The beautiful songwriting of Rick Lang, as performed by a collection of bluegrass music’s finest players, takes us on a journey to the Promised Land in the twelve gold nuggets that Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout has to offer listeners of all ages. Dave Adkins, High Road, Marty Raybon, Kenny and Amanda Smith and The Cox Family represent only a small chunk of the contributors that take up the timeless music of Appalachia in this album, and with producer Jerry Salley behind the soundboard to shape the tonality of their melodies, all of the sonic sophistication that this album boasts is delivered with ultra-clean surgical precision. We begin with the Adkins-led “Thinkin’ Outside the Box,” which lights up the start of the track listing with evocative religious imagery skewed with soulful confessions. Adkins returns at the conclusion of the record with the equally sizzling “There is a Light,” but leaves an unforgettable imprint on the first half of the album with this stampeding, fiery string number. Jerry Salley himself lends a hand with a ton of the songs here, namely the emotional “The Back of the Church,” and while his work in the booth is as big a draw as the lyrics or music are in this record, he also doesn’t hold back as a player in his own right.
MORE ABOUT RICK LANGE: http://ricklangmusic.com/about/my-world/
God’s love for all mankind is the biggest theme in Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout, and whether it’s coming to us through the galloping rhythm of “Thinkin’ Outside Box,” The Whites’ “Don’t Tune Him Out” and Claire Lynch’s title track stomper, or the calm simplicity of The Cox Family’s “There Will Be Singing,” Larry Cordle’s folk rambler “Sunday Morning Gospel Jubilee” or High Road’s “Heaven’s Back Yard” (my favorite of the album), the message is never lost in the opulent musical translation. The lyrics sway between stoic and vivacious, but all of these artists do Rick Lang’s prose justice in their own unique way. While bluegrass fans will seek out this album on the strength of its meticulously designed string arrangements, gospel audiences will discover that the real center of this piece lies in the effervescence of the verses, which leave a lasting feeling of devotion to the divine.
As reflective in nature as it is optimistically performed with panache and gusto from start to finish, Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout has something for practically every country music lover out there who has a taste for songs that discuss more than trite materialism and egomania. Rick Lang doesn’t appear on this album, but his soul is present in the words that make it so accessible to us. Taking inspiration from The Bible and all of the positivity that it can introduce into our lives, Lang’s music is brilliantly characterized and colored by these terrific artists, who clearly have the same passionate faith as their composer does. Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout is a gospel album that doesn’t try to be anything other than what it is – pure, unadulterated bluegrass with an important statement to make about life, love and what it means to really appreciate both.
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