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Kingdom Heirs and Tim Menzies reviewed by Randall Hamm

Written by Staff on July 22, 2019 – 9:08 am -

Kingdom Heirs Something Good

Kingdom Heirs Something Good

Randall Reviews It: Kingdom Heirs and Tim Menzies

By Randall Hamm

We are more than halfway through the year and the new releases just keep on coming. This month, the Kingdom Heirs release a follow up to a highly popular album in their catalog, and singer/songwriter Tim Menzies releases his best album to date. Read on, dear reader, to find out more.

As always, if you enjoy the reviews, pick up this music, or download it, wherever you get good gospel music.

Please send your latest releases for review to Randall Hamm, c/o Q-100 WFLQ-FM, P.O. Box 100, French Lick, Ind., 47432

Randall


Now…Let the reviews begin!

Kingdom Heirs
“Something Good Volume 2”
Producer: Arthur Rice and Kreis French
Label: Sonlite 2019

Songs: “What A Beautiful Day” (Eddie Crook – Aaron Wilburn BMI); “It’s Gonna Be A Good Day” (Bill Gaither – Suzanne Jennings – Jeff Silvey BMI); “That’s How I Know” (Sonya Isaacs Yeary – Rebecca Isaacs Bowman BMI); “The Lovely Name Of Jesus” (Squire Parsons BMI); “The Love Of God” (V.P. “Vep” Ellis SESAC); “Something To Shout About” (Mosie Lister BMI); “Run On” (Traditional  P.D.); Thus Saith The Lord” (Daryl Williams ASCAP); “When We Sing Around The Throne Eternal” (Albert E. Brumley BMI); “Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho” (Traditional P. D.)

Kingdom HeirsThe Kingdom Heirs follow up one of their best albums, “The Last Big Thing,” with a nod to their previous project, “Something Good,” released in 2017. “Something Good” was a way of bringing back some great gospel songs of the last few years, some great classics out of the redback hymnal, and some great quartet classics of the past. 

In “Volume 2,” they keep the same winning recipe and once again bring us such great songs as “What A Beautiful Day,” and “The Lovely Name Of Jesus,” among other classics that have stood the test of time. The album also includes great songs that sound much older, as though they could have been written in that era as well. 

The CD kicks off in fine fashion with “What A Beautiful Day,” an Aaron Wilburn classic, written with Eddie Crook and brought to us by the Happy Goodmans. It is known for its steel introduction, which on the original was done by Steve “Rabbit” Easter, who was a part of the Happy Goodman Band, as was Eddie Crook. There was such a message in the song, that it was one of the biggest songs of 1975 and 1976, and is considered a classic today. All of the original elements, including the intro, are still here. This song still resonates today, as we draw day by day closer to the Lord’s return on that “Beautiful Day.” 

My favorite cut on the album is “The Love of God,” by Vep Ellis, harkening back to the Blackwood and Statesmen Quartet days. The Kingdom Heirs could have competed back in the day with their version, complete with just piano, organ, bass and drum. Nothing fancy, just simply singing the song and letting the beauty of their voices shine through. Jerry Martin and Loren Harris shine as the group brings us what quartets sounded like grouped around one microphone. Just so, so good. 

The released single brings us a taste of the Kingsmen, circa 1977. “The Lovely Name Of Jesus” sparkles as Arthur Rice takes the lead. A great nod to Squire as he has now retired from the road, due to health issues. Other classics such as “Run On” and “Joshua Fit The Battle of Jericho” shine, and their version of “That’s How I Know,” first brought to us by Tribute Quartet, is a fitting tribute to sounds of days gone by. 

Overall, if you were to recommend an album to spotlight, with sounds of gospel music of days gone by, I would recommend this album and the original “Something Good.” 

Visit the Kingdom Heirs at facebook.com/kingdomheirs and get a copy for yourself and for a friend.

Strongest Songs:  “The Lovely Name of Jesus,” “What A Beautiful Day,” “The Love of God”

 

Kingdom Heirs and Tim Menzies reviewed by Randall HammTim Menzies
“His Name Is Jesus”
Producer: Ben Isaacs
Label: New Day 2019

Songs: “His Name Is” (Tim Menzies BMI); “That Little Crowded Room” (Tim Menzies – Casey Beathard BMI); “Don’t Wait” (Tim Menzies – Monty Criswell BMI);  There’s Something About That Name/Nothing But The Blood” (Bill Gaither – Gloria Gaither – Robert Lowry BM); “Thirty Year Suicide” (Tim Menzies – Jennifer Layne); “Hanging Out With Old Folks” (Tim Menzies – Monty Criswell BMI); “He Didn’t Come That Night” (Tim Menzies – Belinda Smith); “Six Feet” (Tim Menzies – Monty Criswell BMI); “I Know That Was You” (Tim Menzies – Monty Criswell); “I Hope You See Jesus” (Tim Menzies – Sonya Isaacs Yeary – Becky Isaacs Bowman BMI); “Thank God For Cowboys” (Tim Menzies – Monty Criswell ASCAP); “Kentucky Coal” (Tim Menzies – Monty Criswell – Sidney Cox ASCAP); “Walking In Jerusalem” (Bill Monroe); “Little Is Much” (Kittie L. Suffield P.D.)

“Tim Menzies, Volume 2,” is what I’m unofficially calling this, although the official title is, “His Name Is Jesus.” Tim has been around for a number of years as a songwriter, captivating us with his songs through such artists as Shenandoah, John Conlee, and Mark Chesnutt, among others. He had albums out as well under the name Tim Mensy, scoring a number of top 60 songs on the Country charts in the 1990s. But a few years ago, he turned his writing towards the gospel field.

Menzies’ songs always had a gospel feel and message, but now Tim has turned his music more to the gospel field and positive Christian genre. In 2014, he released his first gospel CD “His Way Of Loving Me.” From that CD, Tim released the single, “I Was There,” and had a minor hit. Mike Bowling of the Bowling family also recorded that on their “Moments Like These” project, having a top five single with it a few years ago. Tim had not heard them perform it, and I was there with Tim at the Food Court at NQC in 2015, when on the pre-show, Mike and the Bowling Family came on and sang “I Was There.” It was one of those special moments; you just had to be there, to see a songwriter see his song come to life. 

This latest CD contains 14 songs and 12 are from the pen of Tim. The first single, “Six feet Under,” has just been released to radio and is a sparkling song of hope, harkening back to Claude Elys’ “Ain’t No Grave.” I’m coming up six feet, ain’t no grave gonna hold me. 

My favorite cut and the one I hope Tim pulls as a single is, “That Little Crowded Room.” A man is close to death and he starts introducing family and friends, although there is only Tim and the gentleman in that “Little Crowded Room.” I hope it is a hit for Tim, but if not, someone will have a gigantic hit with this song of positive faith. 

What can you say, how do you follow up “I Was There?” With “I Know It Was You.” With a feel of “I Was There,” Tim crafts another song that lets us know that he is always there, and nothing takes him by surprise. 

Other great songs such as “Hanging Out With Old Folks,” “Don’t Wait ” and the rest of this project, Tim brings us into his living room and sings just for us. I would not be surprised if this album gets a Grammy nod, like his “His Way Of Loving Me” did a few years back. 

There are a number of hits on this album, and someone will release them, Tim or another soloist or group. This album is a must for anyone who loves to hear their songs raw and from the songwriter’s heart, as he imagined them. 

Also a plus, Tim invites a number of guest artists to appear with him, including The Isaacs, Gaither Vocal Band, Vince Gill, Rhonda Vincent, and Karen Peck; making this the album must-have of the year. The album is now out and you can get a copy when you visit Tim at facebook.com/TimMenziesOfficial/

June 2019 SGNScoops Magazine

June 2019 SGNScoops Magazine

Strongest Songs: “I Know It Was You,” ”That Little Crowded Room,” “Six Feet”

 

By Randall Hamm

First published by SGNScoops Magazine in June 2019

Read the July SGNScoops Magazine Online HERE

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Randall Reviews It: the Nelons, Tribute Quartet and the Mark Dubbeld Family

Written by Staff on January 30, 2018 – 11:14 am -

Randall Hamm reviews The Nelons: The Americana Sessions

Randall Hamm reviews The Nelons: The Americana Sessions

Randall Reviews It by Randall Hamm for SGNScoops Magazine

This month I feature three new releases from the Nelons, the Mark Dubbeld Family and Tribute Quartet. 
And as always … pick up a copy of these CDs wherever you get your good gospel music. — Randall Hamm

 

The Nelons

“Americana Sessions”

Producer: Jason Clark

Label: Daywind

 

Gentle On My Mind (John Hartford); Colors of The Wind (Alan Menken-Stephen Schwartz); Coat Of Many Colors (Dolly Parton); You Needed Me (Charles Goodrum); Daddy & Son (Jason Clark-Dony McGuire-Reba Rambo McGuire); Bridge Over Troubled Water (Paul Simon); Oh Shenandoah (Traditional); Take Me Home Country Roads (John Denver-Bill Danoff-Mary Danoff); American Trilogy (Mickey Newbury); Mama Tried (Merle Haggard); Battlefield (Vince Gill-Sonya Isaacs Yeary);

What more can you say of the Nelons? After 40 years of singing Gospel music, what more can they accomplish? How about dipping into some of the greatest country songs ever written and doing them well? Yes, the Nelons dip into the Americana songbook and bring us nine of the greatest country songs ever written and sung and put their stamp on them. This 11-song CD will definitely win the Nelons some new fans and open up new doors for their brand of gospel. This CD also features one new song from the pens of Dony and Reba Rambo McGuire, who teamed with Jason to write “Daddy and Son.” There’s also an offering from Vince Gill and Sonya Isaacs Yeary, “Battlefield.”

 

The CD kicks off with a big orchestral sweep and intro into “Gentle on My Mind.” From there, it’s a walk down memory lane, and you’ll find yourself humming these classic tunes and to quote a line … and for hours, you’ll be humming these tunes, and they’ll be laying gentle on your mind. I’ve never heard the Nelons sing as well as they have in bringing back these songs. Also, the Nelons bring back mostly the original instrumentation, not straying far from the original, and that’s what I love. Tunes that evoke memories for us who grew up with the originals, from Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried” through one of the later country tunes, Anne Murray’s “You Needed Me.” The Nelons have never sounded better, and I hope that Daywind pushes this album for a Grammy nomination … it’s that great of an album. The choice to close with “Battlefield” is fantastic. It’s a cappella to start, and fiddles fill in the middle and continue to the end. The song is sung with conviction and heart and ends the CD on a fantastic note. Songs of faith and family, God and country all on one collection of unforgettable songs. Visit the Nelons to get your copy at www.thenelons.com/ or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thenelonsofficial.

Strongest Songs: “Gentle On My Mind,” “Coat Of Many Colors,” “You Needed Me,” “Battlefield”

 

Randall Hamm reviews The Mark Dubbeld Family: Joy

Randall Hamm reviews The Mark Dubbeld Family: Joy

The Mark Dubbeld Family

“Joy”

Producer: Gus Gaches/Jeremy Peace

Label: Song Garden/Garden Crown

Who Is On The Lord’s Side (Ray Smith SESAC); Keep On Believing Medley (Irving Berlin-Frank C. Huston-George A. Young); The Cross Won Its Victory (Janene A. Dubbeld-Dixie Phillips BMI); This Joy Is Mine (Janene A. Dubbeld  BMI); Precious Jesus (Glenda Clay BMI); There’s A Way Back (Janene A. Dubbeld BMI); When You’re Broken (Janene A. Dubbeld BMI); Joy Comes In The Morning (Larry Hinson BMI); God’s Makin’ A Way (Dixie Phillips-Bernadette Nagus-Melanie Watson BMI); The Snakes In Trouble (Janene A. Dubbeld BMI) He’s Coming Again (Linda Stalls ASCAP)

The Mark Dubbeld Family is back with a new album and a new label home, the Song Garden Music Group. The group is signed to the Garden Crown label. It’s a new label, new CD and the best album the family has recorded.  The family – consisting of mom and dad, Mark and Janene, and children, Elena, Channing and Britton – have brought new life to some old classics and some great new songs, and new Janene Dubbeld songs. The CD kicks off with a great rendition of “Who Is on the Lord’s Side,” imploring whose side you are on. Some of the favorite songs include “When You’re Broken” and “Precious Jesus,” both of which feature daughter Elena. “Broken” is a beautiful ballad written by Janene, while “Precious Jesus” will have you shouting hallelujah all through the song. I told Mark a few years ago that his sound would be right, to sing material from the Happy Goodmans and the Hinsons. When I talked to Mark at the National Quartet Convention, he said, ‘you’ll like this new CD’ and reminded me of what I had said. He said songs for them to record included suggestions of Happy Goodmans and Hinson material.

 

Among the songs covered is “He’s Coming Again” by the Happy Goodmans and “Joy Comes In The Morning” by the Hinsons. They take these classics, make them their own and will bring the house down in concert when sung. I’m hoping the family will record more of those groups’ material or songs similar to them in the future. One of the most interesting and intriguing songs is “The Snakes in Trouble.” It is a song that was written based on a sermon that Janene heard from Dr. Roy Lauter. It’s also one of my favorites on the CD. This family has come a long way since I first met them in 2010. Overall, this is one CD that DJs need to program and play and that gospel lovers need to grab. Visit the Mark Dubbeld Family web site to get a copy of “Joy” at www.mjdubbeld.com/merch  or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MarkDubbeldFamily.

Strongest Songs: “Precious Jesus,” “When You’re Broken,” “Joy Comes in the Morning”

Randall Hamm reviews Tribute Quartet's Quartet Tribute

Randall Hamm reviews Tribute Quartet’s Quartet Tribute

Tribute Quartet

“Quartet Tribute, Volume 1”

Producer:  Gerald Wolfe

Label: Daywind

Songs: I’m Standing on the Solid Rock (Harold Lane); Over The Moon (V.B. Ellis); Every Question Will Be Answered (Chris Binion-Rodney Griffin); His Tomb Is Empty (C.A. Wright-J Wright); Come On Let’s Go to that Land (Public Domain); Hide Thou Me (L.R. Tolbert-Thoro Harris); Move That Mountain (Joe Thomas); What a Meeting in the Air (Marty Phillips-Ann Phillips); I’ve Been With Jesus (Arthur Smith); Hold On (Jesus Will Come)

In this age of Southern gospel, amongst all the great songs that are being sung and released, the audiences and folks listening to the radio and seeing groups in concert still want to hear the classics that they grew up with. That is something that will never change. Tribute Quartet has released a CD that contains 10 great classics that that have been recorded over the years by everyone from the Statesmen Quartet to the Cathedrals. Gary Casto and the group solidly sing these classics and with simple instrumentation and heartfelt singing, bringing these classics back. Kicking off with the Speer Family classic “I’m Standing on the Solid Rock” sets the listener in the proper mood, singing and humming and remembering the first time he/she heard it. I don’t know how many groups have covered “Over the Moon,” a tenor feature, but tenor singer Riley Clark does a wonderful job on it. And the rest of the CD is well sung, and as I said, it will bring back a lot of memories for Southern gospel fans who remember the time and place they first heard these classics. The key to doing a CD consisting of classic songs is to keep it simple, to not re-invent the song and to sing the songs from the heart. Plus, it helps to not go overboard with instrumentation, keeping it simple so that the vocals can shine. Thanks to Gerald Wolfe who was handling the production chores, who did just that for this release. Visit Tribute’s web site and get a copy of “Quartet Tribute Volume 1” by visiting www.tributequartet.com/product-category/cd or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tributequartet.

Randall Hamm

Randall Hamm

Strongest Songs: “I’m Standing on the Solid Rock,” “What a Meeting in the Air,” “Hold On (Jesus Will Come)”

By Randall Hamm

First published by SGNScoops Magazine in December 2017

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