Jeff and Sheri Easter celebrated 30 years of marriage with their release Small Town. I don't think it's a secret that I'm a big Jeff and Sheri Easter fan. I really haven't been able to stop playing this project. Normally there's a point after listening to a project on repeat for a review that I put it down for a while. It hasn't happened yet with Small Town. It's definitely one that you need to add to your gospel music collection this year!
The first track, "Small Town Someone (Lunch)," is the highlight of the project. Several years ago, I remember watching the Absolutely Gospel Music Awards show. And one of the moments that truly stood out most to me was Kenna Turner West giving her acceptance speech for Songwriter of the Year. She talked about how incredible it is when God uses our lunch. I thought what an incredible statement that was! So it was really cool to me to find out that this song came from her speech. This song has quickly become a favorite, and one that I can see becoming a staple for Jeff and Sheri concerts for years to come!
"Jesus Loves You" is the first single from the album. With the string introduction, it doesn't give you the vibe of a Jeff and Sheri song at first. However, this ballad is right in Sheri's wheelhouse and what she does best. The lyrics of this song are so powerful and speak right to the heart. It's a simple truth but we all need the reminder that "Jesus loves you."
This project definitely has the "small town" feel with several more country sounding songs, which is to be expected. I really love Jeff's feature on "Like You're Still Here." His favorite feature of mine on this album is "This Side of the Dirt." This song was written for Jeff, and it really fits him perfectly. It's all about leaving a legacy and making sure you make your life count.
Morgan continues to impress me. She has grown so much as a vocalist since taking over the soprano role at 14. She's featured on "When the Harvest Comes" and "Someone's Listening." Her voice is a great blend of both parents with Sheri's richness and Jeff's country sound. "When the Harvest Comes" is a great choice because it speaks to her musical heritage, but I love "Someone's Listening." She absolutely shines on this song.
"Hallelujah Coming From the Valley" has a beautiful message about praising God through the difficult times. I love the style of this song.
"More Than Enough" is another Sheri feature and one of her five co-writes on the album. She and Jeff both had a hand in writing "The Light" which is a cute song that tells some of their personal story. Jeff takes the first verse and Sheri the second. It's one of the love songs on the project along with appropriately titled "I Love You," written by the Easter Brothers.
Even though Madison and Shannon Easter don't travel full-time with the group anymore, there are still very much a part of this ministry. Madison takes the first verse of "My Wave" and Jeff takes the second. Madison, known more for his guitar skills and an occasional solo, does an incredible job with this song. He also was a producer for the project along with his parents.
Jeff and Sheri have a lot to celebrate with 30 years of marriage and ministry. They can also celebrate that this project has to be at the top of releases this year. Jeff and Sheri fans will love this project and find the consistent sound and message they have always produced. It's not an album you want to miss!
Song List -
1. "Small Town Someone (Lunch)"
2. "This Side of the Dirt"
3. "Someone's Listening"
4. "Jesus Loves You"
5. "The Light"
6. "More Than Enough"
7. "Like You're Still Here"
8. "When the Harvest Comes"
9. "I Love You"
10. "Hallelujah Coming From the Valley"
11. "My Wave"