We begin to new year (sorta) with The Calvary Echoes of Fort Myers, Florida on the Mission Records (of Nashville, TN.) label, but the first thing I want to address is the poor choice of color for the title of this album, the red font on the red carpet just clashes completely, and it’s very hard on the eyes.
So, the album begins with the title track, “What’s On Your Mind” – and we got some pretty upbeat piano playing and decent country gospel vocals so far, a bit reminiscent of the late Denise Klahn, but so far so good on this album. The music is enjoyable. Next up comes “Because He Loved Me” which features a different female vocalist, but still the same piano playing. I’m thinking the gentleman on the cover is the piano player, and the ladies are the vocalists, maybe I’ll be wrong and he’ll sing, but he hasn’t yet. Next up is “Take A Little Time” which so far has had two new female vocalists performing the Andrae Crouch song, it’s a nice song and this album has been pleasantly enjoyable so far! The duet these two vocalists are performing is absolutely perfect, they just go together amazingly! There is even a spoken word part, and their Southern accents are beautiful. I love some good Southern Gospel. We go on to complete the A-Side with one of my favorite Gospel songs, “Ten Thousand Years” and these ladies, and their perfect Southern vocals deliver it so perfectly, and their harmony in the chorus comes out angelic. It’s a really good way to end the A-Side, with fantastic harmonizing and good musicianship.
The B-Side commences with “The Lighthouse” and it’s a wonderful track, that introduces a fourth vocalist with a great country voice, but still the same original two vocalists who just have fantastic voices which are accompanied by some harmonicas and steel guitars, making this song feel more like a country gospel track. We go onto the next track, which is another one of my favorite tracks by Andrae Crouch, “Through It All” and the first vocalist feels and sounds so emotional, then the second vocalist comes in to sing up to the chorus, which seems to feature the whole group harmonizing together to deliver a wonderful rendition of Andrae Crouch’s song, they pick it up and make it more upbeat after the chorus with another vocalist! “Life is So Fragile” continues the album, and this one seems to be the whole group singing accompanied by the steel guitar and harmonica again, but with a piano solo. The vocalization on this track seems to be a bit less than they’ve delivered with the rest of this album, but still not all that bad! And I am now surprised, the gentleman on the cover is singing “Beyond A Shadow” (of a Doubt – not the Tom Petty song) and you know what, I definitely prefer the female vocalists, but this guy he isn’t awful or anything, the women just have more of an appealing voice to me. The album closes with the song “Redemption Draweth Near” and it’s a good gospel track, each of the ladies have had a chance to sing a verse of the song, and there is a piano solo. All in all, it has been a rather pleasant listen, and another great release on the Mission Records label.
Engineer – Jack Linneman