CD Review: Hymns of Freedom (Freedom)

Freedom, John Rulapaugh and Josh Garner’s new trio, came out with a strong start earlier this year. Their self-titled debut project, released on the recently revived Homeland Records, featured a well-selected assortment of new songs suited to their vocal strengths.

Hymns of Freedom is the group’s first table project. Every group is put in positions where a promoter or someone else with pull begs them to do a classic, so it is handy to have some repertoire on hand. Freedom takes ten preexisting soundtracks from Homeland’s catalogue and makes them their own. Josh Garner takes very few solos but anchors Baritone Joel Trimble excels on “The Old Rugged Cross,” while tenor John Rulapaugh, who could sing the phone book and make it exciting, delivers a powerful rendition of one of the most beloved hymns of all time, “It is Well With my Soul.”

While the project paves no new ground, it is a pleasure to listen to—simple but delightful in its simplicity.

Produced by: Not Credited. • Group Members: John Rulapaugh, Josh Garner, Joel Trimble. • Available from: Artist. Review copy provided. • Song list: Majesty; Amazing Grace; I’ll Fly Away; He is Mine and I Am His; The Old Rugged Cross; Victory in Jesus; Blessed Assurance; What a Friend We Have in Jesus; It is Well With My Soul; God Bless America.

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