The roots of Southern Gospel reach back to a time when singing together was a way of life. People would come from miles around to join in song, and be a part of something that was bigger than each individual could ever be on their own. It was a real community of both Faith and music.
As an homage to that community we wanted to create a modern take on traditional Southern Gospel heritage. We asked musicians from a variety of genres, styles and bands to come together for a Revival of Southern Gospel Music.
"When They Ring Those Golden Bells" is an old hymn written in 1887 by Dion De Marbelle which has withstood the test of time, remaining relevant even today. Emmylou Harris put this song on her 1987 record "Angel Band” almost 120 years after it was written and now Drew has taken the song and made it his own with his unique voice and incredible arrangement. Drew is a passionate man; this quote taken directly from him sets the tone for his performance. "I love music. I love hearing songs that are intelligent, thought provoking, and honest. They give me hope, and those who wrote them inspire me.”
Originally written by J. D. Jarvis (1967), "Take Your Shoes Off Moses" was made popular by the Stanley Brothers and Ricky Skaggs, but it was the version of Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys with Keith Whitley singing lead, that first caught Courtney's attention. Her arrangement pays tribute to the song’s bluegrass roots, the sound of which saw a resurgence during the 1960’s. Courtney's expansive voice, laced with deep Texas twang, gives new life to old themes of finding love and freedom where you can and trying to hold yourself together when it slips away.
"By The Riverside" is a Negro spiritual which pre-dates the American Civil War. Though it was first published in 1918, the song's deep spiritual origins have kept it alive through present day. Ben & Micah Hester of "Isaac & Adele” lend the purity of their soulful voices to a modern arrangement of this southern gospel standard.
Written by Colbert and Joyce Croft in 1975, "I Can't Even Walk" has been recorded many times but remains an elusive "diamond in the rough" in terms of popularity. Jamie is one of the most versatile musicians that graced these recordings and we see her doing what she does best; she found this song and put together an arrangement that places it second to no other.
Born to a family of traveling musicians, it is little wonder how talented Josh Masters is. Though he started playing fiddle at 5 years old, it didn't take long for him to add guitar, bass, piano, mandolin, and drums to his repertoire. Known for his musicality and ability to adapt to any genre, Josh currently spends his time producing music from his private studio and performing weekly at Lone Star Cowboy Church in Montgomery, TX.
Ever since he bought a copy of Van Halen's 1984 back in '84, Brian Rung was a changed man. After promptly putting white masking tape all over his red Harmony strat (from the Sears catalog) he set out to play like Eddie. It eventually led him to an affinity for playing guitars and stringed instruments, be it steel, electric, or acoustic. Though he claims to have retired from music, he is still lauded for his work with Bruce Robison, Jamie Wilson, The Trishas, and Jason Eady.
Phil "The Darkness" Hook gets around. He may call Wimberly, TX home, but you are more likely to find him on a stage anywhere from Austin to Madrid. As self-taught drummer Phil built his musical foundation on AC/DC's Back in Black and eventually worked his way over to Southern Blues, Soul-Funk, East Coast Hip-Hop, and Doom Metal. He currently lends his talent to NGHT HCKLERS, the Cord Carpenter Band, and Yellow Dog Studios.
Each song was hand picked by each artist with complete freedom given to them for how they wanted to perform it. The arrangements were done on the day of recording, with each member of the band contributing to how they wanted the song to sound. It is a true effort of creativity, friendship and love of the craft of music.
The recordings were done in one take with no overdubs or reshoots. What you see is truly what it was like being in that room... listening and feeling all of the songs performed. Our goal was to breathe life back into songs that needed some attention and to revive a genre that impacted so many artists of today. We hope you love it.
Schneider Dancehall was built in the early 1930's just outside of Columbus, TX and was an active music venue until it was shut down when the Schneider brothers left to serve in World War II. In the decades that followed it was used for small functions, but mostly served as barn for hay and cotton as it weathered in the hot Texas sun. In 2010 the family renovated it (keeping the original wood in place) and it is now open again for private parties.
Here are some great photos that were taken behind the scenes during the day of recording... head over to that page to see them!
If you'd like to see the previous Southern Gospel Revival from 2012 you can head over to that page.