Reviewed by Tony Cummings
Liberty Hall, Dublin, 29th-31st October 1998, and Christians from all over Ireland are gathered together to minister unto the Lord in a unity of praise and worship, lo enthrone Jesus Christ over the land of Ireland. Thus saith the sleeve notes. Did it succeed? Is this live album going to sound like all the other multitudes of live praise albums? The omens are not good, as it kicks off with Ron Kenoly's old warhorse "Jesus Is Alive", and then goes into "All Things Are Possible", complete with Berni Hughes sounding remarkably like Darlene Zschech! Then, after Edwin Brown has led the singing of one of his own songs, Tina Ashworth belts out one of hers, and the resemblance to-a Hillsongs praise opus is uncanny! Matters are redeemed for me by the appearance of Barry Bynum, his faithful acoustic and the old Liberation Suite classic "Heal The Broken Hearted", written in 1974, when Lib Suite relocated to Ireland for several months so that they could minister to both communities on both sides of the border. Barry's sensitive approach is a calming influence in a frenzy of derivative praise, and things get more worshipful from then on, with a couple more of Edwin Brown's songs, and others by Pete Sanchez ("I Exalt Thee"), Clint Brown ("Zion/Highest Praise") and Lynn DeShazo ("More Precious Than Silver"). I didn't care for the editing, loo many faded intros and outros meant I lost some of the atmosphere, and the home-grown songwriters need to find their own style. Nevertheless, there's no denying the need for reconciliation in Ireland, and there's probably room for another ministry alongside FocusFest and Mandate, but let's wait till Mr Bynum gets back from Texas.
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