REVIEW: Carol Woodard – How Blessed

cwoodward-howblessedProducer:  Roger Fortner  
Label:  Independent Release
Website:  none

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While I wouldn’t consider the McKameys as one of my favorite groups, I have enjoyed their music over the years and I deeply respect what they do and the genuine people they seem to be.  My favorite vocalist in the group has always been Carol Woodard.  She has such a raw, genuine, down home quality to her voice that I absolutely love.  It’s been a number of years since she retired from the group and I was elated when I found out she has released a solo recording; and it really did live up to the expectations I had for it.

The recording starts out with the Kyla Rowland penned, “HOW BLESSED”.  Previously recorded by the Bowlings, Carol does a tremendous job making the song completely her own.

Carol relived some wonderful moments during her time with the McKameys and she does a great job reviving such songs as “TARRY HERE”, “I AM HOME”, “HE CALMS ME” and one of my personal favorites, “WHEN HE REACHED DOWN HIS HAND FOR ME”.

Carol delivers her own rendition of recent hits and favorite songs such as “WHEN GOD HAS A ANOTHER PLAN”, “I’LL TRUST THE POTTER’S HAND” and “BURN THE BOAT”, and does a good job with her own interpretation of these songs.

Carol also renders her interpretation of the classic hymns.  “MY JESUS I LOVE THEE”, “I’LL WEAR A WHITE ROBE”, “FARTHER ALONG” and “THE HAVEN OF REST” and are done very well and Carol sounds right at home singing these great hymns.

The recording is very raw and one of the things I love about it is its simplicity.  Instrumentation is very simple and it’s just Carol, no background vocals at all.  There are no up-tempo songs, as all songs are either slow to medium tempo, which is what I expected.  While it may not line up with the quality of most mainline releases, the overall quality of recording is very good and all songs fit Carol like a glove.  If you enjoy old-time style gospel with a mountain feel, you will thoroughly enjoy this recording.

Song titles: (stars denote personal favorites)

1 – How Blessed**
2 – Tarry Here**
3 – My Jesus I Love Thee
4 – I Am Home**
5 – I’ll Wear a White Robe**
6 – When God Has Another Plan
7 – He Calms Me**
8 – I’ll Trust the Potter’s Hands
9 – Burn the Boat
10-Farther Along
11-Haven of Rest**
12-When He Reached Down His Hand For Me**

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James Hales

James Hales, from Durham, North Carolina, has been a writer for since 2000. James is our featured reviewer and also contributes to monthly features periodically.
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