CD Review: “That’s My Boy” (Spoken 4)
Spoken 4 Quartet, a group based in Branson, Missouri, is one of the top 10 nominees for Horizon Group of the Year. Their vocal lineup is Thomas Griffin (tenor), Jon Charles Taggart (lead), Jeremy Wilkerson (baritone), and Cecil Stringer (bass). Former Blackwood Brothers and Oak Ridge Boys pianist Tommy Fairchild came out of retirement to join the group on piano; since this recording, the group has added a bassist, Darryl Miller.
This recording is an enjoyable collection of old and new songs. The liner notes are fairly good but get a mixed rating; there is a brief bio of each member and album credits, but there are no songwriter credits.
The project introduces several new songs, most notably the title track. “That’s My Boy” is a strong track on this studio version, but it is even better live. Another of the project’s strongest tracks, “Lil’ Bit,” an uptempo convention song, borrows imagery (and a line) from the hymn “Little is Much (When God is In It).”
The project includes covers of the classics “I Can’t Even Walk” and “I’d Rather Have Jesus,” as well as a cover of a more recent Southern Gospel song, Greater Vision’s “Just How Precious” (from GV’s 1997 project When I See the Cross). Spoken 4 apparently used the same soundtrack. Something about the feel of the track suggests that they may have used an analog (audio cassette) version of the track; it has a slightly muffled sound.
Other than that one odd moment, the rest of the project is a solid collection of songs that showcase one of Southern Gospel’s up-and-coming groups.