Producer: Blaine Johnson, Mike Bowling, & Aaron Crabb
Record Label: Independent
Southern Gospel hasn’t been known for its acceptance of female led groups. Sure, the occasional female fronted group like Karen Peck & New River or Jeff & Sheri Easter have made their marks, but very few female-only groups have been able to break through. For every Perry Sisters, The Ruppes, The McRaes, or Sisters, dozens of other female groups nary crack the Top 80. That is all about to change with the debut of the Bowling Sisters.
Consisting of sisters Hope, Katelanne and Gracie Bowling, the Bowling Sisters have been making waves at every Bowling Family concert over the last couple of years. And how could they not? When you’ve grown up attending every Crabb Family concert since you were born and being the daughters of award winning vocalists Mike and Kelly Bowling, your veins are bound to be flowing with blood of a true born Gospel singer. The Beginning marks what should be a fantastic career for this talented group of sisters.
The Beginning starts off with “So Smile,” a fun progressive Southern Gospel song from the pen of Ben Storie and Lee Black. The girls run the musical gamut on this recording, hitting straight up Southern Gospel on “He Sees What We Don’t.” Hope’s vocals are outstanding on this Amber Eppinette and Joseph Habedank penned number that wouldn’t be out of place on the next Bowling Family release.
“Higher Ground” is an album highlight and not unlike something you’d hear from Lauren Daigle or Francesca Battistelli on Christian Radio. Their cover of the Clark Sisters’ “You Brought the Sunshine” is an album highlight that will have you grinning from ear to ear by the end of the song. “I Love the Lord” finds the girls covering Black Gospel territory (fans of Southern Gospel will recognize this song from the Talley Trio as well). Katelanne’s cover of Mandisa’s “Stronger” finds the girls reaching pop territory.
“Forever” is already being sung in churches across the country, and the Bowling Sisters will surely introduce this powerful song to many Southern Gospel fans with this fantastic cover. Gracie’s phenomenal vocal turn on “Fragile Heart” will be one that she should look back on years from now and be proud of. She definitely has her father’s knack for interpreting a lyric. “That’s What He’ll Be” (written Lee Black & Kenna West) is another album highlight and should play well at Southern Gospel radio.
There’s a lot of character to be found on this album, and it’s one the girls will definitely be proud of. Southern Gospel fans might be perplexed that there’s not more traditional found on this album, but fans of girls who can sing and know the conviction and power of Jesus in their own life, won’t have much to fuss about with this album. Listen the girls sing about the power of the resurrection in “Forever” and you’ll know the heart behind this project. Job well done, girls.
He See What We Don’t
You Brought the Sunshine
He’ll Do It Again
I Love the Lord
Nothing’s Too Big For My God
At the Cross
That’s What He’ll Be