3:1 Review: Part of the Family (Collingsworth Family)
1. Resurrection Morn: Bill & Gloria Gaither wrote this song in 1972, cutting it on My Faith Still Holds. Other than a Blackwood Brothers cut the same year, the song has been largely forgotten since. This new rendition is so strong as to prompt the listener to wonder, “What on earth took so long?”
It’s significantly slower than the original, about 92 beats per minute versus 144 beats per minute. But it works. In fact, it works so well that, retrospectively, the original Bill Gaither Trio rendition sounds oddly rushed—as rushed as “The King is Coming” would sound at 144 beats per minute!
Anyone can re-record a familiar Gaither classic, and pretty much everyone does. The Collingsworth Family digs deeper into the Gaither archives. First with “Free to Go Home” and now with “Resurrection Morn,” their research has paid off in a big way. This song is as good as new. In fact, it’s better than when it was new.
2. At Calvary: This hymn lends itself both to a mellow interpretation and a big-ballad treatment. Here, remarkably, the Collingsworth family pulls off both. It starts mellow, but keeps building throughout the song. After the family ensemble starts the song, Kim Collingsworth sings a verse with Brooklyn and Courtney singing harmonies above her melody line, and Phil Jr. sings a verse solo. The whole family comes back in for the big ending.
3. That’s The Place I’m Longing to Go: Though the Collingsworth Family can easily pull off uptempo songs and big ballads, they are particularly adept at mellow songs. If you noted “Oh, the Thought That Jesus Loves Me” as a highlight from The Answer, this song will top your favorites list for this album.
4. Vocal Growth: The Collingsworth Family releases a major-label CD once every two years. Between the longer release cycle and the increasing maturity of the children’s voices, they have shown growth as vocalists with every album release. Part of the Family is no exception; Phil Jr., in particular, has shown significant growth this time around. In fact, this is the first Collingsworth Family mainline release with no instrumental tracks; their voices are now strong enough to carry the entire project.
5. Vision: Most Southern Gospel mixed groups draw inspiration from the likes of the Happy Goodmans, Hinsons, and Hoppers. The Collingsworth Family aims for a different target. Their strongest influences are the Inspirational groups of the 1960s and 1970s, like the Bill Gaither Trio, Lanny Wolfe Trio, and Henry & Hazel Slaughter. Slowly but steadily, they have honed their skills and focus, and they have now hit this target. The Collingsworth Family has become this generation’s Bill Gaither Trio.
:1. One thing I would change: Selection of fast songs: The mellow songs and big ballads are consistently exceptional. The fast songs are consistently decent.
Traditional or Progressive
Middle-of-the-road, with a few tracks which lean progressive and several which lean traditional.
Radio Single Picks
“Resurrection Morn,” “That’s The Place I’m Longing For,” “I Found it All.”
Average song rating: 4.1 stars. CD rating: 4.5 stars.
Group members: Brooklyn Collingsworth (soprano), Olivia Collingsworth (soprano/alto), Courtney Collingsworth (alto), Kim Collingsworth (alto), Phil Collingsworth Jr. (tenor/lead), Phil Collingsworth Sr. (lead/baritone). • Produced by: Wayne Haun. • Review copy provided. • Song list: God’s Family; Tell the Mountain; Joy Unspeakable; Jesus Is All I Need; Nothing’s Worrying Me; I Pray; At Calvary; I Found it All; Just Another Rainy Day; Praise You; That’s the Place I’m Longing to Go; The Resurrection Morn.