Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Based out of Millbank, Ontario, Rescue Junction has been travelling and singing together since 2009.  They started out as brother and sister duo Kyle (mandolin/vocals) and Kaitlyn (guitar/vocals) Gerber.  Now the group’s roster includes Roger Martin on banjo, Dallas Roth on upright bass, and Nick Huber on dobro.  Their official website says they “play at many kinds of venues including churches, parks, community centres, auditoriums, and the bluegrass festival circuit”.  Rescue Junction was named Most Promising Group (2013) and Gospel Group (2014) at the Central Canada Bluegrass Music Awards.  Their brand new album is ECHOES (2015).  It was produced by the group and Brad Dugas, and engineered and mixed by Dugas.  The liner notes include these thoughts: “All creation echoes an eternal home...Life on earth is a constant negotiation of two realities, nurturing and investing in the physical world around us while also preparing our souls for the eternal home we anticipate”.

The title track ‘Echoes’ is first up.  It is one of five songs on the album penned by Kaitlyn E. Gerber.  This pleasant country song anticipates Heaven:  “We were left with a promise of somewhere to belong/This fallen world we’re given is just a stepping stone/We were told of a coming, a new world without end/And if we listen closely, it echoes back again/Echoes from a home I’ve never known/But I know that’s where I’m going/It’s where I’m bound”.  ‘Along the Way’ is one of two Ron Block compositions.  This toe-tapping bluegrass number includes these poetic musings: “The double mind goes to and fro trying to believe/The single life of faith it knows and walks by what it sees/The Saviour drank His golden fill, faithful to the end/He called the cross His Father’s will/Said Judas was His friend”.  ‘Steel Wheels’ has lyrics that those who don’t like the hustle and bustle of cities will appreciate: “Well, they say the more things change the more they stay the same, but in my sleepy town I wouldn’t know that’s true/The neighbours are the same since 1988 and I wouldn’t change it even if I could/Well, things move a little slower in our little town, a take time to smell the roses sort of thing/On every hill and riverside a memory of a childhood that would rival any king’s”.

Summer McMahan of Mountain Faith appears on ‘In the Shadow of Your Wings’.  The song has a calming effect and converses freely with God: “A sparrow won’t try to deserve You/He’ll trust You to feed Him again/No man can gain Your approval but by faith in the One who washed away my sin/Oh, I want to fly like a sparrow who fears not the wrath from Your hand/He sings in the shadow of Your wings”.  ‘Hold On’ has a pulsating beat and makes good use of backing vocals.  This song reminds us that we need God as our sure anchor: “You can’t make it alone, you won’t find your way on your own/It’s a long road and hard cross to bear, and a dream if you think you’ll get there on your own/So hold on to the Rock/Stand firm, stand strong/Hold on or be lost/Narrow the road going home and heavy the heart on its own/Hold on”.  Ila Chandler Knight wrote the Southern Gospel gem ‘I’ll Live Again’.  It joyfully reflects on eternal life: “I’ll live again over on that golden strand/I’ll sing and shout with a mighty angel band/You’ll see me rise beyond the starry skies/I’ll live again over on the other side/I’ve a mansion over there built in beauty rare”.

Karen Suzanne Rochelle and Edward Monroe Hill wrote ‘He Goes to Church’.  It is a sentimental story song about a widower: “He wakes up early in the morning, puts on his only blue suit/He hasn’t quite mastered tying his tie on the way his sweet Sara used to/It’s been years since he’s talked to the Good Lord/He’s not sure he even knows how/He won’t be mowing the front yard today/He goes to church on Sundays now/No, he don’t know the words to ‘The Old Rugged Cross’ but he sings them the best that he can/Cause He knows that his angel is up there in heaven and he sure wants to see her again”.  ‘Northern Border Bound’ begins slowly in an acappella manner and then goes full tilt bluegrass style.  It is about the end of a romantic relationship: “You don’t need me anymore/No need to hang around/I’m leaving in the morning/I’ll be northern border bound.../I hear the ringing on the rails and the whistle of a train/Takes my heart a little south to your memory once again”.  ‘Just as the Sun went Down’ sounds like old-time barbershop quartet music.  It also utilizes finger snaps and recalls the events of Good Friday: “Just as the evening sun was sinking in the golden west/Hanging between two thieves, they crucified the Son of God/Mocked by the multitude, they placed on Him a thorn made crown/Love like this was never known/Jesus dying for His own/Just as the sun went down”.

‘Green Pastures’ is a ballad that speaks of the Lord’s faithfulness: “Troubles and trials often betray us/Causing the weary body to stray/But we shall walk beside the still waters/With the Good Shepherd leading the way/Those who have strayed were sought by the Master/He who once gave His life for the sheep/Out on the mountain still He is searching/Bringing them in forever to keep”.  ‘God Spoke His Name’ is a lovely bluegrass song recalling God’s boundless love for us, His children: “Compassion moved Him like an ocean tide/He sent His Son so far to die/And when they nailed Him to that rugged cross/Well, I know God spoke His Name/Salvation washed us like a gentle rain/It healed our hearts and soothed the pain/And when the sun rose on that glorious day/Well, I know God spoke His Name”.  Paul Overstreet and Ronald Alan Schlitz wrote ‘Neath the light of Your Love’.  It places full confidence in God: “Yes, I will sleep neath the light of Your love and it will guide my way till the sun comes up/If the moon and stars shall fall from above/I will sleep neath the light of Your love”.

‘At the end of that Road’ is a nice love song: “Every time I’m tired and my feet seem lost/When the wind roars and the way is dark/Well, you are the moon to my tide, pulling me back until I’m at your side/O-o-o-o/  Please rest assured, I will return/O-o-o-o/I won’t be long/Please don’t lose heart/With each turn of the wheel, I know I’m closer to home/And you’re at the end of that road”.  The last song is mainly an instrumental composed by Kyle Gerber.  It is entitled ‘fernweh’.  The origins of the word are German.  The definition is: “a longing for travel; being homesick for a place you’ve never been”.

If you are into music that involves skillful picking and plucking, rather than hard rock and roll, this album is for you.  ECHOES is a wonderful bluegrass effort with a clear and passionate Christian message.  That message is that Jesus Christ died for us and our sins and because of that we can spend life eternal in Heaven, a land of great joy and hope!  The vocals and harmonies presented here are terrific and the production is great.  Rescue Junction should have a great future ahead of them!  Hopefully they continue recording music for many years to come.  Fans of Alison Krauss, Ricky Skaggs, Dailey & Vincent, and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver should buy this project which I’m rating 93%.  For more info visit:



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Tuesday, June 16, 2015


The Watchmen Quartet’s official website states that they “began their ministry in 1968 as a group of friends who wanted to sing for a talent contest.  The contest was being sponsored by Emmanuel Bible College in Kitchener, Ontario.  They won the contest! And the bookings began”.  The rest, as they say, is history.  The group’s latest and 23rd recording is 2015’s STILL FAITHFUL.  In the liner notes the group shares: “The FAITHFUL message of the CROSS continues to transform lives today...The Watchmen Quartet still counts it a great privilege to faithfully share that great message in song”.  The Watchmen are: David Roth (sound tech), Doug Jones (lead), Tim Harden (tenor), Nick Succi (bass guitar), Roy Lewis (bass), David Jantzi (baritone), and Don McNiven (pianist).

The album opens with ‘Oh Say But I’m Glad’, a James P. and Mildred Sullivan composition.  It is a short, cheery Southern Gospel song: “There is a song in my heart today/Something that I never had/Jesus has taken my sin away/Oh, say but I’m glad.../Wonderful, marvelous love He brings/Into a heart that is sad/In darkest trials my heart just sings/Oh, say but I’m glad”.  ‘He the Pearly Gates Will Open’ is a country gospel song of testimony that makes good use of the harmonica: “Love divine, so great and wondrous/All my sins He then forgave/I will praise His Name forever/For His blood, His power to save/He the pearly gates will open/So that I may enter in/For He purchased my redemption/And forgave all my sin”.  ‘Nothing But the Blood Still Saves the Lost’ is a strong ballad written by Chris Binion.  Many older Christians will appreciate these lyrics: “The Church seems awfully different from when I was a child/The songs we sing, well, they’re not the same as they were before/Those hymnals we used long ago, it seems they’ve disappeared/Sometimes I find myself longing just to hear/’At the cross, at the cross/Where I first saw the Light and the burden of my heart rolled away’”.

‘Loving the Lamb’ reminds us that the devil is ultimately no match for Christ and us, His followers: “Through every storm Satan is trying to tell me it’s over/Why should I go on?/But the darker the storm, the more I see Jesus/And the stronger my love grows.../He failed to stop the birth of a baby/He would love to have stopped the death of I AM/He can’t hold back the coming of my King/He cannot keep me from loving the Lamb”.  Babbie Mason and Rodney Griffin wrote ‘You Were Faithful Yesterday’.  It has an old school country music vibe to it and testifies to God’s goodness to us, His children: “Since the day that I surrendered/Many years have come and gone/Joy and sadness I remember/Lord, You were faithful all along/You brought me through my lowest valley/You brought me cross the desert dry/You were my Friend when I was lonely/You whispered peace and made me smile/As I survey the joy and sorrow/I find Your love remains the same/So I will trust You for tomorrow/’Cause You were faithful yesterday”.  ‘A Sinner Saved By Grace’ is a wonderful song of spiritual humility: “How could I boast of anything I’ve ever seen or done?/How could I dare to claim as mine/The victories God has won?/Where would I be had God not brought me gently to this place?/I’m here to say I’m nothing but a sinner saved by grace/I’m just a sinner saved by grace/When I stood condemned to death/He took my place!”

Gary McSpadden wrote ‘The Plan of Salvation’, a Southern Gospel ballad that recalls the solemn events of Good Friday: “One morning at daybreak a crowd slowly gathered/They were walking my Lord up old Calvary’s hill/So sad was the scene there, all the birds hushed their singing/Like a lamb he was humbled to His Father’s own will/When the hill was ascended/The nails were then driven in the hands that had given such mercy to me/And the blood from His side flowed like a river from Heaven/A river that washed and made my soul clean”.  Mosie Lister’s classic ‘Feeling Fine’ is a peppy Southern Gospel song of positivity: “Well, I’m feeling mighty fine, I’ve got Heaven on my mind/Don’t you know I wanna go where the milk and honey flow?/There’s a light that always shines, down inside this heart of mine/I’ve got heaven on my mind, and now I’m feeling mighty fine!”  R. L. Prather’s ‘Out of Bondage’ is next.  It is a partly spoken, partly sung, upbeat Southern Gospel story song taken from the Old Testament: “Well, the Lord said ‘Son, put down that rod’/And when Moses did he cried to God, for it turned to a snake as wicked and evil as sin/Then he cried again with an awful wail/So the Lord said ‘Seize it by the tail’/When Moses did it turned to a rod again”.

‘The Jesus Medley’ clocks in at 8:29.  It is comprised of parts of six songs and is nicely put together.  It includes these Christ glorifying lyrics: “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus/There’s just something about that Name/Master, Savior, Jesus/Like the fragrance after the rain/Jesus, Jesus, Jesus/Let all Heaven and earth proclaim/Kings and kingdoms will all pass away/But there’s something about that Name”.  The album ends with Charlotte Elliott and William B. Bradbury’s ‘Just As I Am’.  Here we have a terrific acappella version of it.  It begins with these words of surrender: “Just as I am, without one plea/But that Thy blood was shed for me/And that Thou bidst me come to Thee/O Lamb of God, I come, I come!”

The group harmonies on STILL FAITHFUL are splendid!  The instrumentation is also well executed.  Instruments used include: electric guitar, steel guitar, dobro, classical guitar, fiddle, viola, mandolin, and acoustic guitar.  As promised, lyrically the songs here point us to the cross.  The listener must decide whether to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and follow Him, or to reject Him and His Truth, plain and simple.  STILL FAITHFUL is a terrific Southern Gospel album that I would say mainly people over the age of 40 will enjoy.  I’m rating this one 90%.  For more info visit:

Saturday, June 13, 2015


On their official website The Chapelaires state that their main purpose “has been to introduce people to their Saviour, Jesus, and to encourage Christians who have become discouraged as they walk through storms and valleys in their lives”.  The group’s most recent album is LEGACY OF FAITH (2015).  In the liner notes they say the following of the album’s title: “We are so thankful that we were all blessed to have Christian parents who shared their faith with us.  We thank God for the glorious legacy of faith we have in Christ.  The songs that we have chosen speak directly to the Faith we live day by day”.  David Jackson started the group back in 1968 as a male quartet.  He sings bass.  Sheila married him in 1974 and joined the group then.  Myrna Hand joined in 2004.  Over the years she has performed with the likes of The Singing Canadians and The Viscounts.  Lastly, Phil Pugh was born in Richmond Hill, Ontario in 1977.  His influences are Motown, R&B, Blues, Black Gospel, and Southern Gospel.  LEGACY OF FAITH was recorded, mixed, mastered, and produced by Tim Schwindt at River Music Productions in London, Ontario.  The graphic design was capably handled by Kathy Daw at Summit Sound, Inc.

Sanford F. Bennett and Joseph P. Webster’s well known ‘In the Sweet By and By’ is up first.  Here, it has a breezy, easy listening feel to it and paints a picture of a happy ending for believers: “There’s a land that is fairer than day/And by faith we can see it a-far/For the Father waits over the way/To prepare us a dwelling place there/In the sweet by and by/We shall meet on that beautiful shore/In the sweet by and by/We shall meet on that beautiful shore”.  ‘All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name’ is a hymn of praise that appropriately has an all around majestic feel to it: “All hail the power of Jesus’ Name/Let angels prostrate fall/Bring forth the royal diadem and crown Him Lord of all (2X).../Let every kindred, every tribe on this terrestrial ball/To Him all majesty ascribe and crown Him Lord of all (2X)”.

William J. And Gloria Gaither wrote ‘I Do Believe’.  It is a wonderful, gentle ballad of personal faith: “I do believe You are the One/The home I’ve longed to find/My only hope/God’s only Son/I do believe/I touch, I see/That all along/You’ve longed to be/My Lord, my God”.  ‘He Keeps Me Singing’ is an upbeat country gospel testimonial: “Feasting on the riches of His grace/Resting ‘neath His shelt’ring/Always looking on His smiling face/That is why I shout and sing/Jesus, Jesus, Jesus/Sweetest Name I know/Fills my every longing/Keeps me singing as I go”.

‘The Risen Lamb’ is a pretty ballad that anticipates life in Heaven: “When I see the the risen Lamb I’ll be complete/When I meet the One who gave His life that day on Calvary/I’ll bow down and worship at the feet of the risen Lamb/I’m waiting for the moment when I hear that trumpet sound/When the Father says to Jesus ‘Go get My children now’/There’ll be no more sin or sorrow, no more burden, no more pain/In that day of His returning, I will look upon His face”.  ‘The Blood Medley’ runs over seven minutes long and is a real treat performed with a celebratory country twang.  One of the four songs included is ‘There is Power in the Blood’ written by Lewis E. Jones in 1899.  These lyrics will make some skeptics scoff: “Would you be whiter, much whiter than snow?/There’s power in the blood, power in the blood/Sins stains are lost in its life giving flow/There’s wonderful power in the blood/Would you do service for Jesus your King?/There’s power in the blood, power in the blood/Would you live daily His praises to sing?/There’s wonderful power in the blood”.

‘Tradin’ the Old Cross’ is a happy sounding Southern Gospel song of spiritual determination that makes good use of horns: “I started out with a made up mind to one day cross the finish line/I’m pressing toward the mark and for the prize/At times I’ve had to stand my ground and Satan’s tried to turn me around/But I will not be hindered by his lies/No, I’m not gonna walk away, I’ve got too much at stake/I’ve come too far to turn back now/Every battle that I have fought will soon be forgot/And I’m trading this ole cross in for a crown”.  Jim Brady and Rodney Griffin wrote ‘He Can Move that Stone’ in 2009.  Many a believer will relate to these thoughts: “Sometimes it seems God’s forgotten me/Does He really care?/Is He aware of my every need?/Then I recall His Word/He controls this earth/What He brings me to He’ll bring me through/That’s good enough for me”.

Gerald Crabb wrote ‘The Cross’.  It is a moving, inspirational ballad that reflects on a pivotal historic event: “There was a cross made for the Son of God at Calvary/Two pieces of rough timber on a hill/Through His hands and through His feet/He took the nails for you and me/Angels watched as He died for the lost/Though He could have walked away, He chose the cross”.  ‘Be Still My Soul’ is a solemn sounding song of spiritual self-talk: “Be Still my soul, the Lord is on thy side/Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain/Leave to thy God to order and provide/In every change, He faithful will remain/Be still my soul, thy best, thy heav’nly Friend/Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end”.

With LEGACY OF FAITH Ontario, Canada’s The Chapelaires have released a strong and memorable album of gospel music that should appeal to various age groups.  The harmonies are tight, the vocal solos are spot on, and I really enjoy David Jackson’s bass parts.  The instrumentation is beautiful.  If you enjoy Southern Gospel music with straight forward, Christ-glorifying lyrics, this album is a must have!  I’m rating LEGACY OF FAITH 95%.  For more info and tour dates visit:

The Chapelaires’ bio states: “The message of their songs always focuses on the fact that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and through Him we can find Forgiveness, Hope, and Strength for whatever we face in this life”.  In 2013 they released their sixteenth album WHAT HAVE I TO LOSE-45TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION.  It was produced, mixed, and mastered by Tim Schwindt.  All vocals are performed by Myrna Hand, Larry Steeves, Sheila Jackson, and David Jackson.  The liner notes state: “We are now living in an age of compromise and confusion, but one thing is certain.  The Truth of God’s Word will never change.”

The album begins with a song William J. and Gloria Gaither wrote in 1980.  ‘Praise You’ is a mellow country ballad that converses with God: “Even before I came to be, Your loving eyes were looking at me/You’re even closer than the very breath that I take/Mother and father, more than a friend to me/Beginning and ending and living of life to me/The song I find myself singing when I awake/So, I will praise You/Lord, I praise You/Now, I praise You/For bearing me up and giving me wings/For lifting my sights to heavenly things/For being the song I can’t help but sing/Praise You”.  ‘I’m the Lamb’ is a mellow country gospel song that speaks of our tendency to wander off spiritually: “So many times I strayed away from Jesus/As a lamb that leaves the flock without a care.../I’m the lamb that the Shepherd left the flock for/I was out in the cold all alone/So in need when Jesus found me/He put His arms around me/And I’ll never be alone anymore”.  ‘Come Unto Me’ is a bouncy song of spiritual invitation: “Hear the blessed Savior calling the oppressed/’Oh, ye heavy-laden, come to Me and rest/Come, no longer tarry, I your load will bear/Bring Me every burden, bring Me every care/Come unto Me, I will give you rest/Take my yoke upon you, hear Me and be blest/I am meek and lowly, come and trust My might/Come, My yoke is easy, and My burden’s light”.

‘New Grace’ showcases David Jackson’s deep bass vocals.  It also reflects on one of God’s most awesome attributes: “There’s been grace for ever trial/There’s been grace for every mile/There’s been grace sufficient from His vast supply/Grace to make my heart more tender/Grace to love and pray for sinners/But there’ll be new grace when it’s my time to die”.  Rodney Griffin of Greater Vision wrote the dandy Southern Gospel ballad ‘What Have I To Lose’.  It focuses on Jesus’ uniqueness: “Show me another love that’s greater/Show me another Calvary/Show me another worthy Savior/One who’s conquered death and holds the keys/You will go and search this world/You’ll never find one/There is only One who’s ever been/Omnipotent and equal to the Father/The holy God in flesh/The Great I Am”.  ‘Celebrate Me Home’ is dedicated to Nellie Long and Aerona Steeves who’d recently went to Heaven.  It has a lullaby feel to it and reflects on passing on to the next life: “I have spent most of my life on earth preparing to take the trip from here to Heaven’s door/With the shield and Word of God to guide me/It’s a comfort knowing I am not alone/So, when I take my final fleeting breath/And fade into the gentle sleep of death/Celebrate me home, celebrate me there/Celebrate me in that land of wonder where nothing can compare/Celebrate me in that place, celebrate me saved by grace/Don’t just sit and weep because I’m gone/Celebrate me home”.

Next up is Kathy Woodward’s ‘Jailhouse Rock’.  It is a mid-tempo light rock number that recounts a New Testament event: “You should have seen that jailhouse rock when Paul and Silas started praising God/The prison doors flew open, that jailer got a shock/Those shackles could not stop them//They were singin’ from their hearts/When their praises rang to Heaven/You should have seen that jailhouse rock!”  Joel Lindsey and Jeff Silvey wrote ‘Living in the Arms of Mercy’.  It is a country gospel tune that has been recorded by The Hoppers.  The topic of it is spiritual self-reflection: “I can’t imagine me without the peace and love You give/And I don’t wanna leave the place where I can freely live/Living in the arms of mercy/Totally dependent on the grace I don’t deserve/Living in the arms of mercy/Lord, I’m down to next to nothing/But I’m dying to be worth Your forgiveness/So I’m living in the arms of mercy”.  Richard Ash penned ‘There’s No Place Like Home’.  It is a lovely song about Heaven: “There’s no place like Home (2X)/Faces I know well, somehow I can tell this is where I belong/And death I’ll not fear for Jesus is here/No matter where I roam, my heart is at God’s throne/There’s no place like home, like home”.

‘Almost Morning’ is a soothing song of encouragement that uses the sound of chimes nicely: “You can’t seem to hide the hurt written on your face/You’re broken inside, longing for love’s embrace/It might be awhile before you smile/Well, I know cause I fought that fight/And weeping may endure for the night/But it’s almost morning/Joy will replace the tears/Calm all your darkest fears, it won’t be long till the dawn/Tomorrow’s another day/To live free of all your pain/So don’t give up on your faith/Cause it’s almost morning”.  Gerald Crabb wrote ‘I Know’ which is an upbeat Southern Gospel song of celebration: “I know my sins are covered by the blood of the Righteous Lamb/I know that Heaven is waiting and the saints will soon move in/I’m not shaken cause I’m not stayin’ in this world of pain and sin/I know by the signs that are given/I know by what I’ve been readin’/I know/By every indication, Jesus is comin’ again”.  ‘At Calvary’ is a beloved hymn that includes these words of testimony: “Mercy there was great and grace was free/Pardon there was multiplied to me/There my burdened soul found liberty/At Calvary”.  A beautiful acoustic version of the title track follows.

Two Christmas bonus tracks end things off.  ‘The Same Old Story’ is a slow country song that begins by recalling the Nativity: “A baby in a manger wrapped in swaddling clothes/A little town called Bethlehem, you know how the story goes/Shepherds and the wisemen came to praise a newborn King/God’s gift 2000 years ago still makes His children sing/And it’s the same old story that never grows old/It’s still like the first time every time it’s told”.  ‘He Would Be King’ was penned by Jim Larsen.  It begins by centering in on Mary: “In a dark and musty stable, she held her newborn son/Exhausted from the labor, relieved He’d finally come/Could she have known all the joy He would bring?/Could she have known He would be King?”

WHAT HAVE I TO LOSE sounds reverent, peaceful, and calming.  Emphasis is most definitely placed on country gospel ballads.  The vocals and instrumentation are of excellent quality!  A specifically evangelical Christian message clearly comes through as one listens.  I recommend this album to older folks.  It is solid, but I would have included more fast songs on it.  I’m rating WHAT HAVE I TO LOSE 85%.  For more info visit:

Tuesday, June 02, 2015


Kelsey Lewis was born on December 31, 1994.  She is from Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, and has been singing and performing since she was six.  Her debut album is BEAUTIFUL VIEW (2013, Vintage Pig Productions).  It was produced by Richie Biggs who has worked with the likes of The Civil Wars and George Strait, and Mark Hill who has worked with Reba McEntire.  In the liner notes Kelsey writes: “First, I want to thank my God, who knew me from the beginning; who has loved me then and still loves me now.  He has walked me through each triumph and battle, and has placed music in my heart”.

The title track ‘Beautiful View’ is up first.  It was penned by Kelsey (a co-writer on all nine originals), Mark Hill, Mike Manning, and Richie Biggs.  It is a light pop love song: “You flipped my wild world upside down/Perspective’s turning new/Now down is up and you and me equals two/Getting lost inside your big brown eyes/There’s nothing I’d rather do/I’m so hypnotized and mesmerized/Ohhhhh/What a beautiful view (2X)/Honey looking at you/Oh, you’re beautiful”.  Charlie Peacock’s son Sam Ashworth performs backing vocals on ‘Ruby Red Shoes’.  It is the folk/pop song of one infatuated with another: “Dancin’ with the fireflies/Under the starlit sky/Up, up away it’s true/Just two clicks of my shiny shoes/I’m soarin’ higher/Just past cloud 9/Get up, get out, get away/Come on fly with me/Jump up, what’s your fantasy?/Sha-shake that sugar tree/Do just what you wanna do/Just take a walk in my ruby red shoes”.

‘Up in The Air’ is a wonderful ballad that uses strings and glockenspiel.  Christine Dente, of Out of the Grey fame, sings backing vocals.  Those who are facing uncertain situations will relate to these lyrics: “Don’t know where I’m going now/I’m excitedly scared/All these changes getting me prepared/I’m all up in the air from here/Don’t know where this wind is gonna blow me/Holding on to my prayers and tears/Cause I know that in time, they’re gonna grow me/Think I’m half way there/Don’t know where there is/I’m all up in the air”.  Dustin Ransom plays piano and Matt Slocum the cello on ‘Falling’.  It is a song of contentment: “Breathing in and breathing out/This wonderful lift within me now/No words exist to explain this/Sweet love I’ve found inside/And swaying to my strumming heart/As music slowly begins to start/Notes form a song, I’m singing along/A romance lullaby”.

‘Don’t Write a Song’ is a groovy rock tale of heartbreak: “You led me on like a dog to a bone/But in the end, I was really alone/The whole time/I thought you would be mine/But I guess I was wrong/Can’t believe I could be this naive/You seemed so sweet, but were merely a tease/Opened my heart, left it fully exposed/And so the storyline goes”.  ‘Naive’ uses piano, electric guitar ambience, violin, viola, and cello.  It finds Kelsey hurting: “And now/Why did I ever trust you?/Your words were just a lure/To hook my naive heart/And how could you just easily turn away/Without an ounce of apology?/I guess I really had you wrong/So long, so long”.

‘When Pigs Fly’ is a peppy pop song that finds Kelsey reflecting on a guy: “Time moves on/I’m glad you’re gone/Fixing you is like/Trying to teach a pig to fly/Up in that ba-loo-loo sky/You’re never gonna happen, but hey, why not try?/You’re like waiting for the sunshine in the darkest time of night/Twelve o’clock to be exact/You’re never gonna happen/It’s just a fact/Just a fact (2X)/But I still keep on dreamin’”.  One of the co-writers on ‘Talking to the Sky’ is Mark Heimermann.  This song uses B3 organ and violin and puts into words how it feels when God seems silent: “Show me something to lift me/Out of this empty atmosphere/Take me somewhere that frees me/So all this doubt can disappear/Give me a sign/Talking to the sky/Searching for an answer/Silence in my life/Are You even there?/Waiting for a sign/Help with second guessing/Feeling unaligned/Do You even care?”

Jerry McPherson plays electric guitar on ‘Calendar’.  It conveys a sense of romantic longing: “I miss those brown eyes/The way they talk and whisper into mine/I miss those starlit skies/Where we spin our dreams and secrets side by side/Oooooo/I miss your laugh and your smile/Why couldn’t you stay for a while?/You got me counting off the days”.  Ending things off is a cool cover of the playful classic ‘Catch a Falling Star’.  It was penned by Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss. Perry Como made it famous in 1957.   It was his last #1 hit.

Kelsey Lewis has quite simply knocked BEAUTIFUL VIEW out of the ballpark!  Her sweet and convincing vocals are right at home with the alternative pop, jazz, and folk sounds on this album.  Kelsey’s influences include: Adele, Sara Bareilles, Taylor Swift, and Etta James.  The production is spot on.  The lyrics seem genuinely born from her experiences in life.  I would in the future though, like her to write a few more songs about her faith journey.  Kelsey Lewis is an exciting up and coming artist who deserves to get a lot of airplay.  The pics of Kelsey included with this project are lovely.  I’m rating BEAUTIFUL VIEW 95%.  For more info visit: