CD Review: Journey (Libbi Perry Stuffle)
For years, Libbi Perry Stuffle has resisted suggestions from friends to do a solo album. This summer, she finally gave in, recording Journey.
It’s part compilation, part new recording, and part hybrid. She recorded “March Around the Throne” with the Perrys in the mid-90s; this rendition has the same track, but new background vocals from Jeff and Sheri Easter. The new cuts also include a pair of classics, “Jesus, Hold My Hand” (with guest vocals from Dailey & Vincent) and “Now I Have Everything” (with guest vocals from Gerald Wolfe and Mark Trammell). The latter pair is the same pair that, joined Tracy and Libbi Stuffle to bring down the house with “God Walks the Dark Hills” at the Daywind Remembering the Greats NQC showcase and DVD/CD several years ago.
“Daddy Sang Bass / Reunited” is an emotional high point of the project. An audio clip of children singing “Daddy Sang Bass” starts the track. One assumes that would be the Perrys as children, since the notes refer to the fact that it’s the second song they ever sung together, but the liner notes don’t credit the clip. Her brother Randy and sister Debra return for the autobiographical new song, “Reunited,” penned for Libbi by Joseph Habedank, Matthew Holt, and Wayne Haun.
Wayne Haun contributed more than songs and song production; he also joined Bryan Walker for guest vocals on “I’m Not a Failure,” a new song written by Joseph Habedank and Matthew Holt.
To nobody’s surprise, the project’s climax is a Kyla Rowland song. Say that the Perrys sing her style or say that she writes the Perrys’ style, but either way, it’s a perfect match. The trio Sisters provides guest vocals; their tight, sweet harmonies provide the perfect contrast to Libbi’s power alto for this relaxing and encouraging album closer.
The album is hard to rate. How does one rate a hybrid? Suffice it to say this: If you like the Perrys’ style, as most of you do, this album is a must-add to your collection.
Traditional or Progressive
Radio Single Picks
“The Broken Heart Sings the Sweetest Song” stands head-and-shoulders above the other new songs as a natural radio single pick.
Producer: Wayne Haun. • Review copy provided. • Song list: March Around the Throne (with Jeff and Sheri Easter); Now I Have Everything (with Mark Trammell and Gerald Wolfe); Still Blessed; Daddy Sang Bass / Reunited (with Randy Perry and Debra Perry Reed); God Walks the Dark Hills; Jesus Hold My Hand (with Dailey & Vincent); I’m Not a Failure (with Wayne Haun and Bryan Walker); Did I Mention; Holy Hills of Heaven; Mountaintop for Me; His Grace Will Lead Me Home; The Broken Heart Sings the Sweetest Song (with Sisters).