This is All4Hym’s eighth recording overall and their first for Rural Rhythm. There are 12 songs, the majority of them from the pens of Dee Gaskins and Marshall Brickman. Each of them wrote four.
While the music presented here is encompassed beneath the larger gospel tent, the subjects addressed in several of them break outside religious subjects and imagery and instead examine thoughts on family values and living right. Of course, family values and living right, as expressed in “Dollar Angel” (the idea that even small involvements can help those in need), “Wealthy Man” (a man with troubles realizes the good things he has in family and friends), and “Fifty Years Together” (a look at the things that make a marriage endure) are important aims and of the religious message.
Among the songs that use more traditional gospel imagery, several stand above the rest, including Brinkman’s “Grandpa’s Table Grace” and “Inside Prayer” and Gaskins’ “Old Sinners Like Me.” Each of those highlights the vocal talents of the group’s three lead singers. “Grandpa’s Table Grace” is a song tailor-made for Chester Kreitzer’s smooth and graceful vocalizing, while his wife Terri’s introspective approach brings out the meditative quality of “Inside Prayer.” Equally well-matched is the low and resonant lead of their son Corey on “Old Sinners Like Me.” With a voice belying his years, he virtually inhabits the role of a down-and-outer questioning his ultimate fate.
All three of the vocalists (and a double track) are then highlighted on Gaskins’ moving a cappella quartet number “Even At The Door.” No gospel recording should be without a good quartet tune, and this one could easily have come from Alfred E. Brumley himself. Chester, Terri, and Corey make the most of it. One thing that would have enhanced this recording is one or two uptempo numbers. But, in all, it’s a solid, contemporary gospel CD. (Rural Rhythm, P.O. Box 660040, Dept. D, Arcadia, CA 91066, www.ruralrhythm.com.) BW