3:1 CD Review: Live in Chicago (Cathedral Quartet)
3:1 Reviews offer three highlights of an album and one area that could have been improved.
After over fifteen years in the storage, this recording of a 1996 Cathedrals concert releases to the public on November 6th. Check our our interview about this project with former Cathedrals tenor Ernie Haase here.
1: Song Selection and Pacing: Of the twelve songs on this project, ten are individually five-star performances. The other two are necessary for pacing—if every single song were a barn-burner or a huge anthem, the audience would be worn out.
The jokes, stories, and routines aren’t overdone—by and large, they are distinct enough from what you’ll hear on other Cathedrals live recordings that you’d be tempted to think George Younce was planning for this to be a live album and purposely came up with fresh material!
Roger Bennett’s testimony, coming on the tail end of his first battle with cancer, is a priceless treasure. It’s well worth getting the album for that alone.
2: “Heavenly Parade”: For years, Cathedrals fans have been talking about a favorite on-stage routine where Glen Payne would sing all four parts to the chorus. It’s finally captured in a recorded version, and it’s a delight.
Also notable: Roger Bennett’s piano conclusion—the final few measures of the Hallelujah Chorus—is a delightful conclusion to the routine.
3: “I Thirst”: George Younce’s live version of “I Thirst” is exquisite. (Honestly, one could say the same of a half-dozen other tracks, but this format requires selecting the three brightest highlights.)
:1: Pretty much nothing: From song selection to pacing to performance quality, Live in Chicago is flawless. It is everything Cathedrals fans hoped it would be.
Live in Chicago was recorded within about a year of Alive! Deep in the Heart of Texas. So there is some overlap, but it’s hardly excessive. Only four songs appear on both (“Your Blesser Ain’t Never Been Blessed,” “Oh, What a Savior,” “Because He Lives,” and “Don’t Be Afraid.”)
Put simply: Every Southern Gospel fan should get this album.
Credits: Group members: Ernie Haase (tenor), Glen Payne (lead), Scott Fowler (baritone and bass guitar), George Younce (bass and emcee), Roger Bennett (piano and vocals). Special guest appearance from Buddy Greene on harmonica on “Life Will Be Sweeter Someday.”
Song List: Oh Come Along; Step Into The Water; Your Blesser Ain’t Never Been Blessed; The Heavenly Parade; This Old House; Life Will Be Sweeter Someday; Oh, What a Savior; Jesus Saves; I Thirst; Because He Lives; Roger Bennett’s Testimony; Don’t Be Afraid; There Is A Fountain.
Rating: 5 stars. Easily.