Bill & Gloria Gaither and Their Homecoming Friends - Bill Gaither's 20 All-Time Favorite Homecoming Songs And Performances Vol 1
STYLE: Southern Gospel RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 9913-9494 LABEL: Gaither Music Group SHD2523 FORMAT: CD Album RELEASE DATE: 2004-05-07 RRP: £5.99
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
Compiled from the huge series of Homecoming Friends' CDs and albums which took Southern gospel out of its Southern States regional sales niche and made it a million selling Christian music commodity. But there is the rub, of course. In the process Southern gospel's simple male voice harmonies and country accompaniments were joined by choirs, lush inspirational orchestrations and enough overblown theatrics to make an American award ceremony seem understated. There are still great voices and great songs on offer here - with Russ Taff, Kim Hopper, Jessy Dixon, David Phelps all showing exemplary pipes while the songs, particularly when plucked from the hymnals, still retain their power to move the spirit. But too often the arrangements are either maudlin or overblown and only devotees to the whole Gaither phenomenon will care to explore this clumsily titled new reissue series.
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Millions of people have already discovered the Homecoming series. This video and DVD series has crossed just about every imaginable musical, cultural and age boundary.
The '20 All Time Favourite' series is a seclection of DVDs and CDs, each volume captures 20 highlights from the Homecoming series and collects them into one recording.
Each song is introduced by Bill Gaither with interesting and sometimes amusing background information.