CD Review: 09 (Booth Brothers)

bbRating: 4.5 stars (of 5)

Average Song Rating: 4 stars (of 5)

Song List: Love Was in the Room; Sail On; He Came to Me; Oh What a Happy Day; I’m the Lamb; I Have an Anchor; Up There, Somewhere; Tradin’ the Old Cross; This is My Valley; Feeling Fine.

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Over the years, the Booth Brothers have recorded quite a few songs that have found places in listeners’ hearts. 09 brings back some of the best of these, songs they have recorded in the past, but hadn’t performed for years. The album also throws in several new songs and classics they had not previously staged.

  1. Love Was in the Room. The Booth Brothers originally recorded this song on their 1998 recording Will You Love Jesus More. The song, penned by Mosie Lister and Ken Bible, is a unique look at the Resurrection.
  2. Sail On. The Booth Brothers prove that this Imperials classic can be done without a bass…and, even more impressively, without the bass’s absence sticking out like a sore thumb.
  3. He Come to Me. This midtempo song is penned by Squire Parsons and sounded vaguely familiar. After doing some checking around, I found out that I’d heard it on Greater Vision and the Specks did it in a medley on their Celebration at First Baptist Atlanta video. The Kingdom Heirs also recorded it on Series 1 (2005), and the Hoppers recorded a song by the same name on their 1981 project Home is Where the Heart Is. The song is, however, new to the Booth Brothers’ repertoire.
  4. Oh What a Happy Day. A convention-style piano intro to the song leads the listener to think the track will be arranged the way the song is usually sung, as a traditional quartet number. That impression lasts until the synthesizers and brass kick in, for one of the project’s more progressive and uptempo numbers.
  5. I’m the Lamb. This song is familiar to any longtime Booth Brothers fan; they recorded it on their 1996 Praise God Anyhow project. It’s definitely a song worth bringing back.
  6. I Have an Anchor. This is a new uptempo song, penned by Jim Brady. The soundtrack is brass-driven.
  7. Up There Somewhere. This slow ballad features tenor Michael Booth; it was originally recorded on their 1996 project One of His Own.
  8. Tradin’ the Old Cross. If you thought you knew this song from the Collingsworth Family’s rendition (God is Faithful, 2005), think again. The Booth Brothers completely redefine the song as a progressive track, with a driving uptempo arrangement. The song lends itself surprisingly well to both interpretations.
  9. This is My Valley. This Dottie Rambo song features tenor Michael Booth.
  10. Feeling Fine. The Booth Brothers recorded this Mosie Lister classic on Beyond the Cross (1999). They recorded its sequel, “Still Feelin’ Fine,” on This Stage of Grace (2001). They revisit the original to close out this project.

While two or three of the tracks are more progressive than fans of traditional styles would care for, the project blends traditional and progressive styles seamlessly enough that no song seems out of place. Between the song selection, the vocal arrangements, and the production standards, this project is good enough that it’s easy to forget it is a table project.

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16 Letters to the Editor

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  1. “He Came To Me” is one of Squire Parson’s most popular songs. It was the title track to his 1980 LP. “Up There Somewhere” was also recorded by Perfect Heart on 1995’s “On Time God” in an absolutely stunning arrangement. Both great songs. I’ve listened to the clips on the Booth Brothers site, this sounds like a great project! Thanks for the review, Daniel.

  2. Parsons’, not Parson’s. Fingers got flying too fast. 🙂

  3. Thanks for the additional background! I have something like 14,000 SG tracks in iTunes, and still there’s a lot that I’ve never heard. 🙂

  4. I hope you don’t track how much you spend on music, like I do. It would be hard on my nerves. 🙂 j/k

    It seems like I can remember hearing George Younce do “Love Was in the Room.” I think it might have been on a solo album. I like the song.

    This sounds like the kind of CD I would like to have available as individual downloads on iTunes or somewhere.

  5. Oh, how I wish we could access more SG music on iTunes. I understand why we can’t, but it would be so nice.

  6. Is their arrangement of “Trading a Cross for a Crown” similar to the arrangement on Mike Bowling’s 2004 album, “Where I Stand”? That one had more of a progressive sound, but it wasn’t better than the Collingsworth Family’s.

  7. It’s set up a different way (you pay a set fee for a set number of downloads per month), but eMusic is cheaper and has a great selection, too. 🙂

  8. No, Mike Bowling’s rendition is pretty similar to the Collingsworths’ rendition.

    If I had to pick a song from “Room for More” that has a similar feel, I’d maybe pick “The Half that’s Never Been Told.”

    I asked Phil Collingsworth about that when I saw them in concert the other day. He said they had no idea the Booths were going to do it until a fairly recent joint concert. Before the concert, Michael or Ronnie pulled out a CD player, and said, “Listen to this,” popped the CD in. Phil didn’t recognize the song until the lyrics kicked in, and apparently the Booths had a fun time watching his face at that point. 🙂

  9. George did “Love Was in The Room” on his first solo album before the Booths did it. During a Gospel Greats interview, Michael thanked George for his fine demo work!

    Who is featured on “He Came To Me”?

  10. Good review Daniel. Looking forward to hearing the project. One additional note, “Up There Somewhere” was actually the project title to the 1993 Ruppes project on Pinnacle. There were a couple of their tunes recorded by Perfect Heart on “On Time God”. There rendition of “Up There Somewhere” was quite good as well. It was later released on a compilation titled “Answers” from Horizon Records in 1998.

  11. Great review Daniel!!!!! This album is very good for a table project similar to L5’s 10. And Grigs Jim Brady is featured on “He Came To Me” and he does a wonderful job!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Thanks!

  13. I have this CD…it is so good!!!! These guys never cease to impress me. They are so genuine about ministering the gospel through music, and yet they are so professional about what they do! Great Project, guys, and great review, Daniel!!!

  14. Thanks, Nathan… I figured either Jim or Ronnie. Really, either of them could do a great job with that kind of song.

  15. I’m really looking forward to getting this one. I have everything they’ve done since Stage of Grace, minus the Cowboy CD and the 3 CD re-release (which I also want). They put out the best table projects in the industry.

  16. If I’m not mistaken, “I Have An Anchor” is actually not a new song but is a remake of a song Jim did with his wife and father-in-law when they traveled as the Schulers. They were a wonderful trio as you can probably imagine. I’ve always liked the song and I can’t wait to hear the Booths’ rendition.