New Haven 8109-2
A new CD, Meeting in Heaven, presents today’s Chuck Wagon Gang, whose glowing voices add a new degree of musical brilliance to the vocal blend of the original quartet. Shaye Smith has inherited her grandmother Anna Carter’s warm and passionate alto, and she guides the group with skill and professionalism. Jeremy Stephens contributes quiet, tasteful bass parts and captures either the sound of Jim Carter’s original acoustic guitar or Howard Gordon’s 1951 Gibson L-5 electric, as the occasion demands. Stan Hill’s quiet tenor adds the vital interior harmonies between alto and bass lines that are felt as much as heard. Julie Hudson’s powerful high lead packs a special wallop, evoking the best qualities of the CWG’s original soprano, Rose Carter, while adding a shining timbre all her own.
According to Ricky Skaggs, “Nothing comes close to the perfection of the Chuck Wagon Gang. With just a guitar for rhythm and those beautiful voices they brought down the sounds of Heaven to the earth.” The CD spotlights hymns composed by the versatile Marty Stuart, a serious CWG enthusiast. Vocal arrangements by Stephens and Smith honor the Gang’s old-time shape-note style while investing the new music with all the original passion. Enjoy Meeting In Heaven, save up for the Bear Family set, and go see the Chuck Wagon Gang whenever they visit your area. You’ll see what the fuss is all about, I promise! (Chuck Wagon Gang, P.O. Box 140416, Nashville, TN 37214, www.chuckwagongang.net.)RKS