Producer: Bill Gaither & Gordon Mote
Record Label: Gaiter Music Group
The Gaither Vocal Band has been a fraternity of powerhouses and iconic voices for as long as it has been in existence. Another thing synonymous with the long storied history is that of praise and worship music. When the Gaither Trio and even in the early years of the Gaither Vocal Band started, it was Praise and Worship songs and a genre that wasn’t southern Gospel (but something new) that was popular: the genesis of the Jesus Music movement and the CCM universe. That was where the Gaither name was most associated with in the early and mid 80s. In the past few years, this latest iteration of the Gaither Vocal Band (consisting of Adam Crabb, Todd Stuttles, Reggie Smith, Wes Hampton, and Bill Gaither) have had success with songs like “Chain Breaker” and “Jesus Messiah.” So, in the words of Bill “Why not” record an album of current and well known worship songs. So now we have this new album from the Gaither Vocal Band: Let’s Just Praise the Lord.
The album opens with the calm and soothing voice of Mrs. Gloria Gaither reading from Psalm 103. It is the perfect way to start this album. As the Matt Redman classic “10,000 Reasons” begins, we are drawn into a sense of worship. Adam Crabb then brings the song “Reckless Love.” Some people have an issue with this song due to the lyrics, but I think it’s fantastic.
Next up is a “cover” of David Phelps original arrangement from the Greatly Blessed album from about 10 years ago of “You Are My All in All/Canon in D” (of course this version is in the key of F). I think this vocal lineup delivers it so well. There’s something cohesive about this Vocal Band that makes for a soothing listen. A couple of years ago, this lineup recorded the Zach Williams hit “Chain Breaker.” That same version is here, so nothing new to cover on this same track. Once again, “Revive Us Again” is also a previous track included on this album that again is lifted from the original recording.
The entire group splits verses on the now classic “Revelation Song” by Kari Jobe. This is a great worshipful moment. If you can watch the live version of this you’ll be drawn in. The next song isn’t a cover or a new recording, this a new song altogether. It has a very strong choral feel. “Oh, Can You See It” is from the pen of Bill & Gloria Gaither and Woody Wright. This is a stellar song. “Man of Sorrows” is another previous track recorded a few years back.
“Way Maker” has quickly become one of the most sung songs in churches all across the country. The Vocal Band gives this song the life and power it needs. I love the spontaneity of this song; it’s such a great one! Todd delivers that bridge with such conviction! There isn’t a single song in the history of the world more popular than “Amazing Grace.” Well, back in the mid 2000s, a fairly new worship artist named Chris Tomlin added a bridge “My Chains are Gone” to the classic and now almost 20 years later this arrangement and lyric has become almost as engrained as the original hymn. Pulling out some of John Newton’s original lyrics, this endearing classic is given the perfect treatment and delivery.
“Jesus Messiah” is another classic from a previous Gaither Vocal Band album. The album closes with probably my all time favorite Gaither lyric: “Worthy the Lamb.” There have been two iconic versions, well this third iteration is just as powerful. There’s something soul stirring about the combination of the wall of of sound in that final chorus and the addition of the choir. It moves you in a way that is rare, but almost happens every single time!
Let’s Just Praise the Lord is a great offering of modern praise and worship songs, a few classic hymns, an original and a Gaither classic! There are videos accompanying each song on the iTunes/Apple Music version. So if you can watch those, be sure to because it captures the true sense of worship. As Gloria said at the beginning
“Bless the Lord! O my soul and ALL that is within me. Bless His holy name…” – Psalm 103:1