Tuesday, August 31, 2010


     Cheri Keaggy released her third album WHAT MATTERS MOST on Sparrow Records in 1997.  It opens with a bouncy, pop number 'What a Privilege' which features her uncle, Phil Keaggy by way of guitar solo and backing vocals.  The song is about intimacy with Father God: "I'll drink from Your cup/And You can fill it up/I know there'll be enough."  Next up is the title track, a ballad featuring album producer Phil Naish on accordion.  This song is decidedly about priorities: "What matters most/Is how much we love/What matters most/Is how much we give/What would it matter/If we just lived/Without loving our God/Without loving each other?"
     'Overture to Freedom' is a gorgeous instrumental track with Cheri on piano, accompanied by The Nashville String Machine and Concert Master Carl Gorodetzky.  The strings are arranged and conducted by the late Tom Howard.  When I listen to this, I can picture the graceful movements of ice skaters or dancers.  'Freedom Calling' is an inspirational anthem featuring The Soul Children of Chicago.  It shares the essence of the Gospel with these words: "There's only One who can give breath to life/Dead on a cross and then risen alive/So I could know freedom/And you could know freedom/And we could have freedom in Christ."  'Part of Your Story' is pretty and compels the listener to enter into a relationship with Christ: "Can you not sit at my table/We could be the best of friends/If you would just let me in/But you won't/'Cause you don't think you're in need."  Handing the reigns of one's life over to God strongly clashes with much of what today's society says is important and desirable.
     'His Banner over Me' and 'Glory Be' are great, original praise and worship songs.  I recommend this project to fans of Erin O'Donnell, Sara Groves, and early-era Amy Grant.  I'm giving it an 85%.