Billy Dean & Friends
2018 - BDMG. Billy Dean is one of the most unappreciated artists of our time. His angelic male vocals create an euphoria of pure music. As the story goes, Billy was challenged by a friend to record his first Gospel album. This album includes a beautiful array of classic Gospel hymns mixed with a few contemporary tunes. The album opens with an instrumental version of “Amazing Grace,” an adaptation that captures the honesty of the tune. The album progresses with Dean’s variation of Kris Kristofferson’s “Why Me Lord;” where he gains help from TK Wetherell, Marvin Goldstein, Earl Lee and The Boys of Tallahassee. Billy includes other notable classics like “Blessed Assurance,” “What A Friend,” “I Saw The Light,” “Old Rugged Cross,” and “Battle Hymn of The Republic.” Dean teams up with Susan Ashton to create a dainty version of “In The Garden.” Billy re-writes the lyrics to his 1992 hit song “If There Hadn’t Been You,” to create an elegant Gospel parody called “If There Hadn’t Been You Lord.” This project includes another unknown song with “I Am A Child of God.” This children’s song is considered an anthem of the Church of Later Day Saints. It is a delight that Dean would include such a delicate song. The fault of this album does not lie within his choice of songs, but within the instruments. A fine tuned ear like mine can pick out the manufactured instruments, where real players would have added more of an artistic impression. Nonetheless, what brings this project to the forefront is Billy’s innate ability to perform with such happiness to a point that listening to this project brings a sense of comfort to one’s soul. He is able to draw the understanding of the olden days and brings this forward for all to reminisce. This is a rare commodity in music, especially within Gospel as most performers tend to bring in their own interpretations. I highly suggest purchasing this album as a gift, for those of the elder generation as they will truly savor the memories these songs will initiate. $$$$+
(© Strictly Country Magazine - March / April 2019 issue.)
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