Rating: 4 stars
Producer: Donna Beauvais
Label: Independent Release
Song list: “He Will Surely Make It All Right,” “God Put A Rainbow In The Cloud,” “Jesus Love Has Made A Change,” “Sin’s Dark Sea” (with guest bass vocalist Gene McDonald), “Leave Your Sorrows And Come Along,” “The Unseen Hand,” “Life Will Be Sweeter with Sweeter As The Days Go By,” “I’m A Goin'” (with guest bass vocalist Paul Harkey), “He Bought My Soul,” “He Was A Preachin’ Man” (with guest bass vocalist Gene McDonald), “While Endless Ages Roll,” and “When They Ring The Bells Of Heaven with Everybody Will Be Happy Over There.”
Mercy’s Well is a trio that is steadily gaining a presence in Southern Gospel music. Their latest mainline project, Skywriting, had a couple singles with good radio chart activity. Though that project was on the Progressive side of the spectrum, Songbook is the third installment in a series of hymns & classics projects that the group has recorded.
The trio opts for a stripped-down sound for this collection of songs, with David Huntsinger and Gordon Mote playing piano (and organ, on some songs), and Gary Lunn playing bass guitar on some tracks. Though the songs are familiar, Mercy’s Well does a commendable job of breathing new life into them, with some unique chords and arrangements thrown in throughout. The group also achieves a nice quartet sound with the help of guest bass singers Gene McDonald (“Sin’s Dark Sea” and “He Was A Preachin’ Man”) and Paul Harkey (“I’m A Goin'”).
Bottom line: Fans of projects that take old songs and make them over like new will find plenty to love with Songbook: Where Hymns & Harmony Live.