CD Review: Story of a Lifetime (Dills)

dillsRating: 4.5 stars (of 5)

Average Song Rating: 4.0 stars (of 5)

Song List: Amazing You; Holy of Holies; I See a Mountain; I Quit; Tired of Running; Worth It; He Got Up; Yesterday’s News; He Got Up; I’m Over What’s Under the Blood.

Available From: Label, Artist.

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Shawn and Tim Dill began singing with their parents at age seven; today’s version of the group is based in Jackson, Tennessee and features Shawn and Tim with their wives, LeeAnn and Bridget Dill. The Dill’s sound is fairly progressive, but is still traditional enough that fans of more traditional mixed groups can appreciate it.

The Story of a Lifetime has high vocal and production quality, but its strongest point is probably its song selection. The Dills were able to find a number of songs that better known groups would (or at least should) jump at the chance to record. (In fact, it’s already happened, if the title track of Brian Free & Assurance’s new project, Worth It, is the same song.)

The project has several excellent uptempo songs, including “Tired of Running” and “He Got Up,” both penned by Joseph Habedank and Matthew Holt.

“I Quit” and “Worth It” are both lyrically powerful mid-tempo songs. The orchestration doesn’t really build with either to the point where they would be termed a big ballad. Both songs are what I would term “message songs”β€”songs where the lyric is so catching that it’s what you remember, even if you forget the tune.

“Holy of Holies” is the project’s strongest big ballad. It was penned by Geron Davis in 1989, but is (to my knowledge) new to Southern Gospel. It is a good fit for genre and the group, and word is it’s under consideration for a radio single.

One other notable cover is song “Yesterday’s News.” Originally penned in 1998 and recorded by Truth, it is also survives its transpant to Southern Gospel well.

This project should go a long way toward establishing the Dills as a group worth watching.

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17 Letters to the Editor

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  1. There are quite a few tracks that would do really well in SG from that Truth project of ’98. “Yesterday’s News” is one that I considered for our group a couple records ago. I’m very glad The Dills recorded it. You won’t find a nicer and more genuine group of people.

  2. Good review Daniel, I may be getting to see the Dills in a couple of weeks. I am looking forward to hearing some of these songs live.

  3. A review with no production, musician or technical credits? Pleasant summary, but a review?

  4. John, you have to buy the CD for that!

    I got a digital copy of the mp3s. The Dills were gracious enough to email me the songwriter credits at my request, but I didn’t have the liner notes to work from. That can make writing a review challenging, but with a lot of companies moving to digital releases of review copies, it just goes with the job now. πŸ™‚

    • We’re sorry to inform you that we now aren’t interested in anything less than a mega-review for each and every new release that people send you. Preferably it should be posted with a link to 30-second clips of each song with a separate space so we can share our own critiques and tell you what you missed. (Tongue In Cheek!)

      • I’m glad that was tongue-in-cheek!

        Did you mean to post that on this two-year-old post?

      • Aaaahh, coffee again. The pingbacks pulled it up on my recent comments feed. I thought activity was really hopping, because there were 0 comments on the review when I started working through the 62 comments on the suits & ties thread.

      • Ha! πŸ™‚

        Well, given that they’re clearly understood as tongue-in-cheek, I wouldn’t object to those sentiments making their way to the current review. πŸ™‚

      • I can repost it. πŸ˜›

  5. Other than songwriting and producer credits, I rarely give any other details when I’m writing reviews. And neither do most reviewers. Keep up the good work Daniel.

  6. Did you see any producer credits here?

  7. Very apropos review Daniel. This group is going to be in Cincinnati next Sunday and I was thinking about going. Now, not only am I going to go, but I’m going to buy the CD first.

  8. Thanks for the review Daniel! I thought that I had sent all of the liner notes along with the song lyrics & writer info…but sorry if I didn’t. Here it is for all who are interested…and again, thanks for such a positive review!

    Produced, Recorded & Mixed by KEVIN WARD at kiloWatt STUDIO, Murfreesboro, TN Tracks Recorded by Steve Dady at SUNSET BLVD. STUDIOS, Brentwood, TN Mastered by ALAN SILVERMAN at ARF! MASTERING, New York City, NY Piano, B3: JASON WEBB / Bass: MARK HILL / Drums: STEVE BREWSTER / Mandolin, Banjo: BRYAN SUTTON / Electric Guitars: DAVE CLEVELAND, KEVIN WARD / Acoustic Guitar: BRYAN SUTTON, PETE HUTTLINGER / Fiddle, Dobro, Harmonica: DAVID JOHNSON / Orchestration: KENNY ALLENS, KEVIN WARD / Art Direction & Graphic Design: TIM DILL / Photography: HILL PHOTOGRAPHY, Humboldt, TN

  9. Tim – maybe you did send them. If I forgot, I do apologize!

    And you’re welcome for the review. But you don’t have to thank me – your project was simply good enough to earn it. πŸ™‚ Hope I can catch you live sometime!

  10. The Dills are a wonderful group!!!Not only is their message strong in the music,but it is genuine and it shows.They love to praise the Lord and share him with others through their ministry!!!!!They are a blessing to see in person!!!Can’t tell I’m one of their biggest fans can you?

  11. I think this is probably the best CD The Dills have done. This group of people not only have wonderful God given talent but their spirit is awesome as well. I’m so happy and honored to know them and love them very much! Keep up the good work guys and girls.

  12. Hey I bought your album “The Story of a Lifetime” and absolutly love the songs, especially “Worth It” and “Holy of Holies”. Just wondering if I could by the instrumental music so I could sing it in church. Thanks for putting out such beautiful music.


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