CD Review: North America Live (The Hoppers)

Rating: 4.5 (of 5)

Average Song Rating: 4.45 (of 5)

Song List: Holy Ghost Wind; Blame It On Love; Jesus Saves; Pathway Built For Two; Ten Thousand Years; Ready To Leave; On My Journey Home; Mama Was Praying For Me; He’s Worthy; It Is Well With My Soul; Jerusalem.

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Live projects typically fall into one of two categories. Either the artist sings all their hits (or all the songs off their current project, if they come out with a video per year), or they debut all or mostly all new songs. It’s a little hard to pin down which category North America Live falls into.

The project has several new songs (“Blame it on Love,” “Pathway Built for Two.”) It also has a number of songs new to the Hoppers (“Ready to Leave,” “Ten Thousand Years,” “It is Well.”)

But the project also includes a number of the Hopper’s long-time favorites—”Jesus Saves,” “On My Journey Home,” and, as a closer, “Jerusalem.” So it’s not exactly a project of new songs or a project of classics.

Though it might be hard to categorize, it’s an excellent project. The mixture of soundtracks and (evidently) a live band works well. Unlike most live projects, which are recorded entirely in one night, the Hoppers recorded a half-dozen different concerts in the United States and Canada in July and August and selected the takes that came out the best.

If the Hoppers had managed to find eleven new songs this strong, the project would have definitely been five-star quality. As it is, though, it comes pretty close.

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6 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. “Pathway Built For Two” I think; features Michael Hopper… He sounds great! I don’t think the group will miss a step when Claude & Connie stay home. Is that Dean & Kim’s daughter is singing on this song too.


  2. Hmm. Something had sounded different about the song. Whoever is singing it has a really nice blend.

  3. It’s sad to think of the day Connie and Claude decide to stay home. Seems there are very few of the older groups still around. Ed O’Neal of Dixie Melody Boys recently said he felt like one of the last ones still singing from that ‘era’. The new groups will carry on so beautifully though when that day comes.

  4. Though Claude & Connie claim they will never stop traveling, I can’t see them traveling the rest of their lives. I would really love it if Connie would make another solo cd. But I think Karlye will be able to step right into the alto position without any trouble if Connie were to come off the road. I hope they would get a real bass or a decent baritone if Claude decided to retire as well. But I’m praying that neither of them retire any time soon! 😀

  5. I wish there had been more new songs on the CD, but it is a great disc, and they completely outdide themselves on Ten Thousand Years

  6. The Hoppers have announced on their website that they have been working with Lari Goss finding new material for ANOTHER new CD for fall 2009 =)
    I think 2009 is going to be a GREAT year for SG!!!