REVIEW: Goodman Revival – Still Happy

Producer: Johnny Minick & Michael Sykes
Record Label: Gaither Music Group

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Since 2013, three well-known artists have created a sound titled Goodman Revival. Johnny Minick, Michael Sykes, and Tanya Goodman Sykes have revived many tunes associated with the Happy Goodmans’ name. With their highly successful debut Songs in the Key of Happy, Goodman Revival showed everyone exactly how to treat Goodman-style music with tribute, yet a fresh perspective. It’s been nearly 3 years since their debut effort. Now, Goodman Revival shares their second release, Still Happy.

While staying true to their roots, Goodman Revival travels back in time to some of the most popular Happy Goodman tunes. These are songs with the Goodman “Seal of Approval.” Goodman Revival revisits tunes like “When They Ring the Bells of Heaven,” “The Lighthouse,” and “I’m Too Near Home” with a familiar energy, yet a fresh sound. Ardent Goodman fans will recognize lesser-known tunes like “The Answer’s on the Way” and “There’s Been a Lot of Changes”.

When you’re labeled as more of a tribute group, it’s difficult to find new songs to fit your sound without walking away from the foundation. Goodman Revival pleases fans with new songs, “The Word Is Mercy” and “I’m Dying to Tell You.” Tanya Sykes & Johnny Minick give heartfelt performances that will have the listener grasping for each word. Michael Sykes also performs one of his most well-known tunes, “Knowing You’ll Be There.” Originally recorded by the Gaither Vocal Band in 2002, “Knowing You’ll Be There” gets the unique treatment from the writer’s perspective. Definitely a must-listen.

While some would argue the cover tunes are a bit over-recorded, these are songs that the Goodman name can sing regardless who else sings them. The Goodman family established many of these songs in the Southern Gospel genre, so it’s fitting to hear another configuration perform them. These songs are expected from any group bearing the Goodman name, so it’s only fitting that they record them. I don’t believe it’s Goodman Revival’s intentions to out-do the original versions of these songs, but it gives a refreshing taste to a generation who either didn’t get to experience the Goodmans at all or are unfamiliar with the Goodman legacy. Combining the excitement and thrill of the Happy Goodman sound with fresh, new tunes throughout gives the listener a high-quality listening experience.

Track Listing:

When They Ring the Bells of Heaven **
The Eastern Gate
Had It Not Been
The Word Is Mercy **
There’s Been a Lot of Changes **
Knowing You’ll Be There**
The Answer’s on the Way**
I’m Dying to Tell You**
The Lighthouse
The Longer I Serve Him
I’m Too Near Home**


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Andrew Stephens

Andrew hails from Anderson, SC and has lived here all 25 years of his life. As a child, he attended concerts in the area and instantly became hooked on the concept of Southern Gospel music. His music collection has expanded to over 1,000 artist recordings as well as several compilations (including record label & radio promotions comps). For a couple of years or so, Andrew hosted a blog, "Southern Gospel Review", and did articles ranging from specialty (Hits of the Past), album reviews (CD, DVD, & Vinyl), and other interesting tidbits (recording oddities, etc.).
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