Prime Cuts: A Well That Will Never Run Dry, All the King's Horses, I Don't Want to Go There
Traditional country music has often been caricatured, albeit unfairly, as the anthem of the greatest loser. It's the music of the man whose dog has just died, his wife has just run off with the pool boy, and he is sullen in a honky tonk drinking from his bottomless beer tub. As a result, traditional country music has often been sidelined as a laughable moral gaffe. Though Mike Freeman's music is distinctively country, you won't find a hint of such derogatory themes surfacing in these 11 newly recorded songs. What you will find here instead are songs crafted out of a careful exposition of Scripture with life transforming messages that canvassed themes as diverse as Christ's redemption to his Second Advent.
Musically, Freeman is stone country to the core; country not in the sense of Taylor Swift or Hunter Hayes or Keith Urban. Rather, country in the sense of George Jones or Gene Watson or (for Southern Gospel purists) Kenny Hinson or Rusty Goodman. Growing up in the small town of Bastrop in northern Louisiana, Freeman had a love for singing since he was a little boy. Singing in the church and having a musically talented brother Wayne Freeman certainly help. For years, Wayne Freeman had been involved in a Gospel quartet. One day, out of the blue, Wayne had suggested that his brother had a go at recording his songs again. Hence, "All the King's Horses" was born.
"All the King's Horses" isn't Freeman's first rodeo. In fact, this is his sophomore album following his debut "Anchor of Hope." With Wayne Freeman writing 10 out of the 11 tracks, the family connection is palatable especially on "He Wrote the Book." Bring back a slice of their earlier childhood to life in this narrative framed country waltz, "He Wrote the Book" tells of how their dad was responsible in shaping their love for the Scriptures. Speaking of the Bible, the title cut "All the King's Horses" brings to life with such vividness the vision the Apostle John when he saw the coming of the Savior in all His glory. And those whose feet are itching for a two step would love the fiddle drenched "Don't Get Me Started."
Easily, the album's centerpiece has to be the lead single "I Don't Want to Go There." A poignant ballad with a spellbinding melody, "I Don't Want to Go There" speaks of the futility of returning back to a life of bondage and sin again after we have been freed by Christ. While "A Well that Will Never Run Dry" is the sole composition coming from Mike's pen. Interweaving the story of the woman at the well in John 4 brilliantly with our own quest to quench our own spiritual thirst, this is a textbook example of great hermeneutics, taking what is there in Scripture and applying it to us with perspicuity and care. In short, "All the King's Horses" takes with seriousness the Word of God and surrounds it with the best of traditional country music.