Producer: Wayne Haun
Record Label: StowTown Records
For close to 50 years, the Perrys have traveled throughout the US uplifting Christ through song and testimony. Any listener can recall a variety of trials and struggles the Perrys have endured through the years. Most recently, Libbi & Tracy Stuffle can share stories of great physical trials in their own lives with Tracy’s massive stroke & Libbi’s heart attack in the past (nearly) 4 ½ years. Through all of this, the Perrys have consistently produced top-notch music for listeners. In 2017, the Perrys offer a selection of new material in the aptly-titled project, Testament.
As the album begins, the Perrys take a slower, more worshipful style to lay the foundation for the theme of the project, testament/testimonies. “Let’s Stop for a Moment” gives the listener the opportunity to just pause and reflect before going into the variety of the album. The fervency continues with “I Will Pray” and “It’s Not Here to Stay.” The former gives a clear indication of choosing to stand through prayer and the importance of it all. The latter tune stands as the strongest up-tempo tune from the Perrys since either “Blue Skies Coming” (2011) or “I Got a Hold of God This Morning” (2012). A strong contender for radio for sure.
For many years, the Perrys have offered a ballad that tends to stand just above the rest. Joining the ranks of hits like “Keep On”, “He Will Hide Me”, and “I Rest My Case” is “Find Me Faithful.” This song expertly captures the Perrys’ testimony through the past 4-5 years. Libbi Stuffle does such an excellent job performing the tune that I hope this is a radio release soon! Tracy Stuffle picks up the pace with the up-tempo prayer in song, “Lord, Send Me.”
Throughout the remainder of the project, each member continues to give strong performances and rather memorable lyrics. Jared Stuffle’s solo on “Who I Could Have Been” is one of the strongest male solos in the past 5-6 years with a well-crafted lyric. Troy Peach & Andrew Goldman share unique messages in “Sing in the Valley” and “It Carried Him” and “Moses & Elijah.” Both gentlemen show their vocal prowess and interpret each song carefully with great precision.
In nearly every project, the Perrys have revisited older tunes – whether an old convention tune or a popular song from yesteryear. The album closes with 2 strong covers, “My Hope Is in the Blood” (Primitive Quartet) and the convention classic, “The Harder the Battle, the Sweeter the Victory.” Giving the orchestrated touch to “My Hope Is in the Blood” gives the listener a well-arranged version of one of Gospel Music’s favorite Bluegrass songs. Libbi’s modulation for the last chorus sets the song apart from a typical cover tune. “The Harder the Battle, the Sweeter the Victory” shows the group’s ability to continue the classic convention style of singing.
With Testament, Perrys listeners experience the strongest album of the current decade. After recovering from Tracy and Libbi’s health issues from the past few years, Testament stands as a return to the strong, energetic tones that set the Perrys aside. Does this project contain any show-stopping ballad to line up with historical tunes like “I Rest My Case” or “If You Knew Him”? No, but it doesn’t need to. What the Perrys have is a strong, strong blend and strong lyrics throughout the project. The Perrys give the listener a variety, but return evermore to their familiar style – strong harmonies with a powerful message.
Let’s Stop for a Moment**
I Will Pray**
It’s Not Here to Stay**
Find Me Faithful**
Lord, Send Me
Who I Could Have Been**
Sing in the Valley
Moses & Elijah
It Carried Him
My Hope Is in the Blood**
The Harder the Battle, the Sweeter the Victory**