CD Review: Holy is Thy Name (His Praise)
What would it sound like if Lari Goss produced an album by a part-time group few had ever heard of? The cost of a Goss production typically rules out anyone except headline groups, and typically even they can only do it on every second or third project. Well, His Praise’s Holy is Thy Name answers the question.
His Praise was founded in 2000. Three of the four founding members are still with the group; the lead singer has been with the group since 2000. The group’s members, incidentally, have an intriguing range of professions, from U.S. Mail Carrier to professional bass fisherman. They recently signed with Homeland Entertainment Group’s Heartwarming label.
All ten songs on the project have been previously recorded, but within that statement, there’s quite a span. On the one hand, “That’s What Jesus Means to Me,” “Gettin’ Ready to Leave This World,” and “Room at the Cross” are instantly recognizable. On the other, the Mosie Lister song “Sometimes it Seems,” cut by the Couriers in 1965 (and the Goss Brothers somewhere around the same time), and a new Jim Brady ballad, “Fountain,” cut by the Crist Family earlier this year, would be new songs to most listeners.
Some of the orchestral arrangements sound remarkably like previous Goss arrangements of the same songs, but since the liner notes appear to indicate that the tracks are new, they presumably are, and Goss pulled out old charts.
Highlights include a new convention-style vocal arrangement on a final chorus of “I’ve Never Gotten Over Gettin’ Saved” and the magnificent Mosie Lister anthem “Sometimes it Seems.” How on earth has this gem lain forgotten for four and a half decades? Either this song needs to be a breakout top ten radio hit for His Praise, or, should they not stay on the national scene, some other group needs to take this Goss arrangement to the top of the charts. It’s a magnificent big ballad, so good that it’s worth obtaining the project for this song and arrangement alone.
So what would it sound like if Lari Goss took a part-time group nobody had ever heard of, and that group had deep enough pockets to afford Goss and afford a full orchestral production? Well, take Holy is Thy Name and a table project by practically any headliner, hand them to a casual fan of the genre who likes the style but wouldn’t recognize group names, and ask that fan to tell you which is the headliner group. Most would probably pick His Praise.
Several slow tracks seem to drag enough that the average song by song rating is 3.5 stars. But the end result is far more than the sum of its parts; this surprisingly strong national debut earns a 4.5 star rating.
Produced by: Lari Goss. • Group Members: Stephen Fryar (tenor), Jesse Tewell (lead), Marc Thomas (baritone), Dale Lisembee (bass). • Available from: Artist. Review copy provided. • Song list: There’s Been a Wonderful Change; God Himself the Lamb; Holy is Thy Name; I’ve Never Gotten Over Gettin’ Saved; Sometimes it Seems; I’m Gettin’ Ready Medley; That’s What Jesus Means to Me; Fountain; If it Couldn’t be Done; There’s Room at the Cross. • Average song rating: 3.5 stars. CD rating: 4.5 stars.