CD/DVD Review: Live in Pigeon Forge (Old Paths)

Rating: 4.5 stars (of 5)

Average Song Rating: 4.4 stars (of 5)

Producers: The Broadcast Group / editing by Jeremy Peace.

Song List: Cloud By Day, Fire By Night; Jesus is Coming Soon; We’ll Sing a Sing; Life Again; It is Well With My Soul; Oh Bless His Name; Hallelujah, I’m Going Home; Somebody Touched the Lord; Echoes From the Burning Bush; Look For Me at Jesus’ Feet; The Rock that Will Never Roll Away; I’m Living in Canaan Now.

***

This live CD/DVD was recorded in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, at Dollywood. It seems to have been recorded last year (or very early this year), as the group has made a couple of changes since this footage was capture. The project features Mike Matt Clark on piano and Brandon Barry on bass; both have since left the group. Barry’s departure was within the past few weeks, but Clark left months ago and was replaced by Joe Cox. Also since the recording of this project, the Old Paths has added a band for select dates.

The project features a mixture of classics and new songs. Despite that the footage seems to be somewhat old, several of the new songs were from their most recent release of new songs (Today, reviewed here). For the first 2/3 of the concert, there is a roughly 50/50 mix of old and new songs; the final third of the concert is a set of mostly classic songs.

The project ends on a high note—literally—with former Kingsmen tenor Jeremy Peace ending the final song, “Living in Canaan Now”, on a clear and sustained double-high C. While I have heard that Peace and one or two other tenors possess the range to hit that note, and I have even seen a couple of clips on YouTube of Peace hitting it, this is the first Southern Gospel recording I have heard where the note is actually recorded on a professionally produced recording.

If this DVD is an accurate representation of a typical Old Paths concert, fans who prefer lots of singing and a minimum of talking should appreciate baritone/manager Douglas Roark’s emcee style. While he introduces the group, gives his testimony, and makes brief introductory comments for a couple of songs, Roark follows the less-is-more approach.

The video seems to have been recorded with only two cameras, a main shot and a zoomed-in shot focusing on the featured individual. However, most Southern Gospel videos, except the highest-budget ones, only have one more, a roving on-stage camera getting audience shots and closeups of the pianist and band. Other than the fact that we don’t get to see the pianist’s able fingers close-up, the absence of a third camera is not all that noticeable.

This live recording shows that Old Paths is good; if the reports I’ve been receiving from their concerts are accurate, especially from their concerts with a live band, the group has only been improving since.


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11 Letters to the Editor

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  1. Daniel, this DVD was recorded in August of 2007 at the GMT World Premier event. I think it’s pretty representative of what you’d see at an Old Paths concert. I would’ve rated it higher than you – it’s one of my very favorite DVDs.

  2. If I was rating the concert as a concert, it would get at least 4.5 of 5 stars, and maybe 5. The CD would probably get 4.5. I rated it at 4 because of the video element. What was there was good, no question, but with only two cameras (I think) – at any rate, no roving camera – you can only capture so much.

  3. On second thought, I decided to go with the higher rating (the rating for the CD). Why not? 🙂

    I just edited the post and revised that.

  4. Stupid question………. The double high C is where in relation to Middle C?? Is it two octaves above middle C? I know that is a silly question but just wanted to make sure!

  5. Yes. I could have just said C6, but “double high C” seems to be the informal SG way of referring to that note. It’s somewhat like we call C1 “double low C” for bass singers.

  6. What was the note that Jay Parrack used to hit in “When He Calls Me I’ll Fly Away,” any idea?

  7. G5, flourish to A5.

  8. You really should see them in a normal concert. They are really good. In fact, it has amazed me that they haven’t received more attention.

    Have they filled their bass spot yet?

  9. Yes, they got an even younger bass singer, the guy from Hope’s Journey (Trent Adams?).

  10. Daniel is correct. The guy’s name is Trent Adams, and he is much younger; he’s barely 18.

    Also, Daniel, the featured pianist on this recording is Matt Clark, not Mike.

  11. Thanks!

    Aaron, I think Brandon was only in his early to mid 20s, so 18 isn’t that much younger. 😉

    Thanks for catching my typo on Matt Clark’s name. I’ll go back and edit that.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. CD Review: Songs From the Old Path Vol. 3 (Old Paths) | SouthernGospelBlog.com - [...] the last two projects I’ve reviewed from the Old Paths—Live in Pigeon Forge (October 2008, here) and Today (April…