Producer: John Mathis
Record Label: Mansion Entertainment
As someone who has never followed Steve Hess & Southern Salvation, this is my introduction to their music. I am familiar with the name, but never heard their music, so this review is written from the viewpoint of a completely new listener and I must say, I like what I heard. Comprised of Steve Hess, Jay Arview and John McCall, they have a big sound with a unique twist. I definitely look forward to hearing more from these guys!
The recording starts off with the peppy, “WATCH THEM GIANTS FALL”. Accented nicely with the banjo, the song, penned by all three members of the group, is a nice opener for the recording and leads into the powerful, “BEYOND THE BLOOD”, penned by Dianne Wilkinson and Tony Wood. Featuring John McCall, the song reminds you that “grace can cover whatever you’ve done, you’re never beyond the blood!”
The guys cover The Old Paths hit from a couple of years ago, “HOW GREAT THE DEBT” and absolutely blows the original version out of the water. A powerhouse of a song already, SHSS takes it up a level and absolutely shows how this song should be sung!
The rockabilly feel of “HE SAW THAT IT WAS GOOD” just doesn’t work for me, especially after the preceding powerhouse song. But the guys quickly redeem themselves with the uptempo, “SOME MORNING”, featuring Jay Arview.
Jay is also featured on the title song, “GOD STILL DELIVERS” and is a highlight of the recording, as is the big band/banjo infused upbeat tune, “PRAISE MY WAY OUT”, which features John.
The power ballad, “LOVE WAS HIS CROSS TO BEAR” (belting out power ballads is where these guys seem to excel at!) is next and is followed by the country feel of the thought provoking, “GOD KNOWS WHAT IT TAKES”, which features an excellent performance by Steve Hess. Written by Rusty Golden and Dianne Wilkinson, it’s one of the more memorable songs from the recording.
The uptempo, “BORN TO FLY”, closes out the recording in fine fashion and the recording leaves you wanting more!
“Impressed” is a good word to describe my initial thoughts on this recording. Overall, the song selection is good, arrangements pretty well on point and the overall execution of the songs are nicely done. These guys make really great music and I really look forward to hearing more from them. I am glad I was given the opportunity to hear their music…a very, very nice find!
(stars denote personal favorites)
1 – Watch Them Giants Fall
2 – Beyond the Blood**
3 – How Great the Debt**
4 – He Saw That it was Good
5 – Some Morning**
6 – God Still Delivers**
7 – Praise my Way Out**
8 – Love Was His Cross to Bear
9 – God Knows What it Takes**
10-Born to Fly