Prime Cuts: God Will Take Care of It All, The Ark, Redemption Draweth Nigh
Overall Score: 4.5/5
Barry Rowland & Deliverance have a secret weapon that many of their peers can only dream of. Their consistently lofty standard as set by their material is attributive to the fact that they have Kyla Rowland as their in-house songwriter. Kyla Rowland who has written scores and scores of Southern Gospel classics (such as "One Scarred Hand," "Safer Thus Far," and "Wedding Invitation" among many others) is none other than Barry's mother. As a result, Barry Rowland & Deliverance have the first pickings as far as the best of Kyla's compositions are concerned. This new album "It is Time" is no exception. Released via Horizon Records, this new set of 10 songs features seven Kyla's compositions. And they are indeed the cream of the crops here.
Barry Rowland & Deliverance is a trio consisting of Barry & Tammy Rowland plus Matthew Burgess. "It is Time" is the follow-up to the highly acclaimed "The Light," released last year. Just like their predecessor, "It is Time" is produced by Danny Crawford. As the titular suggests, these 10 songs seek to serve the church in her time of worship. Thus, what you can expect out of this set are songs that give exposition to some of the pillar doctrines of the church.
Giving new vocabulary to the sublime doctrine of salvation is "Delivered Again." Recorded by Triumphant a decade ago, Barry Rowland and Deliverance offer a more county rendering with more accentuation given to the words than the original version. Never ones to just aim for the mind, the visceral ballad "God Will Take Care of It All" is absolutely a soothing balm for those of us who have been ravaged by this world's cares. This song is an absolute gem that deserves repeated listening. Though packed with lots of Scriptural anecdotes, "Hold Your Ground" has a typical "traditional" quartet feel that makes them sound dated. The same can be said about "There Rose a Lamb."
Much better are the songs where they branch out into more adventurous grounds. "He Can't Follow Me" finds Tammy Rowland in more bluegrassy (ala Rhonda Vincent) terrain that is refreshing. And the harmonica introduction with the shimmering B3 organ accompaniment of the title track "It is Time" are pure bliss. While the toe-tapping rollicking "The Ark" is an enjoyable sermon emanating from the story of Noah and the ark with great lessons for us today. Gordon Jensen's classic "Redemption Draweth Nigh" is given a spirited read with some mind-blowing hold of notes from the trio.
"It is Time" may not be perfect, but it's an album that serves to help us worship our Lord with songs that give articulation to the great truths of Scripture. As a result of this record, our time with the Lord becomes richer and deeper.