From the Vault...


Bill & Gloria Gaither
"Let Freedom Ring: Live From Carnegie Hall"

© Spring House Records

track listing
  • This Land Is Your Land
  • When We All Get Together
    With The Lord
  • New York City
    We Got A Song
    For You
  • God Bless The USA
  • I Pledge My Allegiance
  • My Country 'Tis Of Thee
  • Redeemed
  • So High
  • When He Calls I'll Fly Away
  • Great Day
  • You'll Never Walk Alone
  • More Than Wonderful
  • A Few Good Men
  • The Star-Spangled Banner
  • It Is Well (Elisha's Song)
  • Lean On Me
  • Battle Hymn Of
    The Republic
  • God Be With You
  • Let Freedom Ring

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    Bill & Gloria Gaither related sites:
    Bill & Gloria Gaither Website
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    Ike & Tina Turner--Greatest Hits
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    Bill & Gloria Gaither
    "Let Freedom Ring: Live From Carnegie Hall"

    I am a HUGE fan of Bill Gaither -- especially his group, the Gaither Vocal Band. Bill and his wife Gloria, have collaborated on many albums. Whether it's the two themselves, or with help from their fellow Christian Homecoming Friends, their work has inspired what true traditional Christian/Gospel music is -- GREAT MUSIC. Their 2002 release, Let Freedom Ring: Live From Carnegie Hall reached #1 on the Billboard Christian Albums Chart. And listening to it, its a no-brainer as to why it reached the highest spot on the chart. (And amazingly so, how Gaither's music hasn't had as many #1 Christian albums as he should.)

    Playing at Carnegie Hall would have to be one of the highest points in any musician's career. For Gaither, it's really no surprise he would play there, due to how he has achieved his music throughout his career. The surprise would be if he would never play at Carnegie, yet alone the surprise of having less than a handful of #1 albums, on the Billboard Christian Albums chart. (I'm sure there are other charts where his name at the #1 spot is heavily mentioned.)

    The album begins with the classic, "This Land Is Your Land" a great version indeed, featuring Terry Blackwood, Sue Dodge, Ernie Haase, and The Talley Trio. The Gaither Vocal Band sings on "When We All Get Together With The Lord" The Gaither Vocal Band is 'nuff said on this one -- they are just great on this song.

    Great harmonies are on "New York City, We Got A Song For You" featuring Mike Allen, Wesley Pritchard, Woody Wright, and Reggie Smith. "God Bless The USA" by Ivan Parker is a good version, yet not as great as Lee Greenwood's. The Gaither Vocal Band returns with "I Pledge My Allegiance." It's a good song, and very spiritual. POWERFUL best describes "My Country 'Tis Of Thee" featuring Mike Allen, Allison Durham Speer, Kim Hopper, and Dean Hopper.

    The Martins have the next two songs: "Redeemed" is a song of accapella greatness. Church revival power has "So High." Russ Taff and Jessy Dixon provide a bluesy gospel feel on "When He Calls I'll Fly Away."

    Any music fan SHOULD know "Great Day" by the Old Friends Quartet.

    Armond Morales' deep low voice is haunting on "You'll Never Walk Alone." "More Than Wonderful" combines Christian/Gospel great Sandi Patty, and the soulful voice of Larnelle Harris. Both of these artists have been recording music since the late 1970s. "A Few Good Men" features Woody Wright, Terry Blackwood, Sherman Andrus, Reggie Smith, Wesley Pritchard, and Guy Penrod. The Isaacs' "Star-Spangled Version" is beautifully sung. Also by the Isaacs', "It Is Well (Elisha's Song)" has a great Country/Bluegrass feel. (Fans of Alison Krauss will like this one.)

    "Lean On Me" features Stephen Hill, as it is the Bill Withers classic, [not the Club Nouveau version (thankfully)]. Very soulful, very (black) Gospel. "The Battle Hymn Of The Republic" features Terry Blackwood and David Phelps -- traditional choir sounding. (David Phelps being a member of the Gaither Vocal Band, and Terry Blackwood of The Imperials -- great duet, great music). "God Be With You" features Jessy Dixon. It is very Soulful, and reminds me of Mighty Sam McClain. The album ends with the title track, very moving, yet a little haunting in a way.

    Here's a listing of Bill & Gloria Gaither's Homecoming Friends who participated on Let Freedom Ring: Live From Carnegie Hall

    FriendFriend Website
    Mike Allen
    Sherman Andrus
    Terry Blackwood
    Jessy Dixon
    Sue Dodge
    Allison Durham Speer
    Gaither Vocal Band
    Ernie Haase
    Larnelle Harris
    Stephen Hill
    Dean Hopper
    Kim Hopper
    The Isaacs
    The Martins
    Armond Morales
    Old Friends Quartet
    Old_Friends_Quartet (Wikipedia)
    Ivan Parker
    Guy Penrod
    Sandi Patty
    David Phelps
    Wesley Pritchard
    Wesley Pritchard (Wikipedia)
    Reggie Smith
    Russ Taff
    The Talley Trio
    Woody Wright

    After listening to this live concert, I am sure that seeing Bill Gaither and his friends is truly an experience -- Spirtual, moving, perfect harmonies, and religious of course, in the best Chrisitan faith there is. If you're not a Christian or Gospel admirer, Bill Gaither's music will definitely change that. Hopefully in my lifetime, I can get a chance to see Gaither and Company in concert.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Spring House Records and is used for reference purposes only.

    Previous Review: #1257
    Ike & Tina Turner--Greatest Hits
    Next Review: #1259
    The Band--Stage Fright