Steve Green was born on August 1, 1956 in Portland, Oregon. He spent a lot of his early life in Argentina as the son of Baptist missionaries. Later on, he was a member of the music groups Truth, The New Gaither Vocal Band, and White Heart. In 1984 he released his self-titled debut album. He quickly became an inspirational favourite! In 1992 he released HYMNS: A PORTRAIT OF CHRIST (Sparrow). It was produced by Greg Nelson and executive produced by Peter York. Of the album, Steve had this to say: “Heritage is usually not appreciated in our youth, but as we grow we begin to value more the wealth of our legacy. So it is with the hymns. They have been part of my life as long as I can remember...I see them as a rich inheritance passed down to us from those who have loved and worshipped our Lord”.
Three of the background vocalists on the first song, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy’ are: Bonnie Keen, Beverly Darnall, and Guy Penrod. It is a nicely orchestrated, majestic song of praise that begins with these words: “Holy, holy, holy!/Lord God Almighty!/Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee!/Holy, holy, holy!/Merciful and mighty!/God in three Persons/Blessed Trinity”. ‘Spirit Medley’ makes great use of a traditional choir. Daniel Iverson’s submissive worship chorus ‘Spirit of the Living God’ is included: “Spirit of the living God/Fall fresh on me (2X)/Melt me, mold me/Fill me, use me/Spirit of the living God/Fall fresh on me”.
‘Christ the Lord is Risen Today’ is an upbeat favorite at Easter and includes these words of victory: “Love’s redeeming work is done/Alleluia/Fought the fight, the battle won/Alleluia/Death in vain forbids Him rise/Alleluia/Christ has opened Paradise/Alleluia”. Blair Masters plays synthesizers and David Huntsinger plays piano on ‘The Lord’s Prayer’. It includes both spoken word and singing and makes these now familiar requests of God: “Give us this day our daily bread/And forgive us our debts/As we forgive our debtors/And lead us not into temptation/But deliver us from evil”.
Steve delivers a powerful vocal on Charles Wesley and Thomas Campbell’s classic ‘And Can It Be’. This song joyfully reflects on the atonement: “And can it be that I should gain/An interest in the Savior’s blood?/Died He for me who caused His pain?/For me, who Him to death pursued?/Amazing love!/How can it be/That Thou my God shouldst die for me?” ‘How Great Thou Art’ starts off sounding like a grand film score with horns and organ. It looks forward to Christ’s return: “When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation/And take me home/What joy shall fill my heart/Then I shall bow in humble adoration/And there proclaim/’My God how great Thou art!’”
A somewhat subdued version of Thomas Chisholm and William M. Runyan’s ‘Great is Thy Faithfulness’ follows. It is a testimonial: “Great is Thy faithfulness (2X)/Morning by morning new mercies I see/All I have needed Thy hand hath provided/Great is Thy faithfulness/Lord unto me/Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth/Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide/Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow/Blessings all mine with ten thousand beside”. ‘Praise Medley’ includes these poetic lines from a jubilant hymn: “Crown Him with many crowns/The Lamb upon His throne/Hark how the heavenly anthem drowns all music but its own/Awake my soul and sing of Him who died for Thee/And hail Him as Thy matchless King/Through all eternity”.
The next selection, ‘Savior Medley’, is easy listening in nature. These lines praise God’s wonderful creation and His Son: “Fair are the meadows/Fairer still the woodlands/Robed in the blooming garb of spring/Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer/Who makes the woeful heart to sing”. Last up is a version of ‘Amazing Grace’ that includes just two verses. These words look forward with great joy to Heaven, our eternal home: “When we’ve been there ten thousand years/Bright shining as the sun/We’ve no less days/To sing God’s praise/Than when we first begun”.
HYMNS: A PORTRAIT OF CHRIST is an outstanding, inspirational album. Choirs and The Nashville String Machine are nice touches. These tried and true songs of the Christian faith declare who God is and what He has miraculously done to redeem humankind from sin and hell. These songs also offer a proper response of praise and worship directed to God. There is no doubt that Steve Green is one of the all time greatest male vocalists of our time! He sings with passion, feeling, and accuracy. I’m rating this record 98% and recommending it to fans of Sandi Patty and David Phelps. For more info visit: www.stevegreenministries.org.