CD Review: Unclouded Day (Blake Bolerjack)

Blake Bolerjack is a fairly young soloist who has been in full-time ministry since graduating from college. Though his website bills him as a Southern Gospel / Inspirational / Contemporary Christian soloist, and his resumé includes singing backup for Greg Long (now with Avalon), this album should delight fans of the traditional styles.

Most of the selections are familiar hymns, though Bolerjack does include two Southern Gospel classics (“I’ll Fly Away” and “If That Isn’t Love”) and one contemporary Christian song (“Soon and Very Soon.”)

Most of the tracks are piano-only, with piano performed by Nashville studio musician Jason Webb. Master cellist John Catchings provides cello on “I Will Sing of My Redeemer,” “If That Isn’t Love,” “His Eye is on the Sparrow,” and “It is Well.” (Among Catchings’ credits are touring with Inspirational artist Michael Card for a number of years and playing on most of Card’s recordings, as well as others recorded at Card’s Mole End Studio.) Bass and percussion were the only two other instruments performed on any of the songs.

The album was produced by Donna Beauvais; though she frequently works on more progressive material, with this project she proves her abilities at producing a top-notch traditional project. She avoids the temptation to throw in unnecessary instrumentation just because it’s available.

Bolerjack’s voice has a pleasant tone in the baritone register. Though he doesn’t stray into higher second tenor (lead singer) territory on every song, when he does, he does so with a commanding tone that would work well in ensemble singing.

Rating: 4 stars. ♦ Produced by: Donna Beauvais. ♦ Available from: Artist. Review copy provided. ♦ Song list: Blessed Assurance; Heaven Came Down; I’d Rather Have Jesus; I Will Sing of My Redeemer; Jesus Is All the World to Me / What a Friend We Have in Jesus; Unclouded Day; His Eye is on the Sparrow; If That Isn’t Love; At the Cross; It is Well; Heavenly Medley (Soon and Very Soon / When We All Get to Heaven / I’ll Fly Away).

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