Wednesday, June 06, 2012


Elizabeth South is a full-time elementary music and drama teacher.  Her bio states: "Elizabeth's music explores the eclectic styles of theater, spirituality, romance, ballad, and even dance.  She pours her heart into every song she writes.  Her Music Therapy background has also found a home in her music, being both healing and uplifting.  Her voice has been described as mysterious, magical, soothing, and angelic." 

In 2010 she released THE MYSTERIES OF OUR MINDS which birthed the successful single 'Have Faith.'  Her latest album DO IT AFRAID came out on November 1, 2011.  It was produced by former White Heart member Billy Smiley for Northern Shore Productions.  Several years ago Elizabeth developed stage fright.  These words from the liner notes reveal the key concept behind the album: "The album title and song, 'Do It Afraid', were inspired by Joyce Meyer's book, Do It Afraid.  In the book, she shared Elisabeth Elliot's real life story of facing her fears of returning to ministry after her husband had been killed by the very people they had ministered to.  Always remember that no matter what you are called to do in life, don't give up, because God will always be with you, even if you have to do it while feeling afraid." 

The CD begins with the first radio single.  'I Will Trust You' is one of six songs South and Smiley wrote as a duo.  It extols the Lord: "You are love, You died for me/You heal my weary soul/You lift me up and keep me from falling/Forgive and make me whole.../You are the Maker of the heavens and the earth/You are the only One who knew me before birth."  It is apparent from the get go that Elizabeth has a pleasant, easy to listen to voice.  'Higher' based on Romans 8:35-39, is a great praise and worship song.  Blair Masters who has toured as a keyboard player for Garth Brooks and Casting Crowns is one of the writers: "Fight your battles on your knees/And watch Him do amazing things/Every trial that comes your way/He will hear you when you pray/Nothing will ever separate us/No nothing from the love of God/Neither death nor any powers/Will overcome His love for us."  'Arms of the Savior' is a gentle ballad that finds Elizabeth resting in the Lord: "There's a truth that is seldom known/That I'm in the center of what He's already done/So I'm waiting for what's yet to come.../I'm in the center of Your will/Of Your grace/It can't be erased/I'm in Your presence in this place/I see Your face/In the arms of the Savior."

'Fall to My Knees' is a song of gratitude, inspirational in sound: "Your love is greater than everything in life/The Maker and Healer on high/I will always love You/I will always praise You/Lord, in Your name I'll delight/You brought me from darkness to light/Your ways are perfect/Though I'm not deserving/You brought me to this place/Where You go before me/And lead me to the waters/Of Your unending grace."  'Do It Afraid' is a strong title track that builds in momentum.  It doesn't hurt either that White Heart lead vocalist Rick Florian adds his talents to the track!  The song speaks of the benefits of having a deep trust in the Lord: "When I am lost, when I am trembling/These steps of faith I will take/And when I obey in spite of my feelings/You'll do amazing things/When You open doors that I need to walk through/There's nothing impossible to do."  Fittingly, the next cut is White Heart's classsic 'Desert Rose' from their terrific 1990 album POWERHOUSE.  The version here is nicely performed by Elizabeth and even has White Heart bassist Anthony Sallee playing on it.  The song admits that following the Lord and His will is not always a happy or easy task: "Lost in a windswept land/In a world of shifting sand/A fragile flower stands apart/And there in that barren ground/You feel like the only one/Trying to serve Him with all your heart.../Sometimes holiness/Can seem like emptiness/When you feel the whole world's laughing eyes/But if it's a lonely day/Know You're on the Father's way/He will hear You when You cry."

'Still' was co-written by South with George Cocchini.  He has worked with the likes of Joe English and DC TALK.  'Still' is a soft sounding song of hopeful anticipation: "One day I'll stand on glassy sea/Kneeling down before the/Throne of God, I'll be set free."  These words bring to mind Revelation 22:3 which says: "No longer will there be any curse.  The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and His servants will serve Him."  'Surrender' was penned solely by South and has her coming to the end of her own efforts: "Overcome the world says/Conquer everything/Don't give up/Fulfill your deepest needs/Surrendering is a dark and ugly word/In a world where we must self rely/I have been in control now for so long/I'm ready to surrender, to surrender all.../I am ready to surrender all/To surrender all to Christ." 

In Philippians 2:9-11 Paul writes: "Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."  'Holy Holy Holy' written by Mark Swayze continues the theme of surrender and adds to it praise: "Here I bow in holy awe/I am Yours my life, my all/Here I am to hear You speak/You're my God/And You're my King/Holy, Holy, Holy/Is the Lord God Almighty/Who was and is and is to come (2X)." 

A pretty instrumental version of 'I Will Trust You' follows.  The album ends with the bonus track single 'Don't Give Up on Your Love'.  It was programmed and mixed by Joel Wild and has George Cocchini on electric guitar.  The song has been described as "pop/rock/electronic dance style."  It could just as well have been released by Madonna or Kylie Minogue.  It contains these words of determination: "You gotta take a stand/When the doors slam/Don't let anyone make you lose your ground/Don't give up/Don't give in/Find the freedom that love can give/Don't give up/Don't give in/Fan the flame of the fire within." 

In the liner notes Elizabeth writes: "I feel blessed to have the opportunity to create another beautiful album that expresses my beliefs.  So many people in this world deal with fears and doubts.  It is my hope that this music will inspire faith, courage, perserverance and love."  Most of the album finds Elizabeth in the musical vein of Twila Paris and traditional praise and worship music.  Musicians that appear include John Catchings (cello), Billy and Brennan Smiley, Ken Lewis, and Scott Dente from Out of the Grey.  The photographs of Elizabeth accompanied by a sunflower were taken by Ben Pearson and are absolutely beautiful.  Elizabeth should be the next Bachelorette if she is available!  I'm rating DO IT AFRAID 84%.  For more info visit