CD Review: Jubilee 2 (Booth Brothers, Greater Vision, Legacy Five)

At this point, it would be safe to declare the 2008 joint Legacy Five / Greater Vision / Booth Brothers recording Jubilee a resounding success. Not only did it generate a steady buzz then and since, and spawn a number of live concerts, it was named the Album of the Year in the 2010 Singing News Fan Awards. Following its success, the three groups involved made a logical decision to serve up a second helping.

The project kicks off with “Jesus is Coming Soon,” a song well suited to ensemble singing. The second track, the 1956 Speer Family song “Sing Me a Song About Jesus,” features an ensemble, highlighting the tenors, Chris Allman, Michael Booth, and Gus Gaches, and an uncredited step-out part from Glenn Dustin.

Jim Brady wrote one of the two new songs, “Don’t Hang Your Head and Cry.” The aim of the new songs was to fit the classic style seamlessly; the music does, though the lyrics feel modern enough to be worthy of note. The Booth Brothers provide most of the prominent vocals (and the solos, except for one line from Glenn Dustin); Legacy Five offers tastefully arranged background lyrics.

Legacy Five steps up for the fourth song, another Speer Family classic, “I Never Shall Forget the Day.” The track, though more driving than one would expect for the song and the overall feel of the project, ends up working well and being a solid highlight for the project.

Greater Vision turns to the catalog of the Lanny Wolfe Trio for a largely forgotten track, “My House is Full (But my Field is Empty).” Gerald Wolfe delivers a somber and thought-provoking solo. The lyrics do prompt an interesting theological question; one line contains the familiar catchphrase “win the lost at any cost.” It’s an assertion that sounds unimpeachable at first glance, but does provoke questions. Does “any cost” justify using any method, whether or not it falls within Biblically justifiable methods? (One example that comes to mind is “bait and switch,” attracting someone with promises of “name it and claim it” or another monetary pitch.) I think not. Does it justify (for those who are already parents) not allotting time to discipling children He has already given? Either side of the question is sobering.

The other new song, “Undeserving,” was written by Rodney Griffin and features the entire ensemble. Lyrically and musically, it fits the classic feel.

One largely untapped potential in this series is the possibility of creating custom, never-before-seen trios and quartets. Michael Booth, Scott Fowler, Gerald Wolfe, and Glenn Dustin form a scrap iron quartet on “When I Wake Up to Sleep No More”—though “scrap iron” is somewhat of a misnomer, as “titanium” or “platinum” would be more appropriate for the end result.

The Booth Brothers offer the project’s only acapella track, “Crown Him King / He’s My King,” brilliantly arranged and executed.

Legacy Five is featured on “Every Day,” offering jazzy, smooth harmonies on the Henry Slaughter-penned classic. Gus Gaches and Scott Fowler offer well-executed solos.

“When They Ring the Bells of Heaven,” one of the most straight-ahead convention-style barn-burners on the project, is excellently rendered by Greater Vision.

The baritones—Jim Brady, Scott Howard, and Rodney Griffin—are featured as a trio on the closing track, “I’m Free Again.” Their blend is exceptionally tight. Glenn Dustin has (more) uncredited bass solo lines.

So is Jubilee Two the end of a passing fad, or a second step toward establishing a brand? Let’s hope it’s the latter, because this is a series that deserves to see many more entries.

Produced by: Gerald Wolfe. • Group Members: Greater Vision (Chris Allman, Gerald Wolfe, Rodney Griffin), Booth Brothers (Michael and Ronnie Booth, Jim Brady), Legacy Five (Gus Gaches, Scott Fowler, Scott Howard, Glenn Dustin, Tim Parton). • Review copy provided. • Song list: Jesus is Coming Soon; Sing Me a Song About Jesus; Don’t Hang Your Head and Cry; I Never Shall Forget the Day; My House is Full (but my Field is Empty); Undeserving; When I Wake Up to Sleep No More; Crown Him King / He’s My King; Every Day; When They Ring the Bells of Heaven; I’m Free Again. • Average song rating:  stars. Average song rating (mode): 4 stars. CD rating: 4.5 stars.


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56 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. Love your review and also the CD. I thought the Jubilee 1 was great as well.

    Think we’ll see a “Jubilee 3?”

    Do you know the release date for the Jubilee 2 DVD?

    Keep Up the good work and God Bless!

    • I don’t know the release date off the top of my head; I haven’t been following that all that closely.

      As to Jubilee 3 – if Jubilee 2 sells well enough, I think it quite probable! 🙂

  2. Just curious…did you simply forget to put this out last year?

    • No – I have a post-NQC habit of blocking out a weekend about a month later to do very little besides write reviews (and attend church, of course); I wrote this with the other post-NQC reviews and have been putting them up every week or every other week for months.

      • It’s pretty good timing. They’re on the cover of Singing News in March.

  3. I think “My House Is Full” refers more to the cost in terms of “suffering”, “persecution”, and personal/community “sacrifice” rather than anything else. I wouldn’t even have to think twice about it, but in the name and claim it era, it’s sobering that you have to make that distinction. So you’re right, others may have to wrestle with that. It’s my favorite song on the album.

    Also, a big fan of “Don’t Hang Your Head and Cry”. It moves in a very smooth sort of way. The arrangement of “Crown Him King” was also very well done and was glad to see some variety in the project with an acapella number.

    • …and you know, I’m thinking that when the song originally came out, the name-it-and-claim-it movement wasn’t a fraction as influential as it is today. So understood in its original context, I totally get it. That line just struck me wrong in today’s context.

      If I’m not mistaken, the line is the catchphrase of Benny Hinn’s TV show now, and I’m far from the only reader of this blog who would take issues with some of his methods and personal actions.

    • I never heard the phrase in any other context. It’s “ancient” within our movement – “Pray for God to save so-and-so at any cost.” It doesn’t mean … whatever you guys have heard it mean. It should mean “at any cost of prayer on my part; if God has to tear their lives apart to ‘bring them to the bottom’; if good things or bad things happen.” It seems to hearken back directly to “What should it profit a man, if he should gain the whole world, and lose his soul?”
      (I maybe cross-posting here… This took me a couple minutes to write.)

      • Ah well, I suppose you have never watched Benny Hinn’s TV show . . . or worked at a call center that handled his incoming donation and customer service calls (as I did for a while about a year back!)

      • Nope, I honestly thought he was one of those TV evangelists from the 80’s, long off the radar.

        As to working at said call center, do you have a smiley with hair standing on end? 😯

      • That deserved it! I needed something to pay the bills until I could find another real job, but that sure got on the nerves!

        Yes, Benny’s still going to it. Enjoy (if you can): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lvU-DislkI

      • Oh. My. Word. I have to share this Youtube clip.

        Apologies to all non-Star Wars fans. The rest of you… enjoy:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9SS95q2kpg

      • You know, I just can’t believe that YOU actually worked for Benny Hinn…

      • Well, I didn’t directly – I worked for a call center that had 30-50 active clients, some political and some Christian. The one I got the most volume for was Charles Stanley’s In Touch, and those calls were a whole lot nicer!

      • Benny Hinn?! (No other comment necessary.)

    • Regarding the “lost at any cost…” while the connection to Benny Hinn is unfortunate indeed, I doubt that the song was written with him in mind, though I could be wrong.

      I will say that the cost to family is a relevant point worth considering. I think it’s something Christian singers who spend most of their life on the road should give some thought to. It seems like the only time they have to spend with their kids is the few moments in the morning before they go to school, or a sports game, or maybe attending church with them. I can’t help wondering when they really have time to BOND. How do they make their house a home? The fathers are on the road constantly, the mothers work (presumably) outside the home, the kids are in daycare or school much of the time…something just doesn’t feel right there.

      Now I’m not trying to deny God’s calling for Christian musicians, and I know He’s worked through many of them in powerful ways. I’m just saying that Jake Hess had a really good point.

      • Yes, I completely agree with this. It’s something that gives me big reservations, which I don’t usually talk about “in public” with other SG fans.

        BTW, that’s the second time recently I’ve seen a Jake Hess quote mentioned; I apparently am not familiar with it.

      • “When the lights are shining on stage brighter than they are at home, it’s time to stay home.”

      • Thanks!

        Filler, filler

      • Both great arguments, while I don’t believe the lyric is not exactly suggesting a life on the road singing gospel music, it’s true. It may come at a great sacrifice to the family. May well depend on where that individual is spiritually and if he/she is able to balance family/ministry to at least a respectable degree. All the Graham kids felt this way about their father. (Billy, that is)

  4. Good review of a good CD. I do like this one better than the first one, just because it leans heavily towards old-fashioned convention songs. I may be in the minority when I say I don’t think they should keep churning these out once a year…I think it would start to become stale. What I’m really looking forward to is some Daywind major recordings from these guys! The last major CD of new songs these guys put out was L5’s Just Stand in 2009!

    (Also, I’m seeing if this gravatar thing works. Figured I better put my face out there since I’m now part of the SG blogosphere. Heh)

    • We enjoyed “Jubilee 2” more than “Jubilee 1” because of overall CD production sound and blend of the vocals and tracks, though the first Jubilee was fun as well; the second is more “polished”, so to speak. The song selection was great, and the arrangements were fresh. All the groups are in top shape, and it is a very pleasant album to listen to. Good review, Daniel!

      BTW: The “Jubilee 1” DVD was a riot! If we ever want a good laugh, we put that movie in! 🙂 Hope to see “Jubilee 2” come out soon!

      • You know, I haven’t seen Jubilee 1 yet.

      • You’re kidding!! You have to watch it! It’s a great video, and of course, anything with Michael, Scott, and Gerald will keep you in stitches. 🙂 (And the music’s wonderful, of course.) It’s relatively safe modesty-wise (except for some behind-the-scenes), thus making it a very comfortable video to watch during our traditional “popcorn night”. Definitely a family favorite.

      • Daniel hardly ever watches videos! I know, I know. It’s weird. 🙂

      • It’s less weird to anyone who knows me in person. Watching a film requires sitting still for more than 15 minutes.

  5. I don’t recall a line about winning the lost at any cost in “My House” and my brother used to sing it on a regular basis.

    • It’s in the bridge. I assumed it was worked in from another song, since I don’t remember hearing it.

  6. “Win The Lost At Any Cost” is bridge inserted into “My House Is Full”. It is a separate song all together. It was very popular as a church chorus in the 70’s & 80’s. It just fits the natural flow lyrically with “My House is Full”. Great song. Glad they both were brought back.

    Richie

  7. Daniel buddy, this link is for you.

    http://ezinearticles.com/?How-to-Stop-Over-Analyzing

  8. “I think it’s something Christian singers who spend most of their life on the road should give some thought to”

    Not only singers, any servant of Jesus Christ who itinerates away from home on a regular basis…

    One’s opinion of where the point of balance should be is highly subjective – and not the same for each individual “calling”.

    It would be wise to assume that anyone “on the road” in any ministry has – in partnership with their spouse and family – considered this prayerfully and carefully before so doing.

    • Yeah. I’d apply that comment to missionaries too.

      Each individual case is different, you’re completely right. Yet sadly, there have been cases where the cost to family was too great, and something snapped. Therefore, my main point is to stress the possible danger of not being willing to give up (whatever it is you’re doing) to be at home.

  9. Thanks for all the great comments…and sometimes over-analyzation.

    FYI… “Jubilee 3” is in the early planning stages at this point. It will be a bit of a departure from the first two, as the plan is to do the entire recording using the “scrap-iron” configurations. For instance, there will be an entire song with Scott Fowler, Michael Booth, and me. We’ll be “The Emcees”. Another song will be recorded by “The Barry-Tones” (Jim Brady, Rodney Griffin, and Scott Howard). “The Dream-On Quartet” will probably feature Chris Allman, Glen Dustin, Jim Brady, and Ronnie Booth. The possibilities are endless! Of course, we’ll probably have one “all sing” tune as well. The idea actually came from folks who come to see us in concerts and say stuff like “I’d like to see you guys put together a group with…”.

    We won’t start working on that project until after the release of the new “Jubilee 2” DVD…which is scheduled for March.

    • YES!

      Now this is the Jubilee entry that I’m really excited about.

    • Well it’s about time. There are so many possibilities with what you have—why not use them to the full?

      The special names are cute too. I like it. 🙂

      • “The Dream-On Quartet” ??

        Gerald, that’s naughty :-)!!

        Coming next will be the “Tribute Trio”

        [Daniel have you got an ’emoticon’ for “wide-eyed-innocence”?]

      • Yes, surround the word shock with colons, as in 😯

      • Inauspicious title or no, the lineup sounds mighty fetching!

    • Somebody listened to DBM! I like it! This is GOOD!! 😆

    • We were at the taping and pre-purchased a copy of the DVD. As of today (April 21) we still have not received it. Any idea why?

      • I would suggest checking with the group from whom you purchased it; this is a news website, not a customer service division of a group’s office. 🙂

  10. Daniel great review!

    Gerald all I can say is that I can’t wait for “Jubilee 3” there are definitely limitless possibilities with singers you guys have to work with… The only issue is your going to have to find a new arranger to replace Tim Parton; he will be missed in more ways than one for sure. Maybe Lari Goss will be available… hmmm 🙂

  11. Tim hasn’t left the country…he’s only left the road.

    • Good point… 🙂

  12. The “win the lost at any cost” line is being read into a bit too much. Being theologically sound is important to consider, but I’m not one to second guess every line due to how kooks may take and run with it. The context of the song itself (sans the offending lyric) certainly wouldn’t lend itself to promoting either of the quibbles Daniel had.

    As for “any cost”, I personally view it as “personal cost”, rather than “any methodology” or “at the expense of those most dear”. I’d imagine that’s assumed by the majority of listeners, as well. While there’s a right way and wrong way to do things, there is a clear Biblical injunction to be about the work of soul-winning. And I’d hate for that overriding message in the song to be lost in over-consideration of a bridge.

    • I agree Scott. Even though I was making some points about the cost to family earlier, I still don’t think that’s really relevant in the context of the song. There’s a natural meaning which makes sense there, and I don’t see why we should read any more into it.

    • You know, upon further thought, I think I fundamentally disagree with the line – no matter the context. Whether we are talking about personal cost, cost to family, or cost in terms of compromising doctrine, I cannot see any context in which the line is valid.

      You see, I am not a pragmatist; I do not believe that the ends justify the means. I believe that the lost must be won by any Biblical method, and at any Biblically justifiable cost. But whether you’re talking personal, familial, methodological, or doctrinal costs, “any cost” leaves room for costs that are not Biblically justifiable.

      • How would you respond to the line “I believe whatever the cost” in “A Hill Called Mount Calvary?” Granted it is different.

      • Yes, that does seem to be in a different cost – “I believe however hard it may be to believe.” But truth be told, I hadn’t thought about the line much.

        (Be careful what songs you bring up. There’s always the chance you might convince me that the line in question is a problem!)

      • That’s your problem, not mine. 🙂

        I always thought of it in terms of not exactly “hard to believe” but “potential cost for refusing to deny the cross.” My mind naturally reaches for the martyrs of yesterday and today when I hear that line. Example: Cassie Bernall said “Yes” when asked “Do you believe?” That’s how I interpret the line anyway.

      • NSF, thats how I’ve always understood it as well.

      • OK, I’ve got to say – Why is it a problem? God is not going to bless people getting out of His Will. If you’re using “bait-and-switch,” you’re trying to avoid paying the real cost. Whatever the cost of seeing souls saved, it is worth it.

        But shirking our responsibility in the name of serving God has nothing to do with “at any cost.”

        (Now you know my take on it, anyway. 🙂 )

      • I don’t think the bait-and-switch idea makes sense there either, although some other things might.

  13. I hope you don’t mind if I give you the correct meaning of the line you guys (and gals) seem to be debating. It’s referring to be willing to lay down your life for the sake of spreading the Gospel. St. Paul often wrote about this type of sacrifice, using Christ as the ultimate example. In modern times, there are actually people who are doing just that, in countries where sharing the Gospel can actually cost you your life. This past weekend, a former Muslim in Afganistan, who recently converted to Christianity, was scheduled to be executed by the government for sharing his new-found faith in Christ. He was trying to “win the lost at any cost”, and he paid the ultimate price.

    • No, I don’t mind at all. The song looks a whole lot better in that light, and knowing that was what you had in your mind, it bothers me less. Thanks for the clarification!