Monday, June 16, 2014

CD: BRUCE & BETSY MULLEN Two Doors Down From Jesus


BRUCE & BETSY MULLEN
Two Doors Down From Jesus
 
Two Doors Down From Jesus - I'm Safely In The Arms of Jesus - Call on Him - Fried Chicken and Lemonade - Oh Dear Brother - New Day
 
Today must be good gospel day for me.  Bruce Mullen had a hand in writing all six of these songs (except "I'm Safely In The Arms of Jesus which was written by Sonny Throckmortan), and also sings the lead vocals.  Excellently done 'experience Jesus' style of gospel music, with terrific backing.  Deanie Richardson is on fiddle doing a remarkable job.  Tim Atwood on keyboard; Billy Thomas on drums; Mike Baker on lead and rhythm guitar; Matt McGwee on bass; and John Hienrich on pedal steel, flute, and mandolin.  What's interesting about this particular gospel offering is that the Mullen's have included the 'tracks' of the songs they cut in the studio, along with a lyrics sheet, so anyone can sing along with these great story songs.  With the Mullens, or without, it's both fun.  I thought I might have recognized the name "Bruce Mullens" and I was right.  He recorded for Dot Records in California.  He also worked with and for Buck Owens, and signed with Capitol Records.  The Royal Gorge Bridge in Colorado is the home of Buckskin Joe, where Bruce entertained for 25 years.  He and his wife have three grown sons, and now spend time with the TRAVEL'N OPRY covered wagon show doing classic country and gospel music.  The couple lives in the state of Washington, but it doesn't say where they recorded this extremely well done CD.  Bruce is very good at writing 'story' songs, which is so missing in today's top-40 country music.  I got this CD a little late, but I'm going to forward it to the Rural Roots Music Commission anyway.  They still have some time to select Gospel CD of the year awards, and besides they also have many categories. Both Bruce and Betsy are fine vocalists, and I believe Bruce plays guitar, and Betsy plays guitar-bass.  Terrific combination of love-infused Christian music from both of them. My favorite song is "New Day" I like the lead line really well, and the lyrics are very inspirational.
Bruce & Betsy Mullen, P O Box 1151, Northport, WA 99157
 
REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART - NTCMA - www.ntcma.net
for Country Music News International Magazine

CD: GLORIA NIHART I Will Be Glad


GLORIA NIHART
I Will Be Glad
 
Israel Will Blossom & Bud - Bill Gaither's Song - He's My Jehovah - I Will Be Glad - I'll Be Serving Jesus - Charlie Won't It Be - My Eyes Are Crying - Silent Night
 
I'm an early fan of Gloria Nihart, a lovely Native American lady who brought me some of her work in her very formative time.  That first effort was iffy, but Gloria stood by her talent, she stood by her desire to serve the Lord Jesus Christ, and she stood by her determination.  Today, she is emerging as a very gifted singer of great gospel music.  This CD is all original songs (except for Silent Night) written by Gloria.  This is her musical ministry.  It has taken her to the door step of Bill Gaither, the incredibly popular television personality.  Her writings are her gift to those of us who need to hear how the teachings of Jesus affects other people.  This particular CD is more in the 'classic' mode.  Not old-timey, and not modern either.  She is more concerned about getting her message across, and that's the important work of a good songwriter, and Gloria does that with great ability on this work.  I can't say, by listening to Gloria, who her idols may have been in the music world, but I do know this, she stands alone and stands strongly for Christ.  Because of this, she is able to attract listeners to her lovely music.  It might also be noted, that all eight of these songs might be considered 'prayers' set to music.  Gloria is asking the Lord Jesus to respond to the needs of her musical lyrics.  Not sure where she recorded these originals at, but the backing is supreme.  Very nice piano, guitar, bass, Dobro, and other instruments done extremely well backing Gloria.  She has a very personified voice, unique, and quite good.  A real picker-upper for anyone feeling a little down.  Gloria is going to be on the LeMars Festival, be sure and visit with her, catch her shows, take home her CD's, you will be pleased.
Gloria Nihart,  420 4th Ave., SE, Stewartville, MN 55976
 
REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART - NTCMA - www.ntcma.net
for Country Music News International Magazine

CD: WILBUR & ELIZABETH FOSS Country Old Time & Gospel


WILBUR & ELIZABETH FOSS
Country Old Time & Gospel
 
What A Friend We Have In Jesus - Amazing Grace - Faded Love - Jesus Loves Me - In The Sweet By & By - Sweet Hour of Prayer - Home Sweet Home - Great Speckled Bird - Send Me The Pillow That You Dream On - Nancy's Hoedown - Westphalia Waltz - Elizabeth's Waltz - I Need Someone To Hold Me When I Cry - Flop Ear Mule - Born To Lose - Take These Dhains - North Dakota Waltz - Suitors Waltz - Bachelors Waltz - Picking Wild Flowers For Mary - Please Come Back To Your South Dakota Home
 
I was in for a real surprise when I put this CD on the turntable.  I get so tired of listening to today's 'so-called' country music, I really needed a pep-me-up, and this CD of old-time songs, played the old-time way, did exactly that.  Wilbur and Elizabeth are both in their 80's and 90's now, not sure which is which, but I believe this particular recording was done some time ago.  Elizabeth is singing on "Great Speckled Bird" and that sounds from the past to me.  She also sings on "Send Me The Pillow That You Dream On" and her voice is very strong, very beautiful, very believable, which tends to make me think this is from an even earlier time.   I believe this because it is so well done.  She sings several more old-time songs, all of them well done.  They have full backing on each and every song.  Wilbur is a master left-handed fiddler, and Elizabeth is a pianist of the first order.  Together they have been keeping the old songs alive, entertaining any and all who will take a minute to slow down in the fast lane.  The backing musicians are quite good, falling right in with what the Foss's are doing.  The selection of material is especially important, each and every one of these songs were at one time very very important to the entire upper Midwest.  Songs full of memories, songs with special meaning, songs with a special touch to the heart. I was especially waiting to hear Wilbur sing "Picking Wild Flowers For Mary," but this one didn't pop up on the player.  I'm not sure where the Rural Roots Music Commission is on 'old-time CD of the year' but I certainly will pass this along to them.  Thank you Wilbur and Elizabeth Foss for some magnificent memories of days gone by, and thank you for a return to what 'country' music was, and should be.  I even call it 'rural' music now so as not to be confused with what is called country on the radio these days.
Wilbur & Elizabeth Foss, P O Box 527, Scotland, SD 57059
 
REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART - NTCMA - www.ntcma.net 
for Country Music News International Magazine

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