CD Review: For This Time (Tribute Quartet)
Tribute Quartet started three or four years ago. Their first two recordings were on BSA World Records; Tribute Quartet was booked by the Beckie Simmons Agency at the time. Those albums were produced by Beckie Simmons Bates’ husband Glen Bates, and most of the songs on both albums were penned by Bates.
Last year found Tribute taking a somewhat different direction, signing with the Harper Agency for booking and with Crossroads Records as their record label. For This Time was produced by Roger Talley and features twelve songs from twelve writers / co-writers. Interestingly, eight of the eleven tracks are from Daywind writers, and only three from Crossroads music publishing. Crossroads doesn’t appear to insist that its artists record its songs, instead taking the approach that its artist record the best songs possible, and that approach pays off on a recording like this.
Tenor Brian Alvey wrote “I Heard It, I Believe It” and co-wrote “That’s Why I Love Him So” with lead singer / manager Gary Casto. Babara Huffman, who co-wrote the Hoppers hit “Grace Will Always Be Greater Than Sin” with Gary Casto, contributed “Calvary Wins Again,” a big ballad featuring bass Dennis Dugger and tenor Brian Alvey. Ronnie Hinson contributed two songs, “He Said That” and “His Tomb is Empty.” The album’s opening track, “I Love Living in Grace,” was written by Rodney Griffin. It was also cut by Liberty Quartet on their 2009 project The Journey.
“He Was In Charge,” a convention-style track, is credited to Kyla Rowland. According to Kyla’s solo album Reminders, on which the song was also cut, it was co-written by Kyla and Dianne Wilkinson.
The album is closed by a bonus track, a live rendition of “Who am I” featuring tenor Brian Alvey. The only lineup change Tribute Quartet has had was when Jacob Kitson left to join Greater Vision and Brian Alvey took his place. Alvey, who had sung previously with Southern Sound, is a top-level talent and does an excellent job on this song, “Calvary Wins Again,” and his other solos.
Highlights include the big ballads “Calvary Wins Again” and “I Am Healed,” and the first radio single, “That’s Why I Love Him So.” The latter features solos by Casto and Alvey and is a delightfully mellow track with a powerful lyric.
The new producing and songwriting team makes this Tribute Quartet’s best project yet.
Rating: 4 stars. ♦ Average song rating: 3.9 stars. ♦ Group members: Brian Alvey (tenor); Gary Casto (lead); Josh Singletary (baritone/pianist); Dennis Dugger (bass). ♦ Produced by: Roger Talley. ♦ Available from: Label, Artist. Review copy provided. ♦ Song list: I Love Living in Grace; I’ve Been Blessed; Calvary Wins Again; That’s Why I Love Him So; He Said That; That’s What Makes Grace Amazing; His Tomb is Empty; Helpless Not Hopeless; He Was In Charge; I Heard It, I Believe It; I Am Healed; Who Am I.