3:1 Review: Treasures (Mark Trammell Quartet)
3:1 Reviews offer three highlights of an album and one area that could have been improved.
1. Bloodwashed Band: This song has long stood in the shadow of its big brother from Travelin’ Live, “Boundless Love.” Honestly, had “Boundless Love” not been on Travelin’ Live, this song could have gone to #1 instead. It’s about time someone brought it back, and this rendition is strong enough to bring it back in a big way.
2. Wedding Music: Thanks to this video, Treasures would have not been complete without this song. The studio version of bass singer Pat Barker’s solo does not disappoint.
3. Mark Trammell’s decision to hire Pat Barker: Treasures wouldn’t have been half as good if it was cut by the Mark Trammell Trio. These songs needed a bass voice—not just any bass voice, the right bass voice. Hiring Pat was one of the smartest decisions Mark Trammell has made in his career.
:1. One thing I would change: Solos for Dustin and Joel: Granted, this is a tribute to “Pop” and “The Old Man” (who, oddly enough, aren’t named anywhere in the packaging), not the Cathedrals (who also aren’t named anywhere in the packaging!) Yet, even within the constraints of this mission and these twelve songs, Dustin could have nailed a verse of “That Day at Calvary,” and Joel could stepped up for a verse of “Then I Met the Master.”
Traditional or Progressive
Not merely traditional—delightfully traditional!
Song Selection Creativity Meter: 46%
In place of radio single picks and an album rating, table projects featured in a 3:1 review are measured by a different metric—what percent of the songs on the album are pulled from outside of the 200 Most Frequently Recorded Southern Gospel songs. For an album intended as a tribute to a specific group, that’s perhaps not the most fair metric, though, so we’ll toss in a bonus
SouthernGospelBlog.com Album Rating
Average song rating: 4.7 stars. Album Rating: 5 stars. The lack of any full-verse solos from Dustin Sweatman and Joel Wood was almost enough to cost the album a half-star. But what’s there is simply done so well that there’s no way around acknowledging Treasures as the best table project of the year.
Group members: Joel Wood (tenor), Dustin Sweatman (lead), Mark Trammell (baritone), Pat Barker (bass). • Produced by: Mark Trammell, Kevin McManus, Dustin Sweatman. • Song list: Echoes From the Burning Bush; Gentle Shepherd (live bonus cut); Bloodwashed Band; That Day at Calvary; I’ll Have a New Life / Everybody Will Be Happy Over There; Statue of Liberty; An Old Convention Song (live bonus cut); I Thirst; Master Builder; Wedding Music; Then I Met the Master; Boundless Love.