Karen Lynne waited a long time and came a great distance (from Australia to Nashville) to record this gospel record. The results should make her feel that the wait and the journey were worth it.
Go immediately to the third track, “Coat Of Many Colors” (a duet with Stella Parton), or to the fourth, “Will There Be Any Stars,” or to the tenth, “In The Garden.” Lynne’s handling of those three staples of inspirational song make a strong statement of her gift as a singer, both the power and emotion of her delivery and her understanding of lyric, phrasing, and control. She never sounds forced or strained and she always flows and bends through the melody expertly. Listen, for example, to the gentle strength and control she brings to the word “roses” in the second line of “In The Garden.” That speaks volumes. It sounds simple because good singers make it sound that way, but it’s not.
Once you’ve heard those, go back to the beginning with the Carl Jackson/Jim Rushing tune “Little Mountain Church House,” a lovely number in a nice medium tempo. That’s just one of many highlight tunes. “Your Presence Is My Favorite Gift,” simple, direct and prayer-like, is another one. The vivid description of a funeral and the sadness and hope that comes with it, found in “I Will See You Again,” is yet another. And the two Tom T. and Dixie Hall tunes would have to be cited, as well. Their “Walk Slow” and “He Loves To Hear You Shout” are both uplifting, and Lynne gives them the vibrancy they require. Also included are the good feeling of the call-and-response “Lord Lift Me Up,” and the closer, the upbeat Jerry Salley/Sheila Stevens straight-up bluegrass tune, “Send The Angels Down.”
Backing Lynne on this extra fine recording are, among others, Mike Bub, Randy Kohrs, Tim Crouch, Aaron McDaris, and Josh Williams. (Karen Lynne Music, P.O. Box 250, Wentworth Falls, NSW, 2782, Australia, www.karenlynne.com.)BW