The second volume of the Gaither-sponsored Country Bluegrass Homecoming features much the same cast as the first, including big names like George Jones, Vince Gill, Ralph Stanley, and Marty Stuart, plus popular gospel artists taking turns singing inspirational material. Much of it has a reverent and even maudlin tone, as there is a focus on the sufferings of Jesus Christ and their impact on the salvation of his followers. Calvary comes up often, as does blood (the sort that washes sin away), and Dailey & Vincent are typical in "By the Mark," in which they assert they will recognize their Savior by the mark "where the nails have been." Such grisly, if moving detail is offset by livelier fare such as Ernie Haase & Signature Sound's "Climbing Up the Mountain." Another change of pace is provided by the Isaacs' "Barbie Bandaids," in which a mother reflects on her fast-growing daughter. The Gaither Vocal Band itself actually sets a high bar right at the outset with "Jesus and John Wayne," in which the singer considers the contrary demands of the gentle Son of God and the traditional trappings of American masculinity. All is resolved, of course, as it always is, through faith.
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann