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

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

CD Review: Greater Vision – Not Alone

September 16, 2008 By: Aaron Category: CD Reviews, Greater Vision, SG Artists, SG Industry News, SG Music

Rating: 4 stars

Label: Daywind Records
Producer: Lari Goss
Website: www.greatervisionmusic.com
Buy Here

1. I Want To Know That You Know – The album opens up with a song that quickly proves that this album sheds the stripped-down sound that the preceding album, Everyday People, had. This catchy tune from the pen of Marty Funderburk and Steve Marshall had me humming along in no time. It was a great decision to ship this to radio first.

2. You Were Faithful Yesterday – Unlike the first track, this track does have the stripped down sound, save for a lone fiddle in the background. The song has a standard, mid-tempo SG feel. Newcomer Jacob Kitson gets his first feature on the second verse, and lets the listener know that Greater Vision made a great choice for Jason Waldroup’s replacement.

3. Meet Him At Calvary – This country-sounding song features Gerald Wolfe showcasing his lower range on this slow track. I really like this track; the featured singer’s voice compliments the music track well, and it’s a great song by itself.

4. It Pays To Pray – Rodney Griffin wrote and is featured on this slow song about the power of prayer for your unsaved friends. This song may very well be the next “Faces”; a great message combined with stellar music make this song one of my favorites of the project.

5. Share It With Jesus – Yet another slow song that features Gerald Wolfe. A nice track, but not one that stuck out to me.

6. He Is Loved – The fourth slow song in a row, this time bringing Jacob Kitson out front. Good orchestration with sax provide the accompaniment, and Jacob proves that he can carry a ballad as well as any tenor out there. A quiet inclusion of a bit of the song “I Love You Lord” has some smooth blends, and the track ends very reflectively and quietly.

7. I’ve Been To The Bottom – The tempo finally picks up a bit to the mid-tempo range on this Rodney Griffin song and feature. Very jazzy track, and it works well for a song like this.

8. Born To Serve The Lord – The album slows back down for a song that has an intro similar to Legacy Five’s “In His Grip.” This style of song is one that GV pulls off very well. Jacob Kitson leads a throwback to “I Will Serve Thee” before the final bit of the track.

9. The Source Of My Song – The album speeds up again with this happy little tune about Jesus giving us a song to sing. The track is one I’ve found myself singing a lot. Good product of the pen of Rodney Griffin.

10. You’re Not Forsaken – The final song on the album is yet another ballad with orchestration backing the group. It gives the project a powerful finish that should do well for itself among Greater Vision’s repertoire of songs.

Final Thoughts: Greater Vision’s newest project proves that the trio hasn’t skipped a beat with the addition of Jacob Kitson at tenor. Oftentimes, he sounds like his predecessor, Jason Waldroup, while at the same time sounding much fuller and thereby giving the group a fuller sound as well.

My only complaint with this album is that the pace drags in it’s middle. As I stated earlier, GV pulls off the slow song like few other groups can, but having too much at once can make the listener grow bored with the album.

But boy, are there some great songs on here, which is why this album is a great addition to Greater Vision’s discography.