CD / DVD Review: “Cape Coral Live!” (Blackwood Brothers)
In 2005, James Blackwood’s son Jimmy, himself a long-time member of the Blackwood Brothers Quartet (1969-86), brought the group name back to Southern Gospel. With only one change–the original baritone leaving, and pianist Brad White also taking on baritone duties–the group has kept the same lineup over the past four years.
During that time, they have quietly but steadily been building (re-building?) a national fan base. National isn’t just a figure of speech, either, as they routinely make trips through states rarely frequented by Southern Gospel groups–Oregon, Washington, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, and Arizona among them.
Although they have yet to make a recording of new songs, they released a hymns recording (reviewed here) about a year ago. This live CD/DVD, the lineup’s second recording, features mostly classic Blackwood Brothers songs.
Group leader Jimmy Blackwood turns in strong performances on “I Want to Be More Like Jesus” and “Learning to Lean.” Brad White’s piano abilities shine on “I’m Feeling Fine” and “I’ll Fly Away.” Tenor Wayne Little is featured on two of the most-recorded songs in Southern Gospel music, “The Lighthouse” and “Oh, What a Savior,” while bass Randy Byrd takes the lead on a number from the classic Blackwood Brothers repertoire, “I Get Happy.”
The DVD includes several songs that did not make it onto the CD. These are “Since Jesus Came Into My Heart” (a Brad White piano solo), “I’ll Meet You in the Morning” (the concert closer) and “Oh, Say But I’m Glad.” The omission of “Oh, Say But I’m Glad” may be because the song was released on the Blackwood Brothers’ Rock of Ages hymns project, and perhaps the group did not want to have the same song on both projects by the current lineup. But the omission of the other two is slightly more surprising, since they were among the most enjoyable selections on the DVD.
Most of the songs on the project are accompanied solely by piano, live on some tracks and from a soundtrack on others.
Though the Blackwood Brothers do not forge new ground musically on this project, their arrangements and delivery of these classic songs in our genre leave no question that this is a group worthy of the Blackwood Brothers name.
Available from: The Blackwood Brothers.