Gospel Time

Big Country Bluegrass

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Gospel Time Review

by Rick Anderson

This is an eminently serviceable, if ultimately unremarkable, collection of new and old bluegrass-gospel songs, performed with varying levels of inspiration but with the consistently solid professionalism that is usually the hallmark of gospel-circuit bluegrass musicians. This is music that is formulaic and proud of it. It serves a function, and that function is, primarily, to inspire and confirm the faith of listeners; it is only secondarily to provide musical interest as such. So it should be no surprise that slow numbers like "In a Crowd of a Thousand," "Hold Me Closer, Jesus," and the instrumental setting of "Sweet Hour of Prayer" come across as just a bit soggy, nor should it surprise that guitarist Teresa Sells is a regularly featured lead vocalist despite the fact that hers is one of the less interesting voices in the group. Also unsurprisingly, the uptempo numbers can be excellent: "You Better Get Ready" and the Jimmy Trivette composition "Happiness Is" are both good examples of how fine this band can sound when they get a little fire worked up. Overall, this album will appeal strongly to fans and gospel aficionados, but probably won't do much to convert anyone else.

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