Jeff & Sheri Easter - Eyes Wide Open

Published Wednesday 21st August 2013
Jeff & Sheri Easter - Eyes Wide Open
Jeff & Sheri Easter - Eyes Wide Open

STYLE: Country
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 130731-20592
LABEL: Spring Hill CMD1215
RELEASE DATE: 2012-09-18
RRP: £9.99

Reviewed by Dave Brassington

For some years now Jeff and Sheri have been regular members of the Gaither Homecoming entourage, adding some down home country and bluegrass style to their shows. The duo come from the heartland of country music, indeed Sheri is the daughter of one of the Lewis family sisters, a stellar act in gospel bluegrass music over many years. Often known for some fast paced and lively music, the Easters, on this album, offer new material of a more reflective style than I expected. Some of it is more mainstream country with steel guitar fiddle and dobro and no five string banjo in earshot. The lively opener "A Little Bit Of Sunshine" gets the album off to a good start. All 12 tracks have strong lyrics but for me there are two standouts, the moving "I Wonder If He Ever Cries" which points directly to the suffering of Jesus on the cross and the very reflective "There Is A Purpose". Members of the growing Easter family guest on this project. "I Wonder If He Ever Cries" features one of their daughters on lead vocal, and a fine job she does but I can't tell you which one as the sleeve notes give no details. There is one downside to all the family involvement. Jeff and Sheri fall into a trap others in a similar situation have tumbled into by featuring a bad family choice - albeit a small one! In this case it's a grandchild who gives us a rather painful "Keep On The Sunny Side" as an intro to the final track "A Good Old Gospel Song", an indulgence that rather spoils an otherwise fine album.

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Sample Track Listing:
1. A Little Bit Of Sunshine [Listen]
2. I'll Take It [Listen]
3. Sitting On Top Of The World [Listen]
4. I Know How It Feels To Survive [Listen]
5. It Must Have Been You [Listen]
6. I Wonder If He Ever Cries [Listen]
7. Anything But Happy [Listen]
8. Love Is [Listen]
9. I Won't Have To Worry [Listen]
10. There Is A Purpose [Listen]
11. Standing Here Wondering [Listen]
12. A Good Old Gospel Song [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version.

Product Description
'Eyes Wide Open' features a song co-written by Sheri and son, Madison, commemorating Sheri's victory over breast cancer.
The project, highlighted by family harmonies and bluegrass tones, finds Sheri re-recording a classic Mahalia Jackson ballad that Sheri's mother (a member of the legendary Lewis Family) recorded while Sheri's daughter Morgan pays homage to her mother with a re-make of 'I Wonder If He Ever Cries.' The family ties continue as Madison joins as a coproducer of the project for the first time in addition to Jeff's performance of the tune 'I Won't Have to Worry,' alongside his 80-year old father, a member of The Easter Brothers. This down home recording is all in the family!

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