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REVIEW: Down East Boys – The Stories We Tell

Producer: Jeff Collins
Record Label: Horizon Records/Crossroads Music Group
Website: www.downeastboys.com

The Down East Boys are a quartet that has been around since 1985. The group today consists of Ricky Carden – lead, Daryl Paschal – baritone, Doug Pittman – tenor and the newest member Alex Utech – bass. This project is the first one released with this particular group lineup. They hail from Reidsville, North Carolina where Ricky calls home. The other guys live close by except for Alex who lives in Alabama. They appear on some of the big concerts like Memphis Quartet Show, NQC, Ark Encounter and lots of local churches. They travel from coast-to-coast throughout the year. You will definitely want to go out and see them if they are ever in your area or a short drive away.

Their latest project entitled The Stories We Tell was released on May 6, 2022 and is fast becoming a favorite of southern gospel music fans. They are a traditional quartet who, in my opinion, has been under-rated for many years. They are just now getting the attention they have deserved. It could have something to do with their last project having three #1 songs on the Singing News and AbsolutelyGospel.com charts.

The Stories We Tell is an incredibly good project featuring songs from many of today’s great songwriters – Joel Lindsey, Nathan Woodard, Chris Binion, Wayne Haun, Riley Harrison Clark, Tery Wilkins, Lori Kelly Woods, and Tammy Herring, just to name a few. I think we will see some more great songs from this project top the charts. These great vocalists are all featured on this project of uplifting songs that I think you will enjoy. Starting out the project is an uplifting, fast tempo toe tapping, hand clapping one Good In The Good Times and features Doug on it. Everyone loves the tenor! The message in this song is a great reminder that our God is never changing, good in the good times but even better in the bad times.

The next song The Altar was co-written by Ricky. It has a slower tempo and talks about remembering the walk down the aisle to get saved. Many of us can remember that day well and the feeling we had at that moment. God touched our life with His amazing grace and gave us victory which set us free from our sins. Before The Cross is a country flavored song that Daryl is featured on. He definitely has the twang on this one. It says that you may look like you have it all together, but you are really broken and empty inside, forsaken and lost but something happens when you meet Jesus and how your life is changed when you kneel at the cross. Many of us can attest to that for sure.

Up next is a catchy, upbeat tune Don’t Want A Maybe So that features Alex. Everyone loves the bass singer too. This song is one that says you want a firm foundation to stand on, not a guess so, may so, do not know, think about but a sure to know positivity real thing. It is a good reminder that we need to be rooted firmly in our foundation and not waiver…. we need to know! Their latest radio single Your Sins Are Forgiven is a medium to slow tempo song and is a fast chart climber in the brief time since its release. Doug does a wonderful job; it is currently at #15 on the May Singing News chart and sure to be another top hit in the coming months.

The title cut The Story We Tell comes from the project title. It is a slower tempo and Ricky does a fantastic job telling the story. His recent songs have been family related with Beat Up Bible talking about his grandma and her Bible; Those Hands was a song about his grandpa and now this one talks about how he hopes he is remembered. He wants to be remembered for things that he talked about, laughed about, times he shared and how blessed his life was because of God’s goodness and how he tried to live for Him. He hopes that is the story people will tell about him. That is the desire all of us have or hope for! Rounding out this project is an upbeat, familiar quartet classic written by Joel Hemphill. Many of us grew up listening to the Hemphill’s sing Ready To Leave.

I give this project a 4 ½ star rating. I love how the mix of songs goes from peppy, medium to slow and back to peppy and then starts over again. This makes it an easy project to listen to as you do not get bored with the songs sounding the same. Definitely one for your gospel collection, grab your copy of this project today! It is available on their website and all streaming platforms. Be sure to catch them in a concert near you, they are a real blessing!

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Carol Lawson
Reviewer/Contributing Writer
Carol Lawson has been actively involved in gospel music for over 30 years, working with many groups doing bookings and concert promotions. Carol was a gospel radio DJ for 9 years, and she previously wrote articles and concert reviews for CMP Magazine and SGImpact.