Prime Cuts: Touch of the Mater's Hand, I Am the Word, Wildflower (Vicki's Song)
Have you been enthralled by a story from a preacher's sermon that he has you hanging on every syllable? Have you ever been mesmerized by the stories of the Bible coming alive like you were watching a 3-D movie that you find yourself glued to the screen? This is what it feels like listening to the Booth Brothers' brand new album "Still." Initially released earlier in the year independently, now Gaither Music has now taken "Still" their wings. And one listen to the album the reason becomes apparent why Gaither Music has adopted this project. Rifle with lots of narrative songs that trump on its vivid and picturesque lyrics, "Still" is not just a delight to the ears, but it's a fascinating collection for the eyes too.
The Booth Brothers was initially formed in the 1950's by Ron Booth, Sr. with his brothers Charles, James, and Wallace, after they moved to Detroit. However, Ron decided to disband the group in 1963 when he joined the Toney Brothers. In 1990, Ron's youngest son, Michael, decided to revive the group with his brother Ronnie II, and his father. They started performing and touring around Florida and recorded several albums. In 1998, Ron decided to retire and the remaining brothers started looking for a replacement. They recorded several albums with Joseph Smith, who was later replaced by Jim Brady. Brady remained with them until 2014, at which point he was replaced by new baritone Paul Lancaster. Thus, "Still" is the first album that features Lancaster.
Lancaster shows off his mettle as a great storyteller when he takes lead in a cover of Wayne Watson's "Touch of a Master's Hand." For those of us too young to remember Watson's original, "Touch of a Master's Hand" impresses upon us the truth of how God brings worth into our lives told through a touching story of a violin being sold in an auction. With so much built-in suspense built into its narrative plotline, this song will keep you at the edge of your seat. Also, worth tipping our hats to is Rebecca Peck who has written the well-crafted "Wildflower (Vicki's Song)," a song dedicated to Michael Booth's wife, Vicki. Building upon heart rendering strings and piano, "Wildflower" speaks of how the Gospel heals the emotional bruises of a child who came from a divorced-family.
"Still," the last song Jim Brady wrote before his departure, is a fitting farewell; it is a song that grounds our faith in Jesus' sovereignty in the midst of changes and hard times. But not all is maudlin, "I Am the Word" (which is one of Lari Goss' last productions) is stirring and bright orchestral-backed epic number which would work as a great concert opener. Finger snaps have never sounded so good as on the a cappella-sounding "Faith Keeps Walking." "Happy Rhythm" follows in that same sprightly disposition. However, with the Gaither Vocal Band and the Ball Brothers both resurrecting this Southern Gospel favorite recently, the Booth Brothers' version sounds a little redundant. "When I Speak Your Name," sounds more like an album filler, with its dated 80s sound.
In short, "Still" may be the Booth Brothers' best album, but it still is better than 90% of most Christian releases out there. Just like Jesus who had a penchant of telling gripping stories, the Booth Brothers has a way with those story songs that they help us not only to hear but see God's truth.