Connected Grassland to Gloryland[CD]
Quoted Review By: Paul Davis, New Christian Music NCM Radio Show & U.K. Country Music Association (CMA) CONNECTED: GRASSLAND TO GLORYLAND ANCHOR CROSS RECORDS 'Produced by Ronnie Reno (son of the legendary Don Reno and a musician's musician), a man clearly born with 'country' in his DNA. So, wow! If you like to musically break into tingling bluegrass pins-and-needles, you'll like this. Thirteen sweet gospel goodies, a delightful mix of new and old, the songs will leave you toe-tapping or deeply meditating in introvert mood. Here's a grassroots manifestation of the Gospel on full throttle. The CD joyfully lays it all out on the solid 'good tidings line' with great abandonment and honesty, and is highly recommended. Lynn's earthy-deep velvet-vocal is as mature like seasoned wine, the class that comes only with skill and experience. His repertoire includes pick-out testimonial tracks that come directly from-the-heart with an evocative quality. Yes, indeed! Here's an impressive mixture of his such original story-song compositions plus traditional evergreens and collaborations. The sessioners give the album project an extra-special, fantastic feel.' PAUL DAVIS Here is a baker's dozen of standard, traditional and new Gospel bluegrass renditions that will get your toe to tapping with bluegrass fervor on some tracks while giving both an inspirational lift and a Spirit-filled rendition on the next. But, never does it lose it's deep Christian momentum or reverence. With the resonant lead vocals of Lynn Beckman coupled with the tight harmonies of Nashville bluegrass legend Ronnie Reno and, on two songs, the added voice of Mary Beckman, these thirteen songs will continue to be at the top of any Gospel play list or music collection. Even those not especially drawn to bluegrass Gospel are hailing this CD as one of the best values to come along in a quite a while. The album kicks off with a bluegrass version of an old-time church favorite taken from the hymn books of yesteryear entitled, "THE ROYAL TELEPHONE." This traditional song, written in 1919 and virtually forgotten by most, talks about the Christian prayer life and the ease of communication between the believer's heart and the throne room of heaven via the "royal-designed telephone system" created by the Heavenly Father. This great classic tune was selected as the lead title for this project because it sets the overall theme that follows song-by-song in one way or another; that being "CONNECTED: Grassland To Gloryland." The "connection" theme continues with other standards and traditional tunes that include: "PRECIOUS MEMORIES," MEETING IN THE AIR," " UNCLOUDED DAY;" "IF I COULD HEAR MY MOTHER PRAY AGAIN;" and "LIFE'S RAILWAY TO HEAVEN." The creative pen of Lynn Beckman, and co-writer Mary Beckman on two of the new songs, add more depth to the overall theme with renditions that include: "TELL THE STORM;" "WHAT HURT HIM MORE;" "AN ENDLESS WALK;" "THE HOLY SPIRIT STREAM;" and "GOD KNOWS." To round out the album are new songs written by others including "IF NOT TODAY MAYBE TOMORROW" written by Ellis L. "Buss" Harvey and "I ROLL ON FOR JESUS" written by Rodney C. Uphold. This project was recorded at the famous Hilltop Studios in Nashville and features the instrumental talents of Ronnie Reno on acoustic rhythm and lead guitars; Mike Scott on banjo; Jackie Miller on fiddle and acoustic lead guitars; John Mayberry on mandolin; and Robin Smith on upright bass. It was produced for Lynn Beckman Music Productions and Anchor Cross Records by Ronnie Reno who just prior to coming into the studio to put his hand to this project had completed work on the unequaled newly released all-bluegrass musical venture of Merle Haggard. As country and bluegrass followers will know, Ronnie's artistic, production, craftsmanship and legendary musical skills were sharpened from his earliest boyhood years as a mandolin player in his father's band, the famous DON RENO and RED SMILEY bluegrass duo entourage, and then for 5 years on the Grand Ole Opry as a third harmony voice and guitar player for hit makers THE OSBORNE BROTHERS and following for 9 years as a band member, front man, harmony singer and studio musician with COUNTRY SUPERSTAR MERLE HAGGARD. His talents and writing skills have netted him television notoriety, awards for the authorship of songs including some recorded by the late Conway Twitty, and his own recordings for various labels. In addition, Steve Chandler served as the recording and mixing engineer on this project. Steve works continually with all of the best studios and most notable artists in Nashville but has a specialty for capturing acoustic quality and ambiance at the "big board." This CD promises to be a constant favorite that will have an "evergreen" future in Gospel, bluegrass, country and spiritual circles for many, many years to come. How can it miss when it features so many favorites, so many outstanding new tunes and legendary musicians? These guys are "pickers to be proud of." This is a "must-have" release that begs to be ordered or downloaded "pronto"!!!!
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