Producer: Ricky Atkinson
Record Label: Resting Place Music
Ricky Atkinson is a phenomenal songwriter penning such great songs as “Resting Place”, “Blessed Be the Name of the Lord”, “I’m Blessed”, “Jesus Can” and many others. He started Ricky Atkinson & Compassion about 20 years ago, and the group toured regularly for about 5-6 years before his brother and sister-in-law, Sam and LaBreeska came off the road. For a few years afterwards, Ricky traveled as a soloist and later put together various combinations of vocalists to comprise “Compassion”. Fast forward to just a few years ago when Sam and LaBreeska rejoined Ricky to perform a few select dates and since then, they have released 3 “Reunion” recordings, with this release, “Reunion 3”, being their 3rd installment. Though not intended to be a mainline release, I felt it was worth a review. Their music has become a mainstay on the revival/campmeeting circuit, and I am just as much a fan of their music as I was back in the day.
The recording starts out with an acapella rendition of the old song, “HAVE YOU BEEN TO THE LORD IN PRAYER”, before LaBreeska sings the Rusty Goodman classic, “WHO AM I?”. With just a simple piano accompaniment, it’s a highlight of the recording.
The tempo picks up for the song “COME ON IN”. Many of you may remember this song as the lead-off song for Gold City’s iconic “Double Take” live album from 35 years ago, and the group does a good job on the song before slowing things back down for the song, “IT CAME TO PASS”, which features Sam.
LaBreeska steps back up to sing the Dottie Rambo classic, “REMIND ME, DEAR LORD”, before the tempo kicks back up for “THIS WORLD IS NOT MY HOME HERE”. Featuring both LaBreeska and Ricky, it’s an enjoyable tune and a highlight of the recording.
The next two songs, “HE’S STILL SETTING MY PLACE AT THE TABLE” and “EVERYWHERE I LOOK, THERE IS A BLESSING”, are worth the price of the recording and are the true triumphs of the recording. Featuring excellent performances by Sam and Ricky, they are wonderful songs expressing God’s forgiveness, mercy and grace and are my personal favorites from the recording. I think they both could do well at radio if they were to release them.
The medium tempo, “I GIVE YOU THANKS”, features LaBreeska and leads perfectly into “I HAVE BEEN BLESSED”. I first heard this song a few years ago by CT and Becky Townsend and it’s a popular song on the campmeeting circuit and the group does a great job on the song before closing things out with the classic, “THANK YOU LORD FOR YOUR BLESSINGS ON ME”.
This is a wonderfully reflective recording…reflecting on the goodness and blessings of God and the thankfulness we should feel. As I stated earlier, while not intended as a national, mainline release, it’s a really good recording overall. Some of the songs feature just the group with only the piano, as Ricky provides excellent piano accompaniment on several songs. The remainder of the songs are with borrowed tracks. I will mention that the songs with tracks have a noticeable difference in quality, the group pulls them off very well. I would love to hear these guys put out a quality mainline release, and hopefully that is in the works at some point down the road. But these “reunion” recordings are great, and this latest one is their finest of the three. If you haven’t listened to Ricky Atkinson & Compassion lately, it’s time to catch up and hear what you’ve been missing!
(stars denote personal favorites)
Have You Been to the Lord in Prayer
Who am I?**
Come on In
It Came to Pass
Remind Me, Dear Lord
This World is Not Home Here**
He’s Still Setting My Place at the Table**
Everywhere I Look, There is a Blessing**
I Give You Thanks**
I Have Been Blessed**
Thank You Lord for Your Blessings on Me**