STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 154892-23091 LABEL: Survivor ELE2088D FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2015-03-31 RRP: £9.99
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
One of the privileges enjoyed by Cross Rhythms - now in its 26th year - is to sometimes see and hear an artist's creative gifts develop and find increasing focus as the years speed by. Cross Rhythms first noted that Cathy had a truly exceptional voice in 1998 when, as a precocious teenager, she was fronting the band Blueberry. Then in the 2000s she made some wonderful music singing about lost and found love both solo (the 'Burn Out' album) and with the group Hummingbirds while in 2010 she responded to a nudge from the Holy Spirit to make music to feed the Church and cut the top rate 'Source Of Every Hour' worship project. Now five years on after seemingly dozens of appearances on various artists albums, she at last releases a new solo project. It's been worth the wait. This may be in Elevation's 'Live At Spring Harvest' series (there's previously been worship sets recorded at Britain's longest running Bible Week by Trent and Pete James) but there's nothing vaguely formulaic about Cathy's album. Credit for that must in part go to husband producer Paul Burton who has taken Cathy's live recordings made (presumably) at Skegness in 2014 (no sleeve info here) and skilfully added at his Old Chapel Studio some bvs from Doug Walker, guitars from Dan Wheeler and keyboards and programming by Laura Nancarrow and Paul himself. (While we're on the subject of keyboards, a black mark to Elevation's sleeve designers for having a pic of Cathy at the keys on the front cover when the album features the singer only playing acoustic guitar.) Cathy's song selection is impeccable - Phil Wickham, Chris Tomlin, Sam Lane, the Torwalts and a heart-stopping rendition of "Oceans". About the latter I can give no greater accolade than to suggest that Cathy's vocal is every bit as good as the one which first drew the world Church to the song - by Hillsong United's Taya Smith. But in case any potential purchaser of the album is worried that Cathy's worship from the Spring Harvest Big Top has too many covers - a common malady for big Christian event worship albums - there are also two wonderful Burton originals, "Emmanuel" and "Safety In His Arms", which are every bit as good as the famous songs covered here. We can but hope that next year there will be an album of many more of Cathy's heart lifting compositions. In the meantime, Cross Rhythms recommend you explore this album as an invaluable resource in entering into that communion of our spirits with the Divine, enjoying a beautiful voice singing beautiful songs, or both.
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The 3rd in our popular LIVE AT SPRING HARVEST series features worship leader and singer-songwriter CATHY BURTON. With live recordings captured at the 2012, 2013 and 2014 events, there is a wealth of worshipping moments reflecting the atmosphere and adoration of one of the most significant events.
Songs featured include Amazing Grace, Waiting Here For You, Cornerstone and Beautiful Things.
Why do we believe the LIVE AT series is so popular? In an article for CCLI, Sue Rinaldi comments how Spring Harvest has always been intentional in prioritising creativity, unity and worship.. "Daring to amplify the songs of faithful foot-soldiers, turning marquees into throne-rooms and holidays into pilgrimages…. the event deserves its reputation for being a trailblazer, for propagating diversity and creativity with unwavering commitment and for building a legacy that is literally, being sung around the world."