Jules Riding - Recollection: A Jules Riding Retrospective (Deluxe Version)

Published Sunday 17th February 2019
Jules Riding - Recollection: A Jules Riding Retrospective (Deluxe Version)
Jules Riding - Recollection: A Jules Riding Retrospective (Deluxe Version)

RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 174378-28097
LABEL: Independent

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

I've always had huge admiration for singer/songwriters who, having decided that there can be few more glorious callings than singing about a glorious God, pursue it relentlessly through thick and thin. It takes a passionately committed musician to undertake a have-guitar-will-travel policy, playing big festivals when opportunities arise but also prepared to play humble house concerts anywhere in the world they can find an audience and potential purchasers prepared to buy their low budget albums. In Britain globetrotters like Brian Houston and Sammy Horner have served for decades in such demanding Christian music ministry while in New Zealand, songsmith Jules Riding has shown similar determination. Now this compilation album offers an intriguing ride through 40 plus years of music making. When Cross Rhythms reviewed the standard edition we spoke of Jules' "gentle, almost whispered vocals" while most of his songs were built around "unfussy fingerpicked acoustic guitar." Sometimes the understated production values and gentle keys make for a samey listen and the lack of much rhythmic accompaniment make listening to all 17 tracks on CD1 a bit soporific. But there's no denying the musical warmth and sincerity of Riding's lyrical themes, particularly on his Scripture-based songs. CD2 of this Deluxe Edition offers more musical snapshots from Mr Riding's past. On the disc Jules pleas for "a modicum of grace" when approaching these recordings and certainly the demo of "Alone On A Highway" made in 1978 is rough and ready but not without charm as is Jules' "Children In Your Playground", made for a New Zealand Ministry Of Transport audio visual presentation. The other 18 tracks range from an early song written for his girlfriend in 1975 through to "Let's Raise Our Hands" written in 1981 which went on to be sung in hundreds of churches around the world. Not everything is top quality and some tracks are rather dated but 'Recollection (Deluxe Edition)' is still a fitting tribute to a true musicianary.

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 later date.

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