Darlene Zschech, Paul Baloche, Jon Egan, All Sons & Daughters, Blind Boys of Alabama, Elias Dummer (The City Harmonic), Ricky Skaggs & The Whites, Israel Houghton with Seth & Nirva, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound and Meredith Andrews, among others, pay tribute to legendary writer Fanny Crosby in a new project Blessed Assurance: The New Hymns Of Fanny Crosby. Released by Integrity Music, the album stands as an original, new-heritage collection from this blind composer that has inspired generations of Christians around the world with hymns like "To God Be the Glory," "All the Way My Savior Leads Me," "Blessed Assurance" and "Redeemed."
"When you start looking at her legacy, you begin to understand how this remarkable woman truly lived her worship," says Integrity's VP of Song & Artist Development, Adrian Thompson. "She lived a frugal life, was diligent in writing, a blessing to the poor, didn't build herself up... And yet, every living president in her lifetime wanted to meet her. The impact of her life and the influence of her hymns simply cannot be overstated."
In celebration of the remarkable legacy of Fanny J. Crosby 100 years after her death, Integrity Music offered the select gathering of remarkable worship leaders and songwriters above access to an astounding 2,700 unpublished and unfinished compositions by Crosby. This forgotten musical treasure that sat hidden for years was passed from Crosby's publisher to the historic Wheaton College.
Stephen Kelley, an artist, writer and entrepreneur who collects antique hymnals, learned of the forgotten cache and tracked them down to Wheaton. "They wheeled out 20 library carts containing the manuscripts," Kelley recalls, "...some lyrics were on scraps of paper and the backs of envelopes, letterhead, legal paper, all with Fanny's initials. I couldn't believe it when I saw them."
New life was breathed into 15 of these hidden gems, recorded for Blessed Assurance to shine a modern light on the remarkable legacy of the woman called "the Queen of Gospel Song Writers."
"There are so many magical moments on this record," says Bobby Blazier (The Alternators), who co-produced the album with Christian music veteran John Hartley. "Fanny Crosby was quite an intellectual, but she loved different styles of music, so we tried to honor her in that way, leaning more toward Americana, than just about anything."
For example, "Where Could We Go," which was completed by multiple Dove Award nominated Integrity writer Michael Farren, "sounds different than anything you might consider to be a Crosby hymn," says Blazier. "The music has a ragtime feel to it, something that Fanny would have loved. Then, hearing the Blind Boys interpret it in their bluesy, soulful way, it just turned out great and is so true to the Americana approach."
Other tracks on Blessed Assurance: The New Hymns Of Fanny Crosby include All Sons & Daughters' tender call to worship "We Are Waiting," Michael W. Smith's interpretation of "No One Like Jesus," Paul Baloche's take on "Come To The Water," and the unexpectedly Southern Gospel turn Ernie Haase gives to "I Have Found A Priceless Treasure."
"There are a lot of churches that prefer hymns, and there's a new generation discovering them for the first time as they seek deeper roots within a fresh, modern context," explains Thompson. "With these two connections in mind, we've tried to keep as much of the original lyric as possible, engaging songwriters/leaders in the modern worship movement to help usher the richness of those lyrics into the modern era."
The full Blessed Assurance: The New Hymns Of Fanny Crosby track listing follows:
1. We Are Waiting - featuring All Sons & Daughters (writers Leslie Jordan, David Leonard, Alli Rogers, Fanny Crosby)
2. Not Be Moved - featuring Jon Egan/New Life Worship (writers Jon Egan, Glenn Packiam, Dustin Smith, Fanny Crosby)
3. Hallelujah [King of Glory] - featuring Dustin Smith (writers Dustin Smith, Jennie Lee Riddle, Greg Sykes, Fanny Crosby)
4. In The Blood - featuring Israel Houghton with Seth & Nirva (writers Paul Baloche, Rita Baloche, Fanny Crosby)
5. Blessed Savior, Fount of Grace - featuring Darlene Zschech (writers Michael Farren, Krissy Nordhoff, Fanny Crosby)
6. No One Like Jesus - featuring Michael W Smith (writers Stu G, Michael Farren, Fanny Crosby)
7. Blessed Assurance - featuring Chris McClarney (Fanny Crosby's original lyrics)
8. In Life And Death - featuring Greg Sykes (writers Greg Sykes, Jennie Lee Riddle, Fanny Crosby)
9. Wholly Thine - featuring Meredith Andrews (writers Michael Farren, Stu G, Dustin Smith, Fanny Crosby)
10. The Savior Of All - featuring Matt Redman (writers Matt Redman, Fanny Crosby)
11. Come To The Water - featuring Paul Baloche (writers Michael Farren, Stu G, Dustin Smith, Fanny Crosby)
12. I Have Found A Priceless Treasure - featuring Ernie Haase & Signature Sound (writers Don Poythress, Wayne Haun, Fanny Crosby)
13. All Is Well - featuring Ricky Skaggs & The Whites (writers Don Poythress, Tony Wood, Fanny Crosby)
14. I Never, No Never - featuring Elias Dummer (writers Stu G, Bart Millard, Fanny Crosby)
15. Where Could We Go - featuring Blind Boys Of Alabama with Michael Farren (writers Michael Farren, Jessica Campbell, Fanny Crosby)
About Integrity Music:
Integrity Music is part of the David C Cook family, a nonprofit global resource provider serving the Church with life-transforming materials. Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and with offices in Tennessee and the United Kingdom, Integrity is committed to taking songs of substance to the local church and its leaders around the world. Integrity publishes many of the top songs in the Church, including the No. 1 radio hit "We Believe" (Newsboys) as well as church standards "Revelation Song," "Open The Eyes Of My Heart," "Your Great Name" and "I Am Free." Additional information can be found at www.integritymusic.com.
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