Reviewed by Trevor Kirk
The endless Gaither production line rolls remorselessly on and given the underlying style of the genre, it was inevitable that, given the emotional aftermath of September 11, Bill and Gloria and their assorted friends would give us something like this. The playing time is as usual very generous at 74 minutes, the recording was done at Carnegie Hall, one of the top concert venues in the USA, and as usual, some top names are on the cast list, including the Gaither Vocal Band featuring new recruit Russ Taff, The Martins, Jessy Dixon, Larnelle Harris, Sandi Patty, Armand Morales of The Imperials, and Sherman Andrus & Terry Blackwood. Mix in an audience that makes all sorts of noise and you have the usual Gaither live experience. The track list is full of gung-ho stuff that doesn’t bear much relevance on this side of the pond: “I Pledge My Allegiance To The Grand Old Flag”, “God Bless The USA”, “Battle Hymn Of The Republic”, “New York City, We’ve Got A Song For You”, “My Country, ‘Tis Of Thee”, “The Star-Spangled Banner”, and “Let Freedom Ring”; and a few quasi-spiritual items for good measure, including “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, “Lean On Me”, and “This Land Is Your Land”. There are a few songs here that first appeared on studio albums, including the GVB’s “When We All Get Together With The Lord”, “When He Calls I’ll Fly Away”, with Russ Taff joined by Jessy Dixon, and “Redeemed” and “So High” by The Martins. Including these seems strange; they clash with the general mood of the album because they relate to Christian experience rather than patriotic fervour, and in any case the studio versions are better quality. Perhaps they were included to bring some Christian values to what could easily pass for redneck Bible belt xenophobia. Only Gaither aficionados need investigate.
The opinions expressed in this article are
not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed
views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may
not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a
Interested in reviewing music? Find out