Monday, August 8, 2016

CD Review: MARY CHANNER PAUL & MOLLY - Our Gospel Favorites

Our Gospel Favorites
Hallelujah In My Heart - Until Then - Keep On The Sunny Side - I'm Free - Are You Washed In The Blood - I Know Who Holds Tomorrow - Thank God For My Christian Home - Leave It There - Little Mountain Church - Far Side Banks of Jordan - Mercy Walked In - Turning To The Light - He Grew The Tree - I Saw The Light / I'll Fly Away
Wow, I've been waiting a while to hear this CD, and the wait is really worth it.  Mary Channer Paul has been oneof our very best country vocalists over the years that still keeps Christ in her music and her life.  Her daughter Molly joins her mom on this incredibly well done CD.  It is without a doubt one of the best Gospel CD's to come out of the upper Midwest in quite a long time.  I'll have to hurry, but I'll get it to the Rural Roots Music Commission before they close the submission door.  Mary and Molly's voices are extremely in the mood on this CD.  Some of that is due to the incredibly gifted backing artists that recorded this delightful album with Mary. One of my favorite fiddlers, Jason Shaw is on fiddle as well as mandolin.  Listen his great mandolin on 'Are You Washed In the Blood" where you will also hear him shift to fiddle, and in this same song you'll hear some incredible Dobro playing by Roger Kenaston. Jason's brother, John would have been a great addition too, but he's not on this one.  Without a doubt my favorite Dobro player, Roger Kenaston brings his gifted ability to the forefront at every lead.  He plays with a straight pick rather than finger picks and his 'style' is well known and loved throughout our part of the USA. Roger's wife Sharon is on the acoustic upright bass, and it sure sounds great.  Her love for the music and her love for the music shines brilliantly here.  The selection of great musicians for this session included Eldon Hardekopf who not only played great steel guitar, also added some of his great bass vocal harmony on "Turning To The Light."  Jay Kelly who usually plays fantastic fiddle, stepped aside for Jason Shaw, and played lead and rhythm guitar throughout. Wow, what a cast of musicians on this remarkable session.  Steve Larson on keyboard in the just right spots, especially on "Far Side Banks of Jordan," and Molly singing harmony with mom Mary, also in the just right spots, all the way through. This is an incredible recording done really really well by one of our upper Midwest vocalists, tells us for sure the music gets better with age. I can only find one problem, and that is with my own failing hearing.  In the studio final mix I would have put Mary and Molly's vocals in the center a little louder and turned the drums down a little. That's not even a criticism, it's the proof of my own failing hearing.  Super good CD, one of the best we've had come out of the upper Midwest.  Good going Mary, this is surely one of your best recordings ever.
for Country Music News International
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