Rating: 4.5 stars
Track list: “The News Is Out,” “A Love That Wouldn’t Die,” “Call Jesus,” “That Wonderful Day,” “What On Earth For,” “One Of These Days,” “I Love Living In Grace,” “The Night That Love Was Born,” “Seek and Save,” “That Sounds Like Forgiveness To Me,” ‘Save In The Cross Of Jesus,” “What A Precious Friend Is He”
Often, many Southern Gospel fans don’t pay attention to lesser-known groups. Most of the time, it’s simply because we have a preconceived notion that the quality will not be on par with the more widely known artists, and therefore won’t be worth our time or money to listen to. And sometimes, that may be the case. I’ll admit, I have that attitude sometimes as well, and even as I was in talks with a group member to do this review and was putting the disc in the player, I still had a little bit of reservation.
The Kingdom Bound Quartet pleasantly surprised me. They have a sound similar to that of the Dove Brothers or the Kingdom Heirs, which is no surprise, since the music tracks were produced at Crossroads Studios by Danny Crawford (who produced the Dove Brothers’ latest outing, Unshakeable.) Though the comparison is very tangible on the project’s more upbeat tracks, the group still has a sound all its own.
The project opens with the driving country sounds of “The News Is Out,” which features lead singer Ross Carter and displays some very smooth harmonies between he and tenor Ben Stewart on the second verse. The project then segues into another heavily country flavored song called “A Love That Wouldn’t Die,” a Dianne Wilkinson tune that has been done by both Triumphant Quartet and Steve Ladd. Bass singer Chad James displays his Jeff Chapman-like bass throughout the song.
The project’s title track, “Call Jesus,” is a slower, lightly orchestrated song that features the lead singer, and is probably one of my favorites on the disc. The group covers an old Soul’d Out tune, “That Wonderful Day,” and the two groups have renditions that are fairly equal in quality. Another cover found later on in the project is “I Love Living In Grace,” which has recently been recorded by both Tribute Quartet and Liberty Quartet. Other than some minor differences in instrumentation and vocals, not much separates this version from the other two, but that can be forgiven since the groups were working on it at relatively the same time, and therefore didn’t know what the others would do with it.
The group’s current radio single, “One Of These Days,” was a good choice for the first single, because it has the sound to hang with other quartets like the Dove Brothers, but is unique enough in sound to give the group some identity. “What On Earth For” is a smooth baritone feature for David Sherrill on the first verse. “The Night That Love Was Born” an acoustically driven Christmas song that is beautifully delivered. “Seek and Save” is another upbeat song that is one of my personal favorites. Of the last three songs, “Save In The Cross Of Jesus,” a powerful ballad featuring the tenor, is probably the most attention-grabbing.
Final Thoughts: I was impressed with my first listen to the Kingdom Bound Quartet. They are a part-time group, and when I heard that, I was surprised. They have a sound better than some of the full-timers out there. This project was two years in the making, and is the first to feature lead singer Ross Carter, whom the group heavily credits in the album insert for making the project the best it could be. The hard work by the group certainly shows; the sound is professionally done, and the song selection is great, and each vocalist does not stray out their range. Other than a couple songs that don’t particularly grab my attention, I thoroughly enjoyed reviewing this project.
Bottom line: The only way this group could be better is if a label picked them up, although I can’t imagine that the change would be all that drastic, as the Kingdom Bound Quartet is already a great sounding group. Call Jesus gets 4.5 stars.