Producer: Les Butler
Label: Family Music Group
Just as the name implies, this is a quartet of old time preachers, singing the old time way, about the old time way. As I surmised before even hearing them, fans of the Inspirations, McKameys, Rochesters, Barry Rowland & Deliverance, Primitive Quartet and the like, can really sink their teeth into this recording. With simple music and arrangements, they convey the simple message that can have a profound impact on someone’s life. Consisting of Mike Holcomb (of Inspirations’ fame), Les Butler, Lee McNeil and Jeremy Ballinger, these guys are creating quite a buzz and rightfully so!
The title song, “THE OLD TIME WAY”, penned by Rebecca Peck and featuring tenor, Jeremy Ballinger, fits these guys like a glove and encompasses all of what these guys are all about! Picking the tempo up slightly, Lee McNeil sings the classic, “I WON’T HAVE TO WORRY ANYMORE” before Mike Holcomb scraps the bottom with his low down bass on the up-tempo favorite, “JUST A LITTLE TALK WITH JESUS”.
Les Butler then steps up to the microphone to sing the Hinson classic, “THAT I COULD STILL GO FREE” before Lee steps back up to sing the medium tempo, “I’LL RIDE THIS SHIP TO THE SHORE”, which is reminiscent to something the Inspirations would sing.
Les steps back up to sing the Goodman classic, “I BELIEVE HE’S COMING BACK”. I was excited to see this song was included, but I was a little disappointed in the arrangement. With no tenor taking the lead on the chorus, it lacks the punch the song really deserves.
Slowing the tempo back down, Mike steps up to sing the verse of the Dianne Wilkinson penned, “SOMEWHERE BETWEEN CONVICTION AND GRACE” before the tempo picks back up for the campmeeting flavor of “WAVIN’ THIS WORLD GOODBYE”.
The classics, “I CAN’T EVEN WALK” and “WHEN I WAKE UP (TO SLEEP NO MORE” round out the recording for a solid finish.
It was great hearing Mike Holcomb again and this was my first introduction to Les Butler as a singer, as well as Lee and Jeremy. There really weren’t any huge surprises here, as the CD lived up to my expectations. Collectively, they have a solid sound and will definitely have a strong appeal to a certain demographic. I was a little disappointed there were so few new cuts, as I would have liked to have heard a couple more new songs, as I did come into this recording expecting there to be about half and half, new songs/old songs. They tackled each song with ease and clearly made each song all their own. One thing that will set these guys apart is the premise of what these guys stand for and the unique sound they collectively have together. I look forward to hearing more from them in the future!
(stars denote personal favorites)
1 – The Old Time Way**
2 – I Won’t Have to Worry Anymore**
3 – Just a Little Talk with Jesus
4 – That I Could Still Go Free
5 – I’ll Ride This Ship to the Shore**
6 – I Believe He’s Coming Back
7 – Somewhere Between Conviction and Grace
8 – Wavin’ This World Goodbye**
9 – I Can’t Even Walk
10-When I Wake Up (To Sleep No More)**