With 10 number one hits and two streaks of consecutive chart toppers, the Talleys are one of the most successful Southern Gospel groups around. Though they have blessed us over the years with their own hits such as "Mountain Mover," "My Hope is in the Lord," and "Applause" amongst many others, their brand new album "The Test of Time" is a little unique. It's an album that contains 10 of the Talley's favorite covers including "Great is Thy Faithfulness," "Holy Ground," "I Go to the Rock" and two brand new songs. We are so honored to be able to talk to Lauren Talley about this brand new offering:
Hallels: Lauren, thank you for doing this interview with us. It's our honor and privilege to be able to chat with you. Let's talk about your new album "The Test of Time" which features your 10 Gospel classics and 2 brand new songs. Why did you decide to do an album of mainly covers?
We had just released "Love Won," which was all new music, and we noticed that some of our most popular songs in concert were our covers of older songs, such as "He's Alive." So we decided to pursue more of those this time around.
Hallels: What were the criteria you have used to pick these songs?
We really wanted songs that were timeless, but that had not been widely recorded. We wanted folks to have the feeling of, "I forgot how great a song that is!"
Hallels: I am particularly thrilled at your cover of Dottie Rambo's "I Go to the Rock" which was also popularized by the late great Whitney Houston. You have formerly covered Houston's "I Love the Lord," are you a fan of Whitney?
Of course... I used to sing along with her albums as a kid in my room :) but it was very important to us on both of the aforementioned songs that we stay true to the style and spirit of the song while making it our own. That is actually the intent behind all of these songs.
Hallels: If you get to choose two of your favorite covers from this new album which would they be?
I particularly love what we did with "And He's Ever Interceding," a beautiful song recorded by the Speers in 1980. I think my mother's velvety voice is perfectly suited to it. I also love the vocal intro. Another of my favorites is "Holy Ground." It's such a transcendent song...you can truly feel the angels all around.
Hallels: As for the originals, I adore "Hidden Heroes." Can you tell our readers what this song is about?
"Hidden Heroes" is the winner of the Singing News Amateur Songwriting Contest. It talks about those who care for loved ones and how their care and love never goes unnoticed by the Father. We chose the song because the second verse tells the story of my dad's parents and their battle with Alzheimer's. My papaw cared for my mamaw every day for ten years until the day she died. We learned a lot from his selfless example. This song also is dedicated to The Veranda, a respite care ministry in Nashville, TN for families and caregivers of Alzheimer's patients. We are personally involved with the Veranda and a portion of each sale of the song will go to them. You can find more info about The Veranda and support them at www.theverandachbc.com.
Hallels: I am sure those who love the old hymns would love your rendition of "Great is Thy Faithfulness." Yet, you have tackled it in a way that is not stuffy and archaic. Rather, the soaring strings and your gorgeous vocals make one feel like you're entering into heaven. What was the inspiration behind your interpretation of it?
We wanted to feature everyone and the necessary keys to fit everyone's vocal ranges basically dictated the changes. We had heard an arrangement that accomplished that and we borrowed an idea or two from it.
Hallels: Being a family that records and travels together, what are some of the joys and challenges?
I'm thankful to spend this time on the road as an adult with my parents. We have a great relationship- I truly consider them friends as well as parents. During the week, my husband Brian and I spend lots of good quality time together. We are a very close knit family.
A challenge is separating home and family life from business! It's something we work hard to maintain. One of our "family" things is watching sports. The TVs on the bus are usually turned to a game.
Hallels: With "The Test of Time" coming out real soon, will you be touring to support it? Where can our readers find out more about your itinerary, your latest updates, and purchasing your new CD?
We are ALWAYS touring! :) www.thetalleys.com is the place to read our tour schedule, order all Talley products (including mp3 downloads) and generally keep up with the family.