THE BONTRAGER FAMILY SINGERS
Someone You Can Reach
All I Need - O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing - Covered By The Blood - Stand up For Jesus - Cherish The Moment - Any Road Any Cost - Blackberry Blossom - Hallelujah Salvation And Glory - Call Me Old Fashioned - Little Is Much - Someone You Can Reach
I believe this is the second, in an equal number of weeks, that I have reviewed a CD by a family made up of mom and dad and ten children. First and foremost on this CD by the Bontrager Family, is the 'word.' The 'word' here, in it's most essential meaning, is the truth behind our Lord Jesus Christ. Truth will prevail no matter what or 'who' the forces of human power are that prevail on planet earth. Truth will still be paramount, and in the final experience, humankind supported by Jesus will win, no doubt about that. It will not only win, it will save humanity. That's the 'word' the beautiful Bontrager Family shares with their listeners on this wonderfully recorded CD. On the inside of their CD jacket they very plainly let us read from Phillippians 2:16 "Holding forth the Word of Life: that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain." This family is very very gifted in their musical presentation. Their instrumentation is bluegrass oriented, but they use these typical bluegrass instruments in a much different way. For instance they don't have one fiddler, they have four . The banjo player is uniquely talented, he lets the 'flow' of the instrument, and the fast fingering he excels in, provide lovely backing rather than up-front lead instrument status. It's the same with the dobro player who also composed the first song on this delightful musical presentation. Please keep in mind, this entire family is multi-talented, and play multi-instruments. Everyone is a vocalist, whether a lead singer or a harmony singer. That's what makes a 'family' group so very adept at what they do musically, everyone has a role, and everyone has a really important role to play in the 'belief' they are expressing with everything they are doing musically. This family makes their home in Kalona, Iowa, also the stomping ground of incredible musician Keith Yoder, a good friend of mine from the past. Trey Ivy is the Producer on this project, and a wonderful job it is, especially in the 'mix' when so many instruments and levels of performance play such an important part of the final expression. This CD is going off to the Rural Roots Music Commission as fast as I can get it to them for their appraisal.
RECORD REVIEW BY: Bob Everhart, Pres., National Traditional Country Music Assn. www.music-savers.com for Country Music News International