3:1 CD Review: Al Brumley Jr. Sings 36 Gospel Classics (Albert E. Brumley Jr.)
3:1 Reviews offer three highlights of an album and one area that could have been improved.
1: “When I Looked Up and He Looked Down”: The CD features a collection of 36 songs penned by Albert E. Brumley. They are sung by Al Brumley Jr., with guest vocals from assorted country and Gospel singers. The Chuck Wagon Gang’s rendition of this song is far and away the strongest performance of the eighteen-song first disc. Yes, that does say something about certain other guest vocals (see below), but this would still be a standout on an album packed with strong performances. The Chuck Wagon Gang members were born to sing Brumley songs!
2: “He Set Me Free”: The Jordainaires’ tight harmonies make them a perfect fit for one of Brumley’s best-known songs.
3: “There’s a Little Pine Log Cabin.” The Inspirations offer the best vocals on the second disc. The song offers one of the smoothest and lowest bass parts Brumley pnned, and Mike Holcomb does not disappoint.
:1: Country Guest Vocalists: Perhaps the Country guest vocalists were just past their prime. Perhaps they were never all that good to begin with. Either way, the guest vocalists from country singers weren’t half as good as the guest vocalists from Southern Gospel.
Credits: Producer: Tommy Overstreet. Co-Producer & Music Coordinator: Gene Breeden. Production Consultants: Vic Clay, Jackson Brumley. Review copy provided.
Song List: Disc 1: Turn Your Radio On (with Merle Haggard); I’d Rather Be an Old-Time Christian (with Glen Campbell); The Love of the Lord (with Lee Greenwood); The Prettiest Flowers will be Blooming (with the Florida Boys); If We Never Meet Again (with Tommy Overstreet); Flowers in the Wildwood (with Mel Tillis); It’s Really Surprising (with Crystal Gale); Led by the Master’s Hand; When I Looked Up and He Looked Down (with the Chuck Wagon Gang); I’ll Fly Away (with Merle Haggard); It’s Twilight Time Again (with The Sons of the Pioneers); Did You Ever Go Sailin’ (with Daniel O’Donnell and with Chet Atkins on guitar); I’m Bound for that City (with Larry Gatlin and with Lamar Alexander on piano); Camping in Canaan’s Land (with Hank Thompson); Nobody Answered Me (with Johnny Russell); The Old Village Church on the Hill (with Bill Anderson); The Blood that Stained the Old Rugged Cross (with Chester Smith); That Old-Time Preacher Man (with LeRoy Van Dyke). Disc 2: Jesus, Hold My Hand (with George Jones); Rank Strangers to Me (with Porter Wagoner); I’ve Found the Hiding Place (with the Lewis Family); I’ll Meet You in the Morning (with Larry Gatlin); He Set Me Free (with the Jordanaires); Surely I Will Lord (with Jeannie Seely); It’s an Unfriendly World (with Cal Smith); I Cannot Find the Way Alone (with the Mel Tillis Singers); Her Mansion is Higher Than Mine (with Johnny Russell); I’m as Poor as a Beggar (with T. Graham Brown); You Will Get Your Reward Someday (with Roy Clark); It’s Bound to Be the Lord (with Tracy Nelson); Gospel Songs and Old Time Recipes (with Tommy Overstreet); There’s a Little Pine Log Cabin (with the Inspirations and with Chet Atkins on guitar); I Just Steal Away and Pray (with Daniel O’Donnell); I’ll Put on a Crown (with Jeff & Sheri Easter); This World is Not My Home (with Merle Haggard); If Everybody Had a Heart Full of Love (with Tommy Overstreet).