In September 2004 Dave Randall won the Solo Talent Competition at the National Quartet Convention in Louisville, Kentucky. He sang the Canadian national anthem at 2005’s MLB All Star game. Many know Dave for the seven years he spent as the lead singer for Ontario’s Torchmen Quartet. He also sang for almost two years with the U.S. based The 4 One Quartet. He has recorded three gospel albums, a Christmas album, and a children’s album. His latest album I STAND AMAZED-FAVOURITE HYMNS (2014) has been nominated for a Covenant Award from GMA Canada for Southern Gospel Album of the Year. It was produced and engineered by Rick Ash. The songs presented here were requested by Dave’s concert audiences, friends, and family. ‘Amazing Grace’ and ‘The Old Rugged Cross’ are not included here because Dave has already recorded them on previous projects.
First up is the title track ‘My Savior’s Love (I Stand Amazed)’. It is a soulful song that makes good use of organ sounds and begins with these words of praise: “I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene/And wonder how He could love me/A sinner condemned, unclean/How marvelous, how wonderful/And my song shall ever be/How marvelous, how wonderful is my Saviour’s love for me”. ‘Leaning on the Everlasting Arms’ is given an upbeat country gospel treatment. It is a song of spiritual contentment: “Oh, how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way/Leaning on the everlasting arms/Oh, how bright the path grows from day to day/Leaning on the everlasting arms/Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms/Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms”.
Caitlin Hallett plays violin on the reverent ballad ‘At the Cross’. It reflects on the crucifixion: “Was it for crimes that I have done He groaned upon the tree?/Amazing pity, grace unknown/And love beyond decree/At the cross, at the cross/Where I first saw the Light and the burdens of my heart rolled away/It was there by faith I received my sight/And now I am happy all the day”. ‘Since I Have Been Redeemed’ is a light Southern Gospel song of testimony: “I have a Home prepared for me since I have been redeemed/Where I shall dwell eternally since I have been redeemed/Since I have been redeemed/Since I have been redeemed, I will glory in His Name/Since I have been redeemed/I will glory in my Saviour’s Name”.
‘Great is Thy Faithfulness’ is one of the all-time great hymns of the church. Here it is given the traditional treatment and nicely uses chimes. It begins by boldly and lovingly declaring who God is: “Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father/There is no shadow of turning with Thee/Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not/As Thou hast been Thou forever will be/Great is The faithfulness (2X)/Morning by morning new mercies I see/All I have needed Thy hand hath provided/Great is Thy faithfulness/Lord, unto Me”. ‘At Calvary’ has a funkified feel to it musically and includes doo-wop style background vocals. These lyrics speak of redemption: “By God’s Word, my sin at last I learned/Then I trembled at the law I’d spurned/Till my guilty soul imploring turned to Calvary/Mercy there was great and grace was free/Pardon there was multiplied to me/There my burdened soul found liberty at Calvary”.
‘In The Garden’ is an old easy listening favourite. It uses violin and is about intimacy with Father God: “He speaks and the sound of His voice is so sweet the birds hush their singing/And the melody that He gave to me within my heart is ringing/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”. Of ‘Blessed Assurance’ Dave shares: “One huge blessing for me was that I got to record a song with my oldest daughter Chelsea. My biggest regret is that I didn’t have her sing more on this project. Maybe next time”. It is a song of great joy: “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine/Oh what a foretaste of glory divine/Heir of salvation, purchase of God/Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood/This is my story, this is my song/Praising my Saviour all the day long/This is my story, this is my song/Praising my Saviour all the day long”.
A laid back version of ‘How Great Thou Art’ follows. It reflects with awe on the atonement and Christ’s return: “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 burdens gladly bearing/He bled and died to take away my sin/When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation/And take me home/What joy shall fill my heart/Then I shall bow in humble adoration/And then proclaim/’My God, how great Thou art!’” ‘It is Well with my Soul’ begins with these words of great faith and trust in God: “When peace like a river attendeth my way/When sorrows like sea billows roll/Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say/’It is well, it is well with my soul/It is well/With my soul/It is well, it is well with my soul’”.
‘Jesus Saves!’ reminds us to share our Christian faith with others: “We have heard the joyful sound/Jesus saves! Jesus saves!/Spread the tidings all around/Jesus saves! Jesus saves!/Spread the tidings all around/Jesus saves! Jesus saves!/Bear the news to every land...Onward ‘tis our Lord’s command/Jesus saves! Jesus saves!” ‘Jesus Paid it All’ is an inspirational song both musically and vocally. These lyrics speak of redemption and purification: “I’ll wash my garments white in the blood of Calvary’s Lamb/Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe/Sin had left a crimson stain/He washed it white as snow”.
‘He Lives’ features lovely congregational singing by Bethel Baptist Church in Strathroy, Ontario. It is a joyful gospel song about our living Saviour: “He lives! He lives!/Christ Jesus lives today!/He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way/He lives! He lives!/Salvation to impart/You ask me how I know He lives, He lives within my heart”. Last up is ‘My Jesus, I Love Thee’, a sweet song of gratitude: “I love Thee because Thou hast first loved me/And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree/I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow/If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus ‘tis now”.
Dave Randall is a bona fide gospel music vocalist and it shows clearly on this collection of songs whose lyrics have stood the test of time very well! Dave sings these treasures of the faith with passion and conviction. The background vocals by the Anna Minster Singers are well placed and well performed. They add a lot to this project. Jordan Ash plays lead guitar, while Lucky Haskins also provides guitar parts. This album is most likely to appeal to those 40 and over due to its main musical genre. I would classify it more as inspirational music than Southern Gospel. I would also have liked a few toe-tappers included for variety. This is a pleasant, mellow album though. I’m rating I STAND AMAZED: FAVOURITE HYMNS 88%. For more info email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 519 599 5797 or connect with him on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/dave.randall.5682?fref=ts