Various Artists “Country’s Family Reunion: Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting” Album Review

Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting

Prime Cuts: Sweet, Sweet Spirit (Linda Davis, Lang Scott, Henry Slaughter), Victory in Jesus (Jimmy Fortune), Sweet Beulah Land (T. Graham Brown)

Overall Grade: 5/5

Two groups of fans are going to go gaga over this "Prayer Meeting." First fans of late 80s/90s country music will be delighted that many of their favourites are represented here including Ricky Skaggs, Linda Davis, John Berry, Oak Ridge Boys, the Gatlin Brothers, Gene Watson, T. Graham Brown, the Whites, Rhonda Vincent, John Conlee, Statler Brothers' Jimmy Fortune and others. Second, those who love hymns and the songs from the Southern Gospel canon will adore these selections too.  Though tilting to the side of the safe side, the song selection ought to bring lots of singalongs with evergreens such as "Blessed Assurance," "Victory in Jesus," and "Rock of Ages" among others. 

This album is the first venture between Gaither Music and the longstanding TV favorite Country's Family Reunion and it features a generous offering of 13 songs performed live clocking in at almost 50 minutes. Jimmy Fortune kicks off the proceedings with "Victory in Jesus" set on a two-stepping swing and a cajun beat. Meanwhile, Ricky Skaggs and the Whites' bluegrassy-take of "Wings of a Dove"is full of soul and heart.  Those who like their music rustic will adore Gene Watson's "Where No One Stands Alone" and John Conlee's "He Touched Me" which are both drenched with stirring steel and slide guitar riffs.  

After her brief vocal contribution on her daughter's Hillary Scott's Gospel album, Linda Davis is back together with her hubby Lang Scott and Henry Slaughter on Bill Gaither's "Sweet Sweet Spirit."  Davis' striking and crystalline vocals are so  akin to Reba McEntire, that one wonders why she's as big as her once mentor.  T. Graham Brown puts his signature gruff on the piano-backed "Sweet Beulah Land" that is spine chilling.  More predictable is John Berry's choice of doing "Blessed Assurance:" hasn't Berry cut this hymn a couple of times before in different contexts?  

There's an old-fashioned Carter Family-like charm to the Whites' rendition of the heavenly-themed "Where Roses Never Fade." Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers offer a singalong version of "The Old Country church/Leaning on the everlasting Arms" which sounds like it could benefit from a touch polishing. Other than these small quibbles, this is a star-studded record and if you love hymns done by these country artists, this album couldn't have been better.



Tags : “Country’s Family Reunion: Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting” ricky skaggs the whites JIMMY FORTUNE t graham brown Country's Family Reunion Gaither Music gatlin brothers linda davis gene watson john conlee bill gaither Rhonda Vincent

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