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REVIEW: The Perrys – John 3:16

Producer: Wayne Haun
Record Label: StowTown Records
Website: www.perrysministries.com

The COVID pandemic has put many artists in a tough spot the last couple of years, causing several to come off the road, either temporarily or for good.  For a time, it looked as if the future of the Perrys wasn’t looking so good…but after a short hiatus, Libbi has brought the group back and though it’s a different line-up from a couple years ago, they sound as strong as any iteration of the group before them!  Along with Libbi and Jared on alto and bass respectively, the new group consists of lead singer Scott Brand and baritone Jamie Streetman, and they have a solid sound with Libbi and Scott at the forefront.  This new recording is an excellent culmination of patience, determination and perseverance, as the group showcases a new look, but still has that rock solid Perrys sound!

Scott’s powerful lead vocal kicks things off with the title song, “JOHN 3:16 IS CALLING OUT TO YOU”, which is the current radio song for the Perrys.  This is a bit of a different song for the Perrys, and they do an excellent job with it before the tempo is kicked up for the brass infused, Joel Lindsey/Wayne Haun penned, “I THINK I’LL JUST GO ON”, which is tailor-made for the Perrys.

Joseph Habedank, Tony Wood and Daniel Doss penned the tender, “HEAVEN TO ME”, which features an outstanding performance by Scott.  This is one of the highlights of the recording and I look forward to the possibility of hearing this song on radio, as it would be a spectacular song for the group.  The song has an excited expectancy to it, similar to previous Perrys hits like “Celebrate Me Home” and “I Will Find You Again”, but has a different message…“just to see the One who took my shame, just to hear the Savior speak my name, just to be in the presence of my king, as long as I’m where Jesus is, that’s Heaven to me”.  It’s definitely one of the true highlights of the recording.

With its steel guitar intro, Scott and Libbi are featured on the medium tempo, “TELL THE GRAVE”.  Written by Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey and Shelby Haun, the song has that old-time Goodman feel it, and I think this would be another great song for radio, as it fits the Perrys like a glove.

I was thrilled to see the Perrys record an older Kyla Rowland tune, “CALVARY’S TOUCH”, which was co-written with Karen McPherson and again, features both Scott and Libbi.  The song is an awesome reminder that the reach of the cross goes far beyond just what happened that day…”Calvary touched many things on that day, mercy was crucified and from His wounds came grace, I stand in amazement, I rejoice in victory, for the wonder of it all, Calvary touched a sinner like me!”  I also love the inclusion of the chorus from the hymn “At Calvary” as a tag at the end, which was a perfect capstone for the song.

Marcia Henry penned the up-tempo, “BAPTIZED”, which features Libbi.  This progressive country infused tune is probably the weakest track on the recording, as I don’t think it quite fits the Perrys.  I hear someone like Gold City or Karen Peck & New River knocking this song out of the ballpark.  Nonetheless, it’s a solid effort by Libbi and the group.

Newest member of the Perrys, baritone Jamie Streetman steps up to sing the medium tempo, “WHATEVER IT TAKES”, before Jared is featured on the country feel of “GOD DID”.

Many people may remember the McGruders, and you may also recall that the song “WARMIN’ UP” was one of their sugar sticks.  Not everyone can tackle this song effectively, but the Perrys were brave enough to bring this song back and Scott did a superb job capturing the energy a song like this requires.  No, it’s not the McGruders, but it’s the Perrys, and it’s a fantastic inclusion on this recording and one of my personal favorites.

Libbi closes out the recording with one of my favorite Goodman classics, “THAT SOUNDS LIKE HOME TO ME”.  I have long felt Libbi could make this song her own, and I was thrilled to see she recorded this grand song.  She did an excellent job rendering her own performance of this heartfelt song, and it closes out the recording perfectly.

This is a solid effort by the Perrys and showcases the current group perfectly.  Scott is featured prominently throughout the recording, which was a smart move as he is the primary front man for the group.  There are lots of possibilities for radio singles on this recording, so the shelf life of the recording could be very lengthy.  As they continue to gel as a cohesive unit, I look forward to hearing more from this iteration of the group and I am excited about the future of the Perrys!

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James Hales
Head Reviewer at Absolutely Gospel
James Hales, from Durham, North Carolina, has been a writer for AbsolutelyGospel.com since 2000. James is our featured reviewer and also contributes to monthly features periodically.