Tammy Jones Robinette’s debut recording in 2014 was an all-gospel affair that went a long way to garnering her recognition as Favorite Female Vocalist at the Gospel Music Fan Awards. You might think her second release would follow a similar format. While gospel is still at the core, and pleasingly so, Robinette has included several non-gospel songs in the mix.
Those non-gospel songs, however, may just as well be gospel songs. All five of them, three written by Robinette, are what you might term “strong family values” songs. “To Be A Kid Again” is all about the joys of being young, reveling in the healthy side of childhood. “The Letters” is a weeper about a son writing home. “The Man In Those Shoes” is Robinette’s tribute to her husband’s support. “Pages Of Time,” written by Babbette Punches, is a memory song, while “The Colors That Never Ran,” by Larry Santiago is an ode to the flag.
As good as those songs are, the strongest tracks that leave you with the best feeling overall, are the straight-ahead gospel numbers. Both “I’ve Got To Work On The Ark” and R.H. Cornelius’ “Oh, I Want To See Him” are uplifting, fast bluegrass-style numbers and work wonderfully with the equally uplifting “There’s A Record Book” from Larry Whitehead and with the hopeful and slow “Mama’s In The Sweet By And By” from Robinette.
Robinette has one of those glorious, emotional, and powerful voices that goes hand in hand with Southern gospel. Pairing that voice with good songs and great musicians (including Sam Bush, Rob Ickes, Aubrey Haynie, Ron Block, Mark Fain, Scott Vestal, and Seth Taylor) makes this a very strong album. (Rural Rhythm, P.O. Box 750, Mt. Juliet, TN 37121, www.ruralrhythm.com.)BW