Tuesday, May 17, 2011


     That the TORCHMEN QUARTET have a rich history is attested to by the following statement from the liner notes of their album ENJOY THE JOURNEY (2009): "Since 1969 more than 40 singers and musicians have held up their torch through the group proclaiming that the Light of the World is our Saviour, Jesus Christ."  Fans of Southern Gospel and country and western music will appreciate the instrumentation on this album, which includes steel guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, dobro, and harmonica. 
     Two upbeat numbers start off this record.  'Take me to that Mountain' was written by group member David Randall and tells of a desire to have a spiritual plateau experience: "Take me to that mountain/High up to a place/Where I can feel the sun shining down upon my face/Oh high above the dark clouds that's where I wanna roam/Just take me to that mountain/When I'm there I'm almost home."  'I've enjoyed the Journey' shares the secret of a happy life: "I've enjoyed the journey walin' with my Lord/When the enemy surrounds me/He is my shield and sword/There's no need to worry, no need to fret/He will not leave me and He's never failed me yet/I've enjoyed the journey/Walkin' with my Lord." 'When Heaven's Joy is Mine' is a ballad that looks ahead to the afterlife: "What a great homecoming/What a morning/As I leave this world behind/There forever with loved ones rejoicing/When heaven's joy is mine."  'Gonna get my feet Wet', again written by David Randall, tells the story of Peter stepping out of the boat to meet Jesus, and reminds us we need to be ready when God calls us to do something.
     'Cast all your care on Jesus' is a slow ballad that is a good reminder for those going through trials: "Cast all your care on Jesus/He gave His life for you/Cast all your care on Jesus/No matter the test/He'll see you through." 'Roll Away Jordan' is a fun sounding song of defiance, with a bass vocal lead: "If you're waitin' for my troubles to get me down/Well friend there ain't no use you hanging around/'Cause I don't care what comes my way/It can't be big enough for what you hear me say/Roll away trouble river/Roll away."  'When I rested in the Lord' describes how life can be without the Lord: "Tryin' to cope with the pressures of life/Left me with a weary days and sleepless nights/Searched for the answer not knowin' the question/I was runnin' fast but in the wrong direction."  'Mine Eyes have seen Thy salvation' is the first of three consecutive songs that Rodney Griffin of GREATER VISION has songwriter credits on.  It reflects on Simeon's experience when he encountered Christ at the temple: "He said 'Mine eyes have seen Thy salvation/For I have seen the Lord/I've touched the hope of the ages/Jesus the Living One.'" 
     'I like it All' talks of the joy of Christian fellowship: "I like the way that it feels when the Spirit is real/And the people are in one accord/I like the love that I sense when we're gathered together and take turns to brag on the Lord/There's no place for me that I'd rather be/'Cause at the church house I have a ball."  'That's why there's Forgiveness' contains the following words of truth sung in a spirit of thanksgiving: "God knew when He saved me/I could not live a sinless life/And no matter how hard I tried I still would fail/But He made provision/With His Son's sacrifice/And now my sins are overshadowed/By three rusty nails."  'First One to Get there and the Last One to Leave', one of my favourites, tells the conversion story of a drunkard who trades in drink for church activity involvement.  The last song, 'Sing Shout Shine' is a happy one with a bass lead: "So He guides me on my way/Keepin' me safe from day to day/And I know I'll travel to a better place." 
     ENJOY THE JOURNEY is the type of album that will grow on you.  I'm giving it a 78%.  For more info visit http://www.torchqt.com/.  Thanks to Mike and the rest of the Torchmen.