Tuesday, May 03, 2011


     The Proverbs just recently shared the stage with gospel music legends Russ Taff and Janet Paschal in Belleville and Ottawa, which speaks to the calibre of their artistry.  dis-tract-ed is the 21st complete album recorded by the Proverbs since they began in 1967.  It came out this year.  It begins with the laid back 'Hazy Days' which is a prayer to God to rescue them from a spiritual fog: "Guide my steps with Your hand/Keep me firm in Your plans/Lord rescue me from these hazy days."  Next up is the first of three songs written by group member Karyl Tymciw assisted by Jeremy Daw (son of group members Dave and Kathy Daw).  'Distracted by God' is an adult contemporary number that speaks of the many things that draw our attention away from God, including television, sleeping in, and bad moods.  The song advises: "Somehow we've gotta come to our senses/Want the world to see I'm distracted by God/Some roads are paved with good intentions/Choose to be distracted by God."  'Runaway Train' has a funky sound to it and using the story of Paul and Silas in jail, praises the merits of using praise to rise above one's circumstances.  'When I Hear the Thunder' sounds like early Amy Grant or Twila Paris and is born out of a deep faith in God through adversity: "When I hear the thunder and I think I'm goin' under/I remember You're the lifter of my head/You've had a thousand chances to change my circumstances/Thank You Lord for changing me instead."  'Get Away Jordan' is a classic toe-tapping spiritual on which Dave Daw gets his bass vocal on.  'There is a God' is an inspirational ballad that gives evidence for our Father God: "There's a beauty to the dawn/A rhythm to the rain/A silence in the soul that I just can't explain...There's a debt that has been paid/A grace that I've been shown/A hope that I've been given/That I have never known."
     'I Can't Help Myself' is about our fundamental need for God and His goodness. 'God is There' is another inspirational ballad.  It reminds us that God is everywhere.  He's with those in the hospital, the young pregnant mother, and the parent awaiting the return of their prodigal child: "God is there in the middle of Your night/Every single moment, every single life/He's reaching for you right where you are/The God of the impossible is never very far."  The Imperials took the celebratory 'I'm Forgiven' to Number One for thirteen weeks in 1980.  Of 'Your Song', a mid tempo Silverwind type tune, Karyl writes: "Praising God with our voices is not only Biblical, but empowering and therapeutic...The simple act of singing about God's goodness invigorates and rejuvenates the soul."
     'Over the Mountain' is the first of two Sheri Easter written songs and reminds us we are on a journey working towards a goal: "I may not be over the mountain/But I can see the other side/Just a glimpse makes me wanna lift up my hands and throw back my head and smile/This journey has left me weary/But I know God's been faithful to guide."  'That's God for You' falls into the easy listening category and was inspired by Rob O'Prey, a man who loved singing gospel music and died of a brain tumor.  Th song talks of the value of hindsight: "Though you may have felt you were all alone/When you look back He was there/He went before you/That's God for you."  The album ends with "I Don't want to Cry', a mid tempo song with this word of encouragement: "Life can getcha down so low/Leave you wanderin' all alone/But if you have the will to stand/He'll reach out to hold your hand."
     The strengths of dis-tract-ed are the smooth lead vocals of Kathy Daw, and the solid instrumentation including saxophones, keys, guitars, and horns.  If I had one complaint, it would be that there aren't enough fast songs in the mix here.  All in all, I'm rating this one an 80%.  For more info, or to purchase, visit http://www.theproverbs.com/.  Thanks to Dave, Kathy, and Karyl.