Aaron Swain's blog about Southern Gospel Music, News, and other items of interest in the SG world.

Archive for the ‘Gold Harbor’

CD Review: Gold Harbor – You Are My Song

March 21, 2014 By: Aaron Category: CD Reviews, Gold Harbor, SG Artists, SG Music

Rating: 3.5 starsGold Harbor - You Are My Song

Label: Nazareth Records
Website: www.goldharbormusic.com/

Song titles: Blessed; You Are My Song; Who Will Mend The Broken; Never; Rescue Me; If Grace Was Taken Away; Halfway; He Goes Before Us; Tis So Sweet; If Not For The Old Rugged Cross

Download Project Here

Gold Harbor has shown up on a couple of blogs around the SG world, including this one. The reviews have been differing and interesting, to say the least. Between those two projects, the group showed a dedication to honing their craft, so I expected an equal, if not greater, quality when I sat down to write this review.

Musically, the group’s voices work well together. When they are in their stylistic sweet spot (which seems to be ballads), they have a sound that just fits. One downside of having a ballad-heavy project is falling into the trap of the songs seeming to run together, which happens here a little bit. That being said, songs like the title track, “If Grace Was Taken Away,” and a cover of the hymn “Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus” provide some of the best songs of the project. In more up-tempo fare, this CD is all over the map, ranging from musical styles like 70s-pop (“Blessed”), peppy gospel (“Never”), jazz (“Halfway”), and bluegrass-country (“He Goes Before Us”). “Blessed” fits the group better than I would have imagined, and “He Goes Before Us” is a fine song and style for them to explore. Though I could have done without such a roller coaster of styles, it did break up the monotony of so many slower songs.

The tracks themselves are hit-and-miss as far as sounding “canned.” What I mean is, it is more obvious on some tracks than others that the instruments are artificial, like some string and brass sections. I did notice that on the songs that seemed stronger, this “canned” feeling was not prevalent, and that probably helped my impression of those songs a great deal.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, Gold Harbor works hard at what they do, and it has shown over the years as their music has crossed my desk. They are also unafraid to try their hand at differing stylistic choices, which I appreciate. Taking risks like that will help them to weed out what doesn’t fit them and move forward in their next effort. Though it does get muddled with similar sounding songs, there are a few tracks here that are well worth multiple listens, and as long as Gold Harbor can keep finding songs with strong lyrics and a sound fit for their voices, they will continue to improve what they do. You Are My Song receives 3.5 stars.

Things I Missed (3/1/14)

March 01, 2014 By: Aaron Category: Gold Harbor, Legacy Five, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music, The Hoggle Family, The Inspirations

1. The Inspirations lineup has finally settled. The group has had a series of fill-ins lately, but it was announced this week that the new lineup sees the return of Dallas Rogers at tenor, Matt Dibler at lead, and Melton Campbell at baritone, with Jon Epley moving down to the bass part. The band remains the same.

Here’s a clip of the new Inspirations in action:

2. Legacy Five bass Matt Fouch’s “On The Couch With Fouch” has become a favorite series for Southern Gospel fans. Here’s the latest installment with guest Scott Inman of Triumphant Quartet:

Next week, I plan to have two CDs reviewed: The Hoggle Family’s self-titled release, and You Are My Song by Gold Harbor.

CD Review: Gold Harbor – It’s All Good

September 12, 2009 By: Aaron Category: CD Reviews, Gold Harbor, SG Artists, SG Music

Rating: 4 stars

Producers: Gold Harbor
Label: Nazareth Music Group
Website: www.goldharbormusic.com

Gold Harbor is a relatively new group in the SG circuit. They started out as a quartet, but this latest product sees them as a mixed trio. Regular readers of Musicscribe will probably remember this less-than-favorable review of their first project back when they were a quartet. The obvious question is, has there been any improvement at all? And believe you me, I asked myself this same question from the time I agreed to do this review till I popped it into my laptop for the review session.

I was pleasantly surprised with what I heard. It seems that the members of the group read DBM’s review and went to work improving all the aspects that weren’t so good the last time around. The graphic design for the cover is much more respectable looking than the previous CD, and it’s obvious that the engineers knew what they were doing with the sound this time. Another improvement would be that no vocalists strays out of range.

Songs and styles of this album range from country, like the opening track “I’ll Never Track” and “A Few More Miles,” jazzy (“A Miracle For You,” “Don’t Let Satan Steal Your Time”) and, of course, the slow, pretty ballads (“Let Your Holy Rain Fall Down,” “I Know That He Loves Me,” “Just Something I’m Going Through.”) The Johnny Nash tune “I Can See Clearly Now” even gets a spot on this project, getting a funky jazz treatment. The album closes with the old hymn, “I’d Rather Have Jesus,” which is a nice close, but the arrangement overall doesn’t catch my attention.

I give this project a four star rating, because while it is decent, the Johnny Nash tune was just out of place, both stylistically and musically. Other than that, the album is a good showcase of what the group is capable of. I commend them on the vast improvement they have shown thus far between projects. A group with a work ethic like that deserves recognition.