Fans of Ann-Margret's music are required to have eclectic tastes considering the variety of her recordings. God Is Love: The Gospel Sessions, her first new album in a long time, travels in entirely new and surprising directions, even for someone already recognized for her versatility. In collaboration with the Jordanaires, long-running Western swing ensemble the Light Crust Doughboys, and gospel great James Blackwood, Ann-Margret has made a real down-home gospel album, mostly comprised of songs by Doughboys bassist Art Greenhaw. His love of gospel traditions comes through on "Low Singing Bass," a nostalgic Statler Brothers-style ensemble vocal piece that name-checks several legendary gospel artists. "The High Road" and "Looking Through a Stained Glass Darkly" add a little rockabilly riffing to the mix, while Blackwood and the Doughboys enjoy a few solo turns on standards like "I Am a Pilgrim" and "Peace in the Valley." Don't expect Ann-Margret's typical dramatic performances because she sings sweetly and softly here, but you can tell she's having fun in this new context. "The Hallelujah Yodel Lady" is a particular highlight (although, to answer the obvious question, she doesn't yodel). Ann-Margret recorded too little in the decades prior to this release, which is a shame considering her apparent willingness to experiment.
Performance CreditsAnn-Margret Primary Artist
James Blackwood Background Vocals
Jim Baker Violin
Ray C. Walker Track Performer
Art Greenhaw Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Piano
John Walden Violin
Gerald "Jerry" Elliott Guitar
Technical CreditsJordanaires Vocal Arrangements
Tom Fritze Engineer
Brad White Engineer
Phil York Engineer
Robert Greeson Art Direction
Art Greenhaw Arranger,Producer,Vocal Arrangements,Adaptation
Mike Olson Engineer
Adrian Payne Engineer
Steven Christensen Engineer
Tim Cooper Engineer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
God Is Love: The Gospel Sessions based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
There's a reason this cd has been nominated for both a 2002 Grammy award and DOVE award...it's a touching, inspiring, hope-filled piece of work by Ann-Margret and company. Art Greenhaw does an amazing job with his new songs and choosing legend Ann-Margret to interpret them was a stroke of genius. Pick this up, you won't regret it.
I am an Ann-margret fan, but I am also honest. This album does not reflect positively on Ann-margrets talents as a singer. I don't know if its because her voice hasn't aged as well as her looks or the right songs haven't been chosen for her vocals. The background music is too corny and her voice at times is too horse. Sorry Ann!
This fabulous album of fresh, new inspirational classics combined with southern-style style gospel evergreen songs is a classic in the Americana-roots music field. Brave in its simplicity, and bold in its back-to-the-basics approach to American gospel music, this masterwork can be compared to Willie Nelson's breakthrough RED-HEADED STRANGER, Johnny Cash's recent work, Kingston Trio classics, Dolly Parton's bluegrass---it's simply the message of the Billy Graham-approach to the Gospel put to joyous words and music. This CD is a glorious example of folk music with a message, guaranteed to warm the heart and pat the foot of all but the most Scrooge-like of souls. Don't expect Ann-Margret's broadway-style singing approach here. This is a down-home, guitar-filled, gospel album, and the best in its field. Soaring, all-day-singing, dinner-on-the-ground vocals by The famous Jordanaires, and Texas-style country accompaniment by The Light Crust Doughboys. If you want to hear the great Ann-Margret sing more like Barbra Steisand, buy her Broadway-styled, heavily produced songs on a different CD. If you want to hear the best spiritual music this side of heaven, sung by maybe the world's most romantic singer, and sung like she's singing especially for you and her Lord, get this CD---quick. This album is destined for the Grammy Hall of Fame in 25 years!