CD Review: “Say it Again” (Liberty Quartet)

Rating: Recommended. (Updated: 4 stars of 5)

Producer: Royce Mitchell & Doran Ritchey
Label: Liberty Quartet
Website: http://www.libertyquartet.com/
Song List: I’d Like to Say it Again; I Can See the Hand; The Eastern Gate; Still Feelin’ Fine; The Lighthouse; Everywhere I Go; Ride That Glory Train; I’ll Tell it Wherever I Go; There’s a Light at the End of the Darkness; Temporary Home; Bus Driver; Baritone Whine.

Typically, when a major Southern Gospel group releases a table project, most of their fans have heard the songs chosen many times before. But things are a little different here. Liberty Quartet’s schedule keeps them off the typical Southern Gospel circuit, and they are often the only Southern Gospel group that their fans know. So many of the people who purchase this project will be hearing these songs for the first time.

The project includes several Cathedrals songs, “I’d Like to Say It Again,” “I Can See the Hand,” “Ride That Glory Train,” and “Everywhere I Go.” There’s an interesting lyric change on the first line of the second verse on “I’d Like to Say it Again.” Where the Cathedrals’ rendition says, “There’s a healing balm in Gilead / It is the crimson flow,” Liberty’s rendition begins “There is healing through Jesus’ blood / It is the crimson flow.”

Of these Cathedrals covers, probably the highlight is the energetic cover of “Everywhere I Go.” The song, originally recorded on Live in Atlanta, is a classic example of a Cathedrals song that would have been better remembered if it hadn’t been overshadowed by some bona fide classics elsewhere on its project (“We Shall See Jesus” and “Movin’ Up to Gloryland”). Many east coast Southern Gospel fans who already have fifteen renditions of some of the other songs on this project will view this catchy rendition as the project’s standout track.

Probably the most recent song covered is the Booth Brothers’ “Still Feelin’ Fine.” This energetic rendition will undoubtedly delight live concert audiences.

One other highlight is “The Eastern Gate.” The rendition is somewhat similar to the Dove Brothers’ rendition, with the lead (Dan Gilbert) taking the first verse, the bass (Royce Mitchell) taking the second, and group harmonies on the third.

The project closes with two novelty songs. “Bus Driver” is written by and features Royce Mitchell, while “Baritone Whine” is written by and features Doran Ritchey.

This enjoyable collection of classic Southern Gospel songs will introduce these songs to a new audience, while having enough fresh arrangements and new songs to leave much for long-time Southern Gospel fans to enjoy.


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4 Letters to the Editor

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  1. Daniel, I realize you’re probably not old enough to remember the original song that “Bus Driver” is a takeoff on, but it is a rewrite of the old Mills Brothers hit “Cab Driver”. Most gospel music fans are very familiar with the original, and the Thursday night audience at this year’s GWSGFF enjoyed the appropriation of the old melody with lyrics applying to a gospel quartet. In fact, Royce takes co-writer’s credit with the song’s original composer.

  2. JSQ, yes, I did know about that from reading your blog. Thanks for pointing it out for the readers of this website!

    ***

    I must admit I’m not familiar with secular music of any era, my own or an older generation’s.

  3. Your last sentence here reminded me of somthing I read in a book that Aaron Willburn authored.
    “You might be a southern gospel music fan if you know that Brittney is not related to the Speers. You might be a southern gospel fan if you don’t even know who Brittney is.

  4. I love that. I’ll have to remember it! I remember that guy Kenny Chesney (if I even got it right) as the fellow that the KH’s drummer does an impersonation of.

    It hasn’t been that long since I found out who Brittney Spear and other such stars were.