Saturday, November 05, 2011


     In the liner notes for Cindy Morgan's HYMNS & SPIRITUALS-SOME GLAD MORNING (2011, Somerset Entertainment Ltd.) she writes: "I think most people would say one of their first points of connection to God almost always leads back to a church with age-old wood pews, creaky wood floors that smell of lemon Pledge, a choir singing, possibly an out of tune upright piano in the corner and songs that we've known our whole lives, the same songs that our parents and grandparents before us sang.  For me, this is certainly the case."  The version of the album I am reviewing is available at Target and is Cindy's favourite.  I have a handwritten note to prove it!  The album begins with a rootsy, unique arrangement of Alfred E. Brumley's 1920's classic 'I'll Fly Away' featuring Chris Donohue on upright bass.  It points to the hope that Christians hold dear: "Some glad morning when this life is o'er/I'll fly away/To a home on God's celestial shore/I'll fly away" and "Just a few more weary days and then I'll fly away/To a land where joy shall never end/I'll fly away."  'Worry' has an Americana feel to it, is co-written by Morgan with Jeremy Bose, and features Jason Goforth on banjo.  The song tackles one of humanity's rivals: "It won't add a day to your life/It don't help you sleep at night/Lord I sure am tired of this fight/Worry, why do I worry/Why do I doubt Thee/What do I do it for?"  'Touch the Hem' is written by industry vet Phil Madeira and showcases nice background vocals.  It is an invitation to draw near to the Lord: "Listen friend His voice is speaking/And for You His heart is beating/You will find Him if you seek Him/Touch the hem of His garment/There's a blessed assurance that will conquer my fears/There's a river of healing/That will wash all my tears." 
     'Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring/Sweet Hour of Prayer' includes pretty piano playing and cello.  It emphasizes the importance of communion with God: "Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer/That calls me from a world of care/And bids me at my Father's throne/Make all my wants and wishes known/In seasons of distress and grief/My soul has often found relief/And oft escaped the tempter's snare/By thy return, sweet hour of prayer."  'Just as I am/I Come' is a ballad co-written with Laureen Smith that reminds us that God is waiting for us to rely on Him: "He will whisper in the stillness/In the storm He shouts your name/Come to Me with all your burdens/Come to Me with everything/Come, Come" and "So walk across the barren desert/And meet Him at the water's edge/Hidden by the Rock of Ages/No more fear and no more tears to cry/Come."  'Our Father (The Lord's Prayer)' is another ballad.  It echoes Jesus' hearfelt prayer in the New Testament and contains additional words by Cindy Morgan: "Our Father which art in Heaven/Hallowed be Thy name/Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done/On earth as it is in heaven/Hallelujah, hallelujah/Let Your Kingdom come/Let Your will be done/Your will be done."
     The next two tracks are a couple of my favourites.  'Go Tell the Angels' is co-written with Jeremy Bose and is a song of repentance: "Go tell the angels/Tell the angels/Forget everything I ever done/Go tell the angels to tell the Lord I've had my fun/Go tell the angels/Tell the angels/I'm tired of being on the run/Go tell the angels/Go tell them that the battle is won."  'Working on a Building' has also been covered by the 77's in recent years.  It has a stripped down feel to it and stresses the importance of the Lord's work: "I'm working on a building, I'm working on a building/A Holy Ghost building/For my Lord, for my Lord" and "If I were a liar/I tell you what I would do/I'd stop all my lying and start working on a building with you/If I were a drunkard/I tell you what I would do/I'd stop all my drinking and start working on a building with you." 
     'It is Well' is given a very laid back treatment.  It would be good to use for your devotional time.  It gives a reason for the hope Christians hold on to: "Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come/Let this blest assurance control/That Christ has regarded my helpless estate/And hath shed His own blood for my soul."  'Well Done' is a stellar song written by Cindy Morgan and featuring Phil Madeira on hammond b3.  It offers these words of encouragement: "When pain is deep and grief is great/And it's hard to make it through the day/Walk onward soldier to the gospel truth/For the crown and the glory is waiting there for you."  The last song is 'Praise the King/Amazing Grace' written by Morgan in 1998.  It is a song of adoration: "Praise Him for the blood that fell and bloomed a rose that day/And praise Him that he suffered through the guilt, the grief, the shame/Oh and praise Him that His tender love will still forgive today/Oh praise Him all ye people, praise the King." 
     Cindy Morgan's voice has matured nicely over the years, and she is aging beautifully as is seen by looking at the pictures of her included with this project.  I recommend HYMNS & SPIRITUALS to those who appreciate folk, old country, bluegrass, and black spirituals.  If you are drawn to Patty Griffin, Sara Groves, latter era Johnny Cash, and the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, you will enjoy this album.  My only complaint is that I wish there were a couple more upbeat numbers included on the disc.  I'm rating HYMNS & SPIRITUALS 87%.  For more info visit