STYLE: Southern Gospel RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 168260-26512 LABEL: StowTown 502589 FORMAT: CD Album RELEASE DATE: 2018-01-19 RRP: £12.99
Reviewed by Dave Brassington
Pictured on a boat in sunny Florida conveys an upmarket impression of a group who have risen to be one of the biggest names in Southern gospel. The title track and "Sailing With Jesus" have a maritime flavour in keeping with the sleeve. Apart from the Fanny Crosby classic "Give Me Jesus", the rest of the 15 tracks are all new to me apart from the closer "America Medley" which to many Brits will be a somewhat OTT exercise in patriotism. The backing on 'Clear Skies' can best be described as lightly orchestral, though with some touches of acoustic and steel guitar, plus some fiddle giving it a pleasant country sound at times. There is additional vocal backing from the Booth Brothers and The Voices Of Lee on a couple of tracks adding even more depth to the group's impressive harmonies. It's hard to choose a standout track as all have meaningful lyrics, brilliantly sung, but I'll plump for "Heaven Is" and "Three Men On A Mountain". If you enjoy the easy-listening end of Southern gospel, this is one for you.
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Ernie Haase and band are back with their first new album in nearly almost three years!
Clear Skies exhibits a cornucopia of musical styles and themes from the modern, "My Hallelujah," to the 1975 Imperials classic arrangement of "Give Them All To Jesus," to the fresh and appealing "Sailing With Jesus." Fans are always expecting out-of-the-box moments and masterful production from this talented foursome. This recording will exceed all expectations as the first single, "Give Me Jesus," is already in the Top 5 of the national radio charts while the concept music video, filmed in Northern Ireland has already obtained over 5000,000 views across all social media outlets.