Aaron Swain's blog about Southern Gospel Music, News, and other items of interest in the SG world.
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Dual Review: Tribute Quartet – My Tribute (2006) & Anticipation (2007)

October 27, 2008 By: Aaron Category: CD Reviews, SG Artists, SG Music, Tribute Quartet

Rating: 3 stars
Producers: Glen Bates & Arthur Rice
Website: www.tributequartet.com

1. Brother Don’t Lose The Shout – The group’s debut project opens up with some straight-up Southern Gospel quartet singing. Nice way to open up, and nice piano work in the background by Josh Singletary.

2. God Can’t Remember – Lead singer Gary Casto is featured on this country-flavored song. Nothing really jumped out at me about this track.

3. My Tribute To You – Casto is featured on this soft, slow track, showcasing his higher range. Singletary’s piano work on this track is a great accompaniment. I guess this is kind of a “theme song” for the group, and it’s a nice one. Stepping it up at the end makes for a good finish.

4. I Found A Place – It’s more traditional sounding fare on this track. Jacob Kitson’s tenor out front finishes the first part, then leads into the built-in encore. An OK inclusion, but probably does better in a live setting.

5. In The Shelter Of His Hands – This song moves at a shuffling pace, and gives baritone/pianist Josh Singletary his first feature. Kitson leads the chorus. I’ve heard it said that Singletary has a voice with a crooning tone similar to that of Frank Sinatra, and I agree with that.

6. You’d Better Have A Boat – Bass singer Dennis Dugger sings/recites this song about Noah. The recitation somehow seems out of step with the music, but it’s not a glaring problem.

7. God Knows – This slow song opens with more of Josh Singletary’s great piano accompaniment, and Jacob Kitson (now tenor for Greater Vision) is featured. I don’t recall seeing this song go out to radio, but I imagine it would have done well. Kitson has good control and tone to his voice, and can carry a slow, pretty tune like this well. One of the stronger songs of the project.

8. I’m In That Crowd – Yet another traditional sounding song. I bet this one is a “hand clapper and foot stomper” at concerts.

9. It’s Always Been You – Josh Singletary plays and sings this song that fits his vocal style much better than “In The Shelter Of His Hands.” One of my favorites of the album.

10. Heaven In Sight – This track opens up with a harmonica’s imitation of a train whistle, and the song employs a country sound. Jacob Kitson leads it. Nothing really impressed me about this track.

11. The Other Side Of Calvary – Bass singer Dennis Dugger sings (not recites) this song, singing a solid low bass solo that reminds me of Jeremy Lile’s verse of Crystal River’s “Before The Teardrops Hit The Ground.” This song would have done well on radio as well.

12. Give The Gift – The album closes with a “bonus track” that sounds like a modern country tune with a Christmas theme. This was a good way to end the project.

Final Thoughts – The debut project of Tribute Quartet is OK. It does have some good, and a few great, songs on it, but I imagine the group was still trying to find their “niche,” if you will. This album earns a solid 3-star rating because it’s not great, but it’s not lousy either.

 

Rating: 4 stars
Producers: Glen A. Bates & Arthur Rice
Website: www.tributequartet.com

1. Good News – The album opens up with a track similar in style to that of the previous project. The group does all kinds of stuff with the parts on the chorus near the end. When I first picked this album up, I wondered what it would have sounded like if the group had covered the GVB song of the same title. Ah, what could have been… This is an enjoyable track nonetheless.

2. Be Still And Know – This track is the group’s current radio single, and it’s good choice for a single. Great message and vocals with a nice music track. One of my favorites on here.

3. Beulah – Nice bluegrassy tune. The group pulls off this sound as well.

4. The Cross Jesus Carried – Lead singer Gary Casto is featured here. The feature is handed off to Jacob Kitson on the second verse. His feature here reminds me of a young Danny Funderburk for some reason.

5. There Is An Eye – Josh Singletary is featured on a song that is tailored to his crooner tune, complete with saxophones in the background. It is obvious that he did not play piano on this project, but this is still a good song.

6. When Those Gates Open Wide – This uptempo song was the first single off this project, and it’s also the one that got me interested in this group. The only complaint I have is that the bass has kind of a muddy sound on the chorus.

7. In Remembrance Of The Cross – Acoustic guitars open up this slow Gary Casto feature. This a good song, and would probably perform well on radio.

8. Over On The Other Side – This is another “hand clappin’, foot stompin'” song that this group is so fond of doing. It doesn’t get much more SG than this.

9. Mercy Walks A Road – Jacob Kitson carries this ballad. Slow songs seemed to be his bread and butter during his tenure with the group. Good song.

10. Wait On The Water To Part – Josh Singletary tries his hand at country singin’, and he pulls it off better than I expected. I honestly didn’t see a Singletary feature coming when I heard the intro to this song.

11. This I Know – The project finishes off with a slow tune. Nice bass feature by Dennis Dugger on the second verse.

Final Thoughts: The sophomore effort by this group is better than their previous release. If the group continues in this direction, they’ll be fine.

Even though Jacob Kitson left to join Greater Vision, new tenor Brian Alvey is a good tenor as well, and the group hasn’t missed a beat. I look forward to future projects from this 2008 Horizon Group Of The Year.

Next review: N’Harmony – Favorites

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