3:1 Review: Promise (Promise)

Promise Trio3:1 Reviews offer three highlights of an album and one area that could have been improved.

1. Blend: If you read the one-sentence album summaries – that this is a table project with ten Greater Vision songs (to the original Greater Vision soundtracks) – you might be expecting that their blend sounds like a young Chris Allman, Gerald Wolfe, and Mark Trammell. It doesn’t – though David Mann can sound remarkably like Mark Trammell when he’s so inclined. These delightfully tight harmonies can be more accurately compared to Paid in Full, Voices Won, or – dare I say – the Booth Brothers.

2. He is Mine: Baritone David Mann tackles Mark Trammell’s most recognizable solo from his three years on the Greater Vision bus. He does this Dianne Wilkinson-penned song justice. It is about time that this song be brought back, and he is clearly the one to do it.

3. Land of Living: This largely-forgotten Cathedrals gem, originally featuring Gerald Wolfe, is another that was overdue to be remade. Lead singer T.J. Evans turns in a strong enough rendition that it wouldn’t be surprising to see him keep staging this song even after the group has an ample supply of new material.

:1. One thing I would change: New Wine: Novelty songs, and songs that lean toward a novelty-song feel, are like jokes: They’re strongest the first time around. We’ve already heard this one from Greater Vision and the Gaither Vocal Band.

Bonus thing I would change: Song Order: The opening-track pairing of songs titled “Don’t Try to Tell Me” and “Tell Me the Story of Jesus” is incongruous!

Traditional or Progressive?

Leans traditional

Song Selection Creativity Meter: 80%

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.


Group members: James Bell (tenor), T.J. Evans (lead), David Mann (baritone). • Produced by: Gerald Wolfe. • Review copy provided.  • Song list: Don’t Try to Tell Me; Tell Me the Story of Jesus; New Wine; Land of Living; Whosoever Will; I’ve Got a Love; He is Mine; On a Journey; There is a River; Happy Tracks.

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16 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. I was delightfully impressed w/ what I heard off their website. If you’re gonna do ten GV songs for a table project, my guess is you’re starting down a good path! They have a unique sound together, something worth listening to, even though they are all old(er) songs. I think they’ve gotten off on the right track here with this project and look forward to hearing more.

  2. Well we know which groups inspire them. I would actually overlook “Land of Living” or few other classics, as far as “remakes”. It was about time for a remake of “Don’t Try To Tell Me”.

  3. Daniel, you got to hear them before I did and I booked them for a concert, lol. We’ll be having a concert with them & the Mark Trammell Quartet.

    • Cool! Well, I saw them doing it in the studio…

  4. Wow, David CAN sound like Mark. They do at times have a more smooth, laid-back sound reminiscent of the Booth Brothers. As far as tracks, at least on “On A Journey” it sounds different than I remember Greater Vision’s sounding like. Maybe it is just a different mix.

  5. This review just makes me that much more excited to get this project at NQC! I’m glad that Gerald Wolfe has taken such an interest in this trio; they’re going places and the future is very bright for them.

    If you haven’t heard them A Capella, check this out. The magic starts at 1:16:

  6. I had the privilege of filling in for T.J. on a recent weekend. (TJ’s wife is due with their first child). I can attest to the fact that these guys run a first-rate, Spirit-filled and inspired program. It was such an honor to sing with these guys. Having been friends with them for years, I know first hand that these men are striving to honor the Lord.

    In regards to the album, I think that they actually sound better live. Taking nothing away from the recording, TJ is one of the most gifted, artistic, and overall fun to listen to vocalists that there is in Gospel music. He allows the audience to relate to the version they are used to hearing on the recording, while at the same time adds a different vocal concept nearly every time the song is sung.

    This group has great things in its future. My prayer is that people will support and encourage them as they seek to do God’s will.

    Great review Daniel.

    • Stephen – cool!

      • For a moment I thought you had posted “Stephen = cool”


  7. Your font is way wacky. In this post it keeps fluctuating from big to little, to big, to little… I’ve seen this on other posts too since you began tinkering, though not quite as dramatically.

    • That’s actually the fault of how a Mac computer and WordPress’s TinyMCE text editor don’t play nicely together and leave legacy code behind.

      (OK, that was probably more detail than anyone wanted!)

      I can fix the legacy Mac/TinyMCE code, but haven’t gotten around to it yet.

      • Are you saying it happens only on a Mac? Cause I have Windows 7 and it’s that way here.

        I’d almost think you formatted it that way on purpose, but I don’t quite!

        Interesting concept, doing all GV songs. I think I have all of them (never listen to “New Wine”), but I’m sure a lot of fans don’t have them.

      • No – the issue is how Macs mess with the text input process, not how either computer displays the site.

      • Oh, OK!

  8. Song sequence is actually one of the things I wished I would have checked with Gerald on. He mentioned it to me after I had sent it off and explained to me the importance of a good sequence. Live and learn I guess, right?

    He told me to let him help with the sequence on the next project.

    • 🙂 It really isn’t a bad thing at all, just funny – and it would take someone with my inclinations to catch it, probably, too!