STYLE: Roots/Acoustic RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 81406-15526 LABEL: Signpost SP29102 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Ian Hayter
The Canadian songsmith has been around for a goodly while now and is a consummate singer and musician, his distinctive voice at times sounding like a cross between songwriter Phil Keaggy and Art Garfunkel. This set of 10 songs are all by his friend, the worship leader at their church, Gord Johnson. With a beautiful series of arrangements for strings (by Mike Janzen), acoustic guitars, mandolins and accordion, these songs are reflective and moving. The lyrics are simple but powerful, some totally original, others adaptations of prayers ("Almighty God" and "Benediction", both taken from The Book of Common Prayer) and Scripture (the haunting and deceptively simple arrangement of Jesus' words in "Who Condemns You Now"). Clearly written for use in worship, the songs come with a lyric sheet which also has guitar chords, and the melodies are easily picked up (so long as you don't follow the melody of the opening lines of "Praise The Father, Praise The Son" off into "Scarborough Fair"). There isn't a track on this album that is not finely crafted, arranged and performed. Full marks to Messrs Bell and Johnson for making such an uplifting set.
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