Prime Cuts: I Was On Your Mind, 11:59, Just Believe
"Special Edition" is indeed a special album. Released to coincide with the celebration of Sonlite Records' 30th anniversary, this record showcases some of the values the imprint have stood for over the years. Filled with Christ-exalting tunes that you can singalong to on a Sunday drive, "Special Edition" is exemplar of Sonlite copious releases. A label that has been the home of such great iconic Gospel acts such as Kingdom Heirs, Down East Boys, Mark Bishop & Forget the Sea, Master's Voice, the Old Paths, and many others. Also, of historical significance is that the first single to come off the chute is a new recording of "If There's a Rocking Chair in Heaven." Co-written by Kirk Talley, "Rocking Chair" is the first single to bear the Sonlite logo three decades ago.
Formed as the Jeff Treece Band in 1999, the band comprises of Jeff, his wife Misty, and his brother Dusty. Over the years, Sunday Drive has not only been popular in the church and concert circuits, but they have been welcomed across RV parks and Hotrod Auto shows. They have also played with CCM staple acts such as Big Daddy Weave, David Crowder Band, and the Oak Ridge Boys. Teaming with Jeff Collins as producer, "Special Edition" features 8 Jeff Treece co-writes or compositions.
Save for "Don't Forget My Senior Discount" and "11:59," Misty Treece takes on the lead vocals on all the tracks here. And if you want to know how stellar Misty is as a vocalist, take a listen to the ballad "I Was on Your Mind." Nuanced with great shafts of affection and leaving no emotional stone unturned, you can feel your heart flutter when she sings about the depth of our Lord's love for us. "Just Believe" gives definition to the word "catchy." Featuring a country two-step lilt, this is the type of song that will get us tapping our toes and singing along with in no time. "I Got Saved," which barely clocks in at 2 minutes, has no wasted notes or words. Rather, the song gets to the heart of the Gospel in a succinct yet melodious way.
Of note is the aforementioned "If There's a Rocking Chair in Heaven." While Misty sings the first verse, one is pleasantly surprise to hear Jeff's mother Violet (who sang in the original 1986 recording) sing the third verse until the end. Jeff himself joins Misty on "11:59," a song that urges us not to tarry in our acceptance of Christ, which ends with a prayer lead by InTouch Ministries' Dr. Charles Stanley. As great as Jeff is on "11:59," he's also responsible for the album's dud "Don't Forget My Senior's Discount." The song, a novelty number about the perks of aging, sticks out like a sore thumb. Frankly, the song's subject matter just doesn't fit the tenor of the album's Christ exalting lyrics. With only 9 songs, they could have added two more songs in place of "Don't Forget My Senior's Diiscount."