Keith Plott (Keith Plott)
Since leaving Brian Free and Assurance a few months ago, it seems as though the launch of Keith Plott’s solo career has gone largely under the radar screen of most Southern Gospel news providers and fans. This will hopefully end with the release of Plott’s new self-titled solo project. This custom project is produced by Plott and Matt Massey, with Plott’s wife Bobbi listed as an executive producer. Danny Funderburk, Brad Hudson, and the Ruppes are among the vocalists who contributed background vocals to the project.
The album includes several songs that are new to me–“I Hear My Father Calling Me” “Everyday,” and “It’s Enough.” The Ruppes join Plott for “It’s Enough.”
The project also includes quite a few cover songs. Plott puts more of a country than most bass singers can pull off into “Long Black Train,” while using a more Southern Gospel vocal style on “How Beautiful Heaven Must Be” and “I Can’t Even Walk.” Plott has listed George Younce as one of his heroes, and Younce’s influence shows on Plott’s rendition of the Cathedrals song “Hold Me.”
One of the standout tracks on the CD–one that got me to hit the repeat button immediately–is Plott’s cover of the Happy Goodmans song “For Loving Me.” I venture to say that his rendition improves on the original, which is no small compliment for a relatively low-budget custom project being compared to a full-production album by a top Southern Gospel group.
Plott hits some of the highest notes in the CD in this song–namely, middle C at several points, and then D-flat after the song transposes at the end. And yet, even at the upper ends of his range, his voice still has an unmistakable bass quality. This is the sort of versatility that a bass is rarely permitted on a quartet recording–and thus it provides one of the main reasons to purchase the solo projects of a bass singer who is more than just a freak-of-nature low-note specialist.
This versatility is also in evidence on the next song on the CD, “I’d Rather Have Jesus.” Plott utilizes the upper end of his range to good effect on this song, which is another favorite from the CD.
When a singer leaves a group to start a solo career, fans of the group are often curious about which featured songs from that group–if any–the singer will take with him. The only distinctively Brian Free & Assurance song Plott records on this CD is “Jesus Will Pick You Up” from It’s So God. He records it in the same key–B-flat–that he used with Brian Free and Assurance, but for some reason it seemed higher than the original during my first casual listen through the CD.
The CD starts slow musically but builds to a strong finish. I don’t give the graphic design quite as high of a ranking since no songwriter / copyright information is given. However, since that is unfortunately pretty standard on most non-major-label Southern Gospel projects, I can’t fault the project much.
Those who enjoyed Plott’s singing with Safe Harbor and Brian Free & Assurance should definitely enjoy this project. General Southern Gospel connoisseurs will also find much to like about the project. For more information on Keith Plott, or to purchase the CD, visit http://www.keithplott.com/.