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
Now…Let the reviews begin!
“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.)
The 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”
“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/
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