Appalachian Gospel

Stella Parton

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Appalachian Gospel Review

by Johnny Loftus

Stella Parton returns to recording with this no-frills collection of mostly traditional material. Things here are rousing, tasteful, and thoroughly in line with the country gospel tradition (especially the robust medleys "Power in the Blood" and "Somebody Touched Me"), but there are also some nice folk touches and twinges of adventurous arrangement. A medley featuring "This Little Light of Mine" takes some interesting turns with its harmonies, while "Precious Memories" is pleasantly understated, with mandolin and warm acoustic guitar supporting Parton's prominent vocals. Occasionally she's a little too prominent, bursting forth with faith and good cheer. However, that same vigorous reverence is also what makes Appalachian Gospel such a pleasant listen. Like the best country gospel, it's plainspoken both in word and music.

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