Tuesday, July 17, 2018

East to West - Endless Highway - CD Review

Endless Highway might be a new name, but the group is not new. Last year the Joylanders became Endless Highway, so this is actually their first CD with the new name. For this project the younger two generations of the family take center stage - Jason and Vanessa Griggs with their children Allison and Jay.

The album kicks off with "Highway to Heaven," which doesn't really deviate from the versions you are used to hearing. From there, it goes to "Under the Sea," which is a nice ballad featuring 17-year-old Allison. Her take on this song makes you forget she's only 17. It's definitely one of the standout tracks on the project. The song is a beautiful reminder of grace and how far we are removed from our failures and sins through the power of Christ.

"It's His Story" is the first single from the project and features Jay. It's a fun, country song that picks up in the second half with some fun horn arrangements. I can see why they picked this for the first single. It's a catchy song that I predict will do really well for them.

Allison really steps up on this project. She's also featured on "This Is the Grace I Know," which has a different sound from the other songs on the project, but it's another highlight of the project.

Vanessa is featured on "Unbroken Promise." She has a really nice, rich alto voice. The beautiful lyrics of the song remind us of how faithful God is.

"Count It All Joy" is another country song that you'll find yourself tapping your foot along to. The song features Jason and suits his voice really well. I think this song would also do really well on radio.

"The Richest Crown" is a ballad that features Jay but also really shows off the family blend on the chorus. This is probably my favorite ballad of the project. Jay also steps out on "Beautiful Scars of Love," which is one of the more progressive songs on the project. I like how it added a section of "At the Cross" toward the end of the song.

"Out of the Deep" reminds me of Nicole Nordeman songs. I really like the style of the song, but it is different from the rest of the project.

I think with East to West Endless Highway is definitely making its mark in gospel music. I look for great things from this group in the future!

Songs to Turn Up - "Count It All Joy" and "It's His Story"
Song to Put on Repeat - "This Is the Grace I Know"
Songs to Give a Second Listen - "Unbroken Promise" and "Out of the Deep"
Song That Will Take You to Church - "The Richest Crown"

Song List -
1. "Highway to Heaven"
2. "Under the Sea"
3. "It's His Story"
4. "This Is the Grace I Know"
5. "Unbroken Promise"
6. "Count It All Joy"
7. "The Richest Crown"
8. "I've Got the Son in My Eyes"
9. "Go Ahead and Shout"
10. "Beautiful Scars of Love"
11. "Out of the Deep"

Saturday, July 14, 2018

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidbits - July 14

Here are news items from this week in Southern Gospel -

  • The 2018 inductees for the Tri-State Gospel Music Hall Of Fame include Mike Holcomb, Tracy Stuffle and Randy Perry. The ceremony will be held on August 4 at Parkway Baptist Temple Church in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia.
  • Thomas Floyd “Tommy” Howe Jr., who filled in on many occasions with The Masters V, Statesmen, Blackwood Brothers, and JD Sumner & The Stamps, passed away on June 29, 2018. His memorial service will be held on Monday.
Anything I've missed?

Friday, July 13, 2018

Fun Clip Friday - Gerald Wolfe and Mark Lowry

Here's a recent Monday with Mark video where Mark interviews Gerald Wolfe. He has a great interview with Gerald talking about the hymn sing tour, George Younce, Greater Vision and much more!

Watch it below for today's Fun Clip Friday!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

A Night With 11th Hour - Concert Review

Last month, I got the chance to see 11th Hour in Sheridan, Arkansas. Logan Smith had just accepted the position with 11th Hour, but was at Matthew Gooch's wedding that weekend. KC Brandon filled in for the group that weekend.

Here are a few highlights from the concert -

  • "Power in Prayer" - This was my first time hearing this song in person. It's such an incredibly powerful song!
  • "Doin' What's Right"
  • "Let Grace In" - Jaquita shared a little bit about this song before singing it. She wrote the song several years ago, but talked about how much the song had come to mean to her recently. I love hearing a little bit of the story behind the song and how God uses different songs at different times not only to minister to us but to minister to the writers and the singers. 
  • "He Sees What We Don't" - I always love hearing this song. This song is one of my favorite gospel songs, period. 
  • "Way Maker" - They sang this one just around the keyboard, incredible moment!
  • "My God Will Deliver Me" - They got the pastor of the church up to sing with them on this one. He did a great job!
  • "You Can Start All Over Again"- They featured KC on this one. It was another great worship moment. I hadn't heard KC before, but he's a great talent both vocally and on the piano. 
  • "Take Me to the King"
  • "I Trust" - Love hearing Jaquita sing this song, another song that she wrote.
  • "He Welcomes the Beggar" - This has become one of my favorite 11th Hour songs!

Saturday, July 7, 2018

In Case You Missed It - News and Tidibits - July 7

Here are some news items from this past week in Southern Gospel music -

  • Keep the Lovelace family in your prayers. Tim's dad, Harold, passed away on Sunday, July 1. The service was held on Thursday.
  • The final round of voting for the Singing News Fan Awards ends on Friday, July 13. Subscribers can vote now here.
  • Jason Crabb was featured on the Jesus Calling podcast. You can listen to it here.
Anything I've missed?