3:1 CD Review: Live in Oro Valley (Liberty Quartet)

Live in Oro Valley (Liberty Quartet)3:1 Reviews offer three highlights of an album and one area that could have been improved.

1: Vocals: With the possible exception of the Keith Waggoner/Dan Gilbert/Doran Ritchey/Royce Mitchell lineup, this current version of Liberty Quartet offers the strongest vocal performances of the group’s history. The group has had several recent lineup changes; tenor Phillip Batton replaced Waggoner shortly before their 2011 mainline God’s Been Faithful (reviewed here) came out, while lead singer Doug Wiley replaced Gilbert shortly after the album’s release.

Most of the album’s tracks come from God’s Been Faithful; in a sense, especially since the original soundtracks from the album are the only musical accompaniment, this album revisits God’s Been Faithful with vocals from the new lineup, plus applause and a little talking between the tracks.

2: For All My Sins, featuring tenor Phillip Batton and 3: Welcome to Heaven, featuring lead singer Doug Wiley: That the album’s two strongest moments come from its two rookies says more than a little about the vocal strength Liberty Quartet will be carrying forward into their next mainline.

:1: Live piano: Previous Liberty Quartet baritone Doran Ritchey also played piano on a number of songs in each Liberty Quartet program. Since his departure, the group’s live programs have been soundtrack-only. This live album is solely pre-recorded soundtracks with live vocals; as a live album, it would have definitely been stronger if the group had brought in a guest live pianist, at least for a couple of tracks.

Also, it would have been nice to see songwriter credits included with the packaging.

Traditional or Progressive: Middle-of-the-road with traditional moments.

Group Members: Philip Batton (tenor), Doug Wiley (lead), Jordan Cragun (baritone), Royce Mitchell (bass).

Credits: Produced by Jordan Cragun, Royce Mitchell, Larry Vinyard, and David Mills. Directed by David Mills. Assistant Director: Suzy Burros. Edited by Troy Watters. Audio Engineering by Alex Adamitis.

Song List: Up And Away; Roll On Jordan; Not Givin’ in to Givin’ Up; For All My Sins; 39 Chapters Later; Peace Like a River; I Made it Mine; Who Can Do Anything; God’s Been Faithful; Jesus Saves; Welcome to Heaven; Up and Away Reprise.

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2 Letters to the Editor

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  1. The Live in Oro Valley CD is outstanding. We bought the CD and DVD. My favorite is “God’s Been Faithful” but “39 Chapters Later” is also very good. “Peace Like A River” is too.

  2. Good album, I thought. The only thing I would’ve added to it was “But For A Cross.” I do love that song. Oh, and I would’ve had someone else do Doug’s vocals. Hahaha, just kidding Doug. I’ll be hearing about this about 2am tonight.