3:1 CD Review: A Lifetime of Music (John Hagee)
3:1 Reviews offer three highlights of an album and one area that could have been improved.
1. Style: This is billed as a vocal/saxophone project, not just a vocal project. With Hagee’s sax and a guest trumpeter and trombonist, this album’s style is big band meets Southern Gospel. The pleasant sonic result is one that will have a broader appeal than just Southern Gospel fans who lived through the big band era. It works better than one might expect.
2: Just a Closer Walk With Thee: Hagee brings in the rest of his family and the Oak Ridge Boys as guest vocalists. Individually cool instrumental and vocal arrangements weave together for a remarkably cohesive and delightful result.
3: When the Saints Go Marching In / Just a Little While: You might not think that these two songs would fit together well, but this arrangement works. The opening line of “Just a Little While” is woven in as a motif between the first two verses of “When the Saints Go Marching In,” setting the stage nicely for the transition.
:1? Cry From Valley Forge / It Has Always Been the Soldier: Do you like narrations with a musical background setting? Do you like political discussion in song? This narration, written from the perspective of a Valley Forge soldier reprimanding Americans for rights won and left unused, will probably either be your favorite moment on the album or your least favorite.
Song Selection Creativity Meter: 33%. 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.
Credits: Produced by Michael Sykes, David Huntsinger. Executive Producer: Matthew Hagee. Arranger: David Huntsinger. Recorded and mixed by Lynn Fuston. Mastered by Glenn Meadows. Musicians: Bob Mater (drums), Craig Nelson (bass guitar), David Huntsinger (piano, organ, keyboards), Eric Darken (percussion), George Tidwell (trumpet), Jim Hoke (harmonica, steel guitar, baritone saxophone), John Hammond (drums), Marty Crumb (banjo, guitar), Ralph Lofton (organ), Roger Bissel (trombone), Sam Levine (clarinet, background saxophone), Scott Williamson (drums), Stuart Duncan (fiddle). Review copy provided.
Song List: The Meeting in the Air / Heaven’s Jubilee; Just a Closer Walk With Thee (with guests The Hagees and The Oak Ridge Boys); I’d Rather Have Jesus; Highway to Heaven; Cry from Valley Forge / It is the Soldier; Near the Cross; When the Saints Go Marching In / Just a Little While; No One Ever Cared For Me Like Jesus; Victory in Jesus (with guests Bill Gaither, Matthew Hagee); When They Ring the Golden Bells; There is a Fountain Filled With Blood / Oh, The Blood of Jesus.