CD Review: “Light From Heaven” (The Lacey Family)

Rating: **** (Very Good)

Song List: On The Sea of Life; Yes, I Know; Lay Your Burdens at His Feet; He Lives In Me; There Is A God; Yes, I Believe; Always There; Gone Away; In God’s Hands; Joshua; Light From Heaven; When We Meet To Part No More; I’m Going To Heaven; When Life Is Over; He’s My Guide.

Traditional/Progressive Scale:
(Traditional Bluegrass)

This is the first time I have reviewed a Gospel Bluegrass project on this blog, but if this family keeps recording, it won’t be the last.

I heard the Lacey Family perform a few weeks ago at a homeschooling convention. The parents perform with their six children, aged three to eighteen. All six children perform with the group, though the two youngest currently only join in on a few songs, about one song per CD.

This 15-track project includes numerous songs from the Southern Gospel field–everything from classic traditional quartet numbers to Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver songs, to the title track, “Light from Heaven,” a song originally recorded by the Collingsworth family.

It is a rare feat for two acapella numbers to be the highlight of a Southern Gospel project, but–for a Southern Gospel quartet music, at any rate–this is the case with the acapella quartet numbers “I’m Going to Heaven” and “There is a God.” Oldest sons Joel and Daniel join Tim and Sandy Lacey for the songs.

The project includes several other Stamps-Baxter-style songs, including “On the Sea of Life,” “When We Meet to Part No More,” “Joshua,” and “When Life is Over.” Younger son Joshua–whose voice is still in the treble range–joins in on most of these songs, some of which are performed by a trio and some by a quartet.

In addition to the vocal parts, members of the family play rhythm guitar, (acoustic) bass guitar, autoharp, mandolin, and banjo, and apparently record all of their own soundtracks for their projects. This versatile family group performs regionally in Ohio and Indiana, staying within a two-hour drive of their house near Xenia, Ohio. (Note to self: Your church is precisely 1 hour, 59 minutes away from their house.)

If you live in this region and have a chance to see a Lacey Family concert, take it!

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