So, after a long time of searching I finally came across this one – I’d been searching for this for almost as long as Larry Adams. This is Mrs. Sonya Chittum of Hot Springs, AR on the Shine Records label.
The album opens with a song written by Mrs. Chittum (Though, her name in the credits is spelled Sonja) “Robe of Scarlet” and it has an upbeat tune to it, and you know, it’s kind of the title track, because it is about her being able to be clothed in white because Jesus wore the Robe of Scarlet, and hey, Sonya, I like. She’s got an incredibly nice voice. Next up, “He Didn’t Lift Us Up to Let Us Down” and it’s a slower track, but it’s another nice one beautifully sung by Sonya. She hits some really nice high notes too, and sings amazingly. “We Are the Reason” comes next, now Denise still holds the best version of this song that I’ve heard, with Kevin Gallagher coming in second, but Sonya, well Sonya comes in and delivers a beautiful version of this fantastic song. She is incredible. The way she delivers the chorus is impeccable, absolutely a beautiful song. The “Easter Song” comes next, and you know the harmonizing of Sonya with Sonya is great, musically it does come off as a holiday song, I feel like I could play this song on Easter morning, which I think it should be. “He’s Alive” ends the A-Side, and it does come off as sort of like a ballad type song, and I feel like we’re building up to Sonya just letting out an amazing chorus with that symphony backing her, I feel it coming, here it comes! She is picking up her pace as the backing band gets more known. It’s a fantastic song, and hearing Sonya singing “He’s Alive” really lifts my spirits, and brings this joy to my core. Fantastic.
The B-Side starts with “It Is Written On My Hand” and it starts off slowly, with Sonya’s beautiful vocals singing softly as she delivers one of her own songs. Though most of the album is comprised of her own songs. Next we continue with the song “Beulah Land” and it’s another slower song, but still wonderfully done by Sonya – and the chorus which is done with the Sonya harmonies, she’s definitely a fantastic singer. I don’t think I can stress enough how great this album has been so far! “No Other Name” continues the album, and it’s another slower track, that once more is written by Sonya, and sung just as beautifully as the others she has written. We go on with a cover of Larry Norman’s “The Outlaw” and I swear I’ve heard this song before, but under another title, like I’m pretty sure Denise has sung this song. Anyway, it’s a good track. We end the album with “We Shall Behold Him” which starts off soft and slow, quiet even. But touching, and relaxing as Sonya delivers this fantastic song.
Lead Guitar – Ed Nicholson
Bass Guitar – Tommy Steffy
Piano – Johnny D. Minick
Rhythm Guitar – Jimmy Purifoy
Percussion – Bob Evans
Brass / Trumpet – Chip Clark & Ron Bryant
Trombone – Bob Martin & Emanual Brooks
Strings – Little Rock Symphony
Engineer – Marlon Steffy
Producer, Arranger & Engineer – Johnny D. Minick