As Easter 2005 approached, the travelling Gaither gospel show journeyed, logically enough, to the land where the whole story took place. Given the weighty expedition, it's no surprise that Bill & Gloria Gaither wound up hosting one of their most impressive gatherings yet. ISRAEL HOMECOMING is one of two collections (the other being JERUSALEM) capturing these concerts in the Holy Land.
ISRAEL HOMECOMING opens on a reverent note with "Easter Song," a solemn tribute to the newly risen Christ. The album quickly shifts tone with David Phelps's playful country ballad "Second Fiddle," followed by a stirring rendition of the children's chorus classic "Awesome God." Throughout the record, there is a balance of sober respect and spirited jubilation. The group throws a bit of a klezmer feel into "Blow the Trumpet," and the Gaithers themselves carry the worshipful "Go Ask." Perhaps the most inspired moment of ISRAEL HOMECOMING is the pairing of "This Could Be the Dawning of That Day" with "Until Then," capturing the hope and patience (not to mention the fellowship) that are sacrosanct in the Gaither world.