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REVIEW: Jimmy Reno – Steel Called

Producer: Charles Baker & Jimmy Reno
Record Label: Red Country Records
Website: www.jimmyrenomusic.com

Sometimes it is nice to listen to an artist that you have never heard before and this is what I have gotten to do in reviewing this latest project by Jimmy Reno.  The project is entitled Steel Called because of the use of the steel guitar in every song on here.  For those like me, who have not heard of Jimmy, he is a former member of several Southern Gospel groups, most notably Mark209, who has embarked on a solo career. 

Several of the selections have the same theme.  The projects starts with upbeat music entitled “Cowboy Church.”  It is a perfect way to start this project.  Jimmy paints a picture of a bunch of horses coming in all directions to church.  Jimmy co-wrote this song and another one entitled “Thank You Lord, For Making Me A Cowboy.”   This is a song sung by a cowboy who loves being able to go “riding through the west while preaching your name.”  

There are a couple of other songs that center around a common theme.   Jimmy’s first radio single from this project is a very powerful song, “Be With Me.”  It starts with Jesus praying in the garden for his father to be with him, “through this thing I have prepared for all my life.”  Then the final stanza is from the cross and the agony that he had to endure for our sins.  This is one of my favorite songs from this project and if you have already heard it, you probably agree.  Along the same lines comes a country song “Nailed Down.”  As you listen to the lyrics of this song, the verses describe the hectic lives we lead but no matter what we are doing or how our lives are, we can go “to the cross the refuge for the lost, the sacred place he chose to be nailed down.”

Another song that I loved on this album is “Bus Ticket Home.”  When I saw the name of this song, I wondered what it would be about.  Well, it is a song that all of us have encountered- leaving home striking out on our own.  The child leaves home but when he gets to his destination he finds that his mother has packed a Bible and a bus ticket home, the two things he needs to make it.  They are a guide to eternal success and a way to come home if his or her dream changes.

The song, “Simple Man” says it all.  It asks the question, “what can he with me?  A Simple Man.”  A good song about his grace and mercy is “Breaking Free,” which has the refrain line, “by his grace and mercy I am breaking free.”

Jimmy added a Christmas song on the project.  The song is “Bring Them Home” which is song honoring our troops which is a prayer asking God, “my wish bring them home to their families please.”  We don’t hear songs about that from our songwriters and singers today. 

The project ends with the only non-original song Jimmy sings.  It is the old traditional song, “Give Me Jesus.”  If you are familiar with it, it is a slow-moving song which begins “in the morning when I rise, in the morning when I rise, in the morning when I rise, Give me Jesus.” It is the perfect way to end this very special project.    

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Dave Angle
Staff Writer/Reviewer