CD Review: Family Bible (The Lord’s Messengers)
Song list: Holy Angels; My Best Friend; Everything’s Alright; Family Bible; With Jesus I’ll Abide; A Lonely Mountain; The Old Crossroads; No Longer an Orphan; Shouting on the Hills of Glory; When I Met Jesus; I Won’t Have to Worry; I Have Decided to Follow Jesus; Troublesome Waters; I Will Sing; Pass Me Not.
Producer: None credited.
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While this blog’s weekly reviews column focuses on reviews of nationally known Southern Gospel groups, every now and then a change of pace is nice. The Lord’s Messengers is a Christian bluegrass / Southern Gospel group based in Alto, Georgia. They have four vocalists, each of whom also play an instrument, and two additional musicians. The vocalists are Dianne Tench (who also plays rhythm guitar), Glenn Vining (lead guitar), Mack Anderson (bass), and Will Carpenter (banjo); the two other musicians are Don Wheatley (mandolin / dobro / guitar) and Carissa Woods (guitar / dulcimer / mandolin / banjo).
The album contains a mix of little-songs, classic hymns, and several current Southern Gospel songs (most notably two by the Primitive Quartet’s Reagan Riddle, “My Best Friend” and “No Longer an Orphan.”) There is also at least one new song, “I Will Sing,” co-written by group members Carissa Woods and Mack Anderson.
The album gets kudos for giving songwriter / publisher credit. While I don’t mean to imply that the reverse is always or even generally true, it’s still the case that groups that go to the trouble to list songwriter / publisher credits also tend to go to the trouble to pay appropriate royalties.
These days, Southern Gospel groups with three-piece bands are rare enough; a six-piece band is something the likes of which are only seen in the bluegrass part of our genre. While studio precision rarely captures the enthusiasm of a live bluegrass performance, this project is good enough to indicate that an evening with the group would be well spent.