to find a bit of ...
VIDEO: P.E.I. man writes, directs $1 million thriller expected to ...
P.E.I. woman looking to be next Inked Magazine cover girl
SALLY COLE: A timely tale for P.E.I.
I think I can safely say I am a fan of just about all things Gaither.
So, upon hearing that the Gaither Vocal Band was releasing a live reunion album, I was looking forward to listening to the great voices that have made up that exemplary quartet over the past decades.
With Gaither Vocal Band: Reunion Live, Bill Gaither and his host of musical colleagues have created a tableau of musical memories released, as expected, from the Gaither Music Group and produced by Bill Gaither and Barry Jennings.
The full chorus included Bill Gaither, David Phelps, Mark Lowry, Michael English, Larnelle Harris, Guy Penrod, Russ Taff, Wes Hampton, Marshall Hall, Adam Crabb, Buddy Mullins, Reggie Smith, Todd Suttles, Gary McSpadden, Jim Murray, Jon Mohr, Lee Young, Wesley Pritchard and Gene McDonald.
The album opens with the classic number, Alpha and Omega. The typical tight harmonies flow effortlessly through the thrilling refrain, “It is done….He is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the Son of God, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, He’s everything.”
Another Gaither favourite, Passin’ the Faith Along, continues the album.
A host of favourite numbers from the Gaither projects make for a joyous romp down the memory lane of southern gospel: He Touched Me; Give Up (and let Jesus); The Baptism of Jesse Taylor; Amen, Sinner Saved by Grace; In that Great Gettin’ Up Mornin’ and I Bowed on my Knees (and Cried Holy). And, of course, no Gaither reunion would be complete without Bill Gaither’s signature song, Because He Lives.
This live album features the best of the vocal band singing their best-known songs: Amen as only Harris can sing it; Penrod’s vocals on The Baptism of Jesse Taylor and English belting out I Bowed On My Knees.
Truly, this project has it all.
However, the inclusion of Michael Phelps’ rendition of Nessum Dorma, an aria from the opera Turandot, confused me a little. My old-fashioned southern gospel tastes don’t run to Italian arias, no matter how well they are performed.
On the whole, I appreciated this album greatly.
Bill Gaither has a talent for bringing together gifted artists and allowing them the freedom to shine, which explains why so many members of the vocal band went on to solo careers over the years, and this project shines with 18 tracks of great memories and wonderful music.
Any fan of the Gaither Vocal Band will want to listen to Gaither Vocal Band: Reunion Live.
Tracey Evison, a musician and educator on P.E.I., writes this column for The Guardian every second Saturday. She can be contacted by email at email@example.com.