The Torchmen Quartet: Faithful
Recorded at Crossroads Recording Studio, Grant Ave Studios
Producers: Chris Allman, Amy King, Jon Hisey
Review by: Lorraine Walker
It was a pleasure to receive the latest album from the Torchmen Quartet, entitled â€œFaithful.â€ Appropriately named, this recording talks about being faithful to the Lord Jesus every day, through every difficulty, and in every circumstance. I have known the TQâ€™s members, Mike Moran, Jon Hisey, Sandy MacGregor and Jeff Tritton for a long time and can attest to the fact that these gentlemen have been faithful to their call and to the Lord.
From the very first play of the first cut on the project, this CD feels like the TQ you know and enjoy, but upscaled to an even better version of themselves. â€œItâ€™s An Everyday Thing,â€ has the type of instrumentation and vocals that listeners of Torchmen projects are used to, with violin and steel guitar, and the melody line seems perfect for MacGregor, who handles the song with ease. Special note that the drums on this track were played by Michael Booth, who has an excellent touch on the toms. This tune was written by Rebecca J. Peck, who also wrote two more cuts on this album.
â€œFaithful Fatherâ€ is an easy-listening quartet song, written by Rodney Griffith and Chris Binion. Itâ€™s a good reminder that no matter what, our Heavenly Father is faithful; much more so than we can possibly be. I enjoy Trittonâ€™s vocals regardless of what he sings, and he adds his smooth tones to this song which is polished and so comforting to the ear and the heart.
â€œCrown Him King,â€ a quartet favorite by Luther G. Presley and Wally Varner, is handled effortlessly by this seasoned group. So well, Iâ€™m almost positive they have recorded it before. The quartet has recorded over 30 projects and I donâ€™t claim to have every project, so it could well be that they have. Regardless, it is an excellent track.
â€œWhat If Someoneâ€ is another smooth Tritton song, written by Lanny Wolfe. It will make you wonder what if you had never been told about Jesus…and who you should be telling about Him today that may not hear about the Lord in any other way.
â€œI Want to Live Like Jesus,â€ written by Ernie Haase and Dianne Wilkinson, has the flair and instrumentation of a Cathedral Quartet cut. I so enjoyed the precision and thought behind this tune.
Torchmen listeners may not be overly surprised at some song choices by MacGregor, but I have to admit, when I heard the opening strains of this song and realized what it was, I couldnâ€™t believe my ears. But what a treat! If you listened to Christian music in the â€˜80s, you couldnâ€™t help but hear Twila Paris sing, â€œThe Warrior is a Child.â€ MacGregor takes this song to new places and it truly becomes a quartet song. Great job, gentlemen. Kudos to your producer, Chris Allman.
â€œGood Thingsâ€ is another Rebecca Peck song, this time with David Jenkins. Another finger-snapping tune shows the menâ€™s crisp timing and more great vocals by Tritton.
â€œReunion with Youâ€ begins with a melancholy tone in both lyric and notes, but sadness changes to hope with the chorus which reminds us that there will be an eternal reunion with our loved ones someday. This song by Tim Lanier immediately reminded me of my mom who passed away almost 8 years ago; however, the pang of separation never seems to diminish. Mike Moran tells this story with finesse and the ability to communicate emotion, thought and lyric, that has made him a favorite with Canadian audiences.
â€œWonder Working Godâ€ lists among its writers the husband/wife team of Zane and Donna King. I prefer to listen to a new project without reading the liner first, so I knew this was a special cut even before reading that Donna was a part of it. She is one of the most talented people in Christian music and it seems that anything she is a part of becomes touched with a special sparkle that is all her own. One of my favorite cuts.
â€œIâ€™m Gonna Keep Praying,â€ another Rodney Griffith song, reminds us what a privilege it is to be able to talk to God any time, anywhere. Another easy-listening song that has powerful, understated lyrics. That may sound like an oxymoron but when you listen to the song, you will agree.
â€œWhat Kind of Man,â€ another Dianne Wilkinson song, helps us look at the humanity of Jesus, which is not a subject often addressed by preachers, let alone Christian music. Well done, Dianne and Janice Crow. Well sung as well, as the harmonies are lovely.
â€œWhen the Preacher Gets to Preaching,â€ written by Rebecca Peck and Christine Degazio, is a fun song that reminds me of the old-time pastors you hear about, the kind who preaches it so straight that the listenersâ€™ hair is parted. Those of us who have been privileged to sit under that kind of sermon totally get this song. Jon Hisey, great vocals! Totally enjoyed this song.
â€œOh, What a Price,â€ the last Peck/Jenkins song, is a beautiful ballad that should be picked up by those churches who present an Easter choir performance. Lyrically and melodically, this song catches the enormity and solemnity of the cost of salvation.
Chris Allmanâ€™s comments on the liner indicate that he understands this quartet and his work on this project confirms it. Amy King and Jon Hisey, your talents are also greatly appreciated. For the rest of the album information, the reader is encouraged to buy a copy for themselves.
If you are a fan of Southern gospel music, or just like well done music of any kind, please pick up this album. Thanks so much, Torchmen Quartet, for continuing to raise the bar on your recorded music. Hereâ€™s to another 50 years!
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