CD Review: “Heritage of Hymns” (The Stevens Family)

Heritage of Hymns - Stevens FamilyThe Stevens Family is a Southern Gospel family trio based in Warren, Ohio. Group members are husband and wife Rich and Tami Stevens; their daughter Erin completes the trio. She is thirteen years old (and, incidentally, is being homeschooled). Their website notes that she has studied under vocal coach Steve Hurst, and the training shows; her voice has a polished sound and complements her parents’ harmony well. While Rich and Tami Stevens are songwriters and write many of their own songs, this project is a collection of their favorite hymns and Southern Gospel songs.

Probably the most daring track on the project is “Standing on the Promises,” which departs from the country feel of the rest of the project and has a slightly progressive arrangement. But the Stevens family pulls the track off well and makes it a highlight.

Other project highlights include their a capella rendition of “The Love of God” (the hymn, not the Vep Ellis song) and their rendition of “Softly and Tenderly,” featuring particularly well-done harmonies.

Rating: Enjoyable.

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4 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. Thanks for your kind and thoughtful review of our family’s latest project. We appreciate your efforts to futher the cause of Christ through the promotion of southern gospel music.

  2. You’re welcome!

  3. Daniel-

    I know this edition of your blog is a few days old, but I must step forward and add my perspective to the Stevens Family CD review.

    In the early 1960s when we Couriers were singing in Ohio we gave an invitation at the close of the service and a man and wife responded and accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. This was not uncommon in our services, but we noted the sincere difference in the aftermath of their confession. The gentleman subsequently followed the call of God on his life and entered the pastoral ministry.

    Pastor Bill Stevens and his dear wife Jean had a son, Rich, who from early on was a Gospel Music nut. And the kid had loads of talent as both singer and musician. He just couldn’t get enough music to satisfy his craving. He started a trio group with a couple of girls from his dad’s church and they called themselves “Mustard Seeds.” I still have their 33 1/3 rpm album. It didn’t chart, but it was a foretaste of the “rich” music that was to come.

    Rich found his soulmate while attending my alma mater Bible college when he met Tami whose family was among our Courier friends here in Pennsylvania. Tami was featured soloist on the international radio program “Revivaltime.” So the two of them have continued to make heavenly music as husband and wife.

    When Erin came along I can promise you that Rich thought of this; now with three voices we can someday make a chord and have our own family group.

    Now Erin has grown up and is a strong part of a solid family trio known as The Stevens Family.

    Not only do I have in my possession the wonderful CD that this review is about, but I recently heard them in person and I was blown away. After all the years gone by, the next generation of the converts from our Ohio service is doing the family and the Kingdom of God a wonderful job. I left their concert having been led in worship and inspiration through their stellar music.

    I’m a fan.

  4. That is very neat to hear; thank you for the comments.

    In another thread, one commenter made reference to the fact that quotes from Musicscribe and would look good in a group’s media kit. Let me add my own opinion: Anything I could say about the Stevens family is nothing compared to a commentary from someone of Neil Enloe’s stature.