So, Dr. Jim Matthews – or the Singing Surgeon hails from Mississippi, and he released this album of Gospel songs (among other albums – including a country one) in the 1970’s, on his Music Emporium label. So, self-released?
Anyways, the album opens with the titular track, “He’s Coming Back Again” and it’s a slower song, and he’s got a deep voice, so far I’m hoping for more a pick up on this album, because it’s not starting off how I’d like, but I’m hopeful – he looks promising. The backing vocals are nice, though there are a few female backing vocalists credited. It is relaxing though. “Jesus Never Sleeps” follows, and it’s a Jim Matthews original song, and Dr. Matthews has this Elvis like sound to his voice, I’m becoming more hopeful and intrigued by this gentleman. It’s a nice song though. Next we go onto “The Lord Performed a Miracle Today” and Dr. Matthews delivers another slower song, but now I kind of really hear that Elvis sound now. I’m really getting into this one now. “How Great Thou Art” comes next, and you know, I feel like Dr. Matthews could really give Orion a run for his money in Elvis-soundalikes, and holy cow, when Dr. Matthews picks this one and belts out those high notes I just love it. This guy is great. The engineer and mixing on this is fantastic too. “An American Medley” comes next, and here we go, with Dr. Matthews doing an… ELVIS COVER! Yes, this is what we needed on this album! Ooh, there is that Rhodes synthesizer doing a solo. Yes please. Another Dr. Matthews original, “God’s Gonna Send His Judgement” and hey, I love it. It’s catchy and upbeat! We end the A-Side with the classic song “The Lighthouse” and Dr. Matthews delivers a beautiful rendition of such a fantastic song.
I’m ready for the B-Side which opens with some flute playing as the opening to the song “Jesus the Son Shines On” and hey, another Dr. Matthews original, and it’s fantastic. He follows up with another original song titled “Thank You” it’s slower, but it is sung with deep meaning, and from the heart, it’s a nice relaxing song. “David & Goliath” comes next, it’s upbeat, an original and features some nice backing vocals, all in all a good song. “Rise Again” comes next, and hey, it’s another classic gospel song that we’re about to have made even better by Dr. Matthews, and his amazing backing vocalists, this album started off a bit questionable, but as we’ve continued on it has proved to be one of the great lost gospel gems of the 1970’s. “Try the Man of Galilee” comes next, and this one isn’t quite as good as the other Dr. Matthews originals, but he still does a great job. “Hold His Hand” comes next, and I cannot say enough times how much I love Dr. Matthews voice, this guy was a wonderful singing. Next comes next is “Me Love You Dad” which is a song about being a father which features Dr. Matthews children singing with him on this song, and I’m assuming it’s his son David who is leading the children’s vocals parts. You know, I can envision Dr. Matthews in the studio with the kids leading them through that song proudly. Very nice. The final song is “Tomorrow is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life” and it’s brilliant, the chorus, the musicianship. Absolutely a fantastic album.
I’m glad that after almost eight years of having this album on my shelves that I finally got around to listening to it, because it’s great.
ME06 / LPME06
Drums – Mike Boles
Guitar – Hollis Calvert
Keyboards – Bill Pippen, Mike Hughes & Manley Blackwell
Fender Rhodes Electric Piano & Synthesizer – Frank Morris
Saxophone & Flute – Robbie Rivers
Backup Vocalists – Debbie Scarborough, Juana Rogers, Jennifer Thompson, Art Matthews & The Matthews Family (David, Debbie, Elizabeth, Charles, Jimmy, Julie & Peggy)
Engineer – Frank Morris
Executive Producer – Jim Matthews, M.D.
Cover Photography – James Thorne
Recording Facility – Studio in the City
Portrait of Christ – Mrs. Debbie Matthews