Monday, January 25, 2016

CD: HOWARD VOKES, JR. - 12 Songs of Inspiration

HOWARD VOKES, JR.
12 Songs of Inspiration
If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again - I Saw The Light - The Old Rugged Cross - Christ Who Came To Bethlehem - Were You There When They Crucified My Lord - Just A Closer Walk With Thee - My Loyal Friend Is Jesus Christ - Where He Leads Me I Will Follow - Life's Railway To Heaven - House Of Gold - God's Gonna Get You For That - Great Speckled Bird
 
I've been listening to Howard Vokes, Jr., for a number of years now.  He is the oldest of eight children of Howard Vokes, Sr., a close and dear friend of mine.  Quite frankly, when I first heard Howard Jr. attempting to make a record, I wasn't so sure he would be able to do it with quality.  He sure has convinced me that he can with this album of old-time gospel songs.  Not only a good selection of the really well liked gospel songs, he keeps that original Pennsylvania country sound alive and well in his backing.  Skeets Martin is on lead guitar, exactly as it should sound in songs of this nature.  Howard, Jr., plays rhythm guitar and bass, and does a remarkable job on both.  However the one that stands out as an instrumentalist is the Dobro player, Chet Hogue.  He really adds the icing to the cake with his imaginative and super well done leads. Howard Jr's dad, Howard Sr., like me is 80 years old, and still performs occasionally with his son.  I do the same thing, but I do it with my wife Sheila.  Both Sheila and I are familiar with this list of great old time gospel songs, they are our favorites too, so it's possible for me to recommend this CD to anyone who might want to 'remember' what those great old songs still sound like.  Howard Jr's renditions are extremely well done.  He has a kind of bass-baritone voice, and this style of voice really fits these old songs to a tee. This particular CD came out on Rosedale Music, which is a label in Ontario, Canada, so it's even nicer to know that Howard Sr's son is going international.  Howard Jr. still records with Patti Powell and Skeets Martin, and he plays bass for Hank King and Tex Belin.  With three children of his own, he stays busy passing along the heritage, and indeed the beauty of old-time gospel music with all his family.
RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART - www.ntcma.net
for Country Music News International
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