Various Artists

Raising the Praise: The Bluegrass Gospel Tribute to the Gaithers

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Raising the Praise is another in a long line of bluegrass tribute albums put out by the a-pickin'-and-a-grinnin' behemoth CMH. Headed up by salt-o'-the-earth session musician David Johnson, this album explores the gospel repertoire of Bill & Gloria Gaither. Though this album does a pretty good job of covering the Gaithers' catalog, including songs like "I've Got That Old Time Religion in My Heart" and "The Old Gospel Ship," it's not clear how this is supposed to be a tribute to their music in particular. These are traditional tunes done up in CMH's brand of slick studio bluegrass, and if it weren't for the fact that this album advertises itself as a Gaithers tribute you might assume that this was nothing more than a bluegrass album dedicated to covering various gospel standards. In terms of serving as a tribute to the Gaithers' joyful noise, this album is a bust. In terms of providing bluegrass renditions of gospel standards, it's passable at best.

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