Friday, November 25, 2011
EVERYTIME I FEEL THE SPIRIT
The album begins with 'There's Power in the Blood' written by Lewis E. Jones. It is a song of triumph with a campmeeting feel to it: "Would you be free from Your burden of sin?/There's pow'r in the blood, pow'r in the blood/Would you o'er evil a victory win?/There's wonderful power in the blood/There is pow'r, pow'r, wonder working pow'r/In the blood of the Lamb/Yes, there is pow'r, pow'r, wonder working power/In the precious blood of the Lamb." The title track is next. It is a traditional black spiritual and includes fiddle by James Pennebaker: "Ev'ry time I feel the Spirit moving in my heart, I will pray (2X)/The Jordan river is chilly an' cold/It chills the body but not the soul/There ain't but one train upon this track/It runs to heaven, Lord it comes right back." 'How Great Thou Art' has an upbeat, old country feel to it, and marvels at God's plan to redeem fallen humanity: "And when I think that God, His Son not sparing/Sent Him to die/I scarce can take it in/That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing/He bled and died to take away my sin." 'In the Garden' written by C. Austin Miles in 1912, is mellow, and depicts an intimate relationship between God and man: "And He walks with me/And He talks with me/And He tells me I am His own/And the joy we share/As we tarry there/None other has ever known."
The next couple of tracks are two of my favourites. 'From Depths of Woe' is a ballad written by Martin Luther and Luke Smith. It features the pretty background vocals of Myla Smith, and has Clay crying out to God: "From depths of woe/I raise to Thee/The voice of lamentation/Lord turn a gracious ear to me/And hear my supplication." 'Gotta Serve Somebody' was penned by Bob Dylan in 1979 and was previously covered by Mesa in the CCM market. It has a funky, groovy, sound with strong background vocals by Ann and Regina McCreary: "You may be a preacher with your spiritual pride/You may be a city councilman taking bribes on the side/You may be working in a barbershop, you may know how to cut hair/You may be somebody's mistress/May be somebody's heir/But you're gonna have to serve somebody/Yes, you're gonna have to serve somebody/Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord/But you're gonna have to serve somebody." 'O Sacred Head Now Wounded' finds Clay accompanied by Phil Madeira on piano and somberly reflects on Christ at Calvary: "O Sacred Head now wonded, with grief and shame weighed down/Now scornfully surrounded with thorns Thine only crown/How art Thou pale with anguish/With sore abuse and scorn!/How does Thy face now languish, which once was bright as morn."
'That's Enough' by Dorothy Love Coates is upbeat and finds Clay having church: "So many times I didn't have a dime/Didn't tell nobody but the Lord/He heard my plea, He came to see about me/He's my all in all/You push me down, Jesus picks me up/Sticks by me when the goin' gets tough/I've got Jesus and that's enough." 'Just a Closer Walk with Thee' acknowledges God as Protector and Keeper: "When my feeble life is o'er/Time for me will be no more/Guide me gently, safely o'er/To Thy Kingdom's shore/To Thy shore." 'I Need Thee Every Hour' written by Annie S. Hawks and Robert Lowry in 1872, falls into the easy listening category, and is a song of humility: "I need Thee every hour, Stay Thou nearby/Temptations lose their pow'r when Thou art nigh/I need Thee, oh, I need Thee/Every hour I need Thee/Oh bless me now my Savior/I come to Thee." The album closes with the modern hymn 'Wonderful Merciful Savior' written by Dawn Rogers and Eric Wyse in 1989. It is a grateful song of worship given a country touch, which I quite enjoyed: "You are the One that we praise/You are the One we adore/You give the healing and grace/Our hearts always hunger for/Oh our hearts always hunger for."
I recommend EVERYTIME I FEEL THE SPIRIT to fans of Bob Dylan's "Saved" album, Larry Norman's "American Roots" album, Elvis Presley's gospel work, old country, and the Gaither Homecoming series. I'm rating it 85%. Clay Crosse has reinvented himself on this project and I'd love to hear a sequel to it. His vocal creativity is to be applauded. For more info visit http://www.claycrosse.com/ or http://www.holyhomes.org/.