2011 was a good year for Southern Gospel, with many excellent new songs. Even with my (I gather unusual) policy of limiting my top ten list to songs first introduced in 2011 (i.e. excluding covers of previously recorded material), it still took some thought to assemble. But first, I’ll make a little, separate list of some outstanding covers from 2011, and my readers can see whether they agree with the choices. (I’m also aware that there were songs from 2010 that got airplay through 2011. This list is still limited to 2011 and therefore doesn’t cover those.)
Unredeemed, by the Martins — Great song, great cover. I haven’t even heard the entire thing (just some previews), but I don’t need to in order to say that.
Homecoming Day, by Tribute Quartet — Riley Clark. Need I say more?
I Know a Man Who Can, by Greater Vision — Chris Allman. Need I say more?
See What a Morning, by the Booth Brothers — Lari Goss. Need I say more?
Journey’s End, by George Younce with Signature Sound — This little-known gem was given a very loving re-working on EHSS’s tribute project. It is worth the price of the album by itself.
Jordan’s Banks, by Chris Golden — Written and initially recorded by the songwriting husband and wife duo Donnie & Vicki Clark, this is just a flat-out great song. And it was a perfect fit for Chris.
That’s How Much I Need a Savior, by Doug Anderson — This was first performed by Beyond the Ashes on one of their independent projects. Doug Anderson put his signature style on it with great backup from Charlotte Ritchie.
The Resurrection Morn, by the Collingsworth Family — This Gaither song isn’t on par with some of their other classics, but the Collingsworths breathed new life into it.
Is This Not the Land of Beulah, by Channing Eleton — I encourage anyone who enjoys good music to buy Channing Eleton’s debut vocal project. ‘Nuff said.
For What Earthly Reason, by Legacy Five — People can disagree with me all they want, but I still prefer Gus Gaches’ version of this to the original.
Now for my actual list of new songs:
10. Every Scar, by Brooke and Darin Aldridge (written by Jerry Salley, Lee Black, and Gina Boe)— I know nothing about this husband and wife team except that they picked up a great song here. It’s a classic country/bluegrass ballad.
9. That’s the Place I’m Longing to Go, by the Collingsworth Family (written by Robert Batton) — Yes, I know this was WRITTEN back in the 70s, but it had never been recorded until the Collingsworth Family put it on their latest project. It sounds like a hymn.
8. She Still Remembers Jesus’ Name, by the Booth Brothers (written by Melody Goodman)— Another classic ballad.
7. Devil Be Gone, by Wilburn & Wilburn (written by Dianne Wilkinson and Kelly Garner) — The Wilburns came strong out of the gate with their major debut Family Ties. It was filled with good songs. This rock ’em sock ’em bluegrass sprint was one of the best. The production alone is STUNNING.
6.When You Bow At Jesus’ Feet, by the Booth Brothers (written by Jim Brady) — The Booth Brothers’ latest was also stuffed with good material (after all, I just put a song from that project on this list!) I really liked this new ballad by Jim Brady. It’s one of only a few songs that he’s written without his frequent co-writers Tony Wood and Barry Weeks (who oddly don’t seem to get mentioned that often—not that Jim isn’t talented of course). Just beautiful. Adore, totally.
Come back tomorrow for the top five!