STYLE: Hymnody RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 12940-2547 LABEL: Sparrow SPD98803 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RRP: £14.67
Reviewed by Paul Poulton
Hymns from a previous generation eloquently warbled by actor/singer Andy Griffith. Andy was born in 1926 and made a career as a comic in sitcom style shows. He's left it until the last few years to start recording the hymns which he sang in his youth. The first question is, does Andy have something to add to these hymns that hasn't been covered somewhere before? The second question is, having recorded them on four previous CDs do we need a compilation of them? The answer to the first question is yes. There are some neat angles on these hymns; "There's Power In The Blood" fairly buzzes with acoustic guitar chickin' pickin' and chords outside the frame of the song. "His Eye Is On The Sparrow" has female backing singers taking the song to new areas. There are marching songs too, (though that may be more of a drawback) "We're Marching To Zion" and "When I Can Read My Title Clear", which has been given a Celtic feel. Andy's crooning fits with the age of the songs quite well. The executive producer, Billy Ray Hearn, has access to some fine players, "I'll Fly Away" has some great fiddle playing, the piano is played with feeling and (most importantly) not over-played. The over all quality of the recording is slightly down on what we'd expect from today's recordings, the oldest two CDs these songs are taken from were recorded in 1995. A remix would have helped, adding some top end to the whole album making it sizzle a little. The answer to the second question is, maybe; but it's a marketing decision whom others would know the answer to better than I.
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