Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Tribute to the Songs of Bill and Gloria Gaither - Booth Brothers - CD Review

Perhaps the most familiar name to those who are unfamiliar with Southern Gospel music is Bill Gaither. And rightly so. Yes, Gaither Homecoming videos helped to increase the awareness and popularity of Southern Gospel music, but Bill and Gloria Gaither's songs are also what made their marks in the industry.

The Booth Brothers' latest album, A Tribute to the Songs of Bill and Gloria Gaither, features 15 songs penned by the couple. Most of them will be familiar songs, and some that you might consider overdone. But the Booth Brothers' tender harmonies bring new life to these songs.

Most of the songs are well-known and the arrangements don't deviate much from familiar versions. I think "Because He Lives" is one that is a little more fast-paced from what I'm used to hearing. The Booth Brothers really let the songs speak for themselves. There were a few that I was not familiar like, "God Gave the Song" and "Feeling at Home in the Presence of Jesus," so I think it was wise for them to highlight these songs not as well known or at least not to me.

The two new songs on the project are two of the more standout tracks: "I Played in a Band" and "Let the Healing Begin." I first saw the Booth Brothers sing "I Played in a Band" in Branson. While I do love the album version, the song is magic live. It's a fun song that receives many encores, and the tune is sure to get stuck in your head.

Michael Booth has some great features where it really features the tenderness of his voice, like on "There's Something About that Name." In fact all the Booth Brothers remind us again why they are consistently fan favorites with good reason! My favorite features of Ronnie and Jim are "Through" and "I'm Free," respectively.

The Booth Brothers are joined by Bill Gaither on "Joy in the Camp." Bill is not the only guest vocalist. Melissa Brady, Jim's wife, joins them on "Tell Me." This song is definitely of the best on the album. Her joining them on this song definitely makes me want to hear more of her singing with the guys, and especially after seeing the Jim and Melissa Brady set at NQC.

Most of the tracks are easy listening with a few exceptions. Also, while there are some noticeably more well-known Gaither-penned songs missing from the 15, I think the song selection was excellent getting a mix of familiar hymns, lesser-knowns and new songs. And it's a tribute, not a "best of" collection.

Even though it's not a "best of" collection, it's definitely of the "best of" the southern gospel projects produced this year, and a must for your collection!

Song List:
1. "Because He Lives"
2. "I Played in a Band"**
3. "God Gave the Song"
4. "There's Something About That Name"**
5. "Feeling at Home in the Presence of Jesus"
6. "I've Been to Calvary"**
7. "Tell Me"**
8. "Joy in the Camp"**
9. "I Believe in a Hill Called Mount Calvary"
10. "I Will Serve Thee"
11. "I'm Free"
12. "He Touched Me"
13. "I Just Feel Like Something Good Is About to Happen"**
14. "Let the Healing Begin"**
15. "Through"

**denotes personal favorites

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