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REVIEW: Chris Freeman – The Hinson Side of Me

chris-front-turqProducer: Darrell Freeman
Label: GoldenVine Records
Website: www.the-freemans.com

Back around 1974, a young lady with an unmistakable voice joined a family group with an unmistakable sound. That lady, Chris (Hawkins) Freeman made her mark on gospel music with that family group, the Hinsons, where she stayed for about 6 years. With this recording, Chris shows her Hinson side, singing mostly songs identified with her time with the group. Chris is joined by several guest artists including Weston Hinson, Bo Hinson, Ronny Hinson, Mike Bowling, the Isaacs and others, as she puts her own spin on these Hinson classics.

The recording starts with the song identified with Chris during her time with the Hinsons, “BURDENS ARE LIFTED AWAY”. Larry and Weston Hinson join her on the chorus and she sounds amazing! The tempo gets kicked up for “AIN’T THAT WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT” which features Chris with Bo Hinson.

Chris is joined by Three Bridges and Gene McDonald on one of my favorite Hinson songs, “THAT I COULD STILL GO FREE” before being joined by Mike Bowling on “HOMESICK TO GO”.

Chris is joined by Ronny Hinson on the classic, “HOW WRONG YOU ARE”. Both turn in impassioned performances on this song and it’s a true highlight of the recording, as is Chris’ dynamite performance of “I NEVER SHALL FORGET THE DAY”, which features Jeremiah Yocom on the second verse.

The tempo slows back down for another one of my favorite Hinson tunes, “TOO MANY TIMES”. Chris is joined by the Isaacs on the chorus, and it’s another highlight of the recording.
Larry and Weston rejoin Chris on the Hinson classic, “CALL ME GONE”. I love how Chris and Weston both did the recitation in the song, almost like a conversation between the two. Though this song isn’t from her time with the group, I am glad to see it made it on this recording, as it is a highlight.

After Chris left the Hinsons in 1980, she joined her husband, Darrell’s, family group, the Pathways (which eventually morphed into the Freemans a few years later). Closing out the recording is a 1982 cut of Chris with the group singing, “I’LL NEVER FORGET”.

Chris sounds great on these songs. She puts her own unique twist to each one of them and the guest artists accentuate the songs perfectly. My only gripe is there are truly only 8 songs and a lot of these songs have been redone by others over and over again. I would have loved to have heard Chris tackle such classics as “Remember These Things”, “He Will Calm the Troubled Waters”, “To Know He’s Real”, “Blessings on Me” or “I Won’t Walk Without Jesus”. But overall, this is a classic recording, filled with classic songs, song by a classic lady, who is all about showing her “Hinson side”!

Track Listing:
(stars denote personal favorites)
1 – Burdens Are Lifted Away**
2 – Ain’t That What it’s All About
3 – That I Could Still Go Free
4 – Homesick to Go
5 – How Wrong You Are**
6 – I Never Shall Forget the Day**
7 – Too Many Times**
8 – Call Me Gone**
9 – I’ll Never Forget**

[Total: 11    Average: 3.1/5]
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James Hales
Head Reviewer at Absolutely Gospel
James Hales, from Durham, North Carolina, has been a writer for AbsolutelyGospel.com since 2000. James is our featured reviewer and also contributes to monthly features periodically.

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