3:1 DVD Review: 100 Years: A Celebration of Southern Gospel Music

3:1 Reviews offer three highlights of an album and one area that could have been improved.

1. Gold City set: When Brian Free, Ivan Parker, Mike LeFevre, and Tim Riley stepped on stage together for the first time in nineteen years, the atmosphere was electric. And they did not disappoint: They reminded everyone why that lineup of Gold City has been called all-star.

2. The Live Band: This is the way Southern Gospel is supposed to sound. Not only was there a live band, but the live band was in-the-pocket, knew the material, and delivered an all-around solid performance.

3. Groups Appearing: While it would be impossible to assemble an all-star program featuring every classic group with living members, Daywind accomplished more than anyone thought was possible. If you were stranded on a tropical island and could only take one DVD with you, this is the one.

:1. One thing I would change: Interlacing: The video was recorded with a professional camera and lighting crew, and looks excellent. But it would look even better if it wasn’t interlaced. (There were also a few audience shots where the aspect ratio was incorrect, but they went by fast enough that it’s a minor quibble.)

DVD Rating: 5 stars.

Cinematography: 4 stars. Average song rating: 4.5 stars.

Credits

Producer: Norman Holland. •  Review copy provided.  • Song list: This Great Caravan (New Gospel Singing Caravan); I Found a Hiding Place (New Gospel Singing Caravan); The King of Who I Am (Lulu Roman); Medley: Things Are Gonna Get Better / When I Lift Up My Head / New Shoes / Mama’s Teaching Angels How to Sing / Holy Hills of Heaven / Sheltered in the Arms of God / Remind Me Dear Lord / Too Much to Gain to Lose / He Looked Beyond My Fault (Rambos), Medley: Tears Will Never Stain / Things Are Gonna Get Better (Rambos); O For a Thousand Tongues (Nelons), We Shall Wear a Robe and Crown (Nelons); Operator (Downings); Greater is He that is In Me (Downings); I’m So Glad He Found Me (Hinsons); He Can (Hinsons); Lighthouse (Hinsons); When I Get Carried Away (Gold City); I Think I’ll Read it Again (Gold City); Midnight Cry (Gold City); Keep on the Sunny Side (Lewis Family); Something About That Name (Cathedrals Tribute); Champion of Love (Cathedrals Tribute); Home (Singing Americans); I Bowed On My Knees & Cried Holy (Singing Americans).

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3:1 Review: Live in Morristown DVD (Mark Trammell Quartet)

3:1 Reviews offer three highlights of an album and one area that could have been improved.

1. Vocal Control: Every member of the Mark Trammell Quartet knows the limits within which his voice sounds ideal, and stays within those limits. Case in point: Pat Barker’s solo on “Calvary Medley”; unlike other bass singers, who can get so focused on impressing audiences with their voice’s low end that they have put little effort unto the upper end, Barker’s verse here is more likely to make you think of a 1970s Squire Parsons than of Glenn Dustin or Tim Riley.

2. Opening three songs: Gerald Wolfe joined the group for the first three songs, playing piano on “Old Convention Song,” “Gentle Shepherd,” and “Wedding Music.” These performances were so strong that the audio from two actually found its way onto the group’s latest live project, Treasures, reviewed here.

3. Image Quality: This video was professionally filmed and looks excellent. Granted, it would look even better if it wasn’t interlaced, but that aside, this is easily the best-looking DVD the group has released. (And no, Pat, I’m not talking about your hair. You look better than I do, but you sing better than you look!)

:1. One thing I would change: More Piano: In a typical Mark Trammell Quartet concert, the group will eschew soundtracks for much of the program, with lead singer Dustin Sweatman and Mark Trammell playing piano and bass guitar, respectively. After some delightful comedy, Gerald Wolfe played piano for the first three songs.  The remainder of the program featured songs with soundtracks. It would have made the video even stronger had they used more live piano and bass. 

Traditional or Progressive

Delightfully traditional.

Video Rating

4 stars.

Credits

Group members: Joel Wood, Joel Wood, Joel Wood, Joel Wood, Joel Wood (happy now, Joel? 🙂 ), Dustin Sweatman, Mark Trammell, and Pat Barker (who looks better than I do, but sings better than he looks). • Review copy provided.  • Song list: Old Convention Song; Gentle Shepherd; Wedding Music; Leave Your Sorrows and Come Along; I Believe, I Believe, I Believe; One Drop of Blood; How Long Has it Been; It’s Almost Over; Testimony; Calvary Medley; I Want to Know.

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3:1 Review: Bass-ic Training (Gerald Williams)

3:1 Reviews offer three highlights of an album and one area that could have been improved.

1. Technique: The video is a one-hour introduction to the basics of proper voice technique, both generally and as specifically applied to bass singers. Gerald Williams explains this technique in an easy-to-understand way, with memorable metaphors and illustrations.

2. Delivery style: Williams strikes the perfect balance of authority and a friendly delivery. He comes across as warm and likable without making it seem unnatural or forced.

3. Pithy quotes: Williams’ memorable metaphors and warm delivery are enhanced by numerous pithy and well-put quotes. Case in point: “If you’re not real low, wait till you are before you try to sing low.” Another: “There’s an old saying: ‘The show has to go on.’ Well, yes it does, but you don’t have to abuse yourself to get it done!”

:1. One thing I would change: The live concert footage of the Melody Boys in concert, demonstrating the techniques Williams explains, is at a significantly lower resolution than the rest of the film. The final result would have been stronger had the Melody Boys recorded new footage, even a simple one-camera shot, in a living room around a piano.

 

 

That minor quibble aside, this video is highly recommended for any Southern Gospel vocalist. Beginners on a tight budget could not make a better investment than spending $20 on this DVD (available here).

Review copy provided.

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How to record a DVD that will get reviewed on SouthernGospelBlog.com

It is a running joke amongst bluegrass groups invited to appear at a Southern Gospel event that they are appearing at “a karaoke show.”

Numerous bluegrass artists, especially those on good enough terms with our genre to get these invitations, enjoy Southern Gospel music and count our artists among their favorites—so this is presumably said in a good-natured way, with a twinkle in their eyes. But there’s more than a little truth behind the joke.

I fully understand that this economy keeps all but the highest tier of acts from being able to afford the salaries of a live band. Given tracks or nothing, tracks is an easy choice . . . for a live concert.

But it doesn’t have to be this way for DVDs. Though they may be few and far between, video projects like the Collingsworth Family’s Fear Not Tomorrow, Greater Vision’s Live at First Baptist Atlanta, and the Bishops’ Chapter X Live show that entirely or mostly live orchestration is possible on a live recording.

From this point on, this caliber of DVDs will be the ones selected for review on SouthernGospelBlog.com. Granted, circumstances such as an incredibly high level of interest in a special-event project (i.e., Gaither Vocal Band Reunion) may require a rare exception. But this site will focus on DVDs without canned orchestration. Unless you are the Dixie Echoes or the Chuck Wagon Gang, this probably means a live orchestra in addition to the standard piano/bass/guitar.

One important caveat: Of course, we won’t review every DVD released with fully live orchestration—it must naturally also be Southern Gospel, well-produced, and have good and theologically solid songs.

Will this result in fewer DVDs reviewed here?

Yes, but the DVDs we do review will be of a higher caliber. So it’s worth it.

UPDATE (1/12/11, 7:23 P.M.): A participant in the discussion prompted me to make the following comment, which I think is pertinent enough to append to the original post:

Live vocals bring a certain energy that studio vocals’ polished, phrased, and tuned perfection cannot.

In the same way, live musicians bring a certain energy that studio tracks’ polished, phrased, and tuned perfection cannot.

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DVD Review: Sing Out America Vols. 4-10

Earlier this year, Mansion Entertainment started reissuing archival footage from the Sing Out America television series. Volumes 1-3 were reviewed here, here, and here; this post points out highlights from the remaining volumes in the series.

Volume 4: Florida Boys

Landing an appearance from stars from (and hosts of) the all-time most significant Southern Gospel television show, the Gospel Singing Jubilee, must have been a coup for any other show. The first four songs feature mid-80s tenor Terry Davis, with lineup regulars Les Beasley (lead), Glen Allred (baritone), Buddy Liles (bass), and Darrell Stewart (piano).

Tenor Rick Busby, who was with the group later in the 1980s, appears for the following six songs, the remainder of the project. Much of the footage in the series is lip-synced; either this segment is not lip-synced or more effort was put into making it appear to be fully live. Stewart is here joined by three or four other musicians for a full live band—including musicians who switch to steel, harmonica, and other instruments as necessary. “I’ll Live a Million Years” is a standout performance.

This is one of the stronger entries in the series; the Florida Boys had a certain charisma that must have made live performances from the era a special treat.

Volume 5: Gold City Quartet

Video footage of Gold City’s first supergroup lineup—Brian Free, Ivan Parker, Mike LeFevre, Tim Riley, Garry Jones, and the rest of the live band—is so hard to come by that this video has a value for that alone. Regrettably, it’s lip-synced footage, like much of the rest of the series. That said, it may be worth the purchase just for the video footage of Brian Free’s hairdo!

The audio is largely pulled from Double Take Live and Live. The personnel for the last two appear to be short-tenured lead singer Bill Crittendon, who only sang with the group in 1983, and baritone Jerry Ritchie. Rusty Goodman is credited as a guest on the back cover, but it appears that any songs featuring him may have been cut prior to duplication.

Volume 6: Rusty Goodman Family

Though billed as the “Rusty Goodman Family” on the DVD cover, the group appearing on the DVD is the final group to record as the Happy Goodmans—Tanya Goodman Sykes, Sam Goodman, Rusty Goodman, and Michael English. Tracks 1-4 and 6-8, most of which are drawn from the Chosen project, are clearly live, as they do not perfectly match the LP version. Track five, featuring Tanya, includes strings not replicated live, so it’s less clear whether the vocals were recorded live. The final two are of Rusty singing solo.

This project is a must-have for Happy Goodman aficionados—and, for that matter, Michael English fans, as “I Bowed On My Knees” may be the first surviving video footage of his lifelong signature song—and it may also be the best.

Volume 7: The Hoppers

The first nine songs feature a vocal lineup of Diane Havner (? on spelling) on soprano, Connie Hopper on alto, Dean on lead, and Claude on baritone/bass. The final track is the only song from another taping day; it features Claude, Dean, Connie, Greg Bentley on tenor, and Sharon Watts on soprano.

Volume 8: The Hinsons

The entire taping seems to come from ca. 1981, with Kenny, Ronnie, Yvonne, and (probably) Eric Hinson. There is a notable audio difference between several songs, suggesting lip-syncing to different masters, but without the original recordings at hand, it’s hard to make a definitive statement.

Volume 9: The McKameys

The entire video seems to be from one taping. It’s of particular interest now; founding member Carol Woodard was with the group from 1954-1971. When she left for the first time, Peg and Reuben Bean’s daughter Sheryl Farris joined. This taping was probably within her final two years in that stint with the group; she left in 1983, and Carol rejoined. With Carol’s retirement last year, Sheryl replaced her for a second time. So this video actually offers footage of the current lineup, approximately thirty years ago!

Volume 10: Wendy Bagwell and the Sunliters

Oddly enough, the project starts with a novelty song, “A Little More About Jesus.” The trio is joined by three children, all around six to eight years old. The white girl appeared to be very nervous on camera; Little Jan Buckner (Goff)’s on-screen efforts to loosen up and relax the other two were met with more success. Songs two through four and six were from the same taping; Little Jan doubled on piano/keyboard and vocals. Song five was from a separate taping with a separate pianist to free Little Jan up to focus on vocals. Song seven came from a third taping, also with the separate pianist—though Little Jan reached over his shoulder during the intro to play a keyboard part. (The keyboard sat atop the piano.) Songs eight through ten came from a fourth taping. For songs eight and ten, the three trio vocalists did not play any instruments; it was Wendy’s first time in the project to not be behind a guitar. He did pull the guitar out for the middle song, “Forsyth County, GA.”

Conclusion

Through no fault of the video editors for this reissue, too much of the original footage was lip-synced to the LP for the series to receive an overall high recommendation. That said, the series has a number of high points, detailed here and in the earlier reviews, well worth the time to check out.

Available from: Mansion. ♦ Review copy provided.

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DVD Review: Sing Out America Vol. 3 (Speer Family)

In early 2010, Mansion Entertainment started reissuing archival footage from the Sing Out America television series. The first two volumes in the series featured multiple groups; this is the first entry to feature one group throughout.

  • He Was Willing. This features baritone Ben Speer, who sometimes also piano; for the first few songs, he was in a solely vocal capacity. Though there is a three-piece piano/bass guitar/rhythm guitar band on screen, there is also at least one other instrumentalist, a drummer, on the audio but not on stage. Adding this to the fact that there’s applause after the track, but the video footage is from a studio taping, suggests that, as with some other entries in the series, this is footage with the singers lip-syncing to themselves.
  • The Church Of The Living God. This is the same footage found on volume 2 (featuring the Blackwood Brothers). Brock Speer offers a vigorous solo on this song; it’s astonishing the extent to which this toe-tapper has been forgotten in the post-Speer years.
  • I’m Standing On The Solid Rock. Though the footage appears to be from the same taping day, the audio is from a studio taping and has a notably different, warmer equalization.
  • The Brush. Ben Speer sits on a stool for a subdued delivery of this story-song. The only other vocals are from fairly high soprano background vocalists, who do not appear on screen. There are also string sounds not replicated on screen.
  • Stand By Me. The audio here comes from the same live recording from which the first two tracks were pulled. (The video throughout appears to be from the same day.)
  • Before The Rocks Cry Out. The audio here is also from a live recording. For this song, Ben Speer swapped places with the pianist.
  • Touring That City. Ben Speer was again on the piano bench for this song; the soprano/pianist, named nowhere in the video, had the solo. A steel guitar and probably also a harmonica appear on the audio track but are nowhere in evidence for the video footage.
  • Hold On. Since Ben Speer has the vocal solo, he steps forward, and the soprano returns to the piano bench.
  • He’s Ever Interceding. The alto, also unidentified throughout the program, is featured on this Speer classic. Ben returned to the piano for this song and the final song.
  • Heaven’s Jubilee. After several studio tracks, the audio for this song was clearly pulled from a live recording.

There are notable video issues at points, horizontal bars that cross the screen from time to time.

This video is clearly lip-synced, and between the analog video artifacts and the somewhat jarring transitions from live to studio audio tracks, it’s hard to give it a high recommendation. Yet with how rare color footage is from this era, it does have some historical value for an era from which rather little high-quality footage survives.

Rating: 2 stars. (This is in no way a reflection on the quality of the Speer Family’s singing, or what they could have produced in a more favorable, non-lip-synced environment.) ♦ Available from: Mansion. ♦ Review copy provided.

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DVD Review: Sing Out America Vol. 2 (Blackwood Brothers)

Earlier this year, Mansion Entertainment started reissuing archival footage from the Sing Out America television series. Volume 1, reviewed here, featured ten songs from ten different groups. This volume also includes ten songs, five from the featured group (the Blackwood Brothers), two from the Dixie Echoes, and three from the Speer Family.

  • I Never Gave Up (Blackwood Brothers). This was originally recorded on their We Come to Worship (1980) project; Jimmy Blackwood sings lead (and has the solo), Cecil Blackwood sings baritone, and tenor Pat Hoffmaster and bass Ken Turner round out the lineup.
  • Following You (Blackwood Brothers). Tenor Pat Hoffmaster has the feature; the song is from the same session as the first.
  • I’m Standing On The Solid Rock (Speer Family). Ben Speer and Harold Lane have the featured solos here; Brock Speer and two other ladies, one of whom is doing double duty at piano and alto round out the lineup. Faded colors seem to indicate that the footage is several years older, perhaps late ’70s.
  • The Church Of The Living God (Speer Family). The outfits would indicate that the taping is from the same day as the earlier track, but the audio is noticeably different. At least some of the footage in this series was recorded with the actual audio drawn from recordings, and the video taping being of the singers lip-syncing to the recordings; that could be the case here, with the audio tracks pulled from two different recordings.
  • Let Jesus Happen To You (Blackwood Brothers). This song features Ken Turner and is from the same recording session as the group’s first two songs on the project.
  • To God Be The Glory (Blackwood Brothers). Though credited “Blackwood Brothers, featuring Jimmy Blackwood,” in point of fact, Blackwood sings the song without the remainder of the quartet, backed up by invisible (presumably pre-recorded) background singers.
  • Dig A Well (Dixie Echoes). The lineup on the two Dixie Echoes songs is Eddie Broome, Dale Shelnut, Randy Shelnut, and Randy Allred. Since Broome was only with the group from 1982-83, these would have to have been recorded in the last year or so of Dale Shelnut’s life. Though the cover lists the song as “The Dixie Echoes, Featuring Dale Shelnut,” in point of fact, Randy Allred has the solo. These songs appear to have been taped for real, not lip-synched. (Either that, or the Dixie Echoes were incredible lip-synchers.)
  • I Will Praise Him (Dixie Echoes) Dale Shelnut has the solo here—on a lyric especially poignant given the near proximity of the taping to his death.
  • Stand By Me (Speer Family). The audio mix/ambience matches the Speers’ middle song on the video, “The Church of the Living God.”
  • How Great Thou Art (Blackwood Brothers). Jimmy Blackwood has the feature on this song; though done by many groups over the years, it has been done so many times by the Blackwood Brothers over the years that their renditions are among the first to come to mind when the song is mentioned.

This series seems to be a grab bag of Southern Gospel video recordings—some of which are technically deficient for one reason or another, even if the singing is magnificent, and others of which are hidden gems.

Available from: Mansion. ♦ Review copy provided.

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Guest Post: DVD Review: A Tribute to the Cathedral Quartet by Signature Sound

This is a guest post from NewSoGoFan.

As great of a “sound” as Signature Sound has always had, Ernie has always thought visually with the group. It was not a CD project that launched them into the stratosphere but a video—five years ago with their self-titled Gaither DVD. They were already on their way up, but 2005 was the year things really began accelerating for them. Since then, they have found some detractors, but at the same time they have found a large and loyal fan base.

Much as I enjoy the group’s music and sound, my favorite moments from the group have mostly come when they settle down for something classic and classy like “Lovest Thou Me” or “Since Jesus Passed By.” Of course I wouldn’t be without the high energy of “Trying to Get a Glimpse” or “Stand By Me,” but in terms of presentation and delivery, the group shines best when they do it low-key. They have proven time and again that their famous “choreography” is a dispensable part of what they do.

When approaching this tribute project, Ernie knew that classy was the way to go, and now that I’ve seen the finished product, I can say that it has paid huge dividends. This could quite possibly be their best video since the early days of Stand By Me Live. The set is majestic without being ostentatious, the wardrobe couldn’t be more tasteful (matching blue pin-stripes), their hair is combed ( 🙂 ), and virtually all of the numbers are delivered “flat-footed” with minimal choreography.

Yet while the importance of these things cannot be stressed enough, obviously what drives the project is the songs and the music. So without further ado, let’s watch how this concert unfolds…

“Wedding Music”: The concert opens with lights down and a live band introduction playing variations on “Here Comes the Bride.” The group has taken to using this clip as an introduction for their concerts on the tour, and it works well to open up the night. “Here Comes the Bride” was chosen, of course, because of the title of the opening song.

The crowd applauds and stands when the quartet makes their appearance, and the lights go up when they begin to sing. This introduction provides a marked contrast with something like Get Away Jordan, where the guys run out on stage with big smiles and bring the microphones into place with their feet. None of that here: They just step forward and sing.

The crowd responds immediately at the beginning of Tim’s solo, and he delivers it with great confidence. Ernie nails his tag at the end just like old times with the Cats. Just a smooth performance and a natural choice for an introductory number.

At this point they moved directly to “Step Into the Water,” which was easily one of the best performances of the night. Every single member is in peak form here. Tim does some awesome improvisation even beyond what he does on the CD—the descending “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah” bass line going into the final chorus sounds exactly like George.

I mentioned that Doug and Ernie’s duet was a treat to listen to on the CD, but it’s even better to watch. The two of them together on stage are absolute vocal dynamite. They’re like sparring partners—they sharpen each other as they work together. They’ve known each other longer than any other two members of the group, and it’s obvious that they are good friends both on and off the stage. The addition of Devin on the last line of the verse then makes an awesome triple punch—love the way they draw out the word “eternally.”

The group’s trademark choreography makes a small appearance towards the end of the performance with a few hand motions. Nothing over-the-top, it just works well with the song.

Generally on their previous DVDs, Ernie has paused after two songs for a speaking segment. Here they just keep going, and next up is “Boundless Love.” My thoughts on the “boom, boom, CLAP” rhythm at the beginning remain the same, but it is admittedly a great attention-getter and draws the audience in from note one. Dianne Wilkinson said they had her hooked right away. 😛

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CD/DVD Review: Love Came Calling (Triumphant Quartet)

For eight years (since their 2002 launch), Triumphant Quartet has kept the same lineup—tenor David Sutton, lead singer Clayton Inman, baritone Scotty Inman, bass singer Eric Bennett, and pianist Jeff Stice. Through this year and this recording, they also stayed with the same label, Daywind.

Love Came Calling is the group’s first release since leaving Daywind for Mansion Entertainment. They had been with Daywind from the start, so  the departure—and resultant loss of first-chance access to Daywind’s first-rate roster of songwriters—prompted questions as to whether they could sustain the momentum that has propelled them to the top of the radio charts and Singing News Fan Awards vote tallies.

The project contains one key element of continuity, producer Wayne Haun. He co-wrote the project’s two strongest songs with Joel Lindsey, the title track and “The Cross of Christ.” Scotty Inman’s steady growth as a songwriter is evident in the two songs uptempo he co-wrote, the third and fourth strongest on the project—”I Can Take You to the Place” (with co-writer Dianne Wilkinson) and “You’ll Find Me There” (with Joseph Habedank).

Other than a contribution from ubiquitous songwriter Rodney Griffin (“Holy Hands”), most of the rest of the songs on the project have been cut before—but for all except one, “Movin’ Up to Gloryland,” it has been long enough or the original cut was obscure enough that the songs are as good as new.

The accompanying DVD is overall quite strong product. It includes all eleven songs from the CD, plus six more from the group’s regular concert program. After initial plans to film it in Branson, Missouri were scrapped, the taping was moved to TBN Studios in Trinity Music City, Hendersonville, Tennessee. The lighting, audio, and camera work are excellent; the only issue worthy of noting is that while the taping was in full-screen, the editor doing the final render added utterly unnecessary black bars to the top and bottom to make the final result full-screen. This causes the DVD to display improperly on widescreen computer and TV monitors—though there is no distortion, the bars keep the video from filling the screen. Since most screens sold today are widescreen, this is significant enough to deduct a half-star from the DVD’s rating—but not enough to keep it from being one of the technically and musically strongest of the year.

So does this project sustain the momentum Triumphant built with their Daywind releases?

Yes.

As a matter of fact, Love Came Calling earns Triumphant Quartet its second consecutive five-star rating on SouthernGospelBlog.com.

Produced by: Wayne Haun. • Group Members: David Sutton, Clayton Inman, Scotty Inman, Eric Bennett, Jeff Stice. • Review copy provided. • Song list: Saved by Grace (Carroll McGruder); Love Came Calling (Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey); I Can Take You to the Place (Scott Inman, Dianne Wilkinson); Mercy, Forgiveness and Grace (Woodrow “Woody” Wright); Movin’ Up to Gloryland (Lee Roy Abernathy); The Undertaker (McCray Dove); Jesus is Your Ticket to Heaven (Archie Jordan); We Shall Overcome (Jeff Ross); Holy Hands (Rodney Griffin); The Cross of Christ (Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey); You’ll Find Me There (Scott Inman, Joseph Habedank). • Average song rating: 4.2 stars. DVD rating: 4.5 stars. CD rating: 5 stars.

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CD/DVD Review: A Decade of Memories (Collingsworth Family)

On the same evening that the Collingsworth Family recorded Fear Not Tomorrow, reviewed here, they recorded eight additional songs for this project, A Decade of Memories. The concept of this project was to celebrate the group’s tenth anniversary of being on the full-time Southern Gospel circuit with footage from each of the videos they had recorded over the years.

The heart of the film is in several sequences showing the development and growth of the family members through the years. The first is perhaps the most noticeable change, featuring footage of youngest daughter Olivia at age four in 2002 and age 12 today. The first lines of the second song, “Little by Little,” are particularly poignant and appropriate following the transition: “Just yesterday, I was so small / I’ve been learning new things as I go / Some people say I’m getting so tall / ‘Where did the little kid go’? . . . ”

Next up is a sequence of footage of Philip Jr. through the years, with home video and excerpts from each of his concert video solos. After two more songs, one each from the Collingsworth Family’s two 2004 videos, older daughters Brooklyn and Courtney are featured in a sequence of them playing violin through the years—starting with 1999 footage, when the girls were 8 and 9.

Kim Collingsworth has two standalone piano solos, a new arrangement of “My Tribute” and a new rendition of “How Great Thou Art”—an appropriate choice for a decade commemorative project, given that it was the song and arrangement that put the group on the map. Footage is also shown of another of Kim’s most memorable solos, “Joshua Fit De’ Battle of Jericho,” as rendered in 2002 and 2008.

Phil Sr., who plays trumpet solos, is featured in 2002 footage of “I Must Tell Jesus.”

Most of the footage is widescreen, but black bars are added above and beneath to accommodate the earlier full-screen footage. Though it might have made more sense to adapt the far smaller portion to the predominant majority of the footage, adapting the overall presentation to fullscreen still seems to be a relatively common option.

If what you’re looking for is footage of (largely) new songs, and a film quality that raises the bar for Southern Gospel, go with this project’s companion video, Fear Not Tomorrow. This is a video biography, and while the earlier footage is consistently at or above the quality standard for its time, it isn’t quite as strong as the 2010 footage. But as a documentary, a video biography of the Collingsworth Family through the years, this is quite valuable on its own merits. So if at all possible, get both.

Produced by: Jim Hammond. • Group Members: Phil, Kim, Brooklyn, Courtney, Phil Jr., and Olivia Collingsworth. • Review copy provided. • Song list: I Could Never Praise Him Enough; Light from Heaven; My Tribute; I Wanna Marry Daddy; Little By Little; Phillip Jr. Sequence; Peace on Earth Tonight; Walkin’ in the Light; Violin Sequence; He Looked Beyond My Fault; Because of the Blood/The Blood of Jesus; Joshua Fit De’ Battle; I Must Tell Jesus; I Can Trust Jesus; He’ll Bring You Through; He’s Always on Time; How Great Thou Art; Doxology. • Average song rating: 3.7 stars. DVD rating: 4.5 stars. CD rating: 4.5 stars.

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