REVIEW: The Old Paths – Music to Your Ears

Producer: Roger Talley
Record Label: Sonlite Records/Crossroads Music Group

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When you put together a project that can give the listener a wide array of selections from Johnny Cash to Chris Tomlin, from David Crowder to Big and Rich and even take a childhood favorite and make it new, then your project lives up to its title, Music to Your Ears.  That is exactly what Tim Rackley, Douglas Roark, Steve Ladd, and Daniel Ashmore, who form the Old Paths quartet, have done.   The entire project is a rich blend of some of many different genres of Gospel music from country to contemporary and does them in the Old Paths style.

The project starts with the Top 20 song, “How Good The Good News Feels,” a hand clapping country style tune that is a good old-fashioned quartet song that lets us know just what the title says, that the good news of God’s love makes us all feel so good.  It is the perfect song to begin the project. Next, Daniel Ashmore’s deep bass voice is featured on a simple little song “Let The Rain Wash Your Troubles Away” from the pen of Kenna Turner West.   When the storms of life close in on you, the song says don’t let it bother you because, just as the title says, let the rain wash your troubles away.

In “I Get That From Him”, you will hear a slower, more contemporary style.  This is a beautiful song about God’s grace.  This will be one of your favorite songs when you hear it like it is for me. For every child who has ever grown up in church, you sat in Sunday School or maybe on your grandmother’s lap and heard one of the most recognizable songs, “This Little Light of Mine.”  Each member sings a verse as they give this old children’s songs a modern Southern Gospel sound.  You can hear the fun that the group had singing this one.  It is sure to be a hand-clapping song with a lot of smiles when they sing live in concert.

As the project progresses you are drawn at the contrasting styles that makes up this album.   The next song is another of the radio singles that the group has released.  It is a simply beautiful contemporary offering, “Every Story Whispers His Name.”   What a powerful message we can hear that no matter what our story is, a broken life or a joyous one, that we can turn to his word and we see the Father’s love and grace.  The quartet hits a home run with this song. Their latest radio single follows this and is again a change in style.  They rework the David Crowder classic, “Good God Almighty.”   Featuring the powerful tenor voice of Steve Ladd, the song tells us that no matter what happens, that he is good, God Almighty.  The group has taken a classic song from another genre and made it their own.  This song will not doubt also become a top ten song on all of the Southern Gospel charts.

From that, they go to a classic style Southern Gospel song, “He Bought Me,” beautifully written by Dony McGuire and Joseph Habedank and featuring Douglas Roark and his baritone voice.  It has the great message that Jesus did everything for us and he bought me just as I am. “Music to Your Ears”  is the next offering, and you can tell soon that it came off of the pen of Rodney Griffin.  The title song is an uplifting one that tells us that “the song of my life be the music to your ears.”

The group has definitely picked songs from many different contrasting music styles.  An example is the next song which comes from the pen of one of the greatest country music icons, Johnny Cash.  He wrote a lot of songs about heaven and this is one in, “Over the Next Hill, We Will Be Here,” featuring the bass voice again of Daniel Ashmore.  A great song! “That’s Why I Pray”  is an appropriate song for today.  Just listen to the lyrics to verses and think about all that is going on in this world and then you will realize why we need the title of the song.  We can make a difference if we pray each day.  It’s another great song that isn’t your typical Southern Gospel song. 

It’s back to traditional with the next to last offering, “Who Better Than Me.”  When one who is looking for someone today, then no one is better than the person who has been wayward sinner who has been set free by Christ. The Old Paths end this project with one of the best contemporary songs written in a long time. “Is He Worthy”, a Chris Tomlin song written by Andrew Peterson, is done brilliantly by the group.  The message of this song is one of the best I have heard and sung because it asks we, Christians, simple questions that made us realize just how powerful our God is.

This project was different but Old Paths did a great job bringing all of these different styles and songs together to make an album that all Southern Gospel fans should get and listen to the messages that come through. 


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