Gospel Collection

Gospel Collection

5.0 1
by George Jones
     
 

Billy Sherrill was coaxed out of retirement to produce his buddy George Jones's double-CD The Gospel Collection, and the resulting music -- powerful and stirring -- honors the best in both men's legendary work. Possum isn't going through the motions here: He unabashedly asserts the conviction and deep feeling of a true believerSee more details below

Overview

Billy Sherrill was coaxed out of retirement to produce his buddy George Jones's double-CD The Gospel Collection, and the resulting music -- powerful and stirring -- honors the best in both men's legendary work. Possum isn't going through the motions here: He unabashedly asserts the conviction and deep feeling of a true believer in the song selections. When it gets down to brass tacks, however, he stays close to his honky-tonk meal ticket, his iconoclastic phrasings blurring the line between the blues and hard country while a small combo of seasoned Nashville session players provide the twang of the guitar, the cascading notes of the saloon piano, and the cry of the pedal steel. But this is a classic Sherrill production, with an orchestra, strings, and rich harmonies anchoring the meditative numbers and enhancing the toe-tappers with lofty grandeur. The 24 songs feature fewer enduring warhorses (such as "Amazing Grace" and Thomas A. Dorsey's "Peace in the Valley") than bedrock Baptist hymns -- the older the better. Jones takes "Where We'll Never Grow Old" at a slow, deliberate pace, transforming its images of heavenly reconciliation into something far bluesier than most congregations ever hear. And it's a good bet that the hymn of invitation "Softly and Tenderly" isn't usually performed with Floyd Cramer–style "slip note" piano fills and pungent, top-strings guitar solos. But the text is the thing here, and Jones's treatment of these sacred themes is so beautiful it almost defies description. You can take the honky-tonker out of church, but you can't take the church out of the honky-tonker. Somebody say amen to that.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
In 2003, could there be anything more desirable in country music than George Jones reunited with "retired" producer Billy Sherrill? Hardly. Some will complain that the pair should have worked on an album of countrypolitan or love or drinking songs instead of a two-CD, 24-track collection of gospel tunes, but that's just cryin' in their beer. After all, this is a George Jones record, and there isn't a thing the man sings that doesn't have the weathered sound of whiskey, women, and toil in the honky tonks. Jones was supposedly inspired to make this recording during his long recovery from a serious car wreck and a subsequent case of pneumonia. Musically, the material is choice, striking, moving, and full of emotion. Jones is incapable of singing gospel music without emotion. The set is split along traditionals such as "Amazing Graze," "Just a Closer Walk With Thee," "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," "Peace in the Valley," "The Old Rugged Cross," and about eight others, and classic country gospel tunes like Stuart Hamblen's "It Is No Secret," Cleavant Derricks' "Just a Little Talk With Jesus," the Vaughan/Rowe staple "If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again," and the Jimmie Davis/Jack Campbell stalwart "I Know a Man Who Can." What matters ultimately is the performance, though, since Jones has released other gospel collections on various labels. Sherrill's silky soundscapes add a lot to Jones' voice, which is no longer the instrument it once was. There is no doubt he is still a great singer, but his ability to throw his voice around and hit the higher notes in his baritone register is all but gone. With his more limited stylistic vernacular, however, Jones digs deep and gets the tunes across, making them swing and sway with emotion and honky tonk swagger. The edges one can hear now are far from crags and they do add a certain hard-won wisdom and change to his sound, but one can't help but miss the smooth delivery of his earlier years. Nonetheless, these songs ring truer than any collection of gospel music Jones has ever released, thanks to Sherrill being able to get the finest performance possible out of him. If you had to pick one Jones gospel record, it should be this one, hands down.
Blender - Alan Light
What makes Jones country's greatest male voice is that he sings like melody is his true religion.

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Product Details

Release Date:
04/01/2003
Label:
Rca
UPC:
0078636706320
catalogNumber:
67063

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. Amazing Grace
  2. It Is No Secret
  3. Just a Little Talk With Jesus
  4. Where We'll Never Grow Old
  5. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
  6. Why Me Lord?
  7. I'll Fly Away
  8. Precious Memories  - Patti Page
  9. Just a Closer Walk With Thee
  10. In the Garden
  11. Lonesome Valley
  12. When Mama Sang (The Angels Stopped to Listen)

Disc 2

  1. Peace in the Valley
  2. What a Friend We Have in Jesus
  3. Softly and Tenderly
  4. Lily of the Valley
  5. The Old Rugged Cross
  6. Leaning on the Everlasting Arms
  7. Family Bible
  8. Mansion Over the Hilltop  - Vestal Goodman
  9. If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again
  10. How Beautiful Heaven Must Be
  11. Jesus Hold My Hand
  12. I Know a Man Who Can  - Barry "Frosty" Smith

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

George Jones   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Mylon LeFevre   Background Vocals
Glen Duncan   Fiddle
Gary Prim   Keyboards
Eddie Bayers   Drums
J.T. Corenflos   Electric Guitar
Paul Franklin   Steel Guitar
Mark Ivey   Background Vocals
Brent Mason   Electric Guitar
Louis Dean Nunley   Background Vocals
Michael Rhodes   Bass
Gordon Stoker   Background Vocals
Bruce Watkins   Acoustic Guitar
Bergen White   Background Vocals
John Willis   Electric Guitar
Curtis Young   Background Vocals
Reggie Young   Electric Guitar
Ray C. Walker   Background Vocals
Shemekia Copeland   Background Vocals
Barry Charles   Background Vocals
Michael Black   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Johann Pachelbel   Composer
Jimmie Davis   Composer
Claude Gray   Composer
Stuart Hamblen   Composer
William Shakespeare Hays   Composer
Walt Breeland   Composer
Paul Buskirk   Composer
John Newton   Composer
Billy Sherrill   Producer
Bob Warren   Composer
Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey   Composer
Albert E. Brumley   Composer
Vestal Goodman   Arranger
M. Christian   Composer
Ira F. Stanphill   Composer
Tony Castle   Engineer
Joseph Scriven   Composer
George Bennard   Composer
Charles C. Converse   Composer
Cleavant Derricks   Composer
Danny Walls   Composer
James C. Moore   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Elisha A. Hoffman   Composer
James Rowe   Composer
James W. Vaughan   Composer
Jack Campbell   Composer
C. Austin Miles   Composer
Astrid Herbold May   Art Direction
Billy April   Composer
A. J. Showalter   Composer
Will L. Thompson   Composer
Daniel Cole   grooming
Charles William Fry   Composer
Hank Williams   Mastering
C. Derricks   Composer

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