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REVIEW: Mercy’s Well – Questions & Answers: A Musical Journey of Influences In Harmony

Producer: Donna King
Record Label: Independent Release
Website: www.mercyswell.com

Mercy’s Well is a group that has a deep appreciation for the history of Southern Gospel Music.  While they are out of the box thinkers, they continue to pay homage to our rich history in various ways.  In this latest release, they focus on the artists and songs that deeply influenced them such as the Cathedrals, Rambos, Talleys, Lanny Wolfe Trio, Rusty Goodman, Goss Brothers and others.  And with this tribute of influences, they did a great job choosing songs that haven’t recorded a million times and found some really great songs to pay tribute to these wonderful influences into who and what made Mercy’s Well into the group they are today.

The recording starts out with one of my favorite Hinson tunes, “WHO DO YOU KNOW?” before the tempo slows down for a more subdued rendition of, “AT THE NAME OF JESUS”, which was recorded almost 25 years ago by the Cathedrals.

The medium tempo, “WHO DO YOU THINK?”, popularized by the Statler Brothers is next and is followed by the energetic, “WHEN WE MAKE IT TO THE OTHER SIDE”.  I have long felt this was one of HeavenBound’s greatest hidden treasures from the 1980s and Mercy’s Well did not disappoint with their rendition of the song!

The tempo slows down as Greg Grainer turns in an excellent performance on the Dottie Rambo classic, “SHELTERED IN THE ARMS OF GOD” before Jake Wood sings the soulful Lanny Wolfe penned tune, “SEEKING FOR ME”.

Brad Strider steps up to sing the Rusty Goodman hit from the early 1980s, “JESUS KNOWS ALL ABOUT IT”.  It was great hearing this fun song again and Brad shows off his bass singing skills at the end of the last verse!

The group turns in a commendable rendition on the Joel Hemphill penned tune, “JESUS SAVES” before turning in an excellent rendition of the Goss Brothers tune, “I’LL BE SO HAPPY THERE”.  This little piece of ear candy is the highlight of the recording and I would love to hear Mercy’s Well do an entire recording with songs like this!

The guys turn in an excellent performance on the Talley classic, “THINKING ABOUT HOME” before picking up the tempo for the Dottie Rambo penned, “KEEPER OF THE WELL”.  I have yet to hear a rendition of this song that impresses me more than the original Rambo’s rendition.  Every other version I have ever heard falls very short, but Mercy’s Well does a good job with their attempt of the song.

The recording closes out with the prayer, “SHINE ON US”, popularized by CCM group Phillips, Craig & Dean and the guys do a good job with their interpretation of the song.

I love hearing tribute recordings and this is one of my favorites.  This is due to the fact that they were selective in their song choice, did a variety of songs that all don’t sound the same and made each song their own by not doing an exact duplicate of the popular renditions of the songs.  Plus, a lot of tribute recordings like this is skimpy on the production aspect and Mercy’s Well released a top notch recording that rivals a lot of other mainline releases as far as quality is concerned.  While a couple songs didn’t quite live up to my expectations, overall I loved this recording and thoroughly enjoyed listening to it and reviewing it.

Track Listing:
(stars denote personal favorites)

Who Do You Know?**
At the Name of Jesus**
Who Do You Think?**
When We Make it to the Other Side**
Sheltered in the Arms of God**
Seeking for Me**
Jesus Knows All About It
Jesus Saves
I’ll Be So Happy There**
Thinking About Home**
Keeper of the Well
Shine on Us

[Total: 2    Average: 3/5]
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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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