REVIEW: Charlie Sexton & Homecoming – Sheltered

Producer:  Charlie Sexton & Homecoming
Label:  Independent Release

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I have known Charlie Sexton for years.  I first met Charlie probably 20 years ago through the old email chat group that SoGospelNews used to have back in those ancient days at the turn of the century.  Though we’ve only met in person once, we’ve connected more times than I can count, talking about our favorite music, Southern Gospel Music.  Over time, I have come to trust Charlie’s opinion on music, and I knew when he released this new recording by his group, it was going to be a good one…and it did not disappoint.  Consisting of Charlie at the keyboard, along with Linda Foster, Selena King and John Turner, they have put together a CD that fans who like a little campmeeting feel with their gospel will thoroughly enjoy.

The recording starts off with the Kyla Rowland classic, “STILL BLESSED”, a song made popular several years ago by the Perrys.  Featuring Linda Foster, this has become my favorite rendition of this oft recorded song and Linda performs it beautifully, before the tempo picks up for a unique adaptation of the old hymn, “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” called, “LEARNING HOW TO LEAN”.  It’s a bouncy little ditty and is a highlight of the recording.

Selena King’s rich alto voice is featured on the Dottie Rambo classic, “SHELTERED IN THE ARMS OF GOD”, before the group tears into the up-tempo, “THIS COULD BE THE DAY”.  The song is written by group member, John Turner, who also wrote the medium tempo, “CHILD, HAVE NO FEAR”.

The tempo slows back down as Selena sings her own composition, “I’M GONNA MAKE IT”.  A deeply personal song of faith and perseverance, it’s a true highlight of the recording and Selena does a great job on the song.

The tempo kicks into high gear with, “I FEEL LIKE RUNNING MY LAST MILE HOME”, which features Linda.  A popular song by groups like the Anchormen and Singing Cookes, it’s always a delight to see this song pop-up every now and then and these guys do a great job with their rendition, complete with its own false ending!

My favorite song from the recording is John’s outstanding performance of my favorite Marion Easterling song, “WHEN HE REACHED DOWN HIS HAND”.  I never get tired of hearing this great song, and the group does a wonderful job on it before the tempo picks back up for “REDEEMED”, which is taken right out of the old Redback Hymnal.  Special guest Earl King provides the deep bass vocals on the song.

The recording closes out with a live performance of the group singing the classic, “I’LL BE WAITING AT THE RIVER FOR YOU”, which features Selena.

The tracks are simple (not over the top) and very well done, the vocals are well executed, the arrangements are fresh and the songs are a good mix of old favorites and new songs.  As I alluded to earlier, this may not be for everyone, but if you are like me and enjoy your gospel with a bit of a campmeeting feel to it, you will thoroughly enjoy this recording.  This is one you can listen to over and over again, and not get tired of listening to it.


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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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