Susan Ashton, Margaret Becker, Christine Dente - Along The Road

Thursday 1st December 1994
Susan Ashton, Margaret Becker, Christine Dente - Along The Road
Susan Ashton, Margaret Becker, Christine Dente - Along The Road

RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
LABEL: Sparrow SPD1389
RRP: £4.99

Reviewed by Trevor Kirk

As a recent convert to CCM (entirely through my reading Cross Rhythms over the past two years), I've noticed how much of a big happy family the various US labels seem to be. Guest appearances abound as backing singers and instrumentalists all pitch in to give the little bit extra to that latest album. Sparrow have now gone a step further with a joint project by producer Wayne Kirkpatrick and three of arguably the best female voices in US CCM, Mesdemoiselles Ashton, Becker and Dente. Playing the CD, my first impression was amazement, that Wayne and these three pop gospel divas could have turned out an album that is so diverse in style - the overwhelming feel is country, with acoustic guitars, a real drum kit played by a real person, and hardly a synthesiser to be heard. In fact, on the title track, Brother Wayne has roped in a string quartet, and very effectively too. The only pop style songs are the haunting "Angels" and "Near To You", which Susan wrote with Gary Chapman and which features a Hammond organ in with the usual implements. I could rave about nearly every track; "Walk On" is a bluesy message song given the gritty delivery it deserves by Susan, and on "Oh Me Of Little Faith" Margaret sounds a little like Peggy Lee on a jazzy/rocky/bluesy stomper. Scott Dente even shows up to support his other half on "Takin' My Time" which Christine wrote with Charlie Peacock. But my favourite tracks are "Breathe On Me", a gentle folksy ballad perfectly sung by Christine, and "Blessing In Disguise", a lolloping country foot-tapper which Margaret and the band give the full country treatment, with cowboy guitar and all. Each of the girls gets four lead vocals, everybody sings BVs for everybody else and the CD is excellent value with over 51 minutes of very classy music indeed. Definitely highly recommended.

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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Reader Comments

Posted by Don in state of Delaware @ 18:17 on May 29 2010

I have this cd in my huge ccm collection; I luv it!! From start to finish, every song carries its own trademark. The opening # "Angels" was a great starter song for the cd; Christine sings the lead so angelic. The next # with lead vocals by Susan "Song of Reconciliation" is superb in its tapestry of words; and then Margaret sings lead on the 3rd track "No Other", a reminder of the first of all commandments.
"Taking my Time" was the first song I heard play on ccm radio from this cd; I luved it from the first time on. One of my top faves from the cd is the last song on the cd, "Along the Road"; written by pop singer icon,Dan Fogelberg. Their vers. of the song is not far in sound from Dan's recording in 1979; Margaret does a fantastic job on lead vocals for the song. I must add, that I do not agree with writer Trevor Kirk's assessment, that "Angels" and "Near to You" are the only pop style songs on the cd; maybe he hasn't listened to much ccm since he was a new believer at the time. I shared this cd with 2 non-believers, they now have the cd also; I will admit that "Angels" made a good impression. As they say, GOD works in mysterious ways. My best friend likes the whole cd, he likes the vocal sounds of all 3. Singer/songwriter/musician Wayne Kirkpatrick did a superb production; hats off to Wayne!
GOD Bless!-Don

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