NASHVILLE, Tenn.–GRAMMYÂ®-nominated, classically trained tenor David PhelpsÂ topped the sales charts this week with his all-new recording, Freedom (Gaither Music Group).Â Produced by Phelps and mentor/friend/gospel music legend Bill Gaither, the new release landed at #1 on the Southern Gospel Albums chart and at #10 on the CCM Albums chart, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Â In addition, Phelps’ previous release,Â Classic (Gaither Music Group), hit the #2 spot on the Southern Gospel Albums chart, while the Classic DVD topped the Christian Music Video chart and came in at #3 on the Billboard Top Music Video chart.
Phelps, who wrote or co-wrote nine songs on the new release, describes, “…This isÂ a snapshot of where I am on my journey…it’s real life and faith — not the absence of trouble, just the ability to be led through it by our loving Savior.Â For me, these songs are like the rings of a tree telling its story:Â some years were plentiful; some were dry; in the end they speak of life.”
Those songs of life underscore Phelpsâ€™ ability to bring music to life andÂ showcase his award-winning, three-octave range. Â The recording includes gospel standards such as “Ain’t No Grave,” “When the Saints Go Marching In” and a signature recording of “We Shall Behold Him”; yet one of the songs taking audiences by storm is the Phelps-penned “Ghost Town (Freedom).”
â€œThe central theme of Freedom emanates from the title song, â€˜Ghost Town (Freedom),â€™â€ explains Phelps. Â â€œI began writing the era-based lyric in the verses and was amazed how the metaphor of Christ painted itself…it’s about why He did what He did: Â freedom!â€™ Â So much of our spiritual lives (and the songs on this project) are spent searching for or trying to cling to freedom.â€
The recording features Phelpsâ€™ anticipated powerhouse vocals along with musicianship from a whoâ€™s who of Nashville talents including Gordon Mote, Chris Rodriguez, Danny Oâ€™Lannerghty, Greg Ritchie, Sam Levine, David Davidson and Jack Jezzro among others.Â The orchestrations were penned by Phelps, Mote, Steve Mauldin and Kristin Wilkinson.Â The rest of the Gaither Vocal Band — Bill Gaither, Wes Hampton, Adam Crabb and Todd Suttles â€“ were on hand to perform some of the projectâ€™s background vocals.
FreedomÂ is distributed through Capitol Christian Distribution and is available throughout general market stores and the Christian marketplace in addition to online retailers including iTunes, Amazon and www.gaither.com.