3:1 CD Review: Family Ties (Wilburn & Wilburn)

3:1 Reviews offer three highlights of an album and one area that could have been improved.

1. Jordan Wilburn: Everyone knew Jonathan Wilburn was one of the best singers in Southern Gospel. What we didn’t know was that Jordan Wilburn was also a vocalist of that caliber. This duo has been turning heads so quickly that they may as well take a chiropractor on the road.

2. “A Cross Became my Saving Grace”: An unusual chord progression builds this mellow testimony song into an immediately memorable track. Jordan Wilburn’s high lead vocal brings the song, written by Dianne Wilkinson and Joseph Habedank, to life.

3. “Jesus Will”: This Dianne Wilkinson / Jerry Salley is the sort of accessible and immediately singable song that will have you tapping your foot and humming along by the second or third play.

+1 or :1? Diversity: This album is all over the place stylistically. They try country, they try bluegrass, they try bluesy Southern Gospel, they try progressive Southern Gospel, and probably a few other things, too. And they pull each off each with equal aplomb. Is it too diverse for Southern Gospel, or is it exactly where Southern Gospel needs to go?

Traditional or Progressive: Everything!

Radio Single Picks: “A Cross Became My Saving Grace,” “Jesus Will,” “Devil Be Gone.”

Credits: Group members: Jonathan Wilburn, Jordan Wilburn. • Review copy provided.

Song list:It’s a Shore Thing; Jesus Will; Devil Be Gone; Mama; You’ll Still Be There; A Cross Became My Saving Grace; I John; Things I’ve Never Done; Family Ties; Let’s All Go Down to the River; I Ain’t Giving Up on Jesus.

Album Rating: 4 stars.

 


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16 Letters to the Editor

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  1. It does have a good bit of variety, but I don’t think it was as varied stylistically as, let’s say, Grace Says by the Kingsmen. Most of this CD leans strongly country, and then branches to different variations of country, like the bluegrass and blues.

    This CD was my most pleasant surprise last year.

    • If you’re going strictly on a progressive vs. traditional scale, the Kingsmen album certainly went further in the traditional direction, and approached this one in the progressive direction. I’d still say that this one has more stylistic variety than the Kingsmen one, though. Pretty much everything on the Kingsmen one was either progressive, a big ballad, or a traditional quartet song. This one has country, bluegrass, progressive SG, bluesy SG, and traditional SG, at least, along with probably a few things I don’t even know the names for! 🙂

  2. I think the chiropractor comment made the entire review for me! That was good.

    • Thanks! I was writing this, as I recall, at the end of a long, long day, and I suppose I was starting to get goofy! 🙂

  3. I have really enjoyed listening to this album! But I love seeing these guys in concert even more!

  4. Hey Daniel,

    I will be honest I am not much on blogging, however I have observed your website often and noticed you have a very respectful site. I am not just saying this, because of the good cd review I just read on “Family Ties”. You are always fair and very observant in every article and cd review I read. At first I was hesitant to get in on the blog wave, but when I saw Gerald Wolf and Michael Booth interacting with their fans online recently, well that did it for me. They are two of the most respected guys in Gospel Music and rightfully so. They are two class acts and if they think it’s a good thing, well it is. Thank you for your kind words about the album. It means a lot ,when someone likes, what you’ve worked so hard on. I was in Pagosa Springs Colorado on Wednesday when a good friend of mine called me and told me some exciting news about the album “Family Ties”. At that moment, I was snow skiing and over looking one of God’s most awesome creations, the Rocky Mountains! God is so good to me and I am so undeserving of his blessings, but he just keeps on sending them. Thank You Lord For Your Blessings On Me!

    • Jordan,

      Thank you! I have and enforce comment rules requiring that comments be respectful, both of artists and of other commenters. So I try to keep it pretty safe around here. I’m honored that you stopped by!

      Oh, and congratulations on the Dove nomination! 🙂

      I believe we shook hands and spoke briefly at NQC, but given how many people are there, I wouldn’t blame you in the slightest if you had no recollection of it!

      • Thanks Daniel. It was very unexpected, but God is just good like that and I thank him for it. Yes, I do remember meeting you at NQC. That was really the only way I knew of your website.

      • Ah, okay!

  5. Hey Jordan, I chatted with your dad at NQC for a little while, and he talked me into buying this cd. “It’s a Shore Thing” is currently the most played song in my Itunes Top 25. Keep up the good work. One thing I would add is about 1 more SG song in the same vein as Jonathan’s smash hits with Gold City. “He Said,” and “I Believe” were his finest moments, in my opinion. Your incredible range and power, coupled with your dad’s voice, makes for a really dynamic duo. Great debut album.

    • Hey, thanks so much. Ronnie Hinson wrote “It’s A Shore Thing” and it is one of my favorites as well. Also, “He Said” and ” I Believe” are actually two of my favorites and I totally agree with you, are two awesome songs. The thing is with this album “Family Ties” we set out with Ben Isaacs to create our own sound and my father was very gracious in letting me establish myself in this project, so if the truth be told my father is a very unselfish person, and put himself on the back burner, in order to introduce me as a new artist. Although, I believe “Let’s All Go Down To the River”, “It’s A Shore Thing” and “Things I’ve Never Done” are classic Jonathan Wilburn, in my opinion, and I love “Momma”!!! Some folks hear dad sing “Momma” and go ,wow that’s not the Jonathan Wilburn I know, and rightfully so if your just judging by his days with Gold City, but if you have listend to my father since his days with The Wilburn’s, then a song like “Momma” or the bluegrass tune “You’ll Still Be There” doesn’t come as a shock at all. Have you ever heard “Coming Out of the Wilderness” by the Wilburn’s? Was there first national hit and boy is it country!! I will tell you this. In the near future we are working on an album that combines dad’s hits with The Wilburn’s and Gold City! Thank you for your kind words and I am glad you are enjoying the album! God Bless!

    • Hey, thanks so much. Ronnie Hinson wrote “It’s A Shore Thing” and it is one of my favorites as well. Also, “He Said” and ” I Believe” are actually two of my favorites and I totally agree with you, are two awesome songs. The thing is with this album, “Family Ties”, we set out with Ben Isaacs to create our own sound and my father was very gracious in letting me establish myself in this project, so if the truth be told my father is a very unselfish person, and put himself on the back burner, in order to introduce me as a new artist. Although, I believe “Let’s All Go Down To the River”, “It’s A Shore Thing” and “Things I’ve Never Done” are classic Jonathan Wilburn, in my opinion, and I love “Momma”!!! Some folks hear dad sing “Momma” and go ,wow that’s not the Jonathan Wilburn I know, and rightfully so if your just judging by his days with Gold City, but if you have listend to my father since his days with The Wilburn’s, then a song like “Momma” or the bluegrass tune “You’ll Still Be There” doesn’t come as a shock at all. Have you ever heard “Coming Out of the Wilderness” by the Wilburn’s? Was there first national hit and boy is it country!! I will tell you this. In the near future we are working on an album that combines dad’s hits with The Wilburn’s and Gold City! Thank you for your kind words and I am glad you are enjoying the album! God Bless!

      • That album project is GREAT news. So many newer Southern Gospel fans have never heard his hits with the Wilburns, and it will be great to hear his Gold City hits in this setting!

  6. Sounds wonderful! Thanks for your feedback and comments, Jordan. I agree there is definitely some true Jonathan on this album. I was also was blown away by your NQC duo with your dad opening up for the choir. I only caught the last bit of it, but I think the tune was “Is the Church on Fire.” Loved it.

  7. Wow! I’m gettin’ old ….. I heard Aaron Wilburn back about the early 70’s. I think the was in concert with the “Happy Goodman’s” in Waco, TX … I still have the album I bought … Aaron was on a horse … I think he was a jockey ????
    and now …. “I Ain’t Given’ up on Jesus” this song is outstanding Thank you for your faithfulness … and powerful music … Love you always and May God continue to be your guide.

    • Karen I think you are mistaken. “I Ain’t Giving Up On Jesus” is not Aaron Wilburn. it is my dad and I, Jonathan Wilburn. We go by the name Wilburn and Wilburn. This was our first release on Daywind Records.