CD Review: Focused on You (Springvale Boys)

The Torchmen, based in Ontario, Canada, might be Canada’s best-known Southern Gospel group this side of the border. But, of course, they’re not the only one. The Springvale Boys, also from Ontario, Canada, recently released their debut project, Focused on You.

Except for one hymn melody, all the songs are original to the group. Bass singer and manager John Halse wrote the lyrics; Richard Ash, the album’s producer, wrote the melodies. When you’re introducing a new group, it doubles the risk to debut with almost exclusively original material. But the risk paid off; it wouldn’t be hard at all to imagine a half-dozen of these new songs finding a place on a major group’s project. “River of Life,” “It’s Going to Be a While,” and “Laugh and Weep” particularly stand out.

The group is stronger vocally than most regional groups. Their voices blend exceptionally well. 

All in all, this is a strong debut. If this group happens to come through your area—which, admittedly, is rather unlikely for most of our readers, since the only listed dates on their tour schedule presently seem to be north of the border—they’re definitely worth checking out. And don’t be surprised if they win you over.

Traditional or Progressive: Middle-of-the road; perhaps slightly on the traditional side of the road.

Credits: Produced by Richard Ash with John Halse at RAM Studios, London, Ontario, Canada. Group members: Herb Hoover, Phil Pugh (tenor), John Halse (bass), Dave Noakes (lead and guitar), Rod Russell (baritone/lead and piano).

Song List: River of Life (written by John Halse and Richard Ash); Where There’s His Will (written by John Halse and Richard Ash); Keep in Step (written by John Halse and Richard Ash); Focused on You (written by John Halse and Richard Ash); It’s Going to Be a While (written by John Halse and Richard Ash); Laugh and Weep (written by John Halse and Richard Ash); Oh, How I Love Jesus / Hymn Medley; Water, Water Everywhere (written by John Halse and Richard Ash, with an excerpt from “Because He Lives” by William J. and Gloria Gaither); I Want to Get In (written by John Halse and Richard Ash); Thinking of Me (written by John Halse and Richard Ash).

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1 Letter to the Editor

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  1. We go to and do not get to hear them enough. A great group!
    With their baritone in heaven and the tenor in school, . . .